At long last, Xbox One owners finally get their hands on the terrifying Amnesia games. This collection includes Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent, its short, puzzle-oriented DLC, Justine, and the loosely-connected follow up Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, developed by The Chinese Room. All three are narrative-driven, survival-horror games with some light puzzling involved and, though they may look dated, they drip with atmosphere and are packed full of moments that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat (and peeing more frequently than usual, or maybe that's just me).
There is no means to fight back against the creatures that lie in your path, so stealth is an essential part of experience, with progression typically gated by a myriad of physics or item-based puzzles. All three games have an intriguing narrative – told through flashback sequences, scattered documents, and brief loading screen snippets – so you’ll want to pay attention if you’re looking to find the connection between each game.
With several puzzles that require you to explore adjacent areas for important items, deciding which paths to illuminate is essential to maintaining your sanity.
The Dark Descent takes place in in 1839, placing you in the shoes of Daniel – an adventurer and archaeologist – who wakes up in a crumbling Prussian castle, with only a vague memory of his name and his address. He soon stumbles upon a note written by himself, informing him of a mysterious force pursuing him, the location of his former host, Baron Alexander, and instructions to descend into the bowels of the castle. Unfortunately for Daniel, his path is blocked by various monstrous creations and organic corruption overtaking the castle. In the Justine DLC, you wake to the menacing voice of the titular character, encouraging you to progress through a series of challenges, saving innocent victims - if you can - or sacrificing them for an easy escape. All the while, you need to avoid her former suitors whom she has tortured and driven to insanity.
All three games have an intriguing narrative – told through flashback sequences, scattered documents, and brief loading screen snippets – so you’ll want to pay attention if you’re looking to find the connection between each game.
Unfortunately, the best way to avoid your foes is to hide in the dark and far too often I found myself huddling in a dark corner, staring at a wall, while something stumbles past just behind me.
Talking of gameplay, A Machine For Pigs was a divisive release.
Enjoys games with awesome stories and characters, along with new and interesting hardware. Dislikes day-one patches and driver updates.
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PC, PS4, Xbox One
28 September 2018
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