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Frictional Games – SOMA “Just as Scary, if Not Even More So” Than Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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If you’re looking for a good horror game to get this holiday season started, Frictional Games may have just the game you’re looking for.

The developers behind one of the scariest games of all time, Amnesia: The Dark Descent are quite frequently asked just how scary SOMA will be. Well, as of today they have an answer for you.

Via a Facebook Q&A session, Frictional Games told users, “We think that SOMA is just as scary, if not even more so, but in a different fashion.” They continued on to explain just what they mean by that, as Amnesia and SOMA are quite different from one another.

Frictional explained, “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.”

In a related question, Frictional was also asked if SOMA will have puzzles. If you’ve paid any attention to the gameplay trailer they’ve released for the game, you’d already know there’s definitely puzzles in the game. However, to further delve on the subject, Frictional let users know, “the puzzles in SOMA have been designed to flow along with the narrative. Our goal is for you to never feel like puzzles have been added merely to provide some extra padding. We want them to feel as an integral part of the experience. 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.”

A lot of puzzles will also involve choices that players won’t be ready to make, according to the Facebook QA. Frictional described one such puzzle saying, “in one scene you need to decide whether you want to inflict terrible pain on a robot, or take your chances with the warning signs that the former residents of Pathos have left for you.”

And, as you’ve probably already guessed, the difficulty of the game will ramp up the farther you get into it. So expect easier to solve puzzles at the beginning of the game, with more complex puzzles appearing through out your journey into the depths of SOMA.

SOMA releases on the PC and PS4 on September 22nd. Stay tuned to OnlySP for further updates on the game by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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1 Comment

  1. This sounds like a game which will make me feel like a terrible person. I am ready for it. Well, probably not its horror, but its story. I won’t be ready for its horror unless it’s daytime and my mother is very close. I am very brave…

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