There are two types of horror games in this world. The gore fest that involves a lot of killing with an obscene amount of blood or there is the psychological kind where you are made to question your own mind, your own sanity. While I enjoy both variations of the genre nothing freaks me out more than the prospect of losing my own mind. When a horror game is done well it is hard to argue that they don’t make for a brilliant, terrifying experience that we find exhilarating.
Back upon its initial release in 2010, Amnesia: The Dark Descent was considered to be one of the best horror games around, full of tension and an intense feeling of helplessness propelled this game into the history books of gaming. DLC and a sequel naturally followed after the immense success Amnesia found, now 8 years later the collection has finally released onto Xbox One. Let’s take a look at the complete collection of the horror phenomenon.
Considering how old this series is it shouldn’t come as a surprise that The Dark Descent does look a little dated but an important thing to remember is that Frictional Games never had to rely on the graphics to begin with, the horror found within is the main selling point, this is psychological horror at its finest. The story here is simple, Daniel has awoken in a creepy castle with no recollection of how he got there, through some puzzle solving and exploring we must solve this mystery. Best not forget the evil forces that will be following you around the castle.
One of the best mechanics found within the first title, which was unfortunately cut from A Machine for Pigs, is Sanity. Should you stay in the dark for too long, stare at the walls or see a disturbing event of some kind you will find a drop in your sanity. The more insane you become the more hallucinations Daniel will suffer from, quite frankly these events are terrifying, it becomes a struggle for us ourselves to understand what is real and what is the object of Daniels impending insanity. This mechanic is part of what makes the game so terrifying, it adds some extra pressure, knowing you Daniel loses his cool you are going to witness Malevolent events that would be better left alone. It saddened me to realise that the Sanity mechanic was removed from the sequel, however the story was much better in A Machine for Pigs, with the atmosphere still being thick with tension and a wider variation in the exploration areas of the game such as being able to venture outside. When I realised it was The Chinese Room who developed A machine for pigs it made sense as to why the story became the pivotal focus. The DLC is called Justine, while I would consider it to be the weakest part of the collection, it is worth noting I really like how the choices you make can have some unforeseeable consequences making it worth at least one playthrough.
When you think of Amnesia, you don’t just think of the horror or also think of the puzzles which are average for the most part. None of them can be considered difficult, they simply require you to thoroughly explore your surroundings, searching for keys or items to help your overcome the various obstacles. Across all three parts of this collection puzzle solving plays a prominent part, this collection isn’t for you if puzzle solving is something you consider to be boring or a chore.
If you have never played these games before but have experienced the terror of SOMA or Outlast which were both heavily influenced by this genre defining series then perhaps it is time to experience the grand daddy of them all. As a prior fan to these games you may want to pick up this collection even if it is just to relive some of the finer moments the horror genre has ever seen. In a world where we now have The Evil Within and Resident Evil 7, it is nice to go back to psychological horror as opposed to facing all problems in a trigger-happy way.
The Amnesia Collection is a must own for any horror fanatic out there, be you a previous fan of the franchise just waiting to test your limits and your sanity all over again or a sucker for punishment determined to lose your mind. While I wouldn’t say it has a high reply appeal, it is still relevant all these years later, the tension can still be cut with a knife. Wandering those halls has to be considered one of the most haunting experiences in gaming, I would recommend checking out SOMA if your enjoyed Amnesia. as they were both developed by Frictional Games.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.