Zero Escape director Kotaro Uchikoshi and the Spike Chunsoft gang returned today with another spooky-ooky adventure full of terrible killings, AI: The Somnium Files. It’s the branching story of a detective with an AI living in his bionic eye who’s out investigating a string of eye-gouging murders by gathering evidence then diving into witnesses’ dreams. Video games, you wonderful little weirdos, you’ve done it again.
I did like the sound of Zero Escape, of what people tell me about the pleasures of exploring the branching paths of increasingly daffy murderplots. But I can only keep track of so many timelines in this dunce’s head of mine so I’ve never quite got around to it. I am therefore quite interested in a Kotaro Uchikoshi game making a fresh start without a full series of continuity.
Our Matthew said he’s played a few minutes so far and “spent most of it trolling a policeman asking him his name over and over until he got sad,” which to me is glowing praise.
AI: The Somnium Files is out now on Steam for £45/€54/$54. A soundtrack is thrown in as a bonus freebie for the first week.
If you want a longer opinion, Malindy Hetfeld (who you might have read on RPS before) reviewed it for our Eurogamer corporate siblings. She seemed to really enjoy exploring the branching storyline, and called it “broadly recommendable – to those still new to visual novels, to fans of Uchikoshi and this brand of games in general, and to those simply on the hunt for an engrossing interactive story.”
Or here’s one of the game’s characters, who is herself a YouTuber in-game, starting her own let’s play. Oh, video games!