SOMA and The Search for Utopia

SOMA was developed by the company Frictional Games, responsible for creating one of the main survival horror games, AMNESIA. It was released in 2015 and is set in a futuristic station called PATHOS-2.

The campaign lasts around eight hours, and during gameplay, we must make some choices that do not interfere with the narrative, but say about how we see the relationship between life and machine. The mechanics are identical to AMNESIA, and because the character has no power over the bestiality of the monsters, he must always pass through them and challenges stealthily and quietly.

The game’s setting is reminiscent of the movie Alien, and all games of the sub-genre like DOOM and Dead Space, with a sense of isolation and fear of the unknown creating the pace of gameplay.

The beginning of the game shows the main character, Simon, reliving an accident that he suffered with his friend Ashley, who died, and talking to Dr. Manchi, who had a possible cure for his mental illness that Simon had been facing due to the accident.

Simon goes to the doctor’s office, and after the “process” of healing, he faints and wakes up 100 years in the future (2115) in an underwater station called Upsilon PATHOS-2, a location inspired by Rapture from Bioshock. At this station, scientists and engineers used to develop studies on marine life, hydroculture, and exploration of the depths of the oceans.

Later in the plot, we are revealed that the reason this study center is completely destroyed is the fall of a comet that destroys part of the earth. We have many references to Fallout capsules throughout the game.

As the story unfolds, we understand that Simon died, and we are just Simon’s mind in a machine.

The game talks about our relationship with AI and how the concept of life and existence can be discussed when we talk about technological advancement.


Some Topics to explore further:

The discussion of what it means to have consciousness and life.

Evolution must be embraced up to what point, and how the evolution of our technology can negatively affect our lives.

References to delve deeper on this game and topics:

SOMA: History explanation and analysis –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igKn7Qbz38g

Analyzing: The Philosphy of the Talos Principle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5FloMq9Lck

This is the week of the game and worth a read if you are interested in my text: https://soma.fandom.com/wiki/SOMA_Wiki