|2013-05-03, 00:33||Link #62|
Ha ha ha ha ha...
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Right behind you.
So, people are going to HATE me for performing thread necromancy, but I just recently picked up this game.
Yeah, I know it's been out for 3 years, but I never screwed up the courage to actually play it before now (i.e. a week and a half ago). I'm not kidding you, I happened to get it in a Steam bundle pack with a bunch of other games well over a year ago, but I never touched it.
However, I really love this game. I can only play in 30 minute to 1-hour stints because my stress level goes through the roof, but the atmosphere of this game is absolutely incredible. I'm not scared at all of Dead Space (though the Dead Space 3 DLC was actually scary, and I was quite pleased with that. I hope Dead Space 4 is more like the DS3 DLC or the first 15 minutes of DS2). But Amnesia had my fingers white-knuckled on my mouse after the first half hour or so.
I have to say this is a great game, though, despite the fact that I often have trouble sleeping if I foolishly play this game at night. The engine is simple but elegant. Requiring the player to manually manipulate object like doors and cupboards in order to open them (you have to click, hold the mouse and drag to manipulate anything) adds to the overall immersion. The graphics are pretty good considering that the budget for this game was a fraction of that for Dead Space 3 (approximately $360,000 compared to recent Dead Space games' multi-million dollar production costs). And even three years after it's release, it still sells on average 10,000 copies a month at full price... which is a measly $20 by the way, 1/3 of the cost of big-name games. And if you buy it from Steam during one of their sales like I did, it might have cost you only $10. Personally, I consider every penny well spent. Respect, Frictional Games. Respect. Take that, Corporate Commander!
But more so than any technical details, the true beauty of this game comes from the lighting and subtle sound design. The atmosphere is unlike any other game I've ever played. The pattering of your own footsteps, the soft lighting of candles and torches, and the varies background sounds really suck you in. Most of the levels are really dark, but there are just enough bright parts to give you hope... which is then immediately smothered by the next dark area.
I have to say though the scariest parts are, ironically, when at seemingly random times during the game, all of the sounds in the background are simply pulled out. Even the really quiet (but haunting) music stops. All you can hear are your own footsteps and the sound of your own lantern if you take it out or put it away. I'm not sure if it's scripted or if the game stops looping sounds because I'm taking too long on a puzzle, but it's really unnerving when it happens. Especially when it happens in long, dark hallways.
And that painting of Alexander still creeps me out. If you play the game, you know what I mean.
To be clear, I actually am not usually up for horror games (I'm a big chicken). It took all the courage I had just to make it past the water level (OH GOD, the water level... >_<). But I can say that unlike Dead Space, which is simply a shooter with alien zombies, Amnesia is truly scary. It totally preys on your fears in a similar manner to Slender Man: The Arrival (which I will never, ever play - I watched Markiplier's Let's Play of it on YouTube). Mostly fear of unknown crap that you can't fight, only run from.
And unlike big-name console titles that have a lifetime of something like 2 years before they fall into obscurity, Amnesia still has Custom Stories being made for it. In other words, mods. Even as I'm typing this I could go onto Desura and see new mods that have been made. The Dark Room 2 Custom Story is going to be released soon™, and I'm quite excited.
If you do play Amnesia and decide to try some of the Custom Stories, here are some must-play ones, with my brief impressions of them:
Spoiler for Custom Stories:
And just because I can, here's Markiplier's Amnesia Reaction Compilation. It's freaking hilarious.