When SOMA was first announced, many of us assumed the game would take place in space. After all, the developers said it was borrowing elements from sci-fi and the environments looked like they took a cue from the H.R. Giger's design book. While the game is still firmly a sci-fi game, SOMA will instead take place somewhere even more mysterious than space - the ocean.
Over on the PlayStation Blog, Frictional Games revealed that SOMA will be set at the bottom of the ocean. While the developer says the decision to set the game at the bottom of the ocean was made on a whim, they have a good reason for it. We know less about our own ocean than we do about outer space and that makes it a pretty terrifying place. Here's what Frictional Games Creative Director Thomas Grip had to say about it:
Most of our earth is covered in ocean, and yet it’s something that we know very little about. It is an incredibly hostile environment filled with strange creatures, and it is right on our door step. Most of the ocean is devoid of sunlight and inhospitable to us. The differences in pressure between the surface and even a modest depth of 100 meters is enough to turn a human into mush. That pressure, that depth, is nothing compared to the true ocean deeps. And as if this isn’t enough, the creatures living there seem like they’re from another world. Gigantic squid, luminescent fish and creatures that are all mouths and teeth are only the start. If you dive down any distance you enter into a realm of monsters.
Alongside the reveal, the team put together a new trailer showing off the game's underwater environments:
For some, this might be a downer as they were looking forward to a more traditional space-based sci-fi horror adventure. For others, it's incredibly exciting as the last game to feature an underwater setting (BioShock) squandered its opportunity to be scary in favor of gunfights. The ocean can be terrifying and SOMA might just be the game we need to remind us of that fact.
SOMA will be out in 2015 on PS4 and PC.
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