July 3, 2022

Amnesia: The Collection Review

Fractional Games Brings PC Classic Amnesia: The Collection to Consoles.

You wake in a medieval castle with, as the game title would suggest, amnesia. Your name is Daniel and finding a note you’d previously written for yourself, you discover you’re here for a reason. The plot expands through diary entries and flashbacks. Oh and you’re also just a bit afraid of the dark. The whole castle is suspicious alleyway dark but you collect tinder-boxes to light torches and candles, and oil for your lamp. Keeping the shadows at bay is a constant – and necessary – struggle.

Sanity Is Important

Spend too long in the shadows and madness beckons. As Daniel’s sanity starts to fall his senses will mislead him. Hallucinations both audio and visual will befall him. The paintings on the walls change, the ground lurches sickeningly, and you’ll hear things – whispers, cries and horrid noises.

Lovecraftian Roots

Amnesia does Lovecraft in the purest sense: it understands that the imagined far outweighs the known. It plays with it’s psychological punch, and it gives you enough audio and visual cues to imagine a carnival of horrors. Whilst it does play like an FPS, it shares more with point-and-click adventures than shooters. There’s not a weapon in sight: it’s all about the sanity meter.

Strange Physics

Amnesia’s physics system can be a bit problematic at times. The ability to grab, rotate and use objects in the world is a great idea but it can be frustratingly fiddly. The majority of the time it works though and the system is actually a cleverly versatile one. By allowing you to interact with everything via a single intuitive control system, Amnesia makes you feel more like you are actually in control. It also allows for some moderately complex physics puzzles, which help fill out the gameplay later on, without feeling forced.

Flight Not Fight

The Dark Descent is a horror game first though not a puzzler. Frictional realises that the more vulnerable you are, the more scared you get. There is no way to fight back against most of the enemies in this game. For some running away and hiding might not sound like the most exciting gameplay mechanic but here it becomes as tense and exciting as any action game.

Amnesia remembers what the blockbusters of survival horror seem to have forgotten: how to horrify.

That’s where Amnesia finds it’s niche. It creates this deeply unsettling and grim atmosphere without the need for conventional horror set pieces. Occasionally there are downsides though; the vocal delivery can come off a bit wooden and more comical than is probably intended. Sometimes you’ll have no idea how the puzzle you’re solving relates to anything at all. None of this detracts too much from the overall experience though and at £23.99 it’s worth the price if you’re seeking traditional phsychological horror.


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  • 7.5/10
    Scared the crap out of me - 7.5/10
7.5/10

Not Your Typical Slasher

It’s easy to compare Amnesia to other horror games and decide that it doesn’t really contain much in the case of traditional slasher horror. You’d be right, it doesn’t. It is, however, filled with tonnes more atmosphere, and a deeper exploration of the twisted relationship between horror and insanity. So for anyone looking more for phsychological horror over Hollywood action then this is the game for you.

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