You Should Totally Play: Amnesia – The Dark Descent

Too spooky.

“Hey there, so I like to play games that scare me.”
Oh cool, well you’ve picked the right ga-

“Like, pants-shittingly scary. I don’t want to be able to sleep.”
Y-yeah, sure. Like I was saying, this game would be perfect for y-

“And I also like the odd puzzle or two to complete in the story”
Okay, well you’re in luck, because this has that t-

“While I’m simultaneously shitting my pants”
You have issues.

So yes, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is quite a scary game. The scariest, in fact, that I have come across. You play as Daniel in this Survival Horror game, who wakes up in a castle with no memory of how he got there (bing! title!).

Unlike horror games such as F.E.A.R, where you can defend yourself against monsters; here, you have no means of fighting back. It’s a frightening game of hide-and-seek. And the fear trickles in, it doesn’t reveal everything straight away, so the anticipation of running into a monster really eats away at you.

It’s not just your health that you have to keep track of, but your sanity. If you remain in the dark too long, or look at something that doesn’t make any rational sense, your sanity starts to deplete. This makes your screen blurry, and your controls less responsive, making for a harder experience. Thankfully, you’ve got a lantern and can find oil and tinderboxes along the way to keep you in the light.

The story is actually compelling, the gothic artstyle is perhaps outdated now, but fits the game perfectly. You may quit due to fear and frustration from the few puzzles you come across, but this is definitely worth pushing through to reach the end, where there are some rather confronting torture chambers.

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2 thoughts on “You Should Totally Play: Amnesia – The Dark Descent

  1. Prof.mcstevie says:

    Sometimes the seemingly fickle nature of what counts as in enough light and what isn’t made me get frustrated with the game. Is it scary? Often yes, however you lose the fear when you are wrestling with lighting mechanics.

    • Eric says:

      I completely agree – once you fully understand or have problems with a game’s mechanics, it can destroy the illusion. And with the horror genre, this is the bulk of the experience; the illusion of helplessness!

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