In The Coma: Recut, you play as Youngho, a Korean high school student exhausted and stressed from preparing for his finals. Upon arriving at school, Youngho learns about the attempted suicide of a classmate before finding out that finals will continue as originally planned. After falling asleep at the beginning of his first final, Youngho awakens at his school desk in the middle of the night, being pursued by a killer that resembles his teacher, Ms. Song.
The atmosphere of The Coma is very creepy. You have a flashlight that you can use, but you’ll want to use it at your own risk to avoid detection as much as possible. As you traverse the school, you risk running into the killer at almost any given moment. Moving carefully and intelligently will be a key to your survival. I learned very quickly that moving between floors will not be enough to avoid your almost certain demise as the killer will follow you between floors, and into classrooms.
Hiding in places like closets or bathroom stalls will provide safety as long as the killer isn’t too close. A large part of your survival will be based on tactical decisions you make, such as setting off something to make noise to attract the killer so you can safely move elsewhere in the school. Having to think and plan adds to the inherent creepiness, as you cannot move blindly and hope to survive.
The sheer volume of dialogue and the frequency of non-frightening interruptions really took away from the horror aspect of The Coma for me, and at some points, I felt like it was more visual novel than survival horror. I am a relatively easy person to scare, particularly when playing horror style video games, and I found myself more annoyed than startled at any given moment.
The controls come across as cumbersome due to the number of different functions added into the game. While playing The Coma, there were moments that I had trouble remembering what button performed which function, and this became aggravating, particularly when my character was on the verge of death or would die shortly thereafter.
Most of the achievements have somewhat mysterious names and descriptions, but most of them seem to be story related. Within a short amount of time from beginning the game, I had unlocked five achievements, and based on what triggered them to be unlocked, they appeared to be story-related and unmissable. Some of the descriptions indicate that they require some searching to find them, which adds an element of adventure to The Coma beyond the story.
Driven by an interesting story and a creepy atmosphere, The Coma had a lot of potential to be a great game. I feel that if the game had been a bit more atmosphere driven, it would have been far more successful. Between the intriguing achievement list and an interesting story, The Coma: Recut is worth a playthrough, but don’t look for as much scare as the trailer might lead you to expect.