Posts Tagged ‘SOMA’

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 the explore-o-horror game, mind, but they won’t murder you to bits. Their presence will still be awful. As someone who hasn’t finished Soma because they’re a giant baby, I appreciate this. Read the rest of this entry »

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 eaten by monsters.” One seahero has previously made a mod named Wuss Mode which stops monsters from eating your face, but Safe Mode will make your safety official. Read the rest of this entry »

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 staff choices.

Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.

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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 be seeing those children ever again. Whoops.
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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 she tries to find out where everyone has gone. It’s part of Squeenix’s indie claw machine, the Square Enix Collective, and it looks like this.

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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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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 fact that fear does not need to be followed by violence and death. Vague spoilers ahead for those who haven’t played.

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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]. Just look at that title for a few seconds. It’s magnificent. The games are built on Amnesia: The Dark Descent so you’ll need that to play, and can then download both Necrologue and Teatime of the Archaic from ModDB or through Steam.

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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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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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Wot I Think: SOMA

Five years ago, Frictional released Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a horror game that made us afraid of the water. That was five years ago. Now, with SOMA [official site], the studio have switched from gothic castles to science fiction and they’re taking us right to the bottom of the ocean. I’ve faced my fears and here’s wot I think.

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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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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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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 be a good thing.

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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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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 game” – then veers into a wham-bam takedown – “At its core it fails to be a faithful emulation of the original Alien (1979) movie” – and, BOOM – “it really is just a pure horror simulator, like Slender or 3D Monster Maze, just with more sections to play through”.

Grip does have lots of positive things to say about Creative Assembly’s game though and a few thoughts for the future. That’s SOMA talk.

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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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