AI: The Somnium Files
|AI: The Somnium Files|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4|
AI: The Somnium Files[a] (// ( listen) EYE) is an adventure video game in development by Spike Chunsoft for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It is set in Tokyo, and follows detective Kaname Date, who investigates serial killings and enters witnesses' and suspects' memories to extract information. The game is directed and written by Kotaro Uchikoshi and produced by Yasuhiro Iizuka, and features character designs by Yūsuke Kozaki.
AI: The Somnium Files is an adventure game set in a technologically advanced Tokyo in the near future, and follows detective Kaname Date, who investigates a serial killing case where victims have had their left eyes gouged out. Date has an artificial left eye containing an artificial intelligence unit, which he uses when investigating the killings. Sometimes, Date meets a key witness or suspect who does not want to share information with him, in which case he can enter their memories in the form of dreamscapes called "somnium", to extract the information by solving puzzles. The game features branching paths leading to multiple different endings.
AI: The Somnium Files is being developed by Spike Chunsoft, and is written and directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi and produced by Yasuhiro Iizuka, with character designs by Yūsuke Kozaki. The game is developed with a higher budget than that of Uchikoshi's previous work, the Zero Escape series, which according to Uchikoshi helped allow him to express his concept for the game in a way that he was unable to with Zero Escape.
Two of the game's core themes are eyes and "different types and expressions of love", reflected in how the game's title AI is pronounced like the word "eye", and in how "ai" (愛) is the Japanese word for love; the title also has a third meaning in that it is short for "artificial intelligence", and the "Somnium" in the subtitle is taken from the Latin word for "dream".
The idea of entering characters' dreams to solve cases was proposed by Iizuka; Uchikoshi thought it was intriguing, so he decided to use it in the game. The game's investigation-based puzzles are designed to be less difficult than those in the Zero Escape series, and are described by Uchikoshi as a modern take on the style of Hideo Kojima's 1994 adventure game Policenauts.
The game was first teased at a press event at the Game Developers Conference 2017 under the working title Project Psync, with a piece of artwork depicting an eye. Spike Chunsoft announced the game and its title the following year during an Anime Expo 2018 panel, and released a first teaser trailer introducing Date. The game is planned to be released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4, with English text and both English and Japanese audio.
- Known in Japan as AI: Somnium File (AI：ソムニウム ファイル Ai: Somuniumu Fairu)
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