Posts Tagged ‘frictional games’

Have You Played… Amnesia: The Dark Descent?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives and PC miscellany. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I have a limited patience for scary games. I enjoy a surprise jump-scare here and there, but I struggle to enjoy an incessant barrage of them making every step an anxiety-inducing moment. And yet, wow, I love Amnesia. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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Play Gone Home’s Original Prototype… In Amnesia

On the left: 'Ahhhhhhh, finally home!' On the right: 'DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO'

Everything starts somewhere. Even the greatest of successes have humble beginnings, and Gone Home’s previously known origins were already pretty darn grassroots. That makes this revelation about its start as an Amnesia: The Dark Descent mod double-humble, as far as I’m concerned. What I’m saying is, Gone Home could be in a Humble Bundle all by itself. It is that humble. But anyway. Frictional and Fullbright have unearthed the very, very early Gone Home Amnesia prototype, and you can play it right now. Details after the break.

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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 I know is it’s sci-fi, and the machine at the heart of all this looks like a kid’s TV bad guy: it is an evil monitor. Live action trailer entitled “Vivarium” is below.
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Wot I Think: Amnesia – A Machine For Pigs


Fear is the event of the season. We shouldn’t be surprised. As Ol’ Grandfather Gillen pointed out so long ago, it’s something that games are good at. It might be the thing that they are best at. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was one of the highlights in that regard: a world where vulnerability and atmospherics smothered you like the pillow in the hands of a maniac. Its sequel, A Machine For Pigs, wants to pull off the same tricks. Only more. Only worse.

The horror? The horror? Here’s wot I feel.

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Squeal – Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Out Next Month

I bet there is candy down there. I'm nearly sure of it.

How long have we been waiting for Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs now? Has it been years? Decades? Centuries? Eons? I forget. Perhaps it’s because I HAVE AMNESIA. No, no, that’s not actually true. I just don’t feel like looking it up. But today is a good day, because there’s finally a dim, ominously flickering light at the end of the tunnel. Though the machine might be intended for pigs, we’ll be able to wrap our non-cloven hands around it early next month.

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Amnesia: Another Delay For Pigs

I am the jolly laughing hippo of your fears.

I do not have amnesia, but I just nearly rewrote the intro from my last post about an Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs delay, so that’s kind of eerie. Also, indicative! Thechineseroom’s slow-roasting, pork-flavored reinvention of Frictional’s modern classic has missed the mark a few times now, and it’s all starting to kind of run together. Granted, the last slippage yielded a larger, much more Amnesia-esque experience, so delays definitely aren’t silently slurping this one’s bones in the dark. At this point, it’s all about polish, and the dynamic developer duo would much rather be great than fast.

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TCR: Machine For Pigs Now ‘Much More’ Like Amnesia

After spending many eerily silent ages in the dark, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs is finally just about ready to see the light of day. Games, however, don’t usually stew in the boiling juices of development because it feels nice. (That’s why I do it, but shush, don’t tell anyone.) Thechineseroom’s take on Frictional tour de force of terror, then, has fleshvomited all manner of new appendages, morphing itself into an entirely different beast than originally conceived. But what, exactly, does that entail? During a recent interview with RPS, thechineseroom creative director Dan Pinchbeck outlined what’s happened and explained why A Machine For Pigs ultimately ended up a far more natural successor to Amnesia: The Dark Descent than anyone – himself included – expected.

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Pig(s) Out – Amnesia: Machine For Pigs’ Release In Sight

This is actually an entirely accurate depiction of how I will play this game. I plan to stand in one spot with a light and never move.

Machines are hard to build. So many nuts and bolts and gears and rubber bands and ceaseless triathlete hamsters to arrange. But machines for pigs? They make regular ol’ mazes of mechanical madness look easy. I say this, of course, not from a place of personal experience, but from watching Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs slip ‘n’ slide from Halloween last year all the way into the indiscriminate reaches of 2013. But now, finally, it’s gracefully pirouetting into place, and Frictional’s seen fit to both paint a target and explain exactly what took so long in the first place.

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Amnesia Devs Hint At Next Project, Dismiss Piracy

ok right then i am going to shine this lamp behind me now and hope the next pile i come across is kittens - LIVING kittens.

It’s easy to forget Amnesia. And I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s a forgettable experience (it’s most certainly not) or that amnesia, the unfortunate mental condition, might lead to forgetfulness (duh). Rather, Dark Descent’s been out for two years, and it’s become pretty far removed from the public eye. Sure, it’ll occasionally pop up on the cover of some trashy tabloid rag (Did you know that it’s become both fat and Bigfoot?), but thechineseroom-developed A Machine For Pigs is now the series’ main attention hog. Over on Frictional’s blog, though, there’s an “Amnesia – Two Years Later” post that provides some super interesting info about the oppressively scary hit’s present and a brief taste of what Frictional’s up to now.

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