Developer: Naga Entertainment
Release Date: May 12th, 2014
Available On: PC
I could tell you right now what the two events that led to the creation of Coma: Mortuary is. First, the Unreal Engine has allowed nearly any studio that wants to have a nice looking game to make one with some effort. Second, Greenlight has allowed any decent looking pile of crap to get onto Steam. So we get Coma: Mortuary, a short ‘game’ that doesn’t really do anything of note for its entire duration.
Coma: Mortuary puts you in the role of some guy who’s name I’ve either forgotten or is never mentioned. After his wife dies in a car crash he goes a little drunk and suicidal and decides to kill himself in the same way at the same place. He wakes up and finds himself in the land of the dead, and now needs to find a way out and back to the living. During his entire one and a half hour trip through the land of the dead he narrates the history of the place, something I’m not entirely sure how he knew. The majority of the game manages to be really confusing and worth little, and the game’s plot only manages to make start making some sense and become interesting during what is literally the final cutscene.
The game doesn’t fare much better gameplay wise. Taking hints from other horror games like Amnesia and Outlast, Coma: Mortuary features no way to defend yourself and instead you must escape from enemies. Your only equipment is a flashlight that does a decent enough job in lighting the area up. Your only real instruction is to follow the lights, and as you do so you’ll listen to the main character narrate the history of the land of the dead. Every now and again you may get to pull a switch or something, so I guess that’s some kind of gameplay. For a game based on almost entirely walking it’s impressive how slow the character walks and the lack of any kind of sprint/walk fast button.
Every now and again something spooky happens and the game will have the camera look to whatever it is so you can see the full spook. 9 times out of 10 the camera stops short and instead you’ll look at a wall or in the wrong direction, getting none of the spook. Outside of a single jump scare early in the game, I was never scared by Coma: Mortuary. I can say the game does a good job building atmosphere though, it always feels like there’s going to be something terrifying around the corner. There just, you know, never is. Twice in the game you’ll get to do chase scenes were you have to escape from something. The first one had me drop dead for entering a room and I’m not sure why still. The second (which featured a hilariously out of place metal song) seemed to expect you to memorize the way to go before you even got to do it. I ran into a lot of frustrating dead ends and got killed more than I should have there.
This game is just a mess. On the Steam page it says it has controller support, but the only two actions you can do with a controller is walk and look around. While that makes up a majority of the game’s controls, I did find it frustrating that I couldn’t interact with levers, use my flashlight, navigate menus, or pause without going back to my keyboard. Speaking of pausing, it doesn’t work. The menu comes up, but the game keeps running. It makes the game feel like an unfinished mess.
Coma: Mortuary is an awful game. It’s confusing, broken, and not fun. It’s the kind of game that makes me wish Greenlight never happened, and it’s one that should never have slipped through the cracks. Hopefully we’ll manage to keep games like this out in the future, and avoid buying the ones that do get through.