The lights are on
Survival horror has taken
a rather silly turn in the last couple of years. While many like
Silent Hill stick to the classic formula, Resident Evil has ventured
out into the ridiculous. To me, Resident Evil 4 was the last decent
Resident Evil game. Spinoffs and movies plague the genre with
unnecessary over the top action, bad dialogue and weak mindless
stories. Few games retain a level of subtleness, Penumbra and
Condemned are a few to name, but Amnesia takes the cake at being
quite possibly one of the scariest games ever made.
Following the formula of
Penumbra, Amnesia stays true to it's adventure origins, placing the
player in a dilapidated castle in the middle of the Victorian era.
From the gloomy grays to sheer darkness, Amnesia establishes the
atmosphere to the tee. From exploring corridors and empty chambers
there is a strong sense of mystery at every corner. Guided only by
faded memories and a lantern, the player ventures off into the
unknown with danger lurking at every corner.
this is not the prettiest looking game, but the environments are well
established and formulated. Character models look pretty good for a
independent developer game. Detail is not suppressed in these dark
halls; everything put into this game has reason, and the tone is
The music ranges from
hauntingly ambient to in your face terror. Silence also occupies
majority of the game. Much like minimalism did for "Paranormal
Activity", the silence makes things uneasy and keeps you
constantly on edge. Being absolutely defenseless in the game makes
the loud bursts of music all the more horrifying.
Running more like a
adventure game will leave many gore fans out in the dark, much like
"Saw" fans versus "Shining" fans the concept of
horror is polarizing, but those patient enough to rom through the
game have something amazing waiting for them. Very much a
Warning, if you haven't played yet, you probably don't want to read too many reviews or any and not mine.
First of all, turned off the lights, put on headphones, hope ended there...
The good: The game had a decent atmosphere and graphics as well as minor puzzle solving. The in game playing and use was easy to handle.
The bad: I was never once "terrified" or even a bit shaken up by this game and still sit back scratching my head as to the horrified reviews, especially the screamer reactions on Youtube. I suggest for those who are scared of this game, don't watch Scooby Doo, you will also be terrified.
There are decent puzzles, most of it was spent on useless object moving. Madness? Only after tossing 5000 books off shelves that had nothing behind them, that in fact, was maddening. Most solving was meager at best and child's play to figure out.
Scary? Disturbing would be more the word. The only thing completely scary was having to look at another man's genitalia of a tortured body. The creatures, zombies? that lurk in the dark, give plenty of warning they are there, so they may slash and kill you which is easy enough to avoid. The water creature? Yes, there is nothing more terrifying than a splash chasing you I guess.
There could easily have been more puzzles to solve, the game became extremely repetitive. There were a few instances of building, putting together objects, etc... but not nearly what could have been. Why give 10 candles to light in one area? Why not just one or two for what is needed? I started over simply due to wasting tinderboxes where they weren't needed. One hint I would give to players, save the tinder boxes don't waste them lighting everything in sight, only what's needed.
The over abundance of notes and entries were for what? The story line was very weak, and maybe would have made more sense to me if pulling out my fingernails wasn't more interesting than the read. What happened to some of these people? I have no clue, they disappeared along with the plot.
The ending was the easiest and most disappointing aspect of the whole game, waiting for that big finish only to find it was over in less than 20 seconds.
Conclusion: All in all, a good game to play once. I can't understand all the +10 ratings or the screamer reactions on Youtube but again, decent enough to have some fun.