My Preview for SOMA

Have you ever felt the feeling of wanting to play a game, but can’t? Can’t play not because of financial problems or other factors that don’t suit your taste. It can’t be here because you aren’t able to play the game, and what I mean by not being able is not because you feel dizzy when you play it, but because you feel too scared to start your adventure in that game.

This week I experienced an inner conflict that was quite annoying. A horror game called SOMA was released and received a very positive response. At first I didn’t really care about SOMA, because basically I was a pretty timid person. But when I heard how good the issue raised by SOMA through the story, and how this game did not sell jump scare, I was immediately curious to try it.

It all starts with SOMA

So what exactly is SOMA like? SOMA is the latest horror game made by Frictional Games which is popular through the Penumbra and Amnesia series: The Dark Descent. Unlike the horror stories in general, SOMA presents a world of science fiction full of terror from machines and AI. At first glance this game is enough to remind me of the System Shock series.

In this game you will explore an underwater facility, just think of it as Rapture from the BioShock series. The difference, SOMA presents a far more gripping environment with a story that is no less interesting. Even from the many comments there, it is said that the story in SOMA can make you think deeper about human life … something that unfortunately I have not achieved in this game because of fear.

The more I read positive comments about SOMA, the more I’m also curious to try out this game. But, as soon as I tried to play, going forward a few steps while listening to the sound effects that were so neatly made by Frictional Games alone was enough to make my skin crawl and my heart beat very fast.

Usually to deal with this curiosity, watching other people playing on YouTube or asking to be accompanied by others when playing can be a good solution. But for games with atmospheric quality like SOMA, it would be a shame if all of them were damaged by the presence of other humans which sometimes can even bother us.

Before SOMA, my fear of horror games had held me back from playing a few games that I really wanted to play. For example, Silent Hill 2 is often considered the best Silent Hill iteration. Even though I have already completed Silent Hill, Silent Hill 4, and Silent Hill Homecoming.

But, for some reason as I got older, it became increasingly difficult for me to start playing horror games. And seeing from the many games that I have finished, “fear” might not be the right word to describe my feelings. Tired of the high stress and pressure from playing horror after a long day of working with fatigue could also be a reason why I increasingly avoid this genre.

Strength or weakness?

I certainly really want to be able to play a variety of horror game titles on the market, but sometimes the high level of creepyness actually makes me unable to enjoy the story presented by the game from that genre.

I think this dilemma should be felt quite often by horror game developers. By making spooky games, they have proven their abilities as developers who are able to deliver the promised experience. But at the same time they will also lose gamers who might be interested in supporting their game.


What do you think? Should developers reduce the level of gloom in order to reach a wider market? Have you ever felt an inner conflict where you wanted to play a game but felt too scared? If there is, tell us about your experience through the comments column below.

For myself, tonight I will try again to play SOMA. All because curiosity is so great for the new title of this fantastic Frictional Games. If I still fail to play SOMA tonight, maybe it’s time to give 20 GB of space to my computer. If you are interested, you can get SOMA on Steam or the PlayStation Store in the American region.

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