Amnesia: The Dark Descent Review
Amnesia: The Dark Descent box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Frictional Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Frictional Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 8, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Pending 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Immerse yourself into the game the way it’s intended. Play it late in the evening, turn out the lights and put on headphones. See how long you can stand it. Your virtual environment is an atmospheric medieval castle, filled with the remnants of unspeakable atrocities. The darkness is your enemy as well as your saviour, as hiding in the shadows is often your only line of defense against approaching entities. You’ll hear them coming, and the ungodly sounds will tie your stomach in knots. It’s this anticipation that will wreak havoc on your psyche.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent screenshot

While hiding in the shadows, an interesting gameplay element will begin to affect your character as he loses his grip on reality. Insects will visually torment him, sounds will become more aggressively bizarre and even the control system will become affected, making even the easiest move sluggish and difficult to perform. You really feel the need to get back in the light but you can’t until the threat is gone. In the light you are a target, in the dark you are a madman. There is no safe haven in Amnesia, just places that are less horrible. And there’s no shortage of horrifying places including dungeons, torture chambers, morgues, sewers, and laboratories of the damned. Words can’t describe some of the terrifying images these environments conjure. It’s not just the images of clumps of congealed tissue stripped from tormented bodies, or the blood-and-rust-stained, ancient instruments of torture; it’s what they represent. We are forced to confront the realization our ancestors did practice such barbarism, in real life. In such instances, Amnesia is more than a game.

It’s the glimpses of the creatures we see that captures our imaginations and makes us question: what the hell did we just see? And we hope we never see it again. But hope is not something you will experience in Amnesia, helplessness and fear will be your constant companions throughout your journey. The castle is huge, and rendered in an uncanny gloom that chills your bones like a cold rain. Oil can be found to fill your lantern to light your way through the corridors. Tinderboxes will allow you to light candles and torches. The lighting effects are very convincing. The monsters are twisted mutations of only God-knows-what. Sounds emanate from all over the castle, but not your usual creaks, groans, and chains. Many of these sounds are demonically ethereal, provoking your imagination to the breaking point. The music is restrained and subdued, deftly controlling your emotions.

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If you’re going to play Amnesia: The Dark Descent in the evening, with the lights out and headphones on, make sure the house is empty. Should someone come up behind and tap you on the shoulder it could be game over. You’ve been warned.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.6
Graphics
Graphics provide great horror atmosphere, but can be a little cartoonish at times.
4.8
Control
Excellent interactive use of mouse for a point-and-click style game.
4.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Amazing sounds from Hell, though voiceovers are a weak spot.
4.0
Play Value
Short game with virtually no replay value.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a first person survival horror. A game about immersion, discovery, and living through a nightmare. An experience that will chill you to the core.
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent puts you in the shoes of Daniel as he wakes up in a desolate castle, barely remembering anything about his past.
  • Exploring the eerie pathways, you must also take part of Daniel's troubled memories. The horror does not only come from the outside, but from the inside as well. A disturbing odyssey into the dark corners of the human mind awaits.
  • By using a fully physically simulated world, cutting edge 3D graphics and a dynamic sound system, the game pulls no punches when trying to immerse you.
  • There are no cutscenes or time-jumps, whatever happens will happen to you in real time.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent screenshot - click to enlarge Amnesia: The Dark Descent screenshot - click to enlarge Amnesia: The Dark Descent screenshot - click to enlarge Amnesia: The Dark Descent screenshot - click to enlarge

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