Dear God, where do I begin.
Almost everything is broken or excessively rough. The voice acting and visual performances are "classic FMV quality." The quality of models and textures vary so significantly that I assume that any high res models are pre-purchased assets.
Now, a list of this game's most egregious faults in chronological order:
- The game is bloated to 12 GB only because the developers chose not to compress any of the video files. Without them, the game would be only 3.5 GB large.
- The floor underneath the 1st person title screen has no collision, so I immediately fall through the floor upon starting the game.
- The save feature is broken, meaning if you lose the game or fall out of bounds (which is much more likely to happen) you have to start the whole thing over.
- You can see the square developer grid by looking out the window in the first scene. Also, why bother allowing us to pick things up. This feature never shows up again and never has any practical use.
- There are typos and spelling mistakes in both letters and most subtitles.
- When the school scene starts, you spawn in the wall. This has the effect of making all your clone actors never spawn, leaving the professor to lecture to an empty room. (Also, colleges don't use school period bells)
- You can repeat the receptionist's dialogue by moving backwards during the retinal scan. (Why did you fade to black and teleport me there anyway?)
- The elevator door in the basement doesn't exist, leaving an unpaired door frame that's partially clipping into the floor.
- The professor's and captain's flat planes appear as white rectangles before their video files start. This happens to everyone all the time from this point on.
- The black and white footage and subsequent character dialogue's audio is broken, leaving the player to stand in silence for minutes.
- The purple swirly void is a horribly low-resolution jpeg and has no practical use in game.
- JEDBURGH'S SWEET MOVES. OH MY GOD.
- The character using American Sign Language still talks to me audibly? How?
- The ship controls presented on the SOMNIUM do nothing. Was this a cut gameplay segment? (Also, grey text over a grey control console isn't good for readability)
- You can see the edge of the green screen on the Professor's rectangle. This appears on numerous characters' rectangles from this point on.
- The first dream sequence is a laughable attempt at surrealism. At least the giant coffee stapler was kind of cute.
- JEDBURGH'S SQUID FIGHT. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA
- The nightmare dream sequence is a laughable attempt at horror? Suspense? What the hell was that even supposed to be?
- The fight between the Captain and ASL occurs between these two characters' rectangles... which are placed across the room from each other. In practice, this looks like both characters struggle against themselves ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE ROOM before ASL falls over. Wow.
- The final surreal sequence felt pointless with the walking segments serving to pad the game's laughable runtime.
- The blue place with the dream man didn't work right, with him being stuck in his idle animation. I eventually decided to end it all and walk off the edge of the map. Of course there was no respawn mechanic included, so this was game over for me.
Thus ended my experience with SOMNIUM: a concept that was clearly too vast for this student team to handle. They bit off more than they could chew and they paid dearly for it, creating an utterly broken and incomprehensible mess that is no fun to watch and even less fun to play.
It's always a bad sign when the poster is the best element of a project. The only solace anyone who plays this travesty can gain is by making their own sweet green screen movies with the included video files.
Please, please, please make a sequel soon.