I think this is a very positive change as Soma has always been absolutely fascinating to me. The story behind it is really creative and original but I never played it simply for the fact that it has the typical “monster chases” in it.
I’m not too well versed in Amnesia’s lore but the monsters in that felt very “cardboard cut out”, they simply existed as helpers and that was the sum of it, generally they were uninteresting. But the monsters in Soma are an absolute necessity to keep in because they themselves are part of the world, they have entries about them, they are relevant to the game world as they were integral to the plot that built up to what is presented to the player. It’s good that they’re not removing them entirely but rather neutering their blood-need and murder-lust.
Soma was a game that felt a bit schizophrenic to me, the game world that harboured and cultivated sorrow, a final spark of life in a dying world as humanity finally slips from tangible flesh into a digital memory through circumstance forced upon them. Yet the horror aspect felt artificially inflated by the implementation of the “pursuit” monsters. A base instinct of fight or flight that had been sheared in two to leave only a single option available to players. You couldn’t look at the scenery as you were so tunnel visioned by the harrowing experience of being hunted. This resulted in a more Objective Based gameplay, reserving time for when you could actually look at the world to particular moments. But that fear of discovery and death to follow was always there, a black, tarry smudge that always stuck with you because of your knowledge that monsters were present, potentially around every corner.
Amnesia’s world was a tileset, a grand castle that descended into a dungeon, sprinkled with moments that restricted themselves to rooms and such. But Soma takes place in the final habitation of humanity, a place descended into anarchy and depression. It was a shame you couldn’t take a moment to really appreciate and look at it. Now that you can, I think it’ll be a much richer experience for it.