Mike’s Horror Blog: Amnesia

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I love horror games, but the problem with many of them is that they aren’t scary – they may have some shocking moments, but few can conjure up the feelings of fear and dread. Most seem content to throw a bunch of gore at the screen and call it a day. This is not so with Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

Taking place in 1839, the plot centers around Daniel, a young man from London, awakening in the Prussian Brennenburg Castle, with no memory of his past or why he’s there – the only clue is a note he wrote to himself, which states he deliberately erased memory and he must kill the Baron of the castle, Alexander. Complicating matters is that Alex is being hunted by a shadowy mass that threatens to devour the entire castle.

Where Amnesia gets it right is by having the player’s mind create the illusion of danger – most of the time the player is safe, but unless you’ve played the game, you don’t know that, so you’re going to jump at every noise and movement, whether imagined or not. The atmosphere is crushing – the darkness and ambient soundtrack will have you inching forward all the time. There were many moments where I thought, “Do I really want to open this door?” or “Do I really want to see what’s around this corner?” Of course, if you want to see the end of the game you have to do these things, but it’s that doubt that makes the experience seem real.

There’s going to be a sequel called A Machine for Pigs coming out next year, and I’ll be playing it right away.

— Mike Malan, Blogger

Editor’s Note:  Mike Malan recently graduated from Lewis University with a degree in English with a sub-speciality in Creative Writing.  Mike especially enjoys writing gothic, Poe and all things that chill your bones. He is a dark writer but you can find him dabbling in politics. He is also interested in the editing process and hopes that you will enjoy his work.

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2 thoughts on “Mike’s Horror Blog: Amnesia

  1. laurenepirc December 11, 2012 / 6:20 pm

    If you like this game, you’d probably like the Penumbra series. Amnesia and the Penumbra series were both developed by Frictional Games, and they had two of the same designers. The series definitely keeps the feeling that you like in Amnesia, and there are a few more surprises that are thrown in. Overall, I think you captured the background of this game well. What were some of your own experiences while playing it that made it truly scary for you?

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