The creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent return with a different kind of descent with SOMA in this new trailer.
Frictional Games‘ SOMA currently resides near the top of my most anticipated games of 2015 list – after all, it is their follow up to Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the game that kicked off the Twitch/Youtube driven resurgence in survival horror games. It speaks to how intriguing the newest trailer for SOMA is then, that it would capture my imagination without Frictional‘s legacy.
Set aboard the PATHOS-II underwater facility of unknown (but presumably malicious) purpose, little is properly known about the story behind SOMA other than its influences. Frictional has openly cited the works of Philip K. Dick (Total Recall, Blade Runner‘s source material Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), including a quote at the top of their website; “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
The full synopsis given by Frictional states there are:
“…machines taking on human traits and alien constructions have started to interfere with routine. The world around them (the staff) is turning into a nightmare. The only way out is to do something unimaginable.“
The newest trailer certainly keeps up that mysterious nature; abandoned underwater environments seen in quick, almost nonsensical flashes, while narrated by an unknown female voice speaking of her time living in Taipei as a child, standing on rooftops, looking down at the streets.
“I felt the warm wind in my hair, and I felt connected to the world in a that I’d never had before,” the narrator says as the lights of PATHOS-II filter through cloudy ocean water, no life besides the fish…and a robot slamming into the side of an underwater building, covered in coral and growth.
The environments of SOMA evoke some truly haunting memories – System Shock 2 and BioShock come to mind for obvious reasons, but the aesthetics of PATHOS-II also remind me of Alien: Isolation, which is never not a good thing, and James Cameron’s The Abyss, the gold standard for underwater horror. Even more, the game looks positively gorgeous – lights slowly come in flooded rooms so that the light flickers on the walls, grain filters through the water in a very realistic way.
SOMA is coming to PS4 and PC on September 22nd, 2015.