Spike Chunsoft, Inc. today introduced new Somnium gameplay elements and three additional characters who will appear in the upcoming AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative. The sequel to the 2019 hit adventure game arrives on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam® on June 24, 2022, in North America and July 8, 2022, in Europe and Oceania.
A Closer Look at Somnium: Searching for Clues in the Dream World
The game system consists of "Investigation" and "Somnium". The "Investigation" part takes place in the real world. Here players will examine crime scenes and listen to testimonies. In the "Somnium" part, players enter the dream worlds of suspects and key witnesses.
During a Somnium, players have a limited amount of time to search for the truth deep in the subject's memories. Aiba and Tama appear in human form and assist their agents by exploring the dream world and uncovering new clues.
At ABIS headquarters an Agent or “Psyncer” uses the Psync machine to enter a witness’s dream world. The device can only be used by Agents with the ability to adapt to the dream world.
A Somnium is uniquely based on the memories of the Psync subject, so each dream landscape is completely different. The sequel introduces new underwater and aerial Somnia, allowing players to experience more varied worlds. Somnia are comprised of multiple levels, and "mental locks" that must be unlocked in order to advance to the next level. Depending on the Somnium, there are multiple ways to remove mental locks, so the story may diverge depending on what method was used.
To remove a mental lock, players must examine and act on various objects, but every action consumes its own set amount of time. With only six minutes to complete a Somnium, players must take into account the remaining time and choose each action carefully. While taking action time flows at a normal speed. Remaining stationary causes time to pass more slowly.
Somnium "Keys" and "Conscious Antibodies"
In a Somnium, common sense and laws of the real world do not apply, but there are "Keys," or rules based on the Psync subject's consciousness and memories. Once Keys are revealed, it becomes easier to narrow down the actions and choices to be taken in that Somnium. Initially, most of the Keys are hidden, but as you explore and begin to understand the Somnium, Keys will be revealed.
A Conscious Antibody is the alertness of the Psync subject embodied in the Somnium. Conscious Antibodies block access to important information and, when touched, greatly reduce the amount of time one can safely remain in a Somnium.
If a Conscious Antibody is blocking the way, find a way to eliminate it and move on..
New Characters: Introducing the Masked Restaurant Owner
VA: SungWon Cho
Japanese VA: Yasumichi Kushida
Owner of Brahman World Cuisine
He runs a restaurant called Brahman in Golden Yokocho. Always wears a mask for some reason. His cooking is excellent. The restaurant is frequented by members of ABIS.
VA: Faye Mata
Japanese VA: Risa Kubota
Made Cafe Maid
A Sekiba High Senior and "Mermaid" at Sunfish Pocket. She has a sharp tongue, but is never really malicious. She's in the school dance club with Iris and Kizuna. A regular at Brahman and close with Gen.
VA: Greg Vinciguerra
Japanese VA: Hiromi Igarashi
Komeji’s son. His parents are divorced. He lives with his poor comedian dad, but despises him. In the same grade as Mizuki, but doesn't seem to have much contact with her.
About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative
Six years ago, the right half of a corpse was discovered. The left half was never found…until six years later, completely fresh with no signs of decay. Now, Special Agents Mizuki and Ryuki, along with their AI partners Aiba and Tama, are tasked to solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings while unveiling the mysterious plot known only as the Nirvana Initiative…
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative will be available for Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam® on June 24, 2022, in North America and July 8, 2022 in Europe and Oceania.
Players can pre-order AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative now. For details visit: https://www.spike-chunsoft.co.jp/ai-nirvana/en/
Physical versions published in European regions by Numskull Games.
Spike Chunsoft has dropped some new details and screenshots for the fast approaching AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative (less than a month to go!) New characters are introduced and there's two big details concerning the Somnium sections. A new "Keys" system which seems to be a way to give more context to your actions in Somnium, no doubt a response to criticisms of the first game's puzzles being too trial-and-error based. Also the first actual look at "conscious antibodies," a new element of Somnium that drains your time drastically if you're not careful.
Personally, my ideal would be that the story is simply told in such a way that it's feasible to understand the Somnium logic by paying close enough attention. I stand by the opinion that a good number of Somniums from the first game worked for that very reason. But at the end of the day this new Keys system will likely improve the Somnium parts overall, and I'm sure most people will appreciate the inclusion.