Frictional Games don’t need to prove themselves to anyone in the horror genre. With Amnesia: The Dark Descent and SOMA, the studio has built two excellent horror titles- both of which excel in different ways, but both share common ground in how effectively they scare and unsettle their players. Soon, Frictional will be returning with their next game, Amnesia: Rebirth– and with it, they’re hoping to learn from all of their past experiences and create a game that borrows strengths from all of them.
Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, Amnesia: Rebirth creative director Thomas Grip said that the upcoming horror title is, in many ways, a culmination of Frictional’s work over the past decade, combining the narrative-focused approach of SOMA with the tighter and more grounded gameplay of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
“In some ways, Amnesia: The Dark Descent was a newer and better version of Penumbra, and, in some ways, I even think SOMA is a better version of Amnesia,” Grip said. “One of my annoyances when doing Amnesia was that the player didn’t confront the things we wanted them to confront when we first made the designs. With SOMA though we went all in and wanted people [to really] confront the thematics… but it also felt like the gameplay didn’t hang as tightly together as it should have with the themes we wanted.”
“We’re trying to do what we did in SOMA in terms of the overarching narrative, but we’re trying to get back to better lower-level gameplay – which I feel we had in Amnesia – and then combining those two together to form a really coherent and nice package,” he continued.
“We’ve learned so much and gained so much confidence in doing SOMA, that now I think we can really do it on a purer horror experience as well, and that’s what we’re sort of aiming for with Rebirth,” Grip said. “Tthere’s gonna be scares with monsters popping up from unexpected places and so on, but if everything goes as we want it to, that’s not what’s gonna keep you up at night. That’s gonna be the long-term effects of the journey throughout the game and the choices you end up making. That’s the thing that’s gonna be haunting you in the very end.”