Saturday, 18 July 2015

Adventures in Horror Gaming: Amnesia the Dark Descent

My second foray into horror gaming has been in the world of Amnesia the Dark Descent. Now this time I managed to play a lot more of the game due to it's lack of combat, but whenever I thought one of those monsters was going to show up I promptly jumped away from the keyboard and let my guy take over. I even managed to figure out solutions to a few of the puzzles in this game.
Most castles have rooms full of corpses right? RIGHT!?!

This game used the unique idea of having you be able to die of madness which would happen if you were in the dark for too long, but having a light would attract the deadly creatures that stalked the mansion to you so either way you were pooched. The Frictional Games team created an amazing atmosphere in this game, it is actually so creepy that I know someone who couldn't get past the first 45 minutes before getting too scared to continue when he tried to play alone. For me the fact that I was able to control where I was looking and the easier to use controls made this game slightly less creepy than Silent Hill 2, but not being able to kill anything did increase my anxiety about encountering an enemy.

For me the story is what kept the game interesting. The regular intervals of information about the orb and what Daniel had done in this castle made me want more so we continued on his dark descent (in more than one way). The plot has a very lovecraftian feel to it which may be the reason I enjoyed it so much.
Had a very hard time trusting this guy...
Now that I've talked about what made the game fun, lets talk about what took away from
it. My biggest criticism is that the game was a couple hours too long. By the time we started to approach the end of the game we just wanted to be done already. At that point the monsters ceased to be scary and more of an annoyance impeding our progress by forcing us to hide for what felt like way too long. It's like the game was saying "Oh they've figured out what they have to do to solve this puzzle, we better make them have to wait a while before they can actually do any of it." Aside from that I would describe Amnesia: The Dark Descent as a pretty fun game thanks to the story and atmosphere of the world it has created.

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