(Bewaaaarre: contains spoilery description of scenes in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Also, mild peril.
No game has had the ability to freeze my body in my seat, make me clench my teeth in anxiety and squint my eyes in fear of glimpsing something that was usually not even there, until Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
I love the horror genre, like many others I like the rush of feeling scared of something on a screen which is fictional and cannot harm me. My first taste of a proper
horror game was at the age of 13 with the Resident Evil remake on GameCube and from then on I've always sought out scary games, often those with dark, disturbed content. So, yes, good wholesome stuff!
So it was inevitable once I started getting into PC gaming that I would eventually discover Frictional Games, Swedish developer of just the type of games that I love: survival horror adventures with intensely macabre atmospheres and themes. I played through all of their earlier Penumbra games before trying the demo of Amnesia, consisting of the first 20 minutes of the game including a section with some of the most tense, panic-inducing gameplay I've experienced...and it left me wanting more
, but at the same time dreading what else I would find deeper in Brennenburg castle.
The constant feeling of unease and wariness that Amnesia evokes is unlike anything else I'd experienced. It seldom lets you up from the mire of despair and anxiety to take a breath of relief and repose. Even in the "safe zones" where all you do is solve mechanical puzzles, I was distracted by paranoia. I would constantly turn my suspicious gaze toward the doorways behind me, just to check nothing had followed me inside.
As the game took me further into the depths of the castle, the feeling of foreboding increased as did my unease of venturing any further. But I'm glad I did, glad I conquered the fear and thankful I had the opportunity to do so. Even if I couldn't sleep for a few nights afterward.
LOOK WHO CAME: