There are few horror games as poignant and cerebral as Frictional Games’ 2015 surprise hit, SOMA. A terrifying romp through underwater environments turns philosophical hellscape, as the title explores consciousness, artificial intelligence, and “luck,” so to speak. And while some people find horror games and stealth gameplay a barrier for entry, developer Frictional Games made an announcement earlier this month that they are bringing a Safe Mode to improve the gameplay experience of SOMA for the upcoming Xbox One release and PC.
But what exactly is this “Safe Mode?” According to Frictional Games, the Safe Mode is much like the “Wuss Mode” mod that got popular buzz earlier this year. However, unlike that mod, players will not only be impervious to death, but the actual AI for the enemies have been altered. In that sense, Frictional is pivoting the gameplay to not feel like a “God-mode,” but to instead bring a new unnerving experience based on the enemies’ mythos.
With this in mind, players can expect all the same puzzles and exploration areas. The only difference is you no longer requires sneaking around — the bane of gameplay mechanics for many people. You will also be able to thoroughly explore the depths of the sea without worrying about a jumpscare.
Even better, this new mode won’t be locked in as a PC and Xbox One exclusive. Instead, the mode will be added for free on PlayStation 4 in an update in “about 2 months” — February 2018.
Interestingly, Frictional mentioned that they were torn when they first released SOMA whether to include a no-death mode. However, they didn’t want to split the experience — especially given they hadn’t had the newly-created AI to support the mode.
As mentioned above, SOMA originally launched on September 22, 2015 for PC and is currently available for PS4. The game launches on Xbox One tomorrow, packed in with the Safe Mode (also available for PC at the same time).