Frictional Games struck horror gold with their indie hit, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and now they're turning their attention towards another potential powerhouse with “Soma.” PC Gamer managed to secure a “first-look” at the upcoming Sci-Fi creep-fest, giving us a little more information on what we can expect.
Frictional Games co-founder Thomas Grip states that Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent fans should “feel right at home” in Soma, and although the game will mimic its distant relatives in design, it is shaping up to be a very dark, story driven affair. Developers want to blur the line between the player and the protagonist, creating an atmosphere where you are forced to explore “deep philosophical questions about the self and free will.”
Soma takes place on the stricken research facility, dubbed PATHOS-2. Within this facility are machines that are starting to become self aware and are taking on human-like qualities. It's a very general science-fiction based plot-line, but Frictional Games is hopeful that it can transform this robotic uprising into something that is truly macabre and terrifying.
Just like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, players will be completely defenseless during the journey through Soma. There will be no combat system either, and survival will depend on how fast you can run from a situation, or hide from a would-be attacker. Having no means to defend yourself is something that really amps up the horror, and being in a completely dark and foreign place, alone, is something that strikes fear into most of us.
“Afraid of the dark? You should be… you encounter, posters or objects scattered in the environment, we go to great lengths to make sure that everything makes sense,” said Grip. “You will be able to think of our world as an actual place, and not be constantly distracted by elements that remind you it’s just a game. The key to good horror is that as much as possible happens in the player’s head. If you encounter a dark hole with some mysterious sounds coming from it, we want you to use your imagination to anticipate what may lie ahead. We want you to act as if what’s in your imagination is real, and to let this guide the experience as much as possible.”
Hopefully Soma manages to capture the same horror essence that both Penumbra and Amnesia: A Dark Descent did. Frictional Games has been in the business for around six years, and they know their way around the genre.