SOMA Trailer Shows the Environments, Developer Talks About How Scary the Game Is

September 3, 2015Written by Jason Dunning

To help prepare you for the launch of SOMA on September 22 for PlayStation 4 and PC, developer Frictional Games brought out a new trailer for the sci-fi horror game, showing off some of the environments.

Here’s the description for SOMA:

The radio is dead, food is running out, and the machines have started to think they are people. Underwater facility PATHOS-II has suffered an intolerable isolation and we’re going to have to make some tough decisions. What can be done? What makes sense? What is left to fight for?

From Frictional Games, creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, SOMA is a sci-fi horror game that questions our concepts of identity, consciousness, and what it means to be human.

Over on their blog, Frictional Games answered the question of whether SOMA is scarier than Amnesia: The Dark Descent:

We think that SOMA is just as scary, if not even more so, but in a different fashion.

In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there’s constant oppression that starts from the get go, peaks somewhere half-way through, and then continues until the end. What you get is a game that’s very nerve-wracking, but which also becomes numbing after while. It’s pretty common for players to feel the game loses much of its impact halfway through. SOMA is laid out a bit differently. At first it relies more on a mysterious and creepy tone, slowly ramps up the scariness, and peaks pretty late in the game.

Another aspect is that SOMA’s horror relies a lot on the player starting to understand the underlying subjects we’re exploring. These elements will be present from the very start, and then as the game progresses you’ll encounter them in increasingly disturbing situations; things which seem trivial at the start of the game will become much more deeply entangled with your own story later in the game.

It’s also important to point out that SOMA relies on very different scare tactics. In Amnesia the focus was on having a “haunted house”-style ride where creepy supernatural things could pop up any point. Most of the scares were all about inducing primal “afraid of the dark”-like responses. SOMA, on the other hand, derives much of its horror from the subject matter. The real terror will not just come from hard-wired gut reactions, but from thinking about your situation and the events that unfold from it.

While SOMA will have proper puzzles similar to those in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, they are designed a bit different and flow along with the narrative. “Our goal is for you to never feel like puzzles have been added merely to provide some extra padding,” they add. “We want them to feel as an integral part of the experience.”

As for the story, Frictional says, “SOMA is easily the most story-heavy game we have made so far. But unlike our other titles, a major part of that story comes from simply playing the game.”

SOMA will cost $29.99 USD when it launches later this month.

[Source: Frictional Games]