Frictional Games: Soma – Morality Optional

The radio has gone silent on PATHOS-2. As isolation bears down on the staff of the remote research facility, strange things are happening.

Machines are taking on human traits and alien constructions have started to interfere with routine. The world around them is turning into a nightmare.

The only way out is to do something unimaginable.

After a long five year wait, Frictional Games will release their new title, Soma, on September 22, 2015. With such a long wait, expectations are high for the developers of one of the now classic horror titles, Amnesia: The Dark Decent; and by the twelve minute trailer released with the announcement of the date, it looks like gamers will be sleeping with the lights on for the foreseeable future .

While with Amnesia we questioned and set out to discover who the main character of the game was, in Soma you may be left wondering who you are. This time the main character knows who he is and where he is, but nothing is as it he expected it to be.

From the trailers and demo gameplay, Frictional Games has managed once again to thrust us into a tense, mysterious and unnerving environment where you never feel safe or alone. It is clear the developers have not lost their creepy touch. Just from watching some of the E3 demo footage, I found my muscles tensing and my eyes searching for an unknown lucking evil hiding just out of site. With every creak and rattle of rusty walkway railing, I was expecting… something. I didn’t have the slightest what exactly I was afraid of but I felt real fear true enough. I was hooked and that was even before we find the distressed robot begging for help.

Hey, look look. This place is not… There’s something seriously wrong here. Hello?

When the game is released in September, you can rest assured there will be a plethora of YouTube videos of teenagers squealing and squirming while working their way though the underwater research facility and the machinery that is seemingly taking on human characteristics. It reminds me of an AMC series I just started watching called Humans where AI robots “synths” are a common household appliance (if that is the right word) but a few have been programmed to have emotions and feeling and maybe something more. I can already tell the show will be delving into the issue of human rights and what it means to be human or what it mean to be conscious. This is interesting when since Thomas Gripp, the Creative Director or Frictional Games, said in a blog post:

The subject that SOMA will discuss is consciousness. Personally, I find it the most profound questions that it is possible to ask. “How can the feeling of subjective experience arise from a chunk of flesh?” Exploring this further takes us to questions such as “Can machines be conscious?” and “Do we have free will?” It quickly gets very disturbing, and is ideal for a futuristic horror setting. It is the kind of sci-fi that we want to make.

Soma couldn’t have been release at a better time. With Humans on AMC, the new Terminator released with its AI-run-amok Skynet, and a general increased interest in sci-fi genre, Frictional Games is set to have a record breaking hit.

This is truly a science-fiction horror title in the vein of the the very best of sci-fi writing which is more than just futuristic technology and robots, but Soma leads you down a path of exploration of psychology and sociology. But the robots are cool, too. The evil robot form the E3 demo brings to mind something from Dr. Who if Dr. Who had better CGI.

Soma, on the other hand, might make you question if you are human. From what little we know, you have to make choices to advance your way through the game. There are several ways to accomplish a task but you’ll have to decide if you can live with your choices you do make. You will need not only courage, but intelligence to complete this game. Morality is optional.

Soma will be available for the Playstation 4 and PC on September 22, 2015. For the latest Soma news, visit SomaGame.com