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Submitted by edsmith1990 825d ago | opinion piece

Why Amnesia The Dark Descent Isn't At All Scary

Amnesia is too mechanical, too familiar to be scary. Also, it takes your weapon away. Without a weapon, the game is much less frightening. (Amnesia: The Dark Descent, PC)

-Gespenst-  +   825d ago
I actually totally get his point. I definitely found that if I'd been spotted, I was scared for like a second, but then I'd be like "well, I can't defend myself so I may as well let it kill me". The tension is kind of defused by the futility of it.

However, I think the sneaking around and avoiding them generates a really effective form of tension itself, and in some cases, you can actually flee and re-hide from them, which is obviously intense.

Nevertheless, I didn't actually find Amnesia cripplingly scary to play unlike most horror games. With the exception of some of the darker areas, I was largely just really tense, but not to the degree that I felt I couldn't continue playing. The game has a sort of Lovecraft intrigue to it that keeps you playing, but I also think it's down to the game just not being that scary. Atmospheric and unsettling yes, but outright scary I'm not so sure. I really think the enemy design was lacking. Those mangled dudes aren't scary, just gross looking and sort of cartoony. I'd say the number one rule in creating bad guys is their movement animation, and the Amnesia guys just don't have it. Coupled with the aforementioned gun point, I don't think they're that effective. I don't like "gorey" enemies. Sinister, paranormal, surreal enemies that get deep under your skin are much better and harder to design.

The Evil Within for example looks a bit too gorey for my tastes, but at the same time, the Safe-head tenderiser guy recalls pyramid head, and we all know how freaky that guy is. The spider woman that crawls out of pools of blood is a little gorey, but it benefits from what looks to be really good animation, and its paranormal / surreal nature. Also the way your character's animation is supposed to make him look really vulnerable and terrified is a stroke of genius.

Amnesia's good though. Great environments, atmosphere, lighting, sound design and ambience, and decent enough story, though it falls short of Lovecraft a bit (A Machine for Pigs' story will be superior with thechineseroom penning it)
Bakkies  +   825d ago
Love your Face Time Party Snoozer. I agree that it falls short of being Lovecraftian. Strangely I still have "fond" memories of Call of Chthulu, maybe because it was so damn difficult.
Bimkoblerutso  +   825d ago
It's really not MEANT to be that shocking, haunted-house kind of scary that you get from most games. As you said, it's more meant to present an unsettling atmosphere with random bits of extreme tension thrown in from time to time. That's by-and-large what Lovecraft's writing was known for and I think Amnesia captured that as well, if not better, than any other game out there.

And just to nitpick the article a bit, I actually appreciated that the environment seemed to be more steeped in reality than not. Over the years, I have found myself less disturbed by, say, Resident Evil's nonsensical mansions and complexes with completely off-the-wall puzzles and imagery or Silent Hill's forays into alternate dimensions and WTF logic, and more disturbed by warped realism and themes of insanity.

Not that those other games are bad in any way, but it's just a different kind of horror. I've never understood why so many people feel the need to "crown" a game the scariest when it's such a subjective topic.
Thirty3Three  +   825d ago
"Isn't at all scary"

These get posted through N4G now? Grammar :/
edsmith1990  +   825d ago
I understand. I understand. OK. Thanks for coming. I understand.
grimmweisse  +   825d ago
What is scary to someone is a matter of opinion, not fact! So there's nothing new in that article.
Kamikaze135  +   825d ago
Still scary.
SlapHappyJesus  +   825d ago
It creates a true sense of paranoia and the urgency of survival.
Yes, it is scary and it does it better than any other game I can think of.
MrAnderson  +   825d ago
Wheres the sequel by the way? it was scheduled Q2 2013, that means April-June, we're almost in June.
xBigxBossx  +   825d ago
Trolling hard

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