Frictional Games explains why its next big release will terrify you.
It’s been a long time since Frictional Games released Amnesia: The Dark Descent but it’s to the dev’s credit that it’s remained relevant on the basis of its stellar creation all these years later. In a recent Facebook Q&A, Frictional talked about why its upcoming horror title SOMA would be “just as scary, if not even more so,” than Amnesia but :in a different fashion.”
“In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there’s constant oppression that starts from the get go, peaks somewhere half-way through, and then continues until the end. What you get is a game that’s very nerve-wracking, but which also becomes numbing after while. It’s pretty common for players to feel the game loses much of its impact halfway through. SOMA is laid out a bit differently. At first it relies more on a mysterious and creepy tone, slowly ramps up the scariness, and peaks pretty late in the game.
“Another aspect is that SOMA’s horror relies a lot on the player starting to understand the underlying subjects we’re exploring. These elements will be present from the very start, and then as the game progresses you’ll encounter them in increasingly disturbing situations; things which seem trivial at the start of the game will become much more deeply entangled with your own story later in the game.
“It’s also important to point out that SOMA relies on very different scare tactics. In Amnesia the focus was on having a ‘haunted house’-style ride where creepy supernatural things could pop up any point. Most of the scares were all about inducing primal ‘afraid of the dark’-like responses. SOMA, on the other hand, derives much of its horror from the subject matter. The real terror will not just come from hard-wired gut reactions, but from thinking about your situation and the events that unfold from it.”
Of course, we’ll want to wait for ourselves to try out SOMA to see if it really terrifies us to that extent. After all, it has been several years since Frictional released Amnesia – maybe the dev team has lost a bit of its edge, especially with terrifying titles Outlast leaving their mark? We’ll find out when SOMA releases on September 22nd for PS4, Linux, Mac OS X and PC.