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 Anybody play Amnesia?

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UnknownKadath

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PostSubject: Anybody play Amnesia?   Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:35 pm

Did anyone play "Amnesia: The Dark Descent"? I actually bought it around the time it came out because I was a fan of the developers previous game, "Penumbra." Penumbra was far from perfect - but it was good, creepy and unique. Amnesia is in many ways a spiritual successor and has many of the tropes set up in Penumbra, but Amnesia is almost 10,000x better. I rarely obsess over games, but Amnesia sort of became an Obsession. Even my avatar is from the game - that's the portrait of the games antagonist, Baron Alexander of Brennenberg, when viewed if the player has lost his last marble (The portrait looks normal if your character still has some sanity left) and begins hallucinating.

For those who haven't played or heard of it, lemme tell you about it. If not - I'd just love to hear of other folks who played the game, what they thought, and share experiences.

The game is one of the most immersive and atmospheric horror games ever created, it even trumps Silent Hill. It's a good thing that it sucks the player in too, since in truth - if you analyze the games mechanics to their bare essence; it is a somewhat flawed game that doesn't amount to much more than a real-time adventure game with somewhat "Meh" puzzle solving. But it just does such a good job of sucking you in, and scaring the shit out of you. It understands the concept of pacing, atmosphere, story, "Less is More" and the fact that it is best when the player creates the horror for him or herself; which only doubles the creep factor when the real horror actually begins.

The game is heavily inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and it's one of the first tributes I've seen to his work that actually grasps his style without feeling overdone. It has a pretty cool story if you have the patience to explore (Though exploration is a large part of the game, so you likely will get all the pieces of the puzzle if you are patient enough to play in the first place.) even if it does start off with the ultimate VG Cliche; Amnesia, but you guessed that from the title. You play as Daniel, awakening in the massive Castle of Brennenberg. You follow a trail of rose petals and find a note left by yourself, warning you that a "Shadow" is following you and preparing to consume you, and that you have one goal - to enter the castles Inner Sanctum, and kill its owner the Baron Alexander. As the game unravels, you learn that Alexander was a practitioner of mysticism and you were once a student of his. He took you in for finding a mysterious Orb, and began performing human experiments and strange rituals with the Orb before the "Shadow," which is a natural force protecting the Orb - appears and destroys his castle. You slowly unravel many other dark secrets, such as the tale behind the strange "Gatherers" that hunt you; servants of Alexander that stalk the woods and kidnapping victims for his experiments, and even meet an actual historical figure who has been kept alive in Alexander's dungeon for over a hundred years - kept alive by some form of black magic. There's more to it, but you'll have to play it to figure it all out.

The gameplay is sort of a real-time adventure game mixed with survival horror; you explore the castle and various rooms finding notes and objects necessary to solve puzzles and progress, while at the same time attempting to maintain your sanity and your health. However - health and sanity must be sacrificed for one or the other due to the games devilish tricks. Darkness is prevalent here, and Daniel doesn't care to be alone in the dark and so staying in the darkness will slowly drain your sanity. As sanity depletes, the world becomes distorted and more hostile. Gatherers are more likely to appear, and subtle changes in your environment will appear. When you lose all sanity, Daniel will move sluggishly - and at times, he will even become crippled with fear and drag himself across the floor trying to get his mental balance back.

You can fight the darkness with tinderboxes and your lantern; however, both are precious resources. Tinerboxes can be used to light candles, torches, and furnaces; etc. but can only be used once. Your lantern will burn out of oil eventually. While this benefits your sanity, it makes you more visible when a monster comes. Here's another hook - you can't do anything to the monsters. A'la "Clock Tower," you only have one choice: Run, Hide, Sneak - get the hell away. Looking at the monsters is a bad idea too, because looking at them almost entirely drains Daniels insanity - and the monsters have some sort of sixth sense as they can tell when you are keeping an eye on them. You'll still catch glimpses of them, and even when you learn to hide - you'll still have to peek out, be it curiosity or trying to make sure you are all clear - and that can end up killing you. It makes for one extremely hostile atmosphere. To lighten up the mood here, I laughed at this meme based on the game:


If you like horror games and deep atmosphere - check this out if you haven't already. It's only 20 bucks and is available on Steam, and was recently picked up by THQ for retail distribution. It's really damn good. I also remember a moment where I was exploring the torture chambers (One of the most disturbing sections in the game seeing all the devices; and they didn't even need to show them being used to cringe.) trying to find pieces of the Orb, and my wife awoke from bed. I saw her shadow in my monitor, didn't realize it was her, and started freaking out. She came over to me and all she did was give me a surprise hug, but I was launched out of my damn chair because at the same time in the game - I let curiosity get the better of me and I decided to see what would happen if I lit up the Brazen Bull, so I was startled both by her and the screams of the man inside and the bellowing of the bull.
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A Cockatrice

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:30 am

I'm in the midst of watching Lanipators lets play of it. I would avoid spoiling the story and love to play it, but my computer sucks and I lack the funds to upgrade it right now. It seems like a very creepy game, and having company does seem like it would take you out of the game. I hope that they will be releasing more games around its caliber in the future, so once I start getting a steady income I can upgrade my PC and start running good games.
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UnknownKadath

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:01 am

A Cockatrice wrote:
I'm in the midst of watching Lanipators lets play of it. I would avoid spoiling the story and love to play it, but my computer sucks and I lack the funds to upgrade it right now. It seems like a very creepy game, and having company does seem like it would take you out of the game. I hope that they will be releasing more games around its caliber in the future, so once I start getting a steady income I can upgrade my PC and start running good games.

It actually doesn't need a very demanding PC to run. Frictional games doesn't exactly have the highest budget PCs themselves (There are only 5 members there and Penumbra, while gaining a cult audience, wasn't a smash hit. Luckily for them - Amnesia was, and has sold over 200k units - a fair amount for an Indie game made by 5 guys who apparently develop at a library in Sweden.), and actually developed the engine to have good backwards compatibility. In fact the game doesn't use full real-time shadowing, and while that is a common feature it is a feature that can eat up older GPUs and the instead use pre-rendered and tactically placed lighting and shadows. In less Nerdy terms, the computer doesn't have to process a whole lot of real-time visuals. The most demanding element is the physics engine and the fact that the game uses SSAO which is a fancy effect.

I reckon that unless your computer hasn't been upgraded since 2004, you can probably play it somehow. Try the demo. I do have some evidence to back that up, when I first bought it I was playing it on my old 'puter which was from 2004. It had been upgraded once in 2006. The framerate wasn't great, but it was playable. I did finish the game with my new one though.
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:06 pm

This game really needs all the attention it can get. It is perfect. I've never before been so freaked out from a game as I was when I played this. I still havent finished it actually. I dont really want to hehe, its THAT scary Embarassed
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UnknownKadath

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:51 pm

obin_gam wrote:
This game really needs all the attention it can get. It is perfect. I've never before been so freaked out from a game as I was when I played this. I still havent finished it actually. I dont really want to hehe, its THAT scary Embarassed

How far are you?
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:56 pm

UnknownKadath wrote:
obin_gam wrote:
This game really needs all the attention it can get. It is perfect. I've never before been so freaked out from a game as I was when I played this. I still havent finished it actually. I dont really want to hehe, its THAT scary Embarassed

How far are you?
I didnt get that far hehe, it was a while ago I played but I think I had just made the acid and poured it one that red-solid-spider-web-thingy and walked down that corridor... then I quit and havent picked it up since Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:20 pm

obin_gam wrote:
UnknownKadath wrote:
obin_gam wrote:
This game really needs all the attention it can get. It is perfect. I've never before been so freaked out from a game as I was when I played this. I still havent finished it actually. I dont really want to hehe, its THAT scary Embarassed

How far are you?
I didnt get that far hehe, it was a while ago I played but I think I had just made the acid and poured it one that red-solid-spider-web-thingy and walked down that corridor... then I quit and havent picked it up since Smile

That's not a spider web. It's The Shadow, or at least all we see of The Shadow.

So you haven't met the Kaernk (I see what you did there, Frictional) yet? That was probably the first time I freaked out, I hate water monsters. Now we have to deal with invisible water monsters that you can't kill. Bluhhhh.

In truth, you haven't even met your first monster. You may have heard them talking, but the first real monster outside of the water thing doesn't show up till the second "Hub," if you will.

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:16 am

UnknownKadath wrote:
obin_gam wrote:
UnknownKadath wrote:
obin_gam wrote:
This game really needs all the attention it can get. It is perfect. I've never before been so freaked out from a game as I was when I played this. I still havent finished it actually. I dont really want to hehe, its THAT scary Embarassed

How far are you?
I didnt get that far hehe, it was a while ago I played but I think I had just made the acid and poured it one that red-solid-spider-web-thingy and walked down that corridor... then I quit and havent picked it up since Smile

That's not a spider web. It's The Shadow, or at least all we see of The Shadow.

So you haven't met the Kaernk (I see what you did there, Frictional) yet? That was probably the first time I freaked out, I hate water monsters. Now we have to deal with invisible water monsters that you can't kill. Bluhhhh.

In truth, you haven't even met your first monster. You may have heard them talking, but the first real monster outside of the water thing doesn't show up till the second "Hub," if you will.

oh jolly Sad Razz well what can I say, the atmosphere alone was enough for me, the footsteps, the sounds, the shadows of what maybe is there... I will certanly continue... sometime...

I love this game Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:40 am

obin_gam wrote:
UnknownKadath wrote:
obin_gam wrote:
UnknownKadath wrote:
obin_gam wrote:
This game really needs all the attention it can get. It is perfect. I've never before been so freaked out from a game as I was when I played this. I still havent finished it actually. I dont really want to hehe, its THAT scary Embarassed

How far are you?
I didnt get that far hehe, it was a while ago I played but I think I had just made the acid and poured it one that red-solid-spider-web-thingy and walked down that corridor... then I quit and havent picked it up since Smile

That's not a spider web. It's The Shadow, or at least all we see of The Shadow.

So you haven't met the Kaernk (I see what you did there, Frictional) yet? That was probably the first time I freaked out, I hate water monsters. Now we have to deal with invisible water monsters that you can't kill. Bluhhhh.

In truth, you haven't even met your first monster. You may have heard them talking, but the first real monster outside of the water thing doesn't show up till the second "Hub," if you will.

oh jolly Sad Razz well what can I say, the atmosphere alone was enough for me, the footsteps, the sounds, the shadows of what maybe is there... I will certanly continue... sometime...

I love this game Smile

Then buckle down and just stomach it. That's what I had to do. I rarely pull all nighters for a silly video game, but I did to finally muscle up and finish the game after putting it off awhile cause I kept freaking out like a little baby. I still had to pause and quit occasionally, especially after intense chase sequences (I could actually hear and feel my heart pounding a bit too fast after finally escaping Mr. Shambles in the sewers, I died the first time which already freaked me out - but the sweet taste of victory as well as the "HOLY SHIT WTF WAS THAT" factor got my heart racing.) to get a breather, but I managed. The only downside is that meant every time my wife or the cat stirred, I got paranoid. Especially her attack hug. She claims she had no idea I was being scared by the game, but I call bull. She loves to scare me, then again that's one of the things I love about her.
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:24 am

my face during the wine cellar level:


it's probably the best horror game to be released this decade.
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Frank Rizzo

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:29 am

You pulled a "Simmons face" hmm?
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UnknownKadath

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody play Amnesia?   Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:42 pm

▲ wrote:
my face during the wine cellar level:


it's probably the best horror game to be released this decade.

Haha. I don't think I pulled a face like that until the water demon.

I'd hate to imagine what my face was like in the torture chambers... That part freaked me out/disturbed me more than any other part cause of those devices (I still feel like a moron for lighting the bull). It also didn't help that I was still getting over the fact that my only support character happens to look like this:
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