Soma: Amnesia in Space! (new horror game from Frictional)


I haven’t played it yet, but that sounds very much like the interactions in the first couple of Penumbra games that they made. If it’s similar, then it is easier with a mouse, and it’s pretty much an interactive design choice.

I understand the idea, but yes it is very awkward at first.


This is actually great :(

It makes every interaction with environment a bit more involved. It is a staple of their games actually. Being able to open stuff in an analogue way, not just OPEN/CLOSED. Try to get used to it, the game is absolutely fantastic, one of the best scifi stories I have experienced in games.


If you’re aggravated this early, there’s no way you’re going to make it very far. The game is designed to make you feel like you’re interacting with a tactile environment. In fact, I hate to tell you this, but that’s its main claim to gameplay.

That said, you might give it a try with a mouse before bailing. Soma – being a PC game – was designed to be played with a mouse and keyboard.



Edit: Spoilery post below but if you haven’t played Soma yet then it’s at its lowest price on Steam right now. This is one of my favourite games in recent memory so I highly recommend it!

So I’ve been re-watching Red Dwarf recently and I’m on season 3. The last episode we watched was called Mindswap and it begins with Rimmer and Kryten going over some corrupted systems, referring to a ‘Theta’ and ‘Epsilon’. Now, this reminded me of Soma but these are just Greek characters so whatever. Anyway, later in that episode they have to syringe out Lister’s mind and store it on a tape (ha!) while uploading a senior officer’s consciousness into Lister’s body in order to get a security override. The senior officer reacts badly and they struggle to coax the info out of her but this whole segment reminded me of Soma. First with the dropping of those station/system names, secondly with the whole swapping/storing of consciousnesses, and thirdly having to get sensitive info out of someone from ‘cold’ waking (in Soma’s case it was a virtual simulation). I doubt there’s any link with the episode being 28 years old, but it was an amusing observation.


Aw hell yeah -


2 years later recap…


Oh, nice! I’ve liked Frictional since Penumbra but SOMA was something else. Glad it’s sustaining them and they’re busy with their next project(s).


Started this up last night on Xbox One, figured I would try out safe mode because who has time to hide from monsters? I’m liking the mood and environment and working out what’s going on. No performance issues, just an occasional hitch during what appears to be a transition load.

Safe mode is kind of funny though. I don’t think it really changes the creatures’ behavior, so if they spot you they’ll still try to impotently ram you, just doing no damage. I imagine them squealing “why won’t you DIIEEEE” in their dial-up modem language. So you still kind of need to steer clear of them, if only to get past them to what were trying to do. Basically they’ve been downgraded to annoying little brother status.


So they still warp your vision and make your character tense up? That doesn’t sound very safe. I guess when there’s no risk you lose all the fear.


Yes, vision still does that blur thing, not sure about tensing up. I did notice his breath quicken too. I think all that changed is that their attacks do no damage, as best I can tell.


See I just can’t imagine the game in this state. Doesn’t it rob it of any tension, knowing these half-assed monsters are stumbling around howling impotently at the moon? At the very least, if they catch you they should force you to sit down, pour a cup of coffee, and listen to their story.


For me, the tension and dread came from the story itself and the monsters were just an irritating obstacle.


Now they’re just irritating.

I thought they’d be removed entirely. Seems kind of half-baked, but I try not to pick at developers.


It does seem like kind of a worst case - the monsters are still there, can’t hurt you, but still try. I think I would have preferred just aimless wandering over this, but I’ll see how the rest of the game goes. Fortunately, in my case at least, the monsters are not the main draw of the game and I’m sure I’ll enjoy either way.


Yeah, that would have been my preference as well.


Must… resist… replying!


Go ahead and make your “if only we could talk to the monsters” joke.


I thought that’s why people played Undertale.


Better if they spotted you, rushed over and howled in anguish, then wandered off.


It’s kind of funny, getting further into the game using the new mode - I still avoid the creatures. I just got into Theta and I still avoided the teleporting guy, the combination of its unsettling appearance, the sound effects, and the fact that it’s still wandering around seeking me out just plugs right into my reptile brain, I just don’t want to get the monsters’ attention. It’s weird.