Amnesia: The Dark Descent

The Rogue Wolf

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I have the same problem with Amnesia as I do with Penumbra- irritating use of interface screws. I'm comfortable enough with situations where I can't fight back (near-perfect Expert ghost run of the Shalebridge Cradle, thank you very much), but when you start penalizing me for perfectly rational attempts to deal with that limitation (in Penumbra, panic attacks if you look too closely at an enemy while hidden; in Amnesia, sanity loss if you stand in the darkness too long) then that makes me feel like you're unfairly stacking the deck against me in an effort to push me into bad situations and FORCE "omg scary monster saw me, must run" moments. It's annoying at best and insulting at worst, and the primary reason why I never finished Overture or bought Amnesia. And that's a shame, because in so many other ways these games are outstanding horror experiences- but I can't stand it when a game tries to shove me into failure just so it can do something showy.
 

JoeCool385

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Hmmm.... I'll have to look out for a Steam sale.

Shamus Young said:
Pretty much anything made since 2004 looks awesome to me.
 

alexdulcianu

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Totally agree, but I'd like to add something: startling the player can be a good thing too. Only one game made me fall of my chair, and that was Thief. This game played with your nerves, and frankly, it wasn't an intentional startle anyway. I was wandering on a dark alley, trying to be stealthy and all when I fell into a hole. Not a big hole mind you, all I had to do to get out was to jump near the edge. But I decided to rotate the camera, and guess what, standing behind me was this big ass spider which also shrieked when I stumbled with the crosshair on it.

Same with Undying and Penumbra. The atmosphere is all that matters, because you WILL startle eventually, since your nerves are stretched.
 

Yossarian1507

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To people who played and/or beat Amnesia:

How about the plot? Is it any good? No spoilers please, just yes or no. I'm mostly playing games for a good story, and if Amnesia is only a scare package without anything else, I'll pass. Otherwise, I think I'll buy it to fill some time time before AC: Brotherhood release.
 

Deacon Cole

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I downloaded the demo off Steam after Yahtzee's review and I was so freaking bored that I uninstalled it after a few minutes. I guess horror games just don't work for me.

Which has me wondering why it didn't work for me. It's too easy to say that I would only be comfortable facing such a situation with a shot gun and rocket launcher. In fact, I find such a suggestion rude and more than a little dim.

No, I think it's because it took away the ordinance and replaced it with... nothing. At least as far as I can tell. It appeared that the means at the player's disposal was to stealth their way around and running away when a shambling grotesquery gave chase.

This does indeed give the player that feeling of panicky helplessness wear you hope you get where you're going undetected because being detected will fuck things up completely since there is no plan B shotgun.

Or at least it would have except this set up brought me out of the experience. Maybe I just don't like stealth games either, which is basically what this game as. take three hours to walk five feet and still get spotted by that guy you didn't see, mother fucker.

But what really threw me out of the experience was that I felt like I couldn't do anything. This may be the disadvantage games like Amnesia has against ones with guns.

Guns are fairly easy to understand. You point them at stuff you don't like and mash the button to make the loud noise until they fall down. My point is that a shooter game is easy to figure out. Even someone who's never played a video game before could figure out an FPS. It's not that hard to figure out what you're supposed to be doing.

I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing in Amnesia. Oh there was all that text I could have read. But frankly, if I need to read a wall of text to play or care about a game, then the game has failed. I get that the character has amnesia and had left a letter to itself, telling it to go somewhere to do something. Beyond that, I couldn't tell you and the basic controls weren't much help.

It's a concept called "efficacy." Merriam-Webster defines it as "the power to produce an effect." As an example, take the game Pac-Man [http://www.thepcmanwebsite.com/media/pacman_flash/]. The goal is fairly simple, clear all of the dots from the screen while avoiding the monsters.

Now, let's say the controls were changed so that you could only move left and right but not up and down. Your feeling of efficacy would be greatly diminished and you'd likely not play the game.

Let's say you have to time Pac-Man's mouth opening and closing just right to eat any of the dots. If not, then he bounces off the dots since they block his way. Your efficacy is even more diminished. The previous one is probably just a broken joystick that makes the game impossible. This one is possible but so unreasonable that one wonders who though anyone would find this fun.

I'm not saying that Amnesia is like that. I am saying that I felt like I did not have any efficacy. I had little idea what I was supposed to do and nor how to do it.

People can have many reactions to a loss of efficacy. A big one is boredom. If you've ever been to a meeting where you work or at school, you've likely felt this. When you feel like you can't have an effect on something, you lose interest. This is what I felt.

What I'm suggesting is if the developers had done, I don't know, something that somehow kept my interest then I might not have gotten bored with their game so quickly.
 

Firia

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I own the game, and it is by far the most terrifying game I have ever played. I've play ALL the good ones that have hit triple A status, and a few of the indies that people rave about. Amnesia trumps them all. Silent Hill 2? Move over. Amnesia is going to take a seat on that same bench.

I've already done all I can with my friends to get them interested in the game. I've got one other person to get it, and he LOVES it (I knew he would- he loves survival horror like I do). If you're not into survival horror, then the king of all survival horror games probably is not up your ally. But if you like the occational thrill brought on by a game that immerses you like no other, then give Amnesia a try. It's not expensive either.
 

Firia

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snowman6251 said:
I bought this game last night based off Yahtzee's review of it and its been scaring me shitless. I had to put the game down for a while before my own sanity meter depletes. Its not going to give me nightmares tonight but while playing it I'm wound up into such a tight ball of paranoia and "OH SHIT" that I've been bothering my roommates while they try to do work with my constant screaming at the game.
the game is said to be really short, but I wouldn't know anything about that. It took me two weeks to beat. :) That's what happens when you can only play 30-45 minutes at a time. :D It was THAT terrifying for me.
 

V8 Ninja

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Shamus, I think you forgot to mention one thing about Amnesia; the game usually reminds you that you're defenseless right after you feel like you've accomplished something. I remember early on that I got trapped in a hallway and had to find a way out. Once I broke part of the wall and solved a short puzzle, I found the key that I needed to progress through the game. I picked it up with a sense of accomplishment, and then a sudden *THUD* noise comes from the room that I was just in, followed by a "HOLY S**T!", which came from myself. I think this is probably the biggest factor of Amnesia; the game says you're powerless and then constantly reminds you of that.
 

ImprovizoR

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I'm always looking for horror games since movies and nothing else works for me and I like to be immersed that much. I got Amnesia as soon as it was released. It is the scariest horror game ever made. This is coming from a guy that played all horror games since Resident Evil 1. I almost shit my pants when I played Amnesia. Even if you're not a fan of horror games you must get this one. It's just perfect.
the antithesis said:
I uninstalled it after a few minutes. I guess horror games just don't work for me.
Try playing it at least for an hour. Demo doesn't really show how good the game is anyway so maybe that's the problem. I didn't even play the demo, I bought the game as soon as I saw the developer. I knew it couldn't be bad.
 

Twad

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I only played it a bit (like, an hour or two at most), what i liked the most was the way we interacted with doors/cupboards/etc by usign the mouse as if it was our hand. For a moment there i was back in Thief2, quietly looting stuff.

What i found a bit irritating was the short lifespan of the lantern (burns oil way too fast imho) and rarity of the.. item that light things up permanently.

Didnt meet any monster. Yet. I was busy getting lost in some sort of library.
 

theSovietConnection

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I'll have to look into this game later, games where you aren't really able to fight the enemies in a traditional sense, such as this and Echo Night: Beyond, to me, provide more scares for your buck. The only real trade-off is that you don't get the scares from having ammunition and running out just as a baddy appears at the end of the hall, or your weapon jamming in the middle of a stormy night in an abandoned factory as monsters swarm outside, ready to rend your flesh from your body.
 

Vanguard_Ex

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StriderShinryu said:
Shamus Young said:
Experienced Points: Amnesia: The Dark Descent

If you're looking for a good scare, try playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent with the lights turned off.

Read Full Article
As a Silent Hill and Fatal Frame fan, this is definitely something I'll have to look into.

Oh, but the column does contain one notable error. Eat Pray Love is actually an extremely frightening movie. In fact, just the thought of watching it gives me nightmares.
Oh if you're a Silent Hill fan then definitely. You will love it. You know how the main point of Silent Hill is that the town itself is the main enemy, not the creatures? Toying with you as if it's a living thing getting pleasure from your fear? That is exactly the feel of Amnesia, and it's more gripping than a sandpaper vice.
 

VondeVon

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I watched a trailer of this game and thought 'Dude! Right on!'

So I downloaded the demo to see if it's worth the hype.

...I'm too afraid to play it. *Fail*
 

Teeth Kicker

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JoeCool385" post="6.243172.8833016 said:
Hmmm.... I'll have to look out for a Steam sale.

You totally missed the Steam Halloween sale. It went from $19.99 to $13.49 for a good 4 days.
 

Broderick

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Now amnesia was an awesome game! I got it about a month or so ago, and yes, it very much does live up to the hype. If you arnt a fan of horror, you might want to give this one a go anyways. I found the game to be more interesting than scary (but I am sort of desensitized to that sort of thing), just trying to figure out what is heck is going on. To its credit, I havent been so scared of a game since Fatal frame though. It isnt a very long game, about average length depending on how long it takes for you to figure out the puzzles and whatnot. In the end though...just give it a try, seriously...unless you are brohan mcrocket crotch, I think anyone could enjoy it.
 

Dana22

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Shamus Young said:
As with the previous games, you don't fight monsters.
Actually, you could fight monsters in the first game, Penumbra: Overture. Heck, it was pretty effictient which quickly dimishied "scare factor" for me. Thats why the second game called Black Plague, the one with "evil voice", was more scary in my oppinion.
 

The Great Zegrool

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I heard about this game as soon as it came out. I'm such a big fan of the developer that it would've been an instant buy if my video card had supported it. I guess I'll just have to wait.
 

Fusionxl

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the antithesis said:
I downloaded the demo off Steam after Yahtzee's review and I was so freaking bored that I uninstalled it after a few minutes. I guess horror games just don't work for me.
You, Sir, made me facepalm so hard it left Picard in shame :)

If you only played the game for a couple of minutes then you missed just about everything Amnesia has to offer. It's not a short lunch break game of Bejeweled, nor is it a shooter for training your superhuman reaction speed. No, to get the full experience wait until it's midnight, turn all light off, wear a T-shirt ( or nothing ) and maybe open a window so it's a little cold. Wear a headset! The entire goal of the game is to draw you in and make you vulnerable, the lack of direction and means of self-defence only enhance the experience. If you play it for an hour how I described and you still come back and say you didn't like it then all right, I respect your opinion. But, I cannot let you say it's horrible before you have actually truly played it.

Or at least it would have except this set up brought me out of the experience. Maybe I just don't like stealth games either, which is basically what this game as. take three hours to walk five feet and still get spotted by that guy you didn't see, mother fucker.
I have no idea what you are talking about, Amnesia has none of that. Every monster makes a "thump thump, roar" noise when they're near you and when that happens you need to yell "shitshitshit" and hide in a closet or behind a heap of barrels until they pass. In fact, quite a lot of the monstrosities are completely blind and won't see you as long as you stay still somewhere out of the way and don't make a lot of noise. Amnesia isn't about crawling in the shadows while the thick soldiers loudly discuss how evil they are in the middle of the room. It isn't about perfectly timed movement between patrols. And, above all, it's not really a difficult game.

I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing in Amnesia. Oh there was all that text I could have read. But frankly, if I need to read a wall of text to play or care about a game, then the game has failed. I get that the character has amnesia and had left a letter to itself, telling it to go somewhere to do something. Beyond that, I couldn't tell you and the basic controls weren't much help.
The long notes on the tables are purely backstory, you don't need to read a single one of them to advance in the game. Daniel writes everything that you need to do into his notebook ( I think M is the default key ). True, there are no blinking dots on your minimap to show you where you need to go or a glowing arrow pointing to the fastest route there, but as I said before, the feeling of being lost only amplifies fear of the unknown. Although, everything is pretty logical and mostly a matter of reading signs above doors. If you pass by a flight of stairs leading to a wine cellar and a note tells you that you need some chemicals from the wine cellar 15 minutes later then is it really that hard to figure out where to go? Even if you truly have no idea where the place is then explore, the game only gives you access to a small portion of the mansion at the same time.

In short, please give the game another chance and play it properly. You might get a pleasant surprise once you stop wanting it to be something that it's not.