The ‘gameplay trailers using actors to pretend they’re playing the game’ trend needs to die
The early Penumbra games were decent enough horror games, but Amnesia: The Dark Descent was the big hit that made Frictional Games a haunted household name (don’t boo me). It later released a single piece of DLC titled Justine, and three years later the sequel A Machine for Pigs which wasn’t quite as good as the original.
Surprisingly, this instant classic was never ported to console. Now it is. On November 22 you’ll be able to play all three on PlayStation 4 for $29.99 (digital download). Seems they weren’t able to get it done in time for Halloween, even though there will be no new content added to the games.
At the time, there wasn’t a ton of good, pure horror games out there, with Silent Hill putting out games fans didn’t like as much as the main series and Resident Evil shifting towards action. A lot of people also complained about jump scares (still do in fact) in less than stellar horror games.
As if to say “lemme show you how it’s done,” Frictional Games released Amnesia on Steam for a mere $19.99. It became an instant hit and is still regarded as one of the best horror games on the market. Until P.T. came out, many regarded Amnesia as one of, if not the scariest game out there.
The main reason was its psychological “descent into hell” approach, focusing on conjuring up real dread in its players while avoiding the hated jump-scare that many people cite as fake horror. Though I think jump-scares have a place, that’s a topic for another day. In any case, their approach worked superbly.
According to Frictional Games, it became a Let’s Play phenomenon. I too remember watching one of my favorite streamers play through the game. Though it’s crazy to think that’s six years ago already. Time is too fast. The promotional trailer leans on this Let’s Play angle, and like recent E3 trailers for Tom Clancy’s The Division and Ghost Recon Wildlands, it features some cringe-worthy acting. Why not get more well-known YouTubers, if you’re going to do it at all?