Forget Mortal Kombat X, Frictional’s SOMA Is My Reason to Wish it Was 2015 Already.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m late to this party. During the middle of the year, I was so abuzz with Mario Kart 8 fever that I completely missed the gameplay trailer for SOMA. Now, after some lucky, research I’m regretting not finding out about this sooner.
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Why I’m so excited for the upcoming science fiction, survival horror title is pretty simple. Frictional Games have rarely made a game that didn’t scare my pants off. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is often put in its own category by those looking at genre.
While Amnesia may be their most famous game, Penumbra: Black Plague epitomises what the studio is about. Friends of mine who could play through The Dark Descent had to quit after only ten minutes of Black Plague.
So, SOMA. Unfortunately we don’t really know all that much about the game. Most of what we do know comes from the two trailers that have been released. Notably, SOMA is set in a complex at the bottom of the ocean.
The gameplay trailers suggest that how players interact with the environment will be much the same as in Amnesia and Penumbra. How this will work on the Playstation 4 edition, I’m not 100% sure but time will tell.
SOMA also represents things that Frictional Games have learned from both their previous games and the current wave of horror games. They are experimenting with changed death mechanics.
Even looking into “a fate worse than death” – a sequencing of prolonging death, rather than dying being a release from terror. The second trailer also show a lot of bombastic elements. Whether this is indicative of SOMA as a whole or just the particular area showcased.
Frictional have confirmed that there will be various types of enemies. Each of these interacts with the player in a different way and may revisit elements similar to those in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I really like this initiative. It allows Frictional Games to keep the experience fresh by localising each of the different systems.
Which feeds into the the ethos Frictional seem to be taking with SOMA: equal emphasis on story and player freedom. Giving control over to the player is very important to a successful horror game because the player’s mind is where most of the game’s impact will take place.
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