[Beyond PlayStation] AI: The Somnium Files Review
AI: The Somnium Files is a great murder mystery visual novel adventure that is a must-play on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our AI: The Somnium Files review!
In AI: The Somnium Files from Spike Chunsoft and Kotaro Uchikoshi, who we knoew from the excellent Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, and Zero Time Dilemma, you will get to take control of Special Agent Kaname Date, who is part of the Advance Brain Investigation (ABIS) squad of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Kaname is certain a special type of agent thanks to a particular implant he got after losing his left eye six years ago. Inside of that implant resides an AI known as Aiba, who will act as the second main character for the game. Aiba has a skill that allows her to dig deep into someone’s Somnium, the hidden parts of a person’s mind. This will come in handy when Special Agent Kaname is called in to investigate
As soon as you start to play, the game will kindly send you into a tutorial section so that you can learn the basics. It is here that you learn that gameplay will be split between the investigation sections, during which you can move the cursor around to review what is available on the screen, or interact with the available characters, and the Somnium sections, in which you will go into someone’s brain to. People lie all the time, and this can hinder your investigation. But the mind, well, the mind never lies.
Aiba has different vision modes that can help you obtain new information for your case. Thanks to her you’ll be able to zoom in to enlarge the target – this is demonstrated to you as you try and get a closer look at the corpse in the first crime scene in the game. Zoom will be activated by clicking down on the left analog stick after you’ve pointed and clicked at something. She also has an X-Ray mode that allows you to see through things so that you can get a better look at what is inside. And then there’s her thermo vision, so that you can review heat signals.
Let’s go over the investigation section for a bit. You can use the on-screen cursor to see what items and people you can interact with, clicking on them with the A button. You have the option of looking at said item or person or to select an option from the conversation menu to see what you can learn. The dialogue options will be presented as single lines of text around the character you’re interacting with, and you can select what you’re going to say by pressing the corresponding direction on the D-Pad. You can also use a combination of the D-Pad, the A button, and the touchscreen to be able to control the game when playing in Portable or Tabletop mode.
During the Somnium sections, you’ll be basically be working towards completing different puzzles to be able to traverse the different layers in the dream world. As you do this, you’ll end up opening mental locks, which offer some resistance to your investigation. The truth will be hidden within the deepest layers of the mind, so you will need to break the mental locks to gain access to them. During Somnium sections, you’ll be controlling Aiba in a 3D third-person presentation, which is certainly different from the investigation parts in the game. Each dream world you visit will have its own set of rules, so be sure to explore, pay attention to even the smallest of details, and uncover the truth!
As you advance in the story, the File section, which you can access by opening the menu with the Y button, will be populated with new information as you interact with more people and learn more about a case. As you progress in the game, the File section will be automatically updated as needed. You’ll get to review their name, sex, age, and birthday, their profession, likes and dislikes, hobbies, skills, as well as a general overview that summarizes some additional information for you to check out.
This being a visual novel adventure game experience, you’ll be able to review the flowchart for AI: The Somnium Files as you go. It’s in the flowchart that you’ll see your progress in the game, as well as the different branching paths you’ll follow based on your decisions and dialogue choices. You can use the flowchart to go to a different chapter, jumping into a particular point in the story by selecting Investigation Process straight from the chapter select part of the flowchart.
AI: The Somnium Files is a great murder mystery adventure that you have to play on Nintendo Switch. As someone who owns Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, and Zero Time Dilemma, I was more than up for playing AI: The Somnium Files on Nintendo’s console, and I’m happy to report that this new adventure is worth every penny.
This AI: The Somnium Files review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Spike Chunsoft.