A few days ago, Xbox One gamers were pleasantly surprised when we scanned in the achievement list
is from developer Frictional Games, who also made the Amnesia
series, and is rather critically acclaimed on PC and PS4, where it launched in 2015.
Thomas Grip, Creative Director at Frictional, calls SOMA
a "much more ambitious project" than Amnesia
. The game tackles the concept of consciousness, about which Grip says, "Consciousness is all about what something is like from the inside, and secondhand accounts just didn’t do it for me." It took a lot of trial and error to get the feel of the game right, and this is what Frictional settled upon:
We ended up focusing on questions of identity and moral worth. We let the player come across situations where they had to make difficult choices, forcing them to consider uncomfortable questions about the nature of self. Then, as the game progressed, we put the player in similar situations themselves, letting them experiencing these things first-hand. By having the previous choices as build-up, we were able to get a lot more impact in the first-person experiences, achieving our desired effect.
Grip also clears the air about the scariness factor of SOMA
, which admittedly gives off horror vibes from the trailer and screenshots. He says it is not a "pure horror game," preferring to describe SOMA
as a "narrative-heavy sci-fi experience." The console versions of SOMA
(including the upcoming Xbox One version) include a "Safe Mode," which allows players to experience the narrative without "hostile encounters."
Grip hopes Safe Mode lets "even more people dive into the mysteries of consciousness and question what it means to be human."
The Xbox One version of SOMA
launches on December 1st.Check out our The Best Xbox Horror Games Available in 2017 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.