SOMA's out really soon, everyone! Hooray! Ahead of its September 22nd release date, developers Frictional Games have just released a new story trailer which teases out a bit more narrative detail. In fact, perhaps a little too much narrative detail.
It's hardly giving away the ending or anything, but I'd rather have been left to discover what the trailer discloses by playing the game. Putting that aside, the idea of humanity as a transferrable, quantifiable entity is a fresh direction for Frictional, and easily interesting enough to sustain a game.
The sheer amount of dialogue in SOMA indicates a radically different tone from the studio, whose Amnesia and Penumbra titles bullied you with the weight of their ominous atmosphere. Down in the depths of the PATHOS-2 underwater research facility though, your horror grows as you gradually understand more about where you are, and what happened down there.
"[SOMA] relies a lot on the player starting to understand the underlying subjects we're exploring," reads the latest post on Frictional's blog.
"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."
That sounds great - but is it undermined slightly by a trailer that apparently covers a significant timespan and thus illuminates the nature of those disturbing situations immediately? Let's hope SOMA doesn't lose any of its impact when it comes to PC next week.