Spike Chunsoft have debuted the gameplay for AI: The Somnium Files in a rather curious way, by having one of the game’s characters upload a brief “let’s play” as a virtual YouTuber.
Iris Sagan (a.k.a. Tessa or A-set) debuted back in January 2019. While the game’s Director and Scenario Writer Kotaro Uchikoshi insisted the internet idol had nothing to do with the game, the majority of content uploaded to the channel focused on the characters and world of AI: The Somnium Files. In addition, the character’s biography now appears on the official website.
Spike Chunsoft also released information on the game and the characters, you can find the run-down below:
There are two types of gameplay: Somnium and Investigation. The plot unfolds as the player moves between the Investigation and Somnium gameplay modes. Investigation mode takes place in the real world, where you play as detective Kaname Date on the case of a potential serial killer.
As Date, you collect information by listening to testimonies and examining crime scenes. The story advances by visiting various locations and gathering clues. Gaining as much information as possible is rewarded: even if it seems unrelated, it may prove useful in the future.
In addition to simply speaking with people and inspecting objects at the scene, there are three unique gameplay elements you will encounter:
- Special Vision Modes – Date’s left eye, the AI-Ball known as Aiba, has the ability to examine the environment further. Use three special vision modes to gain information you can’t see with the naked eye!
- Zoom – Examine objects up-close for a better look.
- Thermo – View a thermograph of an object.
- X-ray – Use electromagnetic radiation to see inside of objects and reveal hidden clues.
- Interrogation – Question suspects or persons of interest for more information. Here, you can corroborate crime scene evidence with witness testimony to gain leads.
- Quick Time Events – Detective work is dangerous! Quickly input the correct commands to escape life-or-death situations. If you fail, it’s game over!
Character designer Yusuke Kozaki created an array of unique characters for AI: The Somnium Files. Let’s meet five more characters who are deeply involved with the case!
Shoko Nadami (voiced by Yu Kobayashi in Japanese)
A woman found dead on the merry-go-round in a defunct amusement park. Her left eye socket was hollowed out.
Hitomi Sagan (voiced by Dorah Fine in English, Sayaka Ohara in Japanese)
Hitomi is Iris’s mother. Her parents died in an accident when she was 17. She raised Iris alone. Due to an injury in the past, she can’t move her right arm.
Mayumi Matsushita (voiced by Philece Sampler in English, Toshiko Sawada in Japanese)
Mayumi is Ota’s mother. Over 30 years ago, she and her husband took out significant loans to open Matsushita Diner. She can be forgetful at times.
So Sejima (voiced by John DeMita in English, Naomi Kusumi in Japanese)
So is a member of the post-war generation. He grew up poor, which made him greedy for power and wealth.
Mama (voiced by Kenta Miyuke in Japanese)
Owns a bar that Date and Renju frequent. She is also an information broker in the criminal underworld.
Finally, Spike Chunsoft announced a new release date for the game in Europe. The game’s launch is on different dates for different platforms. While the game’s European Windows PC launch (via Steam) shall take place on September 17th, the game’s Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 launch will take place on September 20th.
AI: The Somnium Files launches September 17th in North America and September 19th in Japan for Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. Once again, in Europe the game launches September 17th on Windows PC (via Steam), and September 20th for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.