SOMA Reveals a Shocking Secret

SOMA Reveals a Shocking Secret

SOMA, the next big thing from Swedish horrormeisters Frictional Games, is not where you think it is.

Until now, SOMA has had the appearance of a game set on a remote space station, or perhaps an outpost on an extraterrestrial world. I even described it as having a notable System Shock 2 vibe in a write-up of last month's "Theta" trailer. But this month's trailer offers up a pretty big surprise: Frictional's new game world actually has a lot more in common with BioShock.

The trailer speaks for itself and while it doesn't say much, it does reveal that the game will be set not in deep space, but at the bottom of the sea. "Most of our earth is covered in ocean, and yet it's something that we know very little about. It is an incredibly hostile environment filled with strange creatures, and it is right on our door step," the studio said in post on the PlayStation Blog. "The ocean is an alien world, and we've only scratched the surface. We feel it's the perfect place to explore in a horror game."

As surprising as it is, it's also a pretty brilliant idea. Deep space and deep water have a lot in common, but deep water - the true depths that SOMA promises to explore - is more "real" and thus quite possibly a more effective way to scare the pants off of people. After all, going into space is pure fantasy, but going underwater is something most of us can relate to, and often not in a good way.

SOMA is due out sometime in 2015 for the PC and PlayStation 4.

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That's actually better...

I think an underwater setting is infinitely more scary than space. Maybe because it just seems more claustrophobic or not as sanitary or something.

Well I don't particularly like horror games, because they either bore me or scare the shit out of me. But my first thought after seeing the trailer was " I am so down to clown with this game."

Maybe it's because Bioshock was my favorite game of the last generation, and the Burial at DLC left me a bit bitter, but yeah, if I can't run it, I'm certainly watching a Let's Play.

EHKOS:
Well I don't particularly like horror games, because they either bore me or scare the shit out of me. But my first thought after seeing the trailer was " I am so down to clown with this game."

If you haven't played them then you should check out the Amnesia and Penumbra games, except Machine for Pigs which is apparently a bit shit.

I wasn't really expecting it to be an undersea adventure but it's kind of a relief, I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed it as much if they tried to pull off some kind of alien enemy thing. And since these guys have had a Lovecraft vibe in earlier games maybe they will have a few references to a certain city at the bottom of the sea?

Damnit. Why can't Frictional make any games for the current gen systems? Yes, I'm still calling it current, because until I get a PS4, PS3 is current gen to me! I know I'd love Amnesia and SOMA will probably require me to have brown pants, but I just can't move to PC gaming. At least it's on the PS4, so one day I'll finally get to play a Frictional game.

CriticalMiss:

EHKOS:
Well I don't particularly like horror games, because they either bore me or scare the shit out of me. But my first thought after seeing the trailer was " I am so down to clown with this game."

If you haven't played them then you should check out the Amnesia and Penumbra games, except Machine for Pigs which is apparently a bit shit.

I wasn't really expecting it to be an undersea adventure but it's kind of a relief, I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed it as much if they tried to pull off some kind of alien enemy thing. And since these guys have had a Lovecraft vibe in earlier games maybe they will have a few references to a certain city at the bottom of the sea?

There is what looks like some sort of castle like silhouette with glowing green windows or something in one of the pictures so possibly.

TBH space is cold, sterile, dead while the deep ocean TEEMS with all sorts of alien life like corals, flatworms and this:

Yep, the deep ocean sounds perfect for a horror game :D

I definitely want to play this, but I should should probably work up the balls to finish Penumbra and Amnesia first

Got a feeling there's gonna be an oxygen mechanic of some kind just to make people freak the hell out when they're running out.

I mean we've got an of people that panic over this in a cartoony game, let alone an underwater hellscape:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTicU8jklyI

... I'm more interested in this then Amnesia now. It sounds really interesting, and I'm the kind that shits their pants instantly when it comes to games like Amnesia, but I really want to try this and see where it goes.

CriticalMiss:

EHKOS:
Well I don't particularly like horror games, because they either bore me or scare the shit out of me. But my first thought after seeing the trailer was " I am so down to clown with this game."

If you haven't played them then you should check out the Amnesia and Penumbra games, except Machine for Pigs which is apparently a bit shit.

A Machine for Pigs was made by the people who made Dear Esther, not the ones who made Amnesia and Penumbra, a better example would be Penumbra: Requiem, which is made by Frictional.

Well, if they have more inspiration to draw upon I'm okay with this. Still on my wishlist.

As someone with a bit of working knowledge of the oceans... that can't be all that deep since there's sharks there, and ambient light. I also wonder how realistically this game will handle pressure, especially relating to human physiology. There's all manner of things to consider between diving sickness(the bends), nitrogen narcosis(and plenty of other gasses that become narcotic under pressure, including CO2), oxygen toxicity, etc.

For a gruesome description of what happens if you go from 9 atmospheres of pressure to 1 atmosphere of pressure suddenly(explosive decompression) you can read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byford_Dolphin#Diving_bell_accident

I'm mentioning this because if the gameplay is set in an indoors surface atmosphere(to avoid gas pressure problems) and has areas where you go from an watery area to an indoor air area, you'd need a lot of time decompressing in real life(depends on depth and time spent under pressure, but could be days or weeks), to just have an airlock system you run into the Byford Dolphin problem... On the other hand if the indoor atmosphere is at ambient pressure, the gas mix needs to be something quite special, which brings its own problems, since air regular air is narcotic at 5 atmospheres or so(40m), and potentially toxic at 6(long term exposure, central nervous system oxygen toxicity, leads to convulsions)(50m).

 

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