I know that at least a few other Dopers have played this game - I learned about it on this Board. If you haven’t, and you have a remotely modern video card - stop reading this thread, and go buy the game on Steam. Download the demo first, if you must (if nothing else, there’s no better way to make sure the thing will run well on your system). But really, there’s no reason not to buy this game - it’s one of the most frightening bits of entertainment I’ve ever enjoyed. I’m not just talking about video games, but also movies, books, and so on. It’s that good.
The pretense is very old-school survival horror - you’re trapped in a creepy building with no memory of how you got there and who you are. Without elaborating upon the plot, I’ll just say that it gets better swiftly. And along the way, you’ll be deeply frightened - in part, because you have absolutely no capacity to defend yourself. When monsters chase you, you need to run and hide - which is precisely what you would need to do in the real world, after all. (I don’t care what we say we’d do - if 200 pounds of mutant comes shambling at you, you’re going to run or die.)
Of course, this is a point that every review of the game makes - reviewers typically rave about this feature. But one thing that I found particularly fascinating was how the game doesn’t just startle you - it even manages to be morally frightening. This example is a real spoiler, so don’t click the box if you haven’t read it:[SPOILER]The game goes to a lot of effort to make you identify with your player character - I often found myself breathing more heavily and crying out in panic at the same moments as the character, for example. It goes a long way towards building empathy, and pretty soon you find yourself genuinely rooting for your character.
Then you have an interactive flashback in which you’re requires to torture a man to death. And at that point in the game, I was so thoroughly sucked in that I both shared my character’s revulsion at the deed, and the reluctant certainty that I simply had to do it. Like I said - moral horror, not just boo-horror.[/SPOILER]
So - if you haven’t played Amnesia, go play it. And if you have - talk about it here!