AI: The Sominum Files is a pretty fantastic murder mystery game with some very interesting gameplay mechanics. Are you ready for an M for Mature adventure? Check our AI: The Sominum Files!
The game is set in Tokyo, Japan, and you play as Special Agent Kaname Date, who investigates serial killers in a special branch of homicide known as ABIS – Advanced Brain Investigation. Special Agent Kaname Date has the ability to enter people’s minds, unlocking memories in the deepest areas of witnesses and suspects minds through Aiba, an AI that resides within him. Date lost an eye a few years ago and has had some sort of implant to replace it, which contains advanced technology that allows him to investigate crime scenes in a way that no ordinary detective can.
During the first case, in which a girl was murdered and with whoever did it also taking her left eye – you will get to experience what is the game’s extended tutorial, you will get to learn the basic gameplay mechanics of how to talk to NPC, how witnesses and other people of interest are important to your investigation, how to use Aiba, and more. During the investigation mode, you can inspect anything that is green. You can keep inspecting the same area until all dialogue is exhausted and turns white. In order to progress the investigation, you must examine items and objects and collect testimony.
Talking to someone opens up a set of dialogue options, and you can use the D-Pad to select the dialogue you want to use. You can also use the look feature to review things. If at any time you feel stuck or at a loss as to where you need to go next, you can always check the log to recap previous conversations. There are three colors for the text to highlights things for you. White text is regular text that helps to move the story along. Green represents the investigation parts of the game. If you see any dark pink text, then you better pay attention as it represents some important information. Never ignore anything that is highlighted in pink!
The overall game is split into two: the investigation parts and the Somnium parts. The Somnium parts are the puzzles portion of the game, and they are dream world simulations, presented as a 3D puzzle world of sorts you will get to explore. The puzzles are important as they help to unlock the hidden memories within the deep recesses of each mind. The Somnium world is split into layers, and your goal will be to break the different mental locks you find to be able to dig deeper and deeper. In some Somnium worlds, you will be able to complete optional side quests. You can ignore them if you prefer to just focus on the story.
The story has multiple branches, which means there are several different outcomes to experience depending on how things play out. The good news is that the game has a flowchart you can use to jump to different parts (chapters) of AI: The Somnium Files, so you won’t need to replay the whole thing to see everything that the game has to offer. You only need to simply skip to certain branch points and carry on to find out some new information or experience a new sequence!
AI: The Somnium Files is a fantastic game that is well worth its asking price. It has a nice murder mystery vibe going on for it, and Spike Chunshoft made the right call when deciding to work with Kotaro Uchikoshi, who we all know from the great Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, and Zero Time Dilemma. This one kept me glued to my screen, keeping me playing to see what would happen next, so once you’re hooked, it’s going to be a hard one to put down. AI: Somnium Files releases next week digitally and in two weeks physical on PlayStation 4, and it’s one you should definitely check out.
This AI: The Somnium Files review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Spike Chunsoft.