Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Description official descriptions
In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the player takes on the role of Daniel, an amnesiac man trapped in the mansion of a Prussian Baron named Alexander. The only clues to Daniel's true identity are mementos and notes left behind by Daniel himself, who reminds himself to find and kill Alexander. Gameplay has the player searching for Daniel's diaries and other notes and journals of the poor souls who have crossed Baron Alexander. The player must solve the mystery of the mansion while running from a Shadow that is constantly chasing the player throughout the game.
The game takes place from a first person perspective, however there are no weapons. Daniel cannot fight monsters and the only choice is to run or hide. Along with self-preservation, the players must keep the hero sane. In order to stay sane, he must keep moving and pushing the plot forward, as well as making sure there is always light. It is often necessary to scour every corner for oil and tinderboxes. Oil will allow Daniel to use a lamp to provide him with light and tinderboxes can be used to light candles and torches strewn throughout the mansion. If Daniel remains in the dark for too long, he will gradually lose his sanity. As Daniel loses sanity, the world will distort and become hard to navigate and the monsters will be able to sense the player. The player must evade the monsters entirely, but this will affect Daniel's sanity as to hide from the monsters, the player must also hide in the dark. The player must also never look at the monsters because if Daniel stares at them too long, his sanity will be fully compromised.
The player must solve various puzzles and the game is very much a fully interactive adventure game. Interaction with the environment is performed by using a physics based method where the mouse is emulated as a hand, meaning the player will need to rotate it to turn wheels or use it to grab drawers and pull them open by moving the mouse. It is also possible to pick up objects and throw them to distract the shadow or solve certain physical puzzles.
- Амнезия: Призрак прошлого - Russian spelling
Credits (Linux version)
Average score: 85% (based on 58 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 71 ratings with 4 reviews)
The game has some brilliantly scary moments.
It's paced well, giving you enough room to breathe between the scariest moments, instead of being in-your-face scary non-stop.
Physics-based interaction with the environment is great. You can actually grab a door and pull it open open gradually, instead of just pressing a button to open. This not only increases immersion a lot, but enables interactions not otherwise possible.
The mysterious story told by the environment is gripping enough to make you want to push forward through the horrors and find out more.
It's so scary I had to take pauses every hour or so from playing just to calm my nerves.
The Bottom Line
If playing Dead Space has given you nightmares, avoid this game as it will probably destroy you mentally. Otherwise if you would like to traumatize yourself with new levels of scariness, experience a gripping mystery told in an interesting way or play around with the unique physics-based interaction system of the game, get this game now.
Windows · by Naster (29) · 2011
The game is in the style of the H.P. Lovecraft books (cosmic horror) and the game is indeed really scary. Monsters are always looking for you, you are slowly going insane and most importantly, you can't fight back. If a monster spots you, your only option is to run & hide.
The game is very atmospheric which is always a plus. Put on your headphones, turn the volume up and turn the lights off, I guarantee you will have a good time.
The puzzles got on my never half-way through the game. I just suck at them, but I am always willing to try, but most puzzles require you to get items from different rooms and sometimes those require you to solve a puzzle as well. It's a big puzzle cake with multiple layers, I am sorry, but I have better things to do.
The game starts to grow boring after a while. You walk around the castle where everything is either black or brown and there are only three different monsters to run away from.
It is frustrating when you have no clue what to do and your oil and tinderboxes are running out, but a friend who is much better at puzzles complained that he always had too much of both left.
The Bottom Line
People with more patience than me will most likely enjoy this a lot more, but personally I didn't like this game that much. The lack of variation in areas and enemies was annoying, but the puzzles are what killed it for me the most. If those puzzles would be simplified a little than I would maybe reconsider my opinion.
Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2011
Horror is one of my favorite genres, it's probably because I like dark, morbid fiction and the fact that humans tend to feed on tragedy someway or the other. There are also surely many like me who prefer psychological horrors over the brutes, monsters, virus and zombies theme, the latter half which has been played out like crazy in the last couple of years. To me a scary game is like Silent Hill and a not so scary game is Resident Evil. Not saying Resident Evil is bad or anything just personal preference.Zombies or Monsters don't really scare me but atmosphere, disfigured girls or anything that can fuck with the mind can make me change my pants.
In Amnesia: The Dark Decent you play an amnesiac man Daniel who wakes up in a 18th century Prussian castle. With his memory loss he only knows he has to kill a man named Alexander, a baron who has currently descended to a place within the castle called the “Inner Sanctum”. And also an unknown identity known as “The Shadow” is after you. Through flashbacks, notes and diaries of his own and other people scattered through the castle the story gets unveiled with some quality voice acting. I can see some of you yawning already but trust me cutscenes would just kill the immersion here and the rather vague story has it's moments, especially when it comes to the background of the protagonist.
Amnesia is a first person psychological survival horror action adventure game. That's a clusterfuck of genres but basically it's like a scary version of Myst with a good physics engine. It's beautifully rendered in 3D though and you can move freely, jump around and interact with the environment. Yeah the physics are pretty darn good. Not only talking about picking up stuff and throwing it around but the way you have to pull & push: doors, cabinets and drawers to open/close them. The physics often plays a roll in the puzzles which are the focus of adventure games.
The developers surely knew what they wanted here, a horror game filled with gloom and despair. Yes there are monsters in the game. No you do not have any weapons. Monsters can only be avoided and that's one of the reasons why this game is so scary. In order to evade a monster you have to hide in the darkness but hiding in the darkness reduces your sanity, which makes you hallucinate and even collapse for a brief moment but more importantly it eventually will give out your location to a monster who's nearby. Another thing is that you have to avoid looking at the monsters or your sanity will pummel down and you'll hand your ass over with ease. You can also just run into a room and close the door, although the tough guy will barge it open, so here's where the physics come into play again. The player will have to barricade the door with crates or any other object in the room. It would obviously be stupid if you barricaded it with a candle stand or book. Throwing stuff at them will only make them stop for a moment so that you can try and escape but will give them a good reason to grab your head and pull it all the way down to only shove it up your ass. There are some moments you'll find yourself running from an unknown thing and opening a door makes you panic as you need to gesture the mouse like you would open one in real life. Also the invisible water lurker where you throw a corpses limb to distract it while you run the fuck away. These scenes make your heart pound.
So you see the gameplay is something to behold but I must also commend the atmosphere and environment. The ambiance is not just an extra layer of noise and the darkness is not just for the sake of being spooky. It's a 18th century castle after all. But you can light up candles and torches using tinderboxes lying around the castle and you also have a lantern which you need to keep refilling with oil. So you need maintain a balance between walking around with the lantern or lighting up a torch on the wall. Keep in mind that tinderboxes are limited so you can't go around lighting up the place like it was a memorial. The player will need to decide which torch or candle is ideal.
Sound is of course an important part of horror; whether it's a movie or a game. Using ambient sounds over music is more beneficial in this genre and that's what this game does. You can feel yourself going insane when your sanity is low and it's the sound which gives that. It of course shines when you encounter a monster. You know a monster is around when you hear that tortured mourn followed by a drowned out airy drumming sound who's rhythm resembles a war march, then that screechy sound when they are about to attack you. Nothing over dramatic, so simple but so effective.
The only thing useless in this game is the health system. You can survive 3 slashes from a monster and you can heal yourself by picking up some tonic but sanity plays a bigger role here sometimes making health unnecessary.
The Bottom Line
Amnesia is strictly for Action adventure and horror fans, but I recommend it to anyone who wants to try something a little different. It's like a modern incarnation of the point and click adventure games but contains a bit of action sequences. The game is not groundbreaking or anything but it goes by the quality over quantity rule. It's a survival horror adventure and it does just that with proper execution. Like most adventure games it lacks replayability and the only reason to replay it would be the equivalent of re-reading a book or if you want to increase your heart-rate. But for a one time experience and retailing for just 19$ it's well worth it.
Windows · by dreamstealer (126) · 2011
|Is this going to take long?||Indra was here (20633)||Mar 7th, 2011|
- 2010 – #2 Best Adventure of the Year
- 2010 - Best PC Horror Game (Editors' Choice)
- 2010 - Coolest Atmosphere (PC) (Editors' Choice)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Kaddy B..
OnLive added by firefang9212.
Game added September 18th, 2010. Last modified September 19th, 2023.