Developer: Frictional Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is considered by many to be one of the scariest experiences the medium has to offer. The supernatural game forced the player to flee and hide from monstrosities whose mere visages tore at your character's sanity.
SOMA sheds that game's Lovecraftian trappings for a research station on the ocean floor, but the horror and the oppressive atmosphere remains, anchored by a compelling and thought-provoking story influenced by the works of Harlan Ellison and Philip K. Dick.
"Haunting" is probably the most apt way to describe SOMA's atmosphere. While there are enemies in the game, encounters are sparing, which, in turn, makes each one more memorable and unpredictable. The horror in SOMA comes less from its terrifying creatures and more from the atmosphere, the themes, the sound design and setting. Every moment is fraught with tension, enhanced by the music and the groaning of metal being crushed by the immense ocean pressure. The game is a slow-burn experience, letting the unnerving uneasy implications of grotesque sights and of your actions stew in your mind.
You can purchase SOMA on Steam, GOG, and PS4.