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Frictional Games’ SOMA – New Details on Monsters, Narrative Structure, and More

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SOMA, the new first person survival horror game from Frictional Games, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent, will finally release this year. Creative director Thomas Grip spoke with GamingBolt about the game and here are some of the more interesting tidbits from the interview.

In addition to your standard themes in a survival horror game, SOMA will also explore the mystery of consciousness with Grip saying that it is something the player “constantly faces head-on throughout the game.” Grip also compared the game to Lovecraft stories which focused on physics and cosmology and the realities they reveal to humans. SOMA will focus more on neurology, psychology and AI.

Additionally, Grip revealed some details about the monsters in the game saying that they are not your traditional enemies that you would find in other horror games, such as Resident Evil. The monsters are inspired by split brain patients and neural networks, and will be rather sparse, only appearing in a few locations. Grip also says that not all of them will be a threat.

Some might seem dangerous, but never really harm you and the opposite is also true. You must even take help from some creatures in order to progress. We hope this gives a sense of paranoia you are unsure how to approach monsters you encounter. Finally, the creatures all also have different “rules” you need to figure out. Some cannot be looked at, others only go by sound and so forth. So not only do you not know if the creature is dangerous or not, you also need to make sure you engage them in the right way.

In terms of narrative, SOMA will have collectible items that contribute to the story just as in Amnesia. However, while notes and audio logs will provide some narrative information for the player, Grip says they are only a minor part of how they want to tell the story.

We want most of the story to take place in present tense, and not just be something the player hears about in the past tense. There will of course be a lot of history and lore the player can discover, and it will be an important part in figuring out what is going on. But really, you could play the game without checking out a single audio log or note and still get most of the narrative.

On PS4, the game will be running at 1080p and 30 fps. And while no release date has been given, Grip confirmed that the game will not be releasing in Q1 so we will not get our hands on SOMA until later in 2015.

For more information on SOMA, you can check out the full interview. Also be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for future updates.

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2 Comments

  1. The monsters sound incredibly interesting. Rather than just avoiding, you are forced to pause, think and decide. That is even scarier, as you know your own moves can lead you to your death. Making the player do something they don’t want to do is good stuff.

    1. Agree

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