SOMA’s Safe Mode Still Scares

SOMA’s Safe Mode Still Scares
Image: Frictional Games

This week’s Xbox One release of underwater horror game SOMA includes a new mode that dramatically changes monster behaviour to keep the player safe. Safe from the monsters anyhow.

SOMA’s Safe Mode, also available on PC through an update, removes death from the game by changing monster AI. It’s a similar idea to the Wuss Mode mod released last year but more comprehensive and official.

Frictional Games, makers of SOMA, Amnesia and Penumbra, have released a blog post addressing some of the questions people may have about the new game mode.

The biggest and most obvious question: Is the game still scary?

“This obviously depends on what scares you, but the short answer is: yes, the game is still a horror game. However, since you can explore without a constant fear of failure, you will no longer have that type of tension.”

The central themes and overall atmosphere of SOMA are left intact, even without the persistent fear of death. The puzzles are unchanged, although players will no longer need to sneak their way past monsters (unless they want to). “Monsters might sound and act more threatening if they spot you, so there is still an incentive to being careful, but it’s no longer mandatory to keep hidden.”

Tucked at the end of the blog post is an announcement that Frictional is working to include Safe Mode on the PS4 version of SOMA. Players can expect the mode early next year.

Update – The original version of this article erroneously said that a PS4 version of SOMA was coming next year. SOMA is already available on PS4.


  • SOMA has been available on PS4 for two years.

    I’m confused. Was it a re-release on X-Box One, with a planned re-release on PS4? Why not just introduce a patch, like on the PC?

      • Thanks for the clarification! I wasn’t aware that SOMA had not released on X-Box One until this week. I just assumed it had been released around the same time as the PS4 version.

  • I wish this was in at release. The monster wasn’t scary, just annoying. There was a section I got stuck on for ages because the damn thing just stood in the way of where I needed to go and couldn’t be convinced to move

    • I marathoned this game with a couple of friends at the start of the year, and while we had heaps of fun with it, my only real gripe was that getting past a couple of the monsters turned into more aggravating trial-and-error than intuitive puzzle-solving.

  • I can’t find this on the Xbox store in Australia. Anyone else having the same problem?
    I bought this on PS4 at a friend’s recommendation, now I’m really keen to buy it again and play it again on Xbox. But it’s not there!

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