SOMA - the mysterious new PlayStation 4 survival horror videogame from certifiably psychotic minds behind the acclaimed PC hit, Amnesia: The Dark Descent – has finally been held up to view with the release of a new teaser and an insight into its development process.
The Frictional Games-developed sci-fi horror fest is currently a week away from alpha stage, meaning the game’s current build is roughly half of the finished product – clocking in at around five hours, with the final build looking to hit the eight-hour mark.
The core gameplay mechanics at the heart of SOMA also don’t really on any singular loop, explains the developer on Sony’s EU PlayStation Blog. ‘’You’ll search for notes, solve puzzles, hide from dangers, explore unsettling places, take part in strange events and sometimes just run away. All of these come together with the graphics and soundscape to create a larger whole. This means that we couldn’t properly test SOMA without having all of these things implemented in a fairly final state.’’
They add, ‘’the alpha is our first opportunity to really find out what the game is like. This means that we’ve had to take a lot of the design on faith, simply hoping that it’ll all work out. So it came as a great relief to us – when we’d managed to pull together everything for a pre-alpha test a few weeks ago – to find out that the game does hang together.’’
Frictional Games has also laid out its plan for creating the optimum experience for its newest title; immersing the player in rich story and keeping the world coherent with varied gameplay is paramount to proceedings. Atop if this, a sense of fear also needs to pervade and permeate every inch of the game’s listed mechanics, whilst making players confront and consider the disturbing themes that will no doubt rear their heads.
Check out the rest of the SOMA’s goal-orientated exposé right here. Let us know if the recent spate of horror-themed PS4 titles are keeping you up at night clutching the pillow and tell us if you’re looking forward to SOMA below.