I am going to preface this by explaining that I have a weird love/hate relationship with horror games. By that, I mean, in general, I do not love being terrified, but I find some of the most engaging stories in this genre. I also found it hard to take notes on the game while playing because when stuff happened, I was busy trying to stay alive and in a panic.
Amnesia The Dark Descent is a game that was initially released in 2011. This really shows if you are playing on a newer TV, but it in no way takes away from the spook factor. I found fewer graphical issues on handheld switch mode, but for myself, I almost always prefer to play on the TV with a pro controller. I didn’t find it overly difficult to play with the joy-cons and the game was ported over very well.
I haven’t completed the collection (now available on the e-shop), yet because getting through this first game was terrifying. It is suggested to play in a dark room alone with headphones to get the full experience. After about 30 min of that, I decided that I would play in a room full of light and see if I could turn down the sound. Turning down the sound actually proved to be detrimental to playing as I couldn’t hear the sound effects of the game telling me how I was doing.
The gameplay engages you into the story by adding puzzles, not just jump scares. The puzzles are story-based, which is one of my favourite ways to incorporate puzzles. I often find that games have small puzzles that are just sort of there to advance. Whereas there are clues in the story to give you advice on how to move forward.
The story is very engaging and as scared as I was, I struggled to put it down. Without spoiling anything (because seriously, this is a fantastic game). We play as a character named Daniel, who has Amnesia and has to figure out what happened. There have been notes left around the castle and, reading them reveals the past and why Daniel has Amnesia. Hint: the first note you find is from Past Daniel to Current Daniel, and it got me HOOKED! There are notes from other people and journal contents as well, but I have to say that the first note gives you the main story quest, and I needed to know more.
The one thing that bothered me was the windows weren’t breakable, and for gameplay plot reasons, it made sense, but with story-based games, I like to put myself in the shoes of the main character. And as I have never been in Daniels’s situation, I can’t say for sure, but I think I can confidently say that I would not have followed a trail of blood in an old spooky castle when I wake up with no memories.
This jumpscare filled game relies a lot on winds blowing open and slamming shut doors and putting out candles, and something that bothered me was there weren’t a lot of windows or places this wind could be coming from. I’m not sure why but some how that bothered me.
If you haven’t experienced Amnesia (the game not the illness) and you enjoy the Horror Genre I highly recommend the first game if you haven’t played it yet. If you want a really good story I also recommend this game however make sure you are okay with being terrified out of your mind.
TL:DR Amnesia The Dark Descent has graphics from 2011 but it is still hella scary and doesn’t impact gameplay at all. if you like good stories and being terrified this is for you. – SZ
Amnesia Collection is now available on PS4, Xbox One & Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch review code provided by Evolve PR