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SOMA on PS4 Gets a Teaser Trailer, is “A Year or so Away” From Release

March 5, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

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We found out yesterday that Frictional Games (Amnesia: The Dark Descent) was targeting a first half of 2015 release date for SOMA on the PS4, and today the developers have revealed a new teaser trailer called Theta, showing off some in-game scenes:

Giving out a status update on SOMA, Frictional has said they’re a week away from alpha, with about 5 hours of the game being playable. By their estimation, the final SOMA product will end up at about 8 hours long.

Creative Director Thomas Grip then talked about exactly what you’ll be doing in SOMA, and how the way the game is designed stopped them from properly playing it until recently:

SOMA doesn’t rely on a core gameplay loop – such as shooting baddies or jumping platforms – to create a sense of fun. Instead, you’ll take part in a wide range of activities; it’s impossible to narrow it down to one. You’ll search for notes, solve puzzles, hide from dangers, explore unsettling places, take part in strange events and sometimes just run away. All of these come together with the graphics and soundscape to create a larger whole. This means that we couldn’t properly test SOMA without having all of these things implemented in a fairly final state. Making matters worse is the fact that the game lets things take their time; slowly building up the atmosphere, narrative and themes. It is hard to condense all this into a short prototype; a large chunk of the game is required.

Because of this, we haven’t been able to get a feel for how SOMA plays until very recently. The alpha is our first opportunity to really find out what the game is like. This means that we’ve had to take a lot of the design on faith, simply hoping that it’ll all work out. So it came as a great relief to us – when we’d managed to pull together everything for a pre-alpha test a few weeks ago – to find out that the game does hang together.

This doesn’t mean that we’re totally happy with everything. Now that we know how our game plays, we also know what needs to be fixed. There are a number of goals that we wanted to hit with SOMA, and now marks the first time we can properly evaluate how well we’re doing with them.

You can read in-depth about their goals for SOMA by heading over here, or you can see an overview of them below:

  1. The feeling of playing a narrative.
  2. A coherently crafted world.
  3. Gameplay with plenty of variation.
  4. Deep, disturbing themes that make you think.
  5. A pervasive sense of horror.

Noting how SOMA is “still a year or so away from its 2015 release,” Grip said, “We feel we are on the right track [with SOMA], and we think this is shaping up to be our studio’s best work so far – by a wide margin.”

There’s also going to be a big secret revealed about the game soon. What do you think it is? Let us know in the comments below.