Amnesia: The Dark Descent Demo

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A survival-horror game in which you have to explore an ancient castle and survive the monsters that lurk inside

editor's review





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Frictional Games is a studio that's well-known for their survival-horror titles, including the very successful Penumbra trilogy. Thanks to their revolutionary physics engine and the unique approach to the genre, the games are usually good examples of how horror titles should feel like, sporting an intense atmosphere and challenging puzzles.

Explore a medieval castle riddled with horrors

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the name of their latest release and it basically uses the same mechanics as the Penumbra series, but with an entirely different plot and a new location to explore. In addition, the graphics have been substantially improved in the meantime and a lot more gimmicks have been added to increase interactivity and make the environment more important throughout the game.

As far as the story is concerned, you wake up in the beginning somewhere in a strange medieval castle, with no other memory than your own name and place of birth. Over the course of the plot, things get slightly more complicated and you find out that returning to this place was your idea, since the trail you are following seems to be left by you. Naturally, something unpleasant resides in the castle as well and it is haunting you throughout the journey, making you uncomfortable with every step.

Try to maintain your sanity intact

Unlike Penumbra, Amnesia tries to make things a bit more difficult for you even when there are no monsters around, since you also have to keep an eye on your sanity. By witnessing traumatizing events, looking at the creatures for too long or staying in the dark too much can eat away at your sanity meter, which can be refilled by staying near a light source. However, that is easier said than done, given the fact that you always have to move silently and pay attention to every sound, as well as avoid being seen by whatever is haunting you.

The atmosphere is quite intense most of the time, because it is created by mixing a wide variety of different elements together, such as disturbing sounds, exquisite level design and very interesting storytelling techniques. In addition, the amazing physics engine makes for a very intuitive gameplay, since everything can be grabbed and pulled using natural motions, rather than automated triggers.

A masterpiece of the horror genre

All in all, Amnesia: The Dark Descent really comes through on its promises and it delivers a unique atmosphere, which is completed by the great story and the revolutionary gameplay mechanics. In addition, the sound is worthy of an award by itself, because it definitely keeps you on your toes at all times.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent Demo was reviewed by Alexandru Dulcianu
Last updated on November 29th, 2014
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