Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Review - Squeals and Fury

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Review - Squeals and Fury

This little piggy doesn't really go anywhere.

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Mr Cwtchy

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Jan 13, 2009
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Definitely a different conclusion than most other reviews of the game I've read. Even those that found the gameplay changes troubling at least praised the story.

Ah well. I'll have to wait until tomorrow night and see for myself. Hope my family doesn't stay up late. >_>
 

Stabby Joe

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Jul 30, 2008
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I've been worrying about this actually. While I have no problem with the Chinese Room, I wasn't entirely sold when they were announced as the developers. I'll play it, by all means, but as it says in the review, more likely in a sale at the moment. I'm currently more interested in Outlast for my horror fix.
 

Rip Van Rabbit

~ UNLIMITED RULEBOOK ~
Apr 17, 2012
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After reading this, I'm glad I went ahead and got my hands on Outlast first. Slightly flawed here and there, but it more than makes up for it with its unnerving atmosphere and unforgettable moments of panic. A little heavy on the jump scares, but they were pretty effective in their execution.

As for the new Amnesia...the gameplay and character reaction changes seem like a big let down. Oh well, I'll wait for a sale.
 

Woocash

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Sep 6, 2013
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Oh disappointing! Especially since I just prepurchased it.... I hope I didn't waste my money entirely.
 

Hazy

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Jun 29, 2008
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Great idea, Frictional. Let's give this to the development team whose claim to fame is a 25 minute walking simulator.

This could have been avoided if Frictional had just developed this themselves. I'm certain of it.

The first step to getting survival horror back on track is to stop pandering to the lowest common denominator, but given how popular these shovelware games are, it's unlikely that will ever happen.
 

shrekfan246

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May 26, 2011
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Mcoffey said:
I'm kinda glad the sanity mechanic is gone. I never ran out of sanity, so the little noises and screen blur it would make when I was in the dark were more annoying than anything else. I guess I'll find out tomorrow if it's as good as it seems.
I don't want to be "that guy", but personally, the little touches of the character reacting to frightening things within the game world really helped build up the whole bleak, tense atmosphere. I never really ran out of sanity either, but it was still a nice bit of extra character and world-building that you generally don't tend to find in games. Removing it almost seems like you're removing a third of what made Amnesia so gripping in the first place.

OT: I've been skeptical of it since I heard that the Dear Esther guys were the ones developing it... certainly would've preferred Frictional to do it themselves. I might still check it out, but the changes certainly don't sound for the better to me and what I liked about Amnesia.

Though, like Mcoffey, I can live with it being "less scary". It's not terribly difficult to frighten me.
 

LAGG

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Jun 23, 2011
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So it's just like The Dark Descend, all smoke and mirrors... I called it by the time it was announced, no surprises.

Now Outlast was one that did't seem interesting in the very least from the trailers, but turned out quite nice. Didn't play it yet but I'll be sure getting it this month.
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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Well, this is a disappointment. ;___;

Another critic (Eurogamer Germany) compared it to a haunted house ride that just blew a fuse, with the carnies trying to scare you from behind walls, tossing twisted letters over the walls, and making scary noises, but you just want someone to turn the ride on again.

I did have twinges of doubt after I heard thechineseroom was doing it, but I thought their performance with Dear Esther was just constricted by the source material (a Source mod), but it looks like it wasn't.

I think some LPers are going to be saddish.
 

CriticalMiss

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Jan 18, 2013
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Well, I'll probably wait until the game is on sale before getting it if it's really not that great. I was sort of on the fence on this title anyway so hearing it isn't as good as it's predecessor tips me in favour of waiting.
 

Hazy

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LuisGuimaraes said:
So it's just like The Dark Descend, all smoke and mirrors... I called it by the time it was announced, no surprises.

Now Outlast was one that did't seem interesting in the very least from the trailers, but turned out quite nice. Didn't play it yet but I'll be sure getting it this month.
It's mediocre. Worth your time, but I wouldn't pay more than 5 bucks for it.
 

rolandoftheeld

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Jun 17, 2010
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To everyone complaining that the lack of sanity makes it not scary, I'll remind you that Penumbra had no sanity penalty for sitting in the dark, and it was still tense as hell.

Penumbra and TDD (and AMFP will be too, I'm sure) are all Lovecraft-inspired stories, and Lovecraft is all about confusion, revulsion, and fear of the unknown. It's not about being chased by a creepy monster or a psycho with a chainsaw, it's about the notion that there are forces at work that you can't even hope to name, much less understand. It's about being in an environment that is oppressive and terrifying and revolting, without even needing another living being in it.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else still value tension and atmosphere over rubber-masked men going "Boo?"
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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rolandoftheeld said:
Am I alone in this? Does anyone else still value tension and atmosphere over rubber-masked men going "Boo?"
Tension can only be maintained for so long without some kind of payoff. That's one of the reasons the sanity mechanic in TDD was so effective despite being such an obvious and sometimes awkward contrivance: The simple act of witnessing the horror around you carried a price. If that's not present, and the monsters you encounter are largely unfrightening and ineffective, and the game world is mostly empty and makes very little sense, what's left to drive that tension? Sooner or later, walking through foreboding corridors and reading about strange, grotesque things afoot starts to lose its zip if there's not something more to back it up.
 

BarrelsOfDouche

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Apr 5, 2008
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You know, thechineseroom's involvement in this game really made me worry, and I really hope that this review is one of a kind.

Whereas Frictional's first Amnesia was a GREAT example of a scary "story driven game"...I can't help but feel thechineseroom just tried and failed to create a scary "game driven story".

I hope this fear is unfounded and I hope the Amnesia series continues strongly.
 

The Wykydtron

"Emotions are very important!"
Sep 23, 2010
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Really? Aww... Hopefully it's not that bad or i'm gonna look stupid for pre-ordering it. The moment I saw the title I assumed there would be screaming manpigs coming at you with rusty cheese graters and you say they ain't that scary? How could they fuck that up? It's an Amnesia game, forgive me for thinking it would be super scary and good >.>

Who knows maybe this is a one of a kind quirky "DA2 5/5" Escapist reviews and i'm pleasantly surprised.

Though I did see bits of Dear Esther and I did get a bit iffy over the fact that those guys are developing the new Amnesia. I guess TDD was a linear-ish scary castle so it's not too much of a stretch for thechineseroom to handle a sequel least somewhat well? My optimism knows no bounds.
 

Nurb

Cynical bastard
Dec 9, 2008
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When the devs said they got rid of tinder boxes and oil because "people didn't use them". I knew it was going to be a disappointment. They don't even know players were rationing them out of fear.

They have no clue what made Descent a great game.

Also: Is there a way to block/filter users and their videos? I can't stand PewDiePie and he keeps cropping up way too much on some video searches.
 

rolandoftheeld

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Jun 17, 2010
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Andy Chalk said:
Sooner or later, walking through foreboding corridors and reading about strange, grotesque things afoot starts to lose its zip if there's not something more to back it up.
I think that's a matter of preference. I'd rather a game make me uneasy for 5 hours than terrified for 5 minutes. Again (at the risk of gushing) I'll hearken to Lovecraft - many of his stories have no real scare moment, no time of mortal peril. "The Picture in the House" and "The Outsider" come to mind, being almost exclusively descriptions of a single environment and one character's thoughts.

The climax of "The Dunwich Horror" is told from the perspective of onlookers a great distance away, who can barely see what's happening. The climax of "The Call of Cthulhu," almost certainly his most famous work, is told as a recounting to the protagonist; nothing ever directly happens to him, yet we can still empathize with him and feel his horror even at the tenebrous connection he has.

I can appreciate a good payoff after successful buildup, but I also don't think it's absolutely necessary in order to tell an engaging horror tale.

Of course, this is all from the perspective of someone who hasn't played the game yet. (Only an hour to go...) For all I know, I'll end up agreeing with you wholeheartedly after I do - but for now, I hold to my optimism.
 

Grimh

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Feb 11, 2009
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Didn't actually finish the first one, I didn't find it scary. Which is weird because I'm usually a total wuss, but hey.
I didn't hate it, in fact I thought it was very well made. I just didn't see a reason to keep playing since it's main selling point wasn't doing anything for me for whatever reason.

Too bad about this game though if this turns out to be the general opinion.
This is why I don't preorder any more unless there are plenty of reviews out, and even then I'm hesitant.