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Sci-fi horror game SOMA’s newest trailer will leave you feeling alone and afraid

Sci-fi survival horror game SOMA wants to mess with your head in every way imaginable. Set in a remote underwater research facility doing some wacky shit with robots and artificial intelligence, the player must survive the aftermath of its collapse into chaos. While recalling visuals from BioShock‘s Rapture—the gold standard in underwater disaster settings for videogames—the tone of SOMA appears more subdued. Underlying every horrifyingly dark corner in this research facility is the distinct impression that you are not wholly in control of your own mind. Some heavy hints from development team Frictional Games (creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent) indicate that…

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Prepare to question unreality with SOMA’s machine-horror on September 22nd

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K. Dick Humanity’s centuries-old attempt to understand our own consciousness, from philosophy to biology, can basically be summed up by one single image: a dog trying to chase its own tail. From Descartes’s declaration that, if nothing else, “I think, therefore I am,” to the modern philosophers of the mind who now doubt the absolute truth of that statement, time seems only to get us further away from any definite answers on the matter. But, if it’s any comfort at all, I don’t think you…

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Horror games should be intentionally un-fun, says horror game designer

Videogames are stuffed to the brim with “fun” little feedback loops, like level-maxing and crossbow upgrades and loot-a-thons. But according to Thomas Grip, author of some of the most hair-raising horror games around, such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent and the anticipated SOMA, those delicious systems just get in the way when trying to scare the bejesus out of us.  In an interesting slice of academia over at Gamasutra, Grip explains that all those game designer tricks to make games more fun will kill the scares. “The gameplay mechanic is almost sort of a side thing,” he says. I imagine…

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Amnesia’s Thomas Grip: "Right now we’re sort of in the slasher horror genre in games."

Horror games are currently in a rut with their slasher film mentality says Thomas Grip, designer of games that chickens like me stay far, far away from. Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun about his upcoming title SOMA, he explained that scary games have yet to evolve from gory, cheap scares into a more psychological and terrifying type of horror. His words precisely:  Right now we’re sort of in the slasher horror genre in games. You’re just running from evil dudes or evil monsters. It’d be nice to move away from that and get into something more like Omen or Exorcist…