Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Review - Squeals and Fury

Metalrocks

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well, dint feel scared with the first game and wasnt really impressed either. well made but dint do anything for me. so good to see i can give this one a miss.
busy anyway with other games at the moment.
 

Screamarie

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Mar 16, 2008
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Just watched a playthrough of this online and I gotta agree with the review. I'm not saying it's a bad game just that I really don't think ChineseRoom really understood what made TDD really great. Or maybe they just didn't care and wanted to do things their way to get their story out and fuck the scary or tension.

Not to mention the ending it's....well... <spoiler=Spoilers for the Ending> IT'S A BUTTON PUSH! No seriously! That IS the ending, a push of a button that pretty much does nothing and shows nothing! And then lots of talking that really didn't make anything clear....

It was an interesting game and maybe if it wasn't under the Amnesia title I wouldn't be so disappointed but...it was and I couldn't help but expect a little more because of it. The story was kind of jumbled and didn't seem to quite gel together, and the protagonist...Mandus just never seemed to actually CARE. Nothing seemed to bother him. He didn't really seem upset by anything. His actions of not seeming scared or bothered by any of the goings on, didn't really seem to match up with his supposed desperation to find his children. Just the character himself didn't add up whenever you combined all the elements together.
 

Hazy

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Nurb said:
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.
Yeah, there's a Greasemonkey app that allows you to block popular Youtubers from appearing in searches and related videos.

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/156278
 

Aphantas

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Haven't played the game yet, but those changes do worry me.

I think that punishing the player for looking at the monsters and disturbing imagery was a stroke of genius in Amnesia.
It kept the monsters as just a noise and a silhouette, allowing players to fill the gaps with their own phobias. Putting monsters in the limelight is only frightening for people with whatever fear the monster represents, for everyone else it will either look 'cool' or just plain silly because they will get to analyse the monster in great detail.
Amnesia's monsters are proof of that. Frightening in the shadows, ridiculous looking in the light (imho at least).
Removing that roadblock between the players and monsters seems like a very bad move by The Chinese Room.

But who knows, maybe I will find Machine For Pigs scary despite this. The trailer freaked me out after all, but then again, you never see the pig creatures in that either.
 

Story

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Nurb said:
They have no clue what made Descent a great game.
Yeah it does seem that way. It kinda baffles me that they would take away the few things that made the first game so original and scarey (the oil, tender boxes, and sanity mechanic) in order to better tell the story.

To be perfectly honest, the story of the Dark Decent was the least interesting thing about the game to me and I'm sure I'm not alone on this.
 

Werewolfkid

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I just finished the game and I can tell you that it wasn't all that scary, but it did make up for that by being one of the most disturbing and tragic stories ever told by a video game. I am a gamer that can forgive somewhat lacking gameplay if the story is good at least. And I know that this game will get a lot of hate solely because it was made by the Chinese Room and they made Dear Esther, a game that is apparently ripping the very fabric of the gaming community apart by trying to experiment with atmosphere in an interactive environment. I liked this game. Loved the story, loved the atmosphere, but I feel that the gameplay could have been at least a little more invovled. An 8 out of 10 for me.
 

Quiet Stranger

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I might still get this down the road, as for everyone mentioning Outlast.
I watched the trailers for Outlast before it came out, it scared the crap out of me and really interested me and when I got the game on release date, so when I first played it, it scared me but then as I was going through it, I realized it's not that scary, you know when something is going to chase you, the "monsters" can't really hurt you at all and parts that should have been scary just weren't, like when something runs past you down a hall but that's the only way you have to go.

The only time I had a really bad jump was when I was out in the court yard and Fat Man was RIGHT behind me as I turned around.
 

Voren

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Jun 26, 2010
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Am sorry but as someone who pre-ordered this dud, it really really is not surprising. I didn't know that the people involved in Dear Esther were involved otherwise I would have saved my money because Dear Esther was a "Hold W" simulator while a pretentious bastard narrates a really dull story without interactions.
 

Voren

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Werewolfkid said:
Chinese Room and they made Dear Esther, a game that is apparently ripping the very fabric of the gaming community apart by trying to experiment with atmosphere in an interactive environment. .
That is not true. There was NO interaction of ANY kind whatsoever, if you didn't play it just watch it in youtube its 20 mins long at best. NOTHING can be done in that "game", you just walk and hear a narrator being vague and pretentious. I'm still bitter that I was told to buy it because it was a horror game.
 

Chimichanga

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You know... Back to almost a full year ago when it was announced that Thechineseroom, the guys who made Dear Esther, were making the next Amnesia title I thought "Hm. This will either be 'decent' or they will promptly fuck it up".

While I held out hope that they would at least not fuck it up, I knew that if they did fuck up it would be like this: A game produced where the game-play and mechanics are neglected and completely uninteresting as sacrifice for a "m'kay" story.

I'm not even hopping on a bandwagon here - I've always thought Thechineseroom were pretentious chumps. Dear Esther did not impress me, it was a dry, boring walking simulator where TCR gambled everything on the player seeing the purty scenery, the grey skies, and depressing monologue and reacting with "Oh, this game is SO DEEP! The atmosphere built totally distracts me from the fact that all I'm doing is walking while some emo tool goes on about loss or some shit for 20 minutes!".

Oh, look at that - it turns out TCR doesn't get horror and apparently just made a walking simulator with some jump-scares and creepy post-it notes. Of course, I have to admit that this sounds like an improvement over their last "game" (I don't care, it was NOT a game. It was literally just a long fucking cutscene!), as I remember wishing while "playing" that self-hating geriatric-simulator that they added the much-desired element of manbearpig butchering the shit out of you to free you from the monotony of the protagonist shuffling his feet for 20 minutes lamenting his existence.

But by the end of this, I wonder if TCR is truly to blame, or Frictional for being suckered in by TCR's "Oh-look-at-me-I'm-so-intellectual-and-deep" pretentious bullshit claim on narrative to give them the go-ahead in the first place.

[On another note, you don't really need a sanity mechanic, as I was a big fan of Frictional's earlier works, the Penumbra series which didn't have one and was still scary and tense. However, it was a really ingenious way to keep players from seeing too much of the monsters as well as just adding some neat things like fake monsters, roaches, and warped paintings - real mindscrews that added to the unpredictable nature of the first playthroughs.]

I hope that we've all learned a lesson in that just because the devs from TCR claim to be the smartest, most mature and artistically-talented in the works of literary atmosphere - it does NOT translate to a game that delivers narrative as successfully. Hopefully, it means they'll be doing less games in the future too, but I'll settle for tarnished rep.
 

Andy Chalk

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I liked Dear Esther a lot, but in the sequel to one of the best horror games ever made, I expect horror, you know? Not a disjointed narrative about a guy who did stuff for reasons. I might be more forgiving if the narrative was more coherent, but even that's a wash - A Machine For Pigs makes Dear Esther look downright pedantic. It's not a bad game, really - hence the score - it's just not scary and fails to serve up a satisfying (or even rational) conclusion.
 

BloodRed Pixel

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That was my last preorder EVER and I put Chinese Room on my blacklist.
Esther was fine for what it was but preseting THIS as follow up to Amnesia, is a blow in the face for Frictional.
Dissapointing.
 

Hazy

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Voren said:
Am sorry but as someone who pre-ordered this dud, it really really is not surprising. I didn't know that the people involved in Dear Esther were involved otherwise I would have saved my money because Dear Esther was a "Hold W" simulator while a pretentious bastard narrates a really dull story without interactions.
Thank Christ, I'm not alone here. The second I saw the Fibonacci spiral on the beach, I knew exactly what they were getting at with Dear Esther: throwing in superficially deep imagery in the hopes that someone too ignorant to know what it means will confuse it as being captivating and compelling. This, along with tons of other imagery, has no bearing whatsoever - thrown in just because it looks cool and intelligent, and is never reinforced later on down the line.

I'm not even going to start with the script. That's as hollow as the "gameplay." But, I guess as long as the 2deep4u crowd keeps buying them, they'll keep making them.
 

ToastiestZombie

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Mar 21, 2011
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I should have known that TheChineseRoom would stick with what they know and make a walking-simulator with this but I was just too hyped for it back when it was first released. Also, what happened to the imagery of the concept art:


I've watched about 30 minutes of the game and from what I've seen none of it actually looks as creepy and strange as that art. They made it way too dark, and didn't cash in on the awesome concept at all. Old Victorian machinery were a lot of the times deathtraps, yet there's barely anything in the game that shows they wanted to do that concept.

Fuck, this is so dissapointing. I was expecting something great, something that would surpass the original with an awesome setting, creepy-ass original monster designs and harder and more intense gameplay. Except now we've got Dear Esther with monsters put in a few times.
 

Infernal Lawyer

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Nurb said:
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.
Haha, my little brother gobbled those up like popcorn when he was playing, so naturally he ran out during the
extremely dark room where the monsters (that you got glimpses of or were placed beforehand so that you're 100 % safe unless you charged at them) actually start becoming a threat.

Made my day that did. He had to play the entire thing in pitch black, lamenting over how he should have thought of the future while grunts chewed his virtual backside off.

OT: Well. This is a shame, but then again I've got several mods from the original that I've yet to play, so I suppose I've got my 'sequel' anyway.
 

TomWiley

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Jul 20, 2012
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From what I play of the game thus far, I really couldn't agree less with the review. I would really recommend most readers here to actually play the game and make up your mind about it, rather than letting this review discourage you.
 

Aposthebest

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I simply can't agree with the review. Even though it's a solid one and well written, it simply suffers from X-Com syndrome.

Simply put, people expected more of the same, they were handed something differently and then they go on to crucify the game simply because it doesn't fit to what they expected.

And mind you, this comes from someone who simply hated X-Com:EU ,but I wouldn't discourage anyone to avoid it simply because "it's not as good as what I expected". I would just propose it to a different audience.
 

sir neillios

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TomWiley said:
From what I play of the game thus far, I really couldn't agree less with the review. I would really recommend most readers here to actually play the game and make up your mind about it, rather than letting this review discourage you.
I'll second this, this review seems to have an axe to grind for some reason. I've been playing the past two hours - taking regular breaks to look at pictures of kittens - and it is freaking terrifying.

The lack of resource management now... I don't think it is a bad thing, I'll be honest that finding oil and tinder boxes made me feel safer in DD, whereas now with my unlimited lantern (which I actually need to see with - AMFP is much darker than DD) I am scared to light up the darkness for what I may find.
 

martyrdrebel27

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Why are people complaining about he sanity mechanic from the first one? I LOVED that shit. Hiding in the corner in the dark (but not too long!)turning around to see the monster, your heart jumps, you turn back around into the corner... He's right behind me, I know he is! But I can't stay hidden in the dark.... Gotta go.. AAHHHH!

haha. This happened to me many times.