Frictional takes on SCP-inspired space horror

Frictional Games has released a cinematic teaser for its new game, which seems to be a space horror inspired by the SCP (Secure, Contain and Protect) Project.

Frictional Games has released a cinematic teaser for its new game, which seems to be a space horror inspired by the SCP (Secure, Contain and Protect) Project.

(Credit: Frictional Games)

Frictional Games took a break from developing with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs; instead, it produced and published the game, developed by The Chinese Room, a sequel to Frictional's survival horror Amnesia: Dark Descent. It looks like the Swedish developer is about to return to the helm, though: it has launched on a new website with a cinematic live-action teaser for what it is calling Soma.

(Credit: Frictional Games)

And it looks heavily influenced by the SCP Foundation. The website, so far, reveals very little — except for what appears to be a case file for an artefact called "Item 2656", codenamed "Vivarium".

"The machine has the appearance of a heavily modified monitor fixed to a massive nest of cables and controls. Machinist Peter Strasky found the contraption during a salvage mission [CORRUPT DATA] the screen rolled and flickered, but it shut down as it was pulled out from the container... [CORRUPT DATA] screen lit up and showed distorted schematics. After trying different switches and keys, the oblique levers were found to be torsion attenuation controls, which could stabilise the pict [CORRUPT DATA] revealing a complex set of instructions. The machine is now under quarantine."

The video shows engineer Imogen Reed, who has been granted special permission to examine the artefact before it is destroyed, as she attempts to figure out how it works.

We don't know for certain that the game is necessarily a space horror, but certain clues, such as the reference to a "salvage mission" and the setting, seem to suggest it.

Other clues on the cryptic website indicate further sci-fi influence. A fractured quote from sci-fi writer Philip K Dick flickers on the right-hand side of the screen: "It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane".

The title, "Soma", could refer to the immortality drink of Vedic ritual or the fictional psychoactive drug in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World — or it could refer to the cell body of a neuron or even the word's Greek etymology. Or maybe even all of it.

The machine's name is even more curious. A vivarium is a structure for containing life forms under natural conditions, usually for the purposes of observation or research — after seeing the video, this has some intriguing possibilities.

Watch it for yourself below, and check out the teaser website here. And, as always, feel free to share any thoughts or theories in the comments below.

About the author

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.


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