Now bear with me my fellow readers, it took me quite a long time to type out this blog, since my hands couldn’t stop shaking and i kept retreating to the near dark corner to cry uncontrollably while I imagine a wobbly mutant thing tearing off my testicles. In other words, this game scared me. I’m scared. Amnesia: The Dark Decent is honestly the most unnerving gaming experience I have ever had. despite that the game was actually quite good, I couldn’t get to the end because i was that terrified i forced myself to stop playing before I shook myself to death! See I’m one of those people who absolutely love horror games and movies but when it comes to actually playing one I chicken out, and try to combat my brain to force it to finish! Like a bulimic forcing themselves to win a pie eating contest!
You play as Daniel, a man with a mission to hunt down and stop an evil sadistic madman from the past…I think. You, unfortunately have been stricken by amnesia, (hence the title) and have to walk around a massive dark gloomy castle with only a candle and some mentos to help you! What I like about the gameplay is the fact that there’s no HUD, health bar, stupid combat hands that cover half the screen, it’s just the wilderness of the castle and that’s it!
What makes this game so scary is its pacing. It takes you at least 40 Minutes of game play before you even BLINK at a monster, and even then he stands 30 meters away covered in dust and smoke! Nevertheless I still found myself ducking and hiding for cover. And you can only look at an enemy for so long before you ‘sanity’ begins to drop. Sanity is what keeps you sane believe it or not, and it is depleted from witnessing unsettling events, looking at a scary mutant or funny enough, staying the in dark too long. But the dark is the only way you can hide from monsters, it’s up to you whether you choose to hide in the dark and go insane, or be killed and served and the monster ball buffet. The screen has this blurred, warped effect each time something happens which is absolutely gold in drawing the player into a particular scenario. You also have nothing to defend yourself. No guns, knives, fire or anything else can be used against your enemy so your only option is to either hide, or slam a door in the mutants face and hope it wont break through it.
The game does take a while to get started though, having you walk around aimlessly down corridors, or dungeons, but my take on that is that its there to build up tension and draw the player in before scaring the living shit out of you. this is the kind of game where ANY LITTLE MOVEMENT at all will frighten you. ANYTHING! I wont say too much about the game since its far more effective if you are ignorant about it, for example i brought this game thinking it was the PC equivalent of Limbo, a game i only NOW understand to be an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive. So when i sat down and started playing it, only to find it worked better as a laxative the fear was so much more…..well frightning! It even prompts you that its better to play the game in darkness with the sound turned up.
If you’re looking for a genuinely horrifying, thrilling and scary game experience then look no further. Amnesia will have you shitting bricks right up until the end. But if your looking for a game TRYING to be horrifying and scary but instead serves you 40 million tonnes of meat with faces painted on them, dancing around in brightly lit rooms, then I guess you can try Dead Space.