14 Days: There is No Shotgun – Donny Grimm’s Amnesia Review
This Halloween, we at Death’s Door like to concentrate on the “scary”, “creepy”, and “startling” and nothing is scarier than something you can’t fight. Why do you think ghosts that we can’t see, hear, feel, smell, or taste are such a horror icon? This is what makes Amnesia: The Dark Descent so scary.
Amnesia by Frictional Games is a horror survival game with several physics-based puzzles…much like their previous title series Penumbra. As the title suggests, you start the game as an amnesiac named Daniel in a spooky mansion/ancient ruin where everything is either eerily lit by a small light source, generally a flame of some sort, or rectum-tighteningly pitch black forcing you to make the decision to either light your own lantern and risk being spotted by the odd human-esque creatures that lurk in the black corridors or feel your way the inky dark and probably end up cramming your head up the monster’s ass anyway. Unlike a lot of horror games out there, Amnesia takes advantage of the player’s own imagination. For the first 20 minutes to half-hour of gameplay you don’t even encounter anything but the ambiance alone will have your bladder knotted with enough pressure to blow a hole through your monitor when something finally does come running at you. You can’t fight anything in the game, unlike the classic horror survival titles like Silent Hill, you’re not made to feel badass once you’ve found the trusty shotgun. See, once you stockpile enough ammo and medkits and have killed enough scary monsters, those scary monsters suddenly aren’t so scary anymore. In Amnesia, there is no shotgun. Your only weapon is your wits. If you are pursued you must evade and hide until they give up, and believe me, if you get a good look at them, you’ve looked too long. The enemies in this game are always a foreboding ever present danger in Amnesia that never gets boring or pathetic. You will always be on your toes and jumping at every little thing in the dark. Of course, if you think you can just stay in the dark for the whole game, think again. Aside from your fragile health meter, you also have what’s called a “Sanity Bar”. The longer you stay in the dark the lower your sanity bar gets and consequently, the more insane Daniel becomes, so its always important to get a rest in the light whenever its clear, which isn’t often. Amnesia isn’t a game that startles you momentarily and then lets that fleeting feeling dissipate, it plays on human instinct, placing us in the most uncomfortable position we know: being vulnerable, defenceless, and in danger…ok so all three of those are essentially the same thing, I’m just trying to make a point. Basically what I’m getting at is that if you’re looking for a good scare then this is the game for you. You can pick it up on Steam for about $20.00.
Final Score: 5/5
– Donny Grimm