For players who wanted to experience the narrative of SOMA without the fear of being attacked by monsters, the only option currently is to use the PC-exclusive “Wuss Mode” mod. However, Frictional Games recently announced that SOMA will not only be making its way to Xbox One, but also that it will include an optional “Safe Mode”.
When SOMA was first released in 2015, it was praised by many for its thought-provoking science-fiction narrative that asked such big questions as, “What does it mean to be human?” However, a common criticism was that the horror aspects of the game often detracted from the experience.
Frictional evidently decided to act on these concerns, as the upcoming Xbox One release will have a Safe Mode built-in. While details are scarce, the description on the recently-released trailer says it, “[is] giving you the chance to explore the story without being eaten by monsters.” Additionally, the trailer sets December 1st as the launch date for the Xbox One edition.
While not discussed in the trailer, Frictional Games’ Twitter confirmed that the Safe Mode will also be added to the PC version of SOMA on December 1st, with a PS4 update “to follow." SOMA saw slow sales following its release, only turning a profit for Frictional around a year after launch. As such, it’s possible that this update could entice players who were previously turned off by the horror elements to give the game a second look.
"There is nothing to fear. You are always safe."— Frictional Games (@frictionalgames) November 17, 2017
SOMA is out on Xbox One from Dec 1st! Includes new Safe Mode, which is an update for PC on the same date, with PS4 to follow.https://t.co/GT0jI6EyPK#horror #indiedev #letsplay #scifi pic.twitter.com/WPIY20nYjF
Our review of SOMA stated, “...each of the monsters feels like a repetitive task…,” deeming that it didn’t gain much from their inclusion. While it doesn’t sound like the Safe Mode will outright remove any of the creatures, allowing players to focus on the game’s environments instead of its creepy critters seems like it could streamline certain sections.
Of course, those that still want to contend with life-threatening monsters can always play with Safe Mode off, ensuring that there’s something for everyone who wants to experience SOMA.
SOMA releases on Xbox One on December 1, 2017, and is available now for PC and PlayStation 4.