Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a first-person survival horror game.
from 24 ratings
Date of Release:
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3 of 3 people found
this review helpful.
The HPL engine was improved with new features along with the Amnesia release. The graphical side manages to deliver an impressive show of lights, effects and details. The levels are filled with interactive content such as jars and boxes, and a large number of the puzzles are somehow related to the physics system. As was expected, you can also open most the cupboards and drawers.
Being heavily based on reading notes and diaries the game offers you a small novel worth of reading. The voice acting didn’t really stand out as wrong, and this is one of the reasons why even your average gamer should be able to focus for the longest texts and narratives without losing their attention span. The story progresses linearly from an area to area with little choice in the matters which kind of makes this game into a spooky ride into the darkness, with only one direction to head towards to.
Puzzles contained some interesting elements. I find it hard to believe that anyone would really get stuck in this game due to a puzzle, although some of them weren’t entirely obvious. You end up collecting a small arsenal of inventory with half a dozen of different chemicals this time as well, but in general the puzzles were easier than in the Penumbra games. At times I found myself wishing there were more puzzles though.
Something that really struck to me as a strong point was that the game wasn’t split into puzzle & monster areas, but instead was built with the puzzling going on while carefully sneaking around. There are some quiet phases, but it is hard to not admire the magnificent audio work that was put into the large, empty corridors where your imagination does half of the work in making you question your own sanity.
Play this game should you want a linear story where you can explore a dark, narrated storyline with some of the best scares and ambience the gaming industry has ever offered. Do reserve spare clean underwear though.
2 of 2 people found
this review helpful.
The puzzles aren’t particularly inventive or hard and I didn’t really like that many are solved traditionally by combining and using acquired items with very few manual physical actions, which are the coolest bits, but the atmosphere (the graphics, writing,voice acting, flashbacks, hallucinations and of course the sound, basically everything it has, work together to great effect) and thus the experience as a whole is great.
The latest update includes some short stories from the writers as well as an additional small campaign (that I don’t think is related to the main game, at least not directly, but I could be wrong).
The developers also released an editor so there are custom stories by fans to play after that. I don’t think there are mods that change the actual gameplay substantially (like adding weapons or whatever else). Though I don’t know if that’s a limitation of the tools or the small community, it doesn’t really matter.
There’s a pretty good demo to play but if you’re already convinced I’d advice against playing it as it’s a remix of the beginning that condenses certain areas and events to offer a better or quicker preview without including a huge chunk of the game, but in my opinion it just slightly messes up the full game’s better pacing.
Anyway, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is obviously part of a quite particular niche, yet with the uncommonly seen in such indie games production values and polish even most of the mainstream gaming press couldn’t give it bad scores. Not that it should matter.
Adventure fans will love it, and with the smooth modern engine and controls even gamers who tend to ignore such games will find more enjoyment than they expect and may turn into genre lovers.