Amnesia: The Dark Descent Review

Amnesia The Dark Descent

Amnesia The Dark Descent  is an exciting and horrifying adventure game built around exploration and puzzle-based environments. Imagine waking up in a brittle old castle in the Kingdom of Prussia. You have no recollection of how or why you got there [Hence the title.]. You remember your name and still preserve your long term memory. Still, the mystery of how, why and where you are eludes you. Your name is Daniel.

As you slowly regain consciousness, you discover a note addressed to you, written by none other than yourself. Upon gazing at it, you discover that you purposely wiped your memory and that you are to find the Inner Sanctum within the castle to seize and kill Alexander. Get ready for a long journey ahead, Daniel.

Amnesia The Dark Descent

First off, Daniel is deathly afraid of the dark, and very easily scared. During the game you are followed by a haunting force that is called The Shadow. Its only purpose is to guard an Orb. One that Daniel previously stole from a burial chamber to give to Alexander whom had promised protection from the evil that followed the Orb. The only object you start with is an oil lantern. Throughout Amnesia The Dark Descent you must find tinderboxes and oil to stay constantly in the light, otherwise Daniel will gradually become insane and start seeing things that are really not there. Basically the lower your sanity is, the more difficult the game becomes. After the first few rooms and puzzles dealing with keys, finding various objects, and jumping over ledges, you will encounter the biggest problem in the castle; the most feared monster in the game, the Grunt. As you are not able to fight back, your only option is to run away from these creatures. They will kill you with one slash and they are faster than you. I think it gives the game more of a fear to it. If you are caught in the open near one of these monsters, well, you’re screwed. The only way to avoid them getting to you is to make it quickly to the closest room and close the door. Did I mention they can break through doors as well? Well, they can. As soon as you lock yourself in, find a place to hide quickly. You will then have to risk your sanity by turning off your lantern and waiting in the dark until the creature passes. Tempting as it may be, do not look directly at the monster. Doing so will drop your sanity level much faster as the horrific looking monster makes Daniel shudder.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia The Dark Descent Gameplay

After many rooms and puzzles you will run into in  Amnesia The Dark Descent, what I think is the scariest creature, the Kaernk, also called the Water Lurker. It has no physical form, you can’t see it, but you know it’s there. You hear its growls and the heavy splash it makes as it slowly follows wherever you go. Jump on the crates and boxes near you or the Water Lurker will kill you. The only way to create a diversion for it is to throw hunks of meat and body parts you find on top of some of the boxes. If your sanity level is fine throughout the game, you will only encounter this creature once. If it is low most of the game, expect for it to pop out of any room that has knee-high water.

All in all, aside from the great aspects to Amnesia The Dark Descent, there are also a few things that could use a bit of improvement. Oil is scarce, try to use as little as you can because the oil in the lantern tends to run out so fast. It is hard to find. It’s hidden throughout the game, sometimes in the most ridiculous spots. Use as many tinderboxes as you can as a source of light. Another thing is that sometimes the puzzles are way too complicated. Hints are scarce and you can find yourself wondering what do to next. It’s not uncommon to spend hours trying to find what triggers will get you through. Amnesia The Dark Descent is more out to scare you than anything else and it does an amazing job of it. The sensation of desperation and helplessness is purposely weaved into the game. If you are a fan of scary movies and adventure games, this is the perfect game for you. Aside from minor things, Amnesia The Dark Descent is definitely worth the money, and could easily make its way as the Scariest Game of All Time.

Comments (1)

  • jesse

    Really enjoyed this review. Had never heard of this PC game before. I usually play strategy games.

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