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SOMA

12 months ago

Feature: Shoot the real me!

We asked a lot of people: what would you do to a clone of yourself?

Over the past several weeks I have sent a lot of interesting people who work in the games industry an email containing the following scenario: "You enter a room. The door locks behind you. From a door opposite another you enters. This other you is a perfectly identical clone, created in the exact instant you entered the room, but as every second ticks by they…

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1 year ago

Feature: Recky with the good hair

Steam Summer Sale recommendations: 2018 edition!

The old quote is wrong: neither death nor taxes are, it seems to me, as terrifyingly certain as the Steam Summer Sale. Yes, once more we can add to the heap that is our backlog by buying games for, what, five quid, on average? But there are so many to choose from that it's easy to get flustered, so who better than the staff of…

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Feature: Listen now to our great story

Podcast: Bad games with a great story

Sit down at the boiling pot, stranger. Let me tell you a tale. A sordid tale, full of fascinating lands and captivating characters. A story of wonder and flame, strangeness and warmth. Would you like to hear it? Great. Just play this rubbish cover shooter for a half hour. I’ll start the introduction when you hit the first checkpoint. Welcome to the RPS podcast, the…

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Feature: The end of violence

Beyond hard & easy: Assassin’s Creed’s Discovery Tour and Soma’s Safe Mode

From a publisher as huge as Ubisoft, and in a series as chart-dominating as Assassin’s Creed's Discovery Tour represents an unusual and welcome ambition. The mode, available as free DLC for Assassin’s Creed Origins or as a standalone game, strips out all the combat, levelling-up and collectibles in favour of a promised educational experience. It takes the strongest facet of Origins – its detailed and…

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Feature: Listen now... or don't?

Podcast: The toughest moral choices we’ve made

All right, picture this. There's five podcasts tied to a train track, and you're on a train speeding toward them. On another track, there's just one podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. Do you swap tracks and kill one podcast to save the other five? Or do you forge ahead? Take your time, it's a difficult moral choice - exactly our topic this week. Think hard…

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Feature: Listen now or be monstered

Podcast: What are the best monsters?

They lurk, they creep, they skulk and weep. Monsters in videogames can be as simple as a big spiky cyclops ball, or as unsettling as a sobbing woman in a rainy alleyway. This week on the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, the team is talking about their favourites, from flaming skulls to digitally possessed diving suits, and the clever ways in which game monsters…

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3 years ago

Feature: Deep Sea Dread

Have You Played…SOMA?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Horror-fest SOMA [official site] is a game full of tricks and I'm still a little bitter about it. It's not that those tricks were cheap by any means, just that they so effectively managed to surprise me again and again.

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4 years ago

Feature:

What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

Merry weekend, one and all! May you have a wonderful Saturday, and a calm Boxing Day. Why, perhaps you'll even manage to get away from your friends, families, and loved ones after dinner to squeeze in a cheeky video game or two before you all wrap up and head out carolling! Here's what we'll be playing when we can sneak away:

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Feature: SOFAR SOGOOD

Ghostly Machines: Hands On With SOMA’s Opening Hours

Over the weekend, I played the first third of SOMA [official site], the new game from Frictional, the horror maestros behind Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. If the tone and quality of the game remain approximately similar for the remainder of the running time, Frictional will have delivered their most accomplished title to date, but it might also be their least terrifying. That might…

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5 years ago

Feature: Creeping With The Fishes, Pt 2

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…

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Feature: Creeping With The Fishes, Pt 1

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.…

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Feature: It Is Much Deader Where It Is Wetter

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…

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6 years ago

Feature: Fear Responses

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…

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