If you are particularly squeamish, faint-hearted, or simply enjoy sleeping , than The Dark Descent is probably not for you. I, for one, happen to be one of those people, so you can imagine I’d generally never go out of my way to play this game. And I didn’t. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was introduced to me by a close friend who had just bought it off Steam. She insisted that we play it together and it would be oh so fun! At that point I had gone either temporarily insane or had just abandoned my common sense so of course, I agreed to play.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is a point and click horror game, in which you have to survive without using weapons or having way of defending yourself. This game requires you to use your head; A concept made difficult when diluted with fear. Generally you will be searching for items such as letters and small tools and solving somewhat difficult puzzles whilst avoiding certain death by what I consider to be the most terrifying monsters EVER to appear in a video game. The game play mechanics themselves are easy enough, but the game’s eerie environment makes it a whole lot harder for someone as jittery as myself. The “scary” aspect of this game is a whole lot more effective to those not-so-easily-frightened if you follow the experience advice given to you before you begin the game. I highly recommend doing as they say to better immerse yourself into the game. I.E. Don’t play with the lights on!
With the simple game play, in order for a game like this to be good, it needs an engaging plot. The Dark Descent does not dissapoint. You play as Daniel, who wakes up to find himself in a Prussian castle named Brennenburg. In accordance with the game’s name, he has amnesia, and cannot recall anything that had happened to him or why he’s there. He shortly finds one of several notes written to himself and learns that he had, in fact, erased his own memory and must get to the Inner Sanctum to defeat a man named Alexander. In order to accomplish this he must explore around every inch of the castle, scouring for notes he had written to himself and obscure clues about Alexander’s curious studies. Like I previously mentioned, this is all done defenselessly. That means facing a monster could mean certain doom, so hiding well is an important skill one must quickly acquire.
Now, it is imperative to understand that this game is designed to play on one’s true fears and executes these psychological elements with sincere perfection and above all, subtly. While playing this game, don’t just expect monsters to be popping out around every corner and angry demons to be chasing you down every hallway. Subtly is the key. You begin the game just knowing something terrible is going to happen, and this feeling is reinforced by the quiet bangs and clangs and sometimes moans echoing in the background. The rooms are almost always empty( monster free that is),often with a dead body or two to set the tone. Eventually, you know something just HAS to jump out at you. This thought becomes dominant. So then you are checking and re-checking every corner and backing out of every room as fast as you enter them. By the time you actually see a monster, it’s heart stopping. It is utterly terrifying. and only because you’ve been expecting it for so damn long. For the most part this turns into a morbid cycle , but the game designers were clever enough to make sure to throw some curve balls in there, just to make sure you haven’t become too accustomed to any patterns. And when they do decide to change it up, an extra pair of undies come in handy.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent does a fantastic job of being terrifying. I already mentioned that I’m a bit of a scardy-cat, but i still could not stop playing! This game introduces a kind of thrill coupled with fear that had me completely addicted. I highly recommend playing amnesia, and can’t wait to play the next Amnesia game , A Machine for Pigs!