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Video Game Review – Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Horror is the name of the game, especially when it’s so close to Halloween. Earlier, I spoke about the newly released Five Night’s At Freddy’s title, Sister Location. Today, we’re looking at a horror game that really shook the nest. It let people see how seriously good indie horror games could be and without this game, perhaps we’d not have many other horror titles today. However, when I first played it, I really didn’t get along with it. Will all that change as I look back at it in the build up to this year’s spookiest night of the year?

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Overview

Developer Frictional Games
Platforms Steam (Windows, Linux and OSX), PlayStation 4
Windows Release September 2010
Genre Survival Horror, Psychological Horror
Price on Steam £14.99

Review

Gameplay

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Amnesia is a game all about moving around quietly, listening to what’s happening in your surroundings and trying to keep sane. Sounds pretty straight forward, but this is a game that often makes you go head-first into a room with no light, so you have to get over to a torch to light it up with limited amounts of tinder. Alternatively, you can put up your lantern once you’ve found it. If you use that too much, then the oil in the lantern runs out, making you even more vulnerable than ever before.

If an enemy finds you, you’d best do everything you can to hide. You can go inside of cupboards or close doors behind you to keep your enemies out whilst you find an escape path. From grotesque zombies to the dreaded water level, the game isn’t afraid to give you a shocking visual display like no other. From the characters vision becoming fuzzy due to his sanity weakening, to the character’s traumatic visions, you’re left feeling very alone. You’re made to piece together the story as you go along, collecting bits of information as to why you need to go and kill someone… After all, isn’t there a little monster inside of all of us?

Graphics

As previously mentioned, this game is a shocking visual. From zombies, to cockroaches and flesh falling from the ceiling, there’s a dark and brooding feeling about the game… But as always, have a look for yourself. Oh, I forgot to mention you can carry things in this game. So there’s a few images of me holding things as well:

Sound

The voice actor used in this game is phenomenal, as are all of the smaller-parts that are played. There’s the right blend of timing and emotion in the actors voice, that it makes for a truly convincing horror title. Whenever you hear someone else calling for help, you feel obligated to at least check to see where the cry came from – and you feel that you’re part of this macabre world, as you hear things coming towards you. With sound being a major part of the game, the backing music is pretty minimal.

Overall

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My tone is now completely changed from what it was. Now, I fully understand and embrace the madness that is Amnesia. It’s a game that can make you shake to your very core, just based upon the psychological aspect alone. I love a good horror game and this is exactly what Amnesia: The Dark Descent is. The younger me didn’t like it, for reasons I cannot fathom to understand… But that’s fine. It’s been 6 years since this games release… And I can honestly, full-heartedly tell you that this is deservedly one of the greatest horror games ever created. But what do you think? Did you enjoy Amnesia: The Dark Descent as much as I did, or do you think it’s a bit weak? As always, leave your comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

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