Amnesia The Dark Decent


Horror movies today don’t scare as many as they used to do. The question is why? My belief is that many can predict the scary moments and what is bound to happen. But there are other ways than movies to get scarred. This time it is from a computer screen while playing Amnesia…

Amnesia The Dark Decent was released by Fictional Games in 2010 and as the sequel comes out soon I figured that it’s good to write about the game now. Amnesia is a survival horror game which is the games corresponding genre to the horror genre in movies, meaning the point of survival horror is to scare the players as much as possible.

In many similar games the player usually gets limited ammo to try and create an atmosphere of vulnerability. Fictional Games have always taken this to the next level, both in Amnesia and their other games. Their idea is to make the player sharpen their senses and be prepared for anything. Now is the part where you think: This is easy I’ll just take my gun…

The problem is that in Amnesia there are no weapons, the monsters in the game are immune to any weapons and they will kill you instantly if you try to defend yourself. This has taken many players a bit outside their comfort zone since they are used to weapons in similar games. The only option you have here is run, hide in the darkness and hope you survive.

In Amnesia you are playing in first person view as Daniel, who has no memory of himself after drinking a potion. He is stuck in the castle of Brennenburg, London. In the castle strange noises are heard and something strange is haunting him. While Daniel tries to escape he finds notes with information on how to escape the castle.  Even though Daniels has no memories of himself there is one thing the player finds out quickly and that is his fear of darkness.

When he is in the dark he starts lo loos his sanity which causes him to hear scary noises, seeing disturbing events and hallucinates. This is a struggle for the player as the monsters will come closer to him which means he have to hide in the darkness, which will worsen the situation even more. If he does stay in the light from his lamp or being close to torches on the walls the monsters will also notice him easier. This strange balance makes the player extremely focused as the slightest sound might be a huge threat you must run away from. So winning the game might take you some time and once you get there you will find four alternative ways of ending the game.

The advice for all players is to play with headphones, low brightness in the game, alone and in complete darkness. If you do this the game is worse than any horror movie I have seen. The sound effects are brilliant, whether there is a monster, a random scream of help, some girl crying, or a piano starting to play itself randomly you will be almost terrified every time.

The monsters may not look that scary but when they appear they bring with them an awful sound and the fact that you have to run from them will probably have made you scared regardless of their appearances. The gameplay and the visuals are great, the storyline is decent, as I said the sound effects are amazingly horrifying and the controls are pretty basic.

The game has been extremely famous on YouTube as it makes men scream like 6-year-olg girls. So play it in the darkness for as long as you dare. Reminder: Don’t blame me for you nightmares! 9 / 10

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9 comments on “Amnesia The Dark Decent

  1. williamjepma says:

    I’ve seen a ton of footage of this game online, but I just don’t have the guts to play it myself; so major props for getting through it! Horror normally isn’t my thing, but maybe someday I’ll play it. Maybe…

    • I’m not as brave as you think I am because even though I was playing in the darkness I had a friend for moral support and I still got scared we only got to the beginning of the really scary parts and then we got stuck in a puzzle so to say… I have also watched a lot of videos on it but playing it for real is a hundred times worse and it’s probably the scariest thing I have ever done. Which means the game was a huge success. You should really try to play it, you will probably be able to handle the first 20 minutes since not that many scary things happen there… Will I continue playing it? Well I’m on your side so my answer will be mabye… 🙂 But you could try the Penumbra games from the same developer, they are older and a bit less scary according to many. I have not played them myself but the atmosphere seems a bit less scary in them.

  2. Jack Flacco says:

    Great review. I’ve always loved horror games. I’ve played through both the Silent Hill Origins and Shattered Memories series games and Obscure – The Aftermath. I’ve found them scary. So scary. And to tell you the truth, any game that uses darkness as a defense because bullets don’t work is frightening.

    You brought up a good point in your post. Horror movies today are not scary. I think I know why. Most of today’s scares the film makers rely on the visuals rather than suggestion to get their point across. That’s why The Sixth Sense did so well. It went back to the old movies of suggestive horror and made a lot of money. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of them. He always loved not showing what happened but suggesting it off-camera. Even more so, he’d tell what he was going to do then do it, but never show it. It made for a terrifying movie.

    Anyway, I think I wrote too much and just wanted to comment one or two lines, haha! 🙂

    • That was kind of the same for me when writing the Amnesia review, it also became way longer then I had planned. Luckily I think I was able to cover most of the things that makes the game scary, as you said it’s the darkness and also the vulnerability the game gives you. I think relying on the visuals to scare people in many newer horror movies is because jump scares are common. I think they want to make something as gruesome as possible to try and scare the sensitive once. Because trying to scare people through other things might be a bit hard these days since the plot and the scary moments might be a bit predictable, therefore they try creating something crazy… Which can be really good or it could be a disaster and usually it does not turn out that good. Now my comment got really long as well but I think you got my perspective on things 🙂

  3. Jack Flacco says:

    LOL! Long comments are the best! Have you ever seen I Am Legend? If you haven’t I’d recommend picking up a copy. I wouldn’t classify it as a horror…more like a horror, sci-fi, action movie. BUT–it has some really terrifying scenes that kept my heart pounding out of my chest (no, of course not literally…otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this)! There’s one scene that is entirely worth the cost of the rental. It’s only short, but like I said, incredibly scary. If you’ve seen it, then you know what I’m talking about.

    • Haha they really are. I actually have the movie but I never watched it for some reason, tough many has tried to convince me to watch it so I’ll probably have to do so soon. The fact that the movie is short can sometimes be a good thing, since you hesitate more if you face a two or three hour long movie.

      • Jack Flacco says:

        Well, I won’t try to convince you 😉 I’ll leave it up to the film reviews from IMDB to do the job for me. Haha! Have you watched Blair Witch Project? I found that horrifying. When it came out in theaters, the filmmakers didn’t tell anyone it was a hoax. We were convinced the events were true. Most of the scares were suggestive scares. We never saw a thing.

      • I did watch Blair Witch Project because my friend said it was really scary. Surprisingly I did not find it scary at all and I was all alone, in a pitch black room and still id did not scar me. Tough I guess if you believe that the story is true you will be absolutely horrified, but I never believed the story.

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