• Publisher: THQ
  • Release Date: Feb 17, 2011
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Jan 18, 2011
    100
    It was without a doubt one of the most difficult, draining, and stressful gaming experiences I have ever had, but it's also an absolute masterpiece.
  2. 100
    Reminds us how interactivity, perspective, and player disempowerment can be highly engaging, and that a slow creep of fear with abrupt spikes of terror is ultimately the essence of the horror experience.
  3. 100
    In any case, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is an unforgettable survival/horror experience, one that should not be missed.
  4. The sense of dread washing over you as you crouch in a corner in almost total darkness with your vision swimming, heart pounding and breath comes in short gasps as a humanoid creature with flayed skin instead of a jaw stands just metres away from you is more intense than any other video game has managed and if you even marginally enjoy the horror genre you owe it to yourself to pick it up.
  5. If Resident Evil is Aliens, Amnesia is Alien. Frictional Games has created something wholly unlike the traditional horror game. Amnesia shows us by example that gaming has entirely new realms to explore. The price of admission is only $20 through your digital retailer of choice. Do the right thing.
  6. Frictional made an interactive adventure that always pushes you to descend deeper and deeper towards the heart of evil, balancing the exploration of your own mind towards the point of maximum dementia with the exploration of a castle perhaps older than we are initially led to believe...
  7. Jan 18, 2011
    92
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the Exorcist of horror games, it will scare you and make you not real thrilled to go to sleep.
  8. Apr 19, 2011
    90
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the scariest game in years. You'll get an extremely creepy vibe from the castle and all of the mysterious things that are happening there. The voice overs and the ending of the game aren't great, but this shouldn't bother anyone seeing how you'll be extremely scared when you play this on your own in a dark room.
  9. Jan 29, 2011
    90
    At times it's a struggle to play purely because of how scary it can be, and it's not often you can say that about a video game. Just remember: lights off, headphones on, and try not to go insane.
  10. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    It's a welcome, cold splash of terror that anyone with a pulse should try out.
  11. Dec 25, 2010
    90
    This isn't a game, it's a trip into the human psyche's darker spaces. Not for the faint of heart, but horror junkies will lap it up. [Issue#246, p.107]
  12. Amnesia is the scariest survival horror in the history of video games. No other game gives you that real feel of fear and anxiety. Enter your nightmares if you dare. [Issue#196]
  13. The point of the matter is: we like this game.
  14. 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.
  15. 90
    A few niggling gameplay elements can't keep Amnesia from succeeding in what it set out to do – offering players a true survival horror experience. If you're looking for a different horror game, Amnesia is for you. Just don't sleep with your lights off afterwards.
  16. Pick it up, but you should know that you might be so scared that you'll have to put it down.
  17. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a triumph, not only in the genre of horror games, but also in the field of interactive story telling.
  18. If you're the kind of person who enjoys the rush of simulated terror, follow the developer's advice: wait until sundown, put on some headphones, and start up Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  19. Jan 2, 2011
    88
    A solid experience for both the horror and adventure genres – but worth taking for a spin no matter what type of gamer you are.
  20. Rich in atmosphere and big on scares, Amnesia: The Dark Descent goes where survival-horror fears to tread.
  21. Amnesia is your worst nightmare that possessed a videogame. Terrifying, thrilling and innovative. It was a very long time but finally we can literally play a survival horror.
User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1028 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 311
  1. Sep 17, 2010
    10
    This game is amazing...-ly frightening. The game takes advantage of all the little details of human nature not usually included in video games, and by combining heavy breathing with dizziness and eerie creaks, I practically became the person in the game. In fact, some times I would hear something to the left, and I would look away from the monitor myself. And more than just being creepy is the realism of the game, although some things are designed unrealistically on purpose, it just makes you feel like you're going crazy. I must admit I was scared many times, and the subtle revealing of the plot as you advance gives you more understanding of the situation, yet makes you feel even more scared. It doesn't require much puzzle-solving, but its goal is to scare me stiff, and frictional games did an excellent job of that. Full Review »
  2. Dec 13, 2010
    6
    There are things this game does fantastically. The sound is amazing, the atmosphere is incredible. The monsters are scary as hell. There were a couple times when after a few minutes of hiding from a monster, listening for his footsteps and creeping little by little out into the light, trying to figure out where he was; only to have him appear and charge me: The second or two before he killed me, my skin actually tingled and I involuntarily drew breath. I felt the feeling of actual terror.

    The puzzles were another high point. They were intuitive and fun, you needed just enough brainpower to solve them that you feel satisfied afterward without just guessing randomly until you get it. The story, while standard spooky fare was more than adequate and the voice acting was better than most AAA titles. Won't win any oscars, but it wasn't bad enough to take you out of the story, like some games that cost 10X more to make.

    The graphics were Average at best, but the lack of visual POW never took you out of the moment. My big issue with the game was the mechanics. You have to constantly manage your light sources, which seems like an afterthought. Since you have no weapons in the game, they can't add challenge by making you manage ammo, so they just use light. Which was distracting because you have a lantern that burns out faster than Gordan Freeman's flashlight (and doesn't recharge) and a bunch of tinder boxes. These appear to be as big as beer cans, but for some reason can only be used to light ONE light source each. And as important to your survival that a single candle is... you can't pick it up and take it with you, even though it is obviously just sitting on a table. It feels like they decided that the game was too easy and needed something to make it more of a challenge.

    And I get why you can't have weapons, the feeling of sheer horror as some abomination sees me from across a dark cellar is something I have never felt in a video game before... but... there are weapons literally everywhere. In your puzzles, you use huge wrenches, fireplace pokers, metal rods, flammable lamp oil, shovels, BOMBS. but your character never thinks to use one on the roughly man-sized monsters that are wandering all over the place. The last thing that really bothered me about the game is one of the first things you see when you fire it up: Some tip of advice that says something along the lines of "don't play this game to win, instead, let yourself become engrossed in the story" or something to that effect. Just because you're an indie studio, don't ask me to give you the benefit of the doubt. Just make a great game. In closing: This game has some really mind-blowing elements. You can tell the creators really love electronic gaming and bring a level of craftsmanship that a lot of the mega-titles can't touch. The sound is some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. But in the end, a lot of the game play mechanic is contrived and serves only to artificially add complexity. To everyone who gave 9s and 10s:Lets hold indie developers to a HIGHER standard, not a lower one. Because they have the passion and innovation to truly create the next great games: not the EA team working on the latest Nazi Shooting FPS ported from XBOX.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 9, 2010
    10
    Tense beyond anything you've ever experienced in the gaming world. Manages to top the Penumbra series by a mile...and that's saying something. Great graphics, eerie ambient sounds and a deep psychological story. Don't miss this one! Full Review »