Kotaro Uchikoshi, famous for his Zero Escape visual novel series, has officially announced his new project with publisher Spike Chunsoft. During this year’s Anime Expo in Los Angeles, Uchikoshi revealed that his previously named Project: Psync title will now be called AI: The Somnium Files. An accompanying trailer disclosed little in terms of plot and gameplay, but did showcase the artstyle of the game as well as the main protagonist. Yusuke Kozaki (Fire Emblem Fates) will act as character designer.
Players will assume the role of Kamane Date, a homicide detective who works in a modern-day version of Tokyo with improved technological advancements. One of Date’s main features is an eye imbued with artificial intelligence. Presumably playing a central role in terms of gameplay, the AI eye allows Date to see the world in a different color and solve crimes. Key to the core mechanics of the game is Date’s ability to dive into the memories of suspects and witnesses as he traverses places called the “Somnium” (“dream” in Latin). Along for the ride is Iris Sagan, an 18-year-old high school girl and YouTube content creator that specializes in “Let’s Play” videos. It is unclear how she plays a role in the game.
The visual novel writer has been working in this genre for a while now, having co-written critically acclaimed titles such as Never 7, Ever 17, and Remember 11 (part of the Infinity series). He got his directorial debut with his most popular work, Nine Persons, Nine Hours, Nine Doors, originally released for the Nintendo DS. The success of the niche game led to him producing two more games in the trilogy, Virtue’s Last Reward and Zero Time Dilemma. Originally released for handheld consoles, all three games were eventually ported to the PS4 and PC.
There is no release date for Somnium for now, but Spike Chunsoft is planning a worldwide release for the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.