Saturday, 18 September 2010

Amnesia Review

Yes I'm finally reviewing my mental health, well I could but unfortunately it ran away when playing Amnesia The Dark Descent which is a a fantastic new take on survival horror. It does what survival horror needs and it may take some liberties with gameplay but it shines through, well for some people. Let me tell you what I mean.

Story: You play as Daniel a guy who has plot point syndrome Amnesia (the title of the game). The story is told in a bad way, through letters this reminds me of another game F.E.A.R. .(?) F.E.A.R 1 had a great story but it was told in a awful way, so does Amnesia but I digress in Amnesia I can't see another way it could be told, what is the story well let me get to that bit.

Well as I was you play as Daniel who is suffering Amnesia, when you start the game you find a letter from yourself saying you must kill someone in "THE INNER SANCTUM!!!". Yes I may be making fun of the story but it really is a great story. Another problem with the story or in other words the way it's told is that it's never consitant for example some letters are fully voice acted, however others aren't in the slightest they have no life to them and just become well... boring and there is some important infomation in of the non voice acted letters so it's a hassle to read them. Yes I know that's sort of a nit-pick but still it stands out.

Gameplay: Well... where do I begin? Well let me say that if you are a survival horror you know that frictional games had made a name for them selves and Amnesia proves it by going us one of the best survival horror game out there I'm not joking, in the first 30 minuets there mostly jump scares which don't really scare me I've played hundreds of games with jump scares (F.E.A.R. and so on) and they hardly ever work. No I love the atmospheric scares  one of the only reasons i play survival horror games, for the scares that come after you play the game. The scares that are almost primeval to us and linger  with us till the next day.

Amnesia does deliver it and deliver it, it does. There may be shock scares threw about 30 minuets threw the game but when you get past that part you will be scared. The game almost perfectly balances the reality (as perceived by the game world) and the more hidden horrors, what i mean by that is that nearly everything is your enemy, for example the darkness is your enemy, why well you have this sort of metre where you sanity is, it starts of as normal, but the more time you spend in the dark you sanity will soon go down to small headache to head pounding and hands shakeing and so on. This means your always going around with the constant fear that your going to run out of tinderboxes (which are used to light candles and so on) or your lamp will slowly run out of oil.

This brings a whole new dimention to the gameplay, but it does bring one bad thing to the table, your always collecting tinderboxes and oil, which means the game becomes more of a scavenger hunt than collecting. However this just ties into the games mechanics so I'll let it slip. One of the biggest things that'll spilt people into buying this game is that you have no way of defense ageist anything, which means that you will be very afraid of the next corner. What makes this even more atmospheric is that nearly every object you interact with is with your mouse (ie your hand), so doors are a optical not but the controls but by your force of will. You have no idea what lurks round the next corner so it soon becomes harder and harder to open doors due to fear of what's round the corner.

Most of the issues I have with Amnesia seem to be graphical for example, your hands seem to be missing when opening doors or draws which have some effect on emersion but only a little. What this game does is what other games can only dream of, that to make you so scared that you turn off the game uninstall it and leave for fear of a mental breakdown, after you've paid £12.99 for the game (something microsoft is looking into but remove the horror part).

If you're a horror fan in any way you MUST buy this game, it scares you in ways that you would never think possible. A must buy.

Liam Hackett

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