Let's talk about Amnesia: The Dark Descent!

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!

Bought it while on sale, haven’t gotten around to playing it yet. You know how those holiday Steam sales are. I’m glad to hear it so enthusiastically recommended.

I haven’t playet this yet, but I was kinda thinking about it, and I think that you have just convinced me to give it a try.

I read about it here as well, downloaded the demo, played about ten minutes of it, then immediately bought it. It’s really fookin’ scary - like I don’t think I’ll play it at night scary. The visuals are pretty freaky, you feel like you’re in a dream or a horror movie. Well worth the $20!

Glad to hear it! You’re missing out if you don’t play it at night, though. In fact, I like to play Amnesia in my kitchen, which is consistently a bit colder than the rest of my apartment. Rather chilly, actually. But playing alone in the cold and dark makes the whole thing rather more immersive. Alas, I can’t bring in actual hideously mutated monsters to stalk me whilst I cower in a corner - I’m living on a civil servant’s salary, after all.

I’ve had the game for a few weeks, playing bits here and there.

Last night was my first properly scary bit of playing…

The first time you have to ‘stay out of the water’ and get through this sequence of corridors by jumping from floating box to floating box… That had my heart racing.

I’m at the same point in the game as Lobsang, and I’m a bit disappointed. Maybe I’m just too old, but I’m finding:

the whole sequence in the water has become a pain in the ass. It’s cool to re-do something once or twice before you get it, but I’ve tried it like 6 times and keep getting eaten. Maybe I’m just not coordinated or something, but hell if I can pull the stupid lever to open the grate, then speedily get over there and through it before it closes again and Mr. Invisible-Meany-In-The-Water eats me. I don’t like time trials. Especially scary time trials where I want to stand on a box for a few seconds and gather my breath before making the leap to the next box. ARrrgggh!

Doh! I figured it out.

That part got a LOT easier when I figured out that I could run. :smack:


You can use body parts to distract the monster

I’ve thrown books and other things in the water to distract it - do the body parts do something different?

[spoiler] This is getting funny with the spoilerized conversation :slight_smile:

The game gave me a hint that body parts might distract the monster. In other words I’d imagine they’d be more effective than books and other things.


For the majority of the game I’ve been conserving the tinder boxes, only lighting up what I consider to be the most necesary candles/wall lanterns. But recently I’ve been more generous with my usage of the tinder boxes (prefering instead to preserve lantern fuel or just not be in dark places!)…

I seem to find more of the things immediately after using more of them. If I use few, I find few. If I use many I find more than usual.

So my question is: Should I be being this careful? or will the game provide enough tinder boxes no matter how liberally I use them?