AI The Somnium Files Review

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I was introduced to this game thanks to a special event at Anime Expo, which gave out autograph tickets for pre-ordering the game.  After seeing the promotions and the panels associated with this game I was very curious to see what all it entailed and I am really glad that I did.  AI The Somnium Files is very different than most of the games that I’ve played and it was also unbelievably engaging and entertaining.  In the game, you are a detective, Kaname Date, who is a detective trying to solve the mysterious murder of a woman with her eye removed.  You have a special talent of diving into people’s dreams and learning what secrets they have to hide; however, as you dive into the story you realize the number of secrets is far greater than you ever imagined.

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The characters in this game were all very detailed and complex.  When you play the game it’s easy to think you’ve got a character really well figured out but then out of nowhere comes this new and exciting fact about them that makes you see this person in a completely different way.  It was truly a fun experience taking the time to listen to all of the things these individuals had to say and really absorb everything that motivates their actions and makes them who they are. I also liked how one person, A-Set, has her own youtube channel and twitter account so by following all of this content, I gained a connection to this game that I never had with any other.  Additionally, all of the characters were so energetic and full of personality so it was very entertaining to see them interact with one another.  Aiba, your artificial intelligence partner, is full of sass and had so many things to say that I enjoyed.

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The gameplay is interesting.  You play from the perspective of Date and you move a cursor around what he is seeing to interact with people or objects.  While most of the interaction comes from conversing with the other characters, I found it fun to just click on random objects to see how Date and Aiba would react to them and I often found myself entertained from the banter. The gameplay changes when you start diving into people’s dreams and you play as Aiba.  You still interact with objects, but dreams do not abide by the same rules as reality and as a result, you have to learn how to manipulate the dream world to get to the end of the level.  You also have a strict 6 minute time limit and each action takes a set amount of time so you need to carefully pick your actions in order to solve various memory locks a person has to keep you from the secrets at the end.

The story is where this game really shines, or rather stories.  The game has five different stories and each one of them is full of suspense to the very end.  Depending on how you solve the secrets of a person’s mind you get access to a different story path.  During each path you find out unique details till you reach some sort of conclusion.  Sometimes you find all of the details, sometimes you find part of the truth and in others, you are left wondering what caused this ending to happen. I am normally good at figuring out these types of games, but I found myself bewildered by the time I reached the end.  I thought I had the gist of what happened, only to find that my theories barely scratched the surface of the truth.  This game is a storytelling masterpiece that I was unable to put down.  I found myself having to just find out more and more of the story with every chance I got until I reached the end of the last path.

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What you have here is a game of mystery, full of captivating characters, tons of detail, lots of sass and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.  I enjoy a lot of the games that I play but rarely do I find a game that kept me glued to my console like this one.  If you are a fan of mysteries then this is a must-have game for your collection. I got this game for an autograph ticket, thinking that the ticket was the reward for the game, but the game itself proved to be just as incredible of an experience as it was to meet the brilliant mind behind this game.

 

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