Horror fans have a lot of reasons to be excited about SOMA. The main reason? It’s developed by Frictional Games. This is the developer behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
If you haven’t been following SOMA that closely, you might not know much about its setting. The game’s latest trailer changes that.
Deep below the Atlantic Ocean lies the underwater facility PATHOS-II. As usual, something is terribly wrong. Frictional Games goal with SOMA is to make you question the concepts of identity. What does it mean to be human? Seems like an easy question right? A gameplay video from back in May shows that it’s not quite that simple. Fast forward to about 6:00. Don’t watch it if you’re trying to avoid anything remotely spoiler-ish before SOMA’s release.
The folks at Frictional Games also recently answered a few questions about SOMA. The biggest question from any fan of Frictional Games is: how does SOMA stack up against Amnesia: The Dark Descent in the scariness department?
“We think that SOMA is just as scary, if not even more, but in a different fashion,” SOMA writes on their official blog. With SOMA, Frictional Games opted for more atmospheric horror.
“At first it relies more on a mysterious and creepy tone, slowly ramps up the scariness, and peaks pretty late in the game,” writes the developer.
SOMA’s key narrative pillars like questioning what is human builds on to the atmospheric horror Frictional Games is trying to accomplish.
The developer also touched on puzzles in SOMA. Narrative is a design pillar Frictional Games keeps hammering on with SOMA. From the developer:
“For example, in one area we have a door that needs to be opened. But there is also a communications device that runs off the same power source as the door, so the puzzle-goal becomes entangled with a narrative one. On top of that, you also need to take part in a creepy activity in order to get the power running. This means that solving the puzzle is far from a purely mechanical exercise, but includes a strong sense of narrative too. Just about all of the puzzles are structured along similar lines.”