The Coma: Recut is a re-release of the 2015 horror game The Coma: Cutting Class, remastered for consoles. Developed by the South Korean indie studio Devespresso Games, The Coma: Recut is a 2D survival horror that takes the real life pressure on Korean high school students & adds some Silent Hill style scares.
You take on the role of Youngho, a high school student feeling the pressure of exams. He wakes up late & rushes to school only to find that everything has been delayed as a student attempted suicide. Figuring exams will be cancelled, he & the rest of the students are shocked to find out that they will still go ahead.
Feeling stressed, Youngho runs into his favourite teacher, the voluptuous Miss Song who tries to put him at ease. Taking his seat for his first exam, Youngho finds his eyes getting heavy & before he realises it he is asleep.
When he wakes, it is dark & things aren’t quite what they should be. This is where things really get interesting. Youngho ventures out into the darkened corridor but finds the school deserted. Naturally, he is confused until he sees a face he recognises but not one that is friendly. Miss Song approaches Youngho & attempts to kill him. He manages to escape by hiding in the boys bathroom but has no clue as to what to do.
This is where control is really given over to the player as you attempt to find out what has happened to turn the school into a walking nightmare. All while avoiding the psychotic Miss Song who will attempt to kill you the moment she sees you.
Visually, the game is done in the style of ‘manwha’ which is similar to Japanese manga. It’s an art style that fits the tone of the game brilliantly giving it a really vibrant & interesting look. Characters stand out from their backgrounds but not so much that it makes you feel like you can’t interact with things.
As exploration is the main point of gameplay, you can expect to be picking up notes, health & stamina items, quest items & money. Most of the game takes place within the different buildings of the school with not a lot of variation between them. Rooms blend into one another but it makes sense as this is a school. Classrooms will look the same!
Thanks to maps it’s very easy to navigate with quests marked & room names clear to see. It would have been nice to see doors that are locked or blocked marked (like in Silent Hill) on the map as you explore but it’s a minor complain considering how straight-forward it is to navigate.
Talking of which, the control scheme is also easy to get to grips with. Youngho will walk quietly through the halls depending on what direction you want him to go. He can also run, roll, use his torch, interact with characters & hold his breath. This last one is important as throughout the game you’re constantly being hunted by Miss Song. Be aware of the noise you’re making, be aware of the light that you’re using & if she sees you remember where the hiding places are.
It’s genuinely frightening when you’re spotted by Miss Song. She lets out a scream & will race towards you all while the screen shakes & the music intensifies. At this stage the only thing you can do is run & hide. Get some distance between yourself & her then jump into a room & find a closet, bathroom stall or cupboard to hide in. If she didn’t see you go in, she won’t find you meaning after a little while she’ll give up & leave.
There is no fighting back, it’s run & hide. Tense & thankfully not over-used. In fact you can go through huge sections of the game & not run into her at all. However, on occasion it can be quite annoying to hide, go back out & run into her straight away. Patience is key.
The Coma: Recut isn’t a long game. You can complete it & all its secondary objectives in about 4-6 hours on your first play-through & even less on repeat runs. The shortness of the game ensures the repetition of the gameplay never gets too much.
It would be nice to see this idea taken & expanded into a more full & deeper game. More quests, bigger locations to explore & even a tougher difficulty as surviving isn’t really that hard as long as you’re patient.
The Coma: Recut