“Reality is that which, even if you stop believing in it, continues to exist and does not disappear”
Philip K. Dick
Frictional Games has been trying since 2006 to contribute something to the hackneyed genre of horror and survival horror , a style that has seen in recent years as the independent scenario sought and managed to revitalize
after the gradual abandonment by large developers and producers. And is that your own sagas as Penumbra or Amnesiareturned the lost splendor to a genre with a very faithful audience who saw how the concept faded in favor of the commercial or mainstream .
Thus, with The Dark Descent , the Swedish studio managed to carve a niche among the greats, collecting the witness of past successes and, not if the help of numerous streamers, becoming a sales success, which has allowed them to focus their efforts during the last three years in SOMA , a new concept of terrifying adventure that aims to address fear,
tension or uncertainty from an unprecedented point of view in its work. And all with a science fiction framework that feels great. Let’s learn more about this new passage of underwater terror for PC and PlayStation 4 in our analysis .
Many have been the titles that these last times have tried to make a hole in the genre, yes, with unequal fortune. To the aforementioned of the Frictional Games itself -without forgetting the most recent spin-off A Machine for Pigs by The Chinese Room-, there are proposals
of all kinds, such as the already distant Dead Space or the disappointing Silent Hill of the last generation – including the frustrated teaser PT of PlayStation 4 that promised to recover the essence of the saga with the ill-fated Silent Hills -, passing through more recent indies as Slender: The Arrival , Daylight , Hektor or the most
interesting of all, Outlast and its Whistleblower expansion . Now, with the aim of immersing ourselves in a world as claustrophobic as it is terrifying under the Atlantic Ocean, SOMA arrives, a first-person adventure that aims to break with the established and offer a game experience based on survival, puzzle solving and in the search for what really unites body and soul with the best science fiction as a backdrop .
The disturbing events of SOMA take place in advanced ocean-floor research facilities known as PATHOS-II , a place that once brought together the brightest minds of a devastated civilization. We, as daring players, take control of Simon Jarrett , a young Canadian who awakens in a cold and dark room without knowing how he got there and the reason why he is in that place.
It is evident that one of the great attractions of SOMA is its argument and narrative, with which it is vital to enjoy the title without knowing anything beyond this tiny contextualization; we assure you that the previous prologue and the subsequent
events will leave you speechless. Undoubtedly, its creators have taken care until the last comma of a script that could well pass for a blockbuster Hollywood science fiction.
Leaving aside the gothic ambience of previous titles of the Swedish study, SOMA drinks from all kinds of references, either from movies or videogames, through futuristic or even philosophical literature. Video games like Alien Isolation , Dead Space or BioShock will come quickly to our minds, feature films like Final Horizon or Viruses or
literary quotations of Philip K. Dick himself or Isaac Asimovthey will be reflected in various aspects of the work that concerns us. What does it mean to be human? This will be the main issue that will arise during our long underwater journey; and doubts of all kinds will begin to arise as we move forward in a very well constructed plot. Thus, and from the first bars
of the game, we will find robotic debris that seems to contain remains of humanity in its interior, which will give us the possibility to interact with them in very varied ways, some totally unexpected and that will lead us to depend on our lowest instincts as human beings.
Precisely here resides one of the greatnesses of SOMA, the way in which it attacks what makes us really human and the sensations found that will provoke us under the control of Simon.