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.
The sequence I’m on about is at around the eight-minute point in this lengthy footage video, and the monstrous implications of it gnaw at my brain, but do watch the whole thing. Borrowed parts from Doom 3, System Shock 2 and the first Bioshock, grafted onto the essential Frictional structure and placed within an appealingly dangerous-feeling industrial sci-fi environment.
It looks good. Familiar, but the introduction of high-concept technology to the Frictional formula changes things up significantly. It does very much put me in mind of a more roboty Rapture reenvisioned as pure horror. I don’t know how much time I’m willing to spend on door puzzles, but it sure got atmosphere.
We’re also, finally, given a release date: September 22nd. Somehow that’s less than four months away. Nothing’s more terrifying than the march of time.