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SOMA

2 years ago

The 19th Humble Indie Bundle features existential horror & bullet time

While Humble may offer a lot of bundles now, their Humble Indie Bundles are what first put the site on the map. Their 19th went live last night, offering their usual broad and colourful cross-section of what the indie development scene has to offer. Featuring space adventure, train-based puzzling, VR bomb defusal and one of the most existentially unsettling horror games ever made, this bundle…

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Soma launches Safe Mode with friendlier monsters

Being terrified in the sea is undignified. In space, no one can hear you scream but in the sea, everyone can feel you wee yourself. Thankfully Soma now has a 'Safe Mode' for people who want to be deeply unsettled in the 2015 undersea technohell from the makers of Amnesia but not full-on terrified from being chased by monsters. The dreadful monsters are still in…

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Soma’s new ‘Safe Mode’ will stop monsters eating you

If you, like me, want so much to experience the undersea existential horror of Soma but you, like me, need to stand up, turn away, and go out for a brisk walk when the first monster lunges at you, there is hope. An official 'Safe Mode' is coming to Soma, which developers Frictional Game say will offer "the chance to explore the story without being…

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Feature: The best bargains

Steam summer sale: our giant recommendations list

The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some recommendations - both general tips and some newly added…

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3 years ago

Keep mum: Tether is a sci-fi horror about motherhood

Lots of spaceships happening today, isn’t there? Here’s something that looks both calmer than the “murder aliens for engine parts” shtick, but also more unsettling. Tether [official site] will be a sci-fi horror about having children but then leaving those children so you can work in a spaceship and subsequently being caught up in some kind of psychologically distressing situation that means you’ll probably not…

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The Turing Test Now Available For Closer Examination

We are all familiar with the Turing Test, in which a computer and a man must engage in a freestyle rap battle to determine which one is “thinking”. But there’s also a videogame of the same name, which is out today. The Turing Test [official site] is a first-person puzzler set in a research base on Europa, in which you play astronaut Eva Turing as…

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4 years ago

Sea Change: SOMA Mod Makes All Entities Non-Violent

What if you could talk to the monsters? The Wuss Mode: Monsters Won't Attack mod for SOMA [official site] doesn't quite allow you to hold conversations with the denizens of Frictional's latest creation but it does prevent them from chasing you around the place until you die. I'm excited to try this because it might just improve the game significantly, simply by focusing on the…

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The Final Chapter: Penumbra – Twilight Of The Archaic

While Frictional are exploring the depths of consciousness in their latest creep-fest Soma, other developers are continuing the story they began in Penumbra [official site] all those years ago. A team going by the name CounterCurrent Games released an unofficial total conversion going by the name Necrologue last Halloween and this year they finished the story with the fantastically-named Twilight of the Archaic [official site].…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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5 years ago

Feature: The future of horror simulation

Frictional Thoughts: Alien, Amnesia And Horror Simulators

Over at Frictional Games' official blog, creative director Thomas Grip has written an extensive and thoughtful analysis of Alien: Isolation. It's worth reading in full, providing a brief history of the 'horror simulator' genre that runs from 3D Monster Maze (1982) to the modern interpretations found in Slender and the like. Isolation gets a post-mortem treatment that begins simply - "Alien: Isolation is an interesting…

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6 years ago

Scratching Beneath The Surface: SOMA

Oh bother. I was inevitably going to find Frictional's SOMA a troubling proposition, having winced through Penumbra and Amnesia while trembling like a jelly in a jalopy. SOMA's sci-fi horrors creep me out on a level that spooky castles and mad alchemists don't - Amnesia was scary because it was dark and the sound design was excellent rather than because the setting or story peeled…

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Fear In A Handful Of Rust: SOMA

Frictional have updated the SOMA blog with some information regarding the progress they're making on the sci-fi horror game. There's a short trailer as well, with voice acting that dismisses some of the doubts about the quality in the first in-game video, but the text contains the bulk of the information. As they say, 'words paint a thousand pictures'. There are a few paragraphs copied…

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So Much Clanky, Creepy Foreboding In This SOMA Trailer

Everyone knows that the scariest things aren't actually monsters themselves. It's the horrors lurking in our own runaway imaginations, creatures of such impossible (and impossibly specific) phobia that our only recourse is to head for the hills long before we ever see them. That's the power of a great horror environment. SOMA's Upsilon research facility, for instance, creaks, groans, and whines quietly to itself like…

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Brain Drain: First SOMA Footage

After two live action teasers, Frictional have released the first in-engine footage of SOMA. It's first-person sci-fi horror, as expected, although there's a Giger-esque quality to the dripping carapace walls and biomechanical brain-teasing tentacles that the previous media hadn't hinted at. Story-wise, there's something unpleasant and experimental happening and it seems to involve some manner of personality transference or sharing. Gray matter has been teased…

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A Second Look At SOMA

We still don't know much about SOMA, Amnesia developers Frictional's next game. But there is a general theme emerging from the teaser videos: the first video showed an engineer attempting to communicate with what appeared to be a H.R. Giger's CRT monitor. This new video shows the same engineer talking to a disassembled robot. In the game's fiction, it's a "standard UH3 articulated robot," and…

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CRT Of Evil: Frictional’s Next Game Is SOMA

I've spent the past few days F5ing Frictional's teaser site for their next game, which has been promising a new sci-fi game from Amnesia chaps. Well, my patience has finally been rewarded. The site is live with a scant amount of data about a thing called SOMA. All the information is based on the game's fiction, so there's no context to what we're seeing. All…

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