WARNING! VIDEO NOT SAFE FOR HEART!
Most of the FPS games out there involves you holding a weapon of sorts and running through the game killing thing either in defense, or offense. It gives you a sense of power and control over the fate of your life, and over your enemies. Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a new game by Frictional Games, does the exact opposite. It’s a horror / adventure game based on the fact that you have no weapons and the only things you have about you are your wits to keep you alive, and lighted candles to keep your sanity in check.
You wake up as Daniel, a guy suffering from amnesia (how convenient) and find yourself in some dank and dirty dungeon. You walk around aimlessly for a bit, picking up and throwing stuff randomly until you realise the only things you can keep are tinder to light candles. which apparently is the most important thing in the world, to keep the rooms lit or you’d go mad and then your vision goes blurry. which is bad coz running around with blurry vision actually makes your real life self a bit nauseous, as I soon found out. You also find a gas lamp which although lights the room, but makes it even more blurry so I didn’t understand the logic there.
I picked up several chairs and threw them about. picked up a broom but couldn’t sweep with it even if i wanted to. a lot of big boxes and crates to lift and move about, probably to block doors if some scary thing came after me. The game is really quite scary as they encourage you to sit in darkness while you play the game with your headphones on. there is eerie music playing with random knocks in the distance, leaving you to wonder what else is in the dungeons with you. Could it be something that was sneaking across the other room in the dark? Looks like an abominable snowman or just a very hairy guy. No matter how I told myself it’s just a game and even if I were to die, I could just continue the game from the last save but it still didn’t stop me from jumping in my seat when one of the doors down the corridor banged open for no reason.
It being an adventure game, I was supposed to solve puzzles along the way and keep moving, as the game is intended to drive you nuts if you decide to stay in one place for too long. It encourages you to use survival tactics involving peeping around corners, crouching behind casks and hiding behind blocked doors. I went from the starting point down into the Refineries (where I had my first encounter with the Thing in the castle), and was about to venture deeper until I decided my heart couldn’t take it. I’m now feeling a bit sick, although I’m not sure if it’s from running around scared in the game, or from the chocolate cake I ate.
The demo can be downloaded off Steam. I can’t decide whether to give the game a shot or not. I much rather be killing things than hide from things but I must say this game gives a new twist to things. Perhaps I’ll try again if someone were to accompany me and hold my hand.
Entertainment factor: 7/10