Posts Tagged ‘frictional games’

The Horror! Soma’s Live-Action Prequel Series

Most video game trailers with real people acting are rubbish, but those for Soma [official site] were dreadful – in the good, unnerving, dread-y, wrong way. Little research reports from a then-mysterious lab, they had a fine SCP eeriness to them. Frictional may have now finished and released their first-person horror – it’s flawed but pretty good – but the story continues, as today brings the first free episode of a live-action prequel miniseries inspired by the game.

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From The Depths: Soma’s Sound And Story

Next week, Frictional’s Soma [official site] will finally be available. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is five years old and surely everyone is ready for another round of the first-person frighteners? I’ve already played a fairly large chunk of the game and will have a review ready for you before launch, so you can trust me when I say that the “story trailer” below has been carefully edited so as not to spoil any major parts of the story. There’s an awful lot going on.

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Free Cheese & Whine: Red Alert 2 & Amnesia Now Free

Yeah, I bet you can make it past him before this offer ends.

That’s the cheese of Yuri with his mind-controlled squid and the whine of you whimpering as horrible things stalk you through the dark, to be clear.

Point is: you can now download and keep forever Westwood Studios’ olde RTS Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and Frictional Games not-so-oldish first-person spooker Amnesia: The Dark Descent and not in that way, you little urchin. RA2 (plus its expansion) is the latest freebie on Origin to promote EA’s service, while Frictional dropping this freebie shortly before the launch of their new horrorshow Soma.

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Later There’s Running And Screaming: Soma’s Enemies

If you’re planning to play Soma [official site], the new terrible dreadful horror game from Amnesia creators Frictional Games, probably don’t watch this new trailer. It shows a lot of the nasties you’ll encounter in that dreadful seabase, and removes some of the power they’ll hold over you if you encounter for the first time in-game.

If, like me, you are fascinated by the terrible things clearly afoot in Soma but know you’re a colossal babby about horror games (despite being tough as nails and sharper than knives in every other respect, of course) and will probably never play much of it, hey, this trailer is pretty cool.

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There’s A New Soma Trailer, Because E3

It’s practically against the law for developers not to release a new trailer during E3. Even if we’ve already played and seen enough of the game to guarantee our purchase already. Soma [official site] devs Frictional Games have dodged their jail time by releasing this video of their upcoming underwater horror adventure ahead of its September 22nd release date.

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SOMA Out After SUMMA, Has Terrifying Robots

everything is just fine

I’d presumed Frictional’s upcoming SOMA was basically just sci-fi Amnesia: the night is dark and full of terrors, and all that. Turns out there’s at least one major change to formula: you get to talk to people. And you know things about those people that they don’t know themselves. And it’s horrifying.
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SOMA’s Grip On YouTube Screamers, The Future Of Horror

I played Amnesia: The Dark Descent spiritual/ghooooostual successor SOMA, and it didn’t really do it for me. That said, Frictional creative director Thomas Grip’s plans for the wetter-is-deader stroll into the maw of madness are quite interesting, though whether he can pull it all off remains to be seen. Today we continue on from our previous discussion, pushing doggedly forward into Grip’s plan for possibly the longest build-up (five hours!) in horror gaming history, YouTube culture’s effect on horror, procedurally generated scares and why they both aid and mortally wound true terror, modern horror’s over-reliance on samey settings and tropes, and where Grip sees the genre heading in the future.

Agree or disagree, the man has some extremely illuminating perspectives, and you can’t fault him for wanting to break away from the played-out influence of his own previous game. It’s all below.

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SOMA’s Grip On BioShock Comparisons, Indie Influences

SOMA didn’t scare the scuba suit off me, but I did find a creeping sort of potential in its soaked-to-the-bone corridors. Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 this ain’t. Or at least, it’s not aiming to be. Currently, it still feels a lot like a slower-paced, less-monster-packed Amnesia in a different (though still very traditionally survival-horror-y) setting, but Frictional creative director Thomas Grip has big plans. I spoke with him about how he hopes to evolve the game, inevitable comparisons to the Big Daddy of gaming’s small undersea pond, BioShock, why simple monster AI is better than more sophisticated options, the mundanity of death, and how SOMA’s been pretty profoundly influenced by indie mega-hits like Dear Esther and Gone Home.

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Hands-On Impressions: Amnesia Follow-Up SOMA

It’s not that I feel like SOMA is poorly made. On the contrary: for a demo of a game that’s at least a year out, the Amnesia spiritual successor practically sparkles beneath its grimy, moss-encrusted shell. I just feel like, despite a very unexpected setting, I’ve been here before. Crept through these halls, turned these nobs, let these tidal waves of otherworldly sound crash into me as I press ever onward, slightly on-edge but no worse for the wear.

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Level With Me, Thomas Grip

Level With Me is a series of interviews with game developers about their games, work process, and design philosophy. At the end of each interview, they design part of a small first person game. You can play this game at the very end of the series.

Thomas Grip is creative director of Frictional Games, based in Helsingborg, Sweden. They’re known mostly for the Penumbra (a first person horror game series) and Amnesia (another first person horror game series), and they’re currently working on another first person horror game called SOMA (a first person horror game). Astute readers may sense a pattern.
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