• Publisher: THQ
  • Release Date: Feb 17, 2011
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1028 Ratings

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  1. Sep 17, 2010
    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. Expand
  2. Dec 13, 2010
    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.
  3. Sep 9, 2010
    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!
  4. Sep 10, 2010
    This is by far the most haunting and eerie game i have ever played. The graphics are decent, but the game itself doesn't completely rely on the graphics to create such a scary atmosphere, it's the brilliant sound design and narration. This game will have you jumping in your seat when even the slightest odd thing happens, let alone the real scares, some of which created a genuine feeling of terror for me. Seriously, this game blows the Penumbra (up until now my favorite horror games) completely out of the water. Ten times over. Bottom line: if you loved the Penumbra series, get it. If you did not play them, get it. The 15-ish euro price tag is just stealing the game, because i would have still bought it if it where 40 euros. Frictional Games, you truly outdid yourselves. Already can't wait for a new game from you. I love you Frictional Games!! Expand
  5. Sep 17, 2010
    The "Survival-Horror" genre is losing its touch. These days, games that carry the title are much less about horror and more about things jumping out at you for a cheap scare. Even the survival aspect is often pushed to the back burner in favor of making an easier game accessible to a more general audience. As a result survival-horror fans are getting action games with a few scary moments shoved down their throats.

    Amnesia isn't like that. Amnesia focuses on three things: atmosphere, survival, and, above all else, horror. Before players start the game, a warning is given that the game should not be played to win. It should be played to allow one's self to be absorbed into the world of Amnesia. Those that follow this advice will be in for the ride of their life. From the very beginning of the game, Amnesia's immersive and completely unsettling world will have you questioning if that sound is something moving, or if you're just going insane. You'll be afraid to go around the next corner, lest something horrifying is there. But you won't be able to stop.

    With the recent release of the same development tool kit that the creators used to make the game, players can make their own stories. With a bit of creativity and just a bit of that sadistic love of horror, we'll be seeing good things come from Amnesia for a time to come.
  6. Sep 27, 2010
    Where Amnesia differs from other horror games is that you have absolutely no weapons whatsoever, creating this feeling of complete and utter helplessness as you are stalked around Castle Brennenberg by an unknown shadow. "Survival horror" games such as the Resident Evil series are no longer "survival horror"- they are 3rd person shoot-'em-ups. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a truly terrifying game due to the atmosphere created on your computer screen. I personally can't play it for more than five minutes without having to stop and tell myself "It's only a game"- definitely the horror element doing its job. Expand
  7. Sep 16, 2010
    You thought Dead Space was scary? It doesn't even hold a candle to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Believe the hype, this is the stuff nightmares are made of.
  8. Apr 28, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I bought this game with because of all the acclaim it got and I figured, hey it's only 20 bucks for a great game. Wrong. Wrong. Where do I start? How about the really boring story. It seems they made the game and all the puzzles and then thought man, I need a reason to do all this. So uninteresting I've already checked somewhere in the water part. How are the creepy/scary qualities? It was creepy for all of 20 minutes. Then it was just stupid. Losing your sanity consists of a few more scratching sounds and a dumb filter put on the scree. Then sometimes the screen flashes and becomes a little more red while your lose control. Ah yes, control. The controls suck. Think Minecraft and you'd be nearly spot on. The only fun I started having with the game was running (which is more like fast walking) and jumping. Usually I tried to glitch the game and monsters. By the way, the monsters are not scary. Once again see Minecraft. Except sometimes they are invisible and can hurt you... but you can jump through them. Seriously don't be suckered like me by all these reviews. Compare this side by side to a serious game title (Dead Space) and it'll knock it out of the water. Lastly, I have a good graphics card and the settings are at the highest. Yeah, the graphics still suck. Is this company stuck in 2001? Thanks for reading. Summary: Unless you're 3 and have never played a half-decent video game before, don't waste your time. It's not fun, scary, creepy, a good story, or a cool experience. Expand
  9. Sep 9, 2010
    Just finished one (of three?) endings tonight. The way the game presents itself - atmosphere, pacing, even the ambient sounds all add to a tension-filled session of gameplay. This is a *must have* for anyone that's a fan of Atmospheric horrors, such as Penumbra and Silent Hill. The story was just as enjoyable for me, revealing why the player-character, Daniel, willingly took a tonic that gave him amnesia. The climax of that story made my jaw drop into my lap for the first time since BioShock's twist. Expand
  10. Sep 10, 2010
    Best horror game since the Penumbra series themselves. Do i need to say more? Well put it this way, within about an hour of playing i was TERRIFIED of playing any further and i was enjoy ever second of playing it at the same time. Just simply amazing experience.
  11. Sep 28, 2010
    A beautifully crafted game that makes great use of sound to create a tense, horrifying atmosphere. As others have suggested, if you'd played any of the penumbra series, you will certainly enjoy this game. My biggest recommendation for players is to do what the game says, turn your lights off and use a really good pair of headphones; be aware however... you may have nightmares.
  12. Sep 9, 2010
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a must have for survival horror and more specifically fans of the Looking Glass Technologies style of gameplay.

    Amnesia is a wonder of minimal gameplay mechanics. The pacing of the game is much more fluid than similar titles within the genre - Thief, System Shock, Bioshock, Penumbra, etc. Puzzles for the most part are logical and most of the time come natural.
    This is what sets the game apart from the packs. Using an inventory system taken from classic adventure gaming - combining objects, yet the puzzles that utilize the inventory objects are never nonsensical in the way many other adventure games use the mechanic. Since the levels are heavy in atmosphere the level design is fairly simplistic which only benefits to keep the player engaged and helps to move the puzzle solving along.

    The sound design is top notch. The sound designer took field recordings were really well recorded; feels very real, atmospheric, foreboding. Amnesia is just as much an aural experience as a visual experience, sometimes the sound is so intense with the gameplay that I've taken off my headphones just to continue. It can be that intense. The story is actually very well written and sinister. Though, largely the environments are seemingly empty they are alarmingly alive with past atrocities.The 'find-documents-along-the-way' game mechanic has been done so many times in this genre. But, never has it been done so well. The story is very well written and will capture your attention unlike in other games that deploy this element. They are somewhat reminiscent in tone with the Thief series and it definitely helps that some are very well voice-acted.

    The visual insanity mechanic is wonderful. I don't want to spoil it but it is visually much like tripping on LSD. Which is swirling textures, disorientation... it's pretty neat.

    The physics mechanics, the atmosphere, the story, the pacing, the presentation. It's immaculate. It's very polished and much more fluid than Frictional's previous endeavors and that is saying a lot. This game is simply a must buy for those into Looking Glass type games, horror, or innovative games in general.
  13. JFF
    Sep 8, 2010
    One of the best indie games of the year. The puzzles are clever, the sounds is magnificent and the atmosphere... wow boy, the atmosphere. You can play this game at 12:00 PM in a sunny Sunday and still the game will scare The hell out of you. A must buy for horror fans.
  14. Sep 15, 2010
    I thought Penumbra was scary, but this is best horror game so far. Playing at night in dark quite room can get you a heart attack! I love the atmosphere, story, puzzles and the physics in this game.
  15. Sep 13, 2010
    An unimaginably scary experience with an unimaginably terrifying and philosophically questionable story, hiding/running from monsters is terrifying and puzzles are often intuitive. Sound is brilliant, with just plain amazing ambient noises that make you scared to move on for fear of encountering a monster in the next room, and nightmare fuel music.
  16. Sep 10, 2010
    I would've liked to spend $60 and had a game with graphics worthy of 2010. It's a scary game, with simple controls and inventory (a plus in my book), but certain things just kept taking me out of the experience. A spider web you can walk through and stays fully intact for example. I hid in a cupboard, and it wasn't dark inside the cupboard, despite there being no light source. I give it 8/10 for the concept though. In terms of fear factor, I put this below Dead Space. Expand
  17. Oct 2, 2010
    Penumbra is one of my favorite horror games, but this is even better. This game really shows how a psychological horror is supposed to be made! It's really worth buying, especially because it's so cheap.
  18. Sep 10, 2010
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is simply the best survival-horror game which came out in a while. It's a 'must-have' for all horror-survival fans and, of course, PC owners.
  19. Dec 11, 2011
    This game is not as great as everyone says. It's not scary or "immersive". People love to throw that word around, but the thing is, you can "immerse" yourself in ANY game - The question is why did you choose to do it with Amnesia, as opposed to any of the other games in the world? And honestly, I couldn't tell you. You spend a large portion of the game walking around in an open room, nothing to fight, nothing significant to do. When you first encounter an enemy, you can't fight it. Your character is apparently afraid of them, so I guess you have to be too, even though they're not actually scary. And I mean what's the worst thing that can happen? You would die and have to reload the game? That is the worst possible case scenario. It's not like something is going to come out of the screen and torture you if you do badly or something. I know I'm mostly talking about the philosophy behind the game, and not the gameplay itself, but that's because there's really not much to talk about as far as gameplay. You just walk around doing insignificant little things, like finding matches so that you can light torches, so that you don't have to watch the annoying screen effects when your character starts to go crazy because of the darkness. This game simply has no appeal to me. If you aren't into horror related games, don't buy in to the hype. It's just a very generic, typical horror game. Nothing more, nothing less. Expand
  20. Aug 12, 2011
    The most intense and immersive game in recent memory. Throughout this entire game, terror and suspense had me edging constantly through the world, carefully managing my lantern and tinder supply, and apprehensively peering around corners into pitch black darkness hoping nothing was waiting for me ahead. That is, until I realized how easy it was to dodge monsters. The reason I only rate it a 5 is because once you figure out the enemy AI and once you understand how to conserve tinder boxes and lamp oil by not lighting every candle you come across, the challenge (and more importantly the terror and anxiety) largely evaporates. If you're cautious, it's super easy to avoid enemies without them ever seeing you even when the game punishes you for being in dark areas near monsters for too long as your sanity drains, vision blurs, and stealth level decreases. Monitoring your sanity does not require you to constantly light your lantern. All you need to is maneuver through natural light sources or light an out of the way candle to rest near. Monster AI and pathing seemed odd. Too often I would be spotted by a monster and forced to duck into a small room with no way out or no place to hide. All I had to do was crouch in a corner near the door. The monster would open the door or bash it in, stand in the door way for a few seconds, and then leave never actually entering the room. After a while, this got really old, and monsters felt more like an annoyance to sit through rather than a threat. Exiting the room into a narrow hallway or dead end with only one way out, the monster simply vanished, no where to be found. I even went so far as to look for trouble, finding no monsters. Monster appearences seemed to me to occur only after steps in a puzzle for a certain location were completed. For example, gaining an item needed to advance or unlocking a door would trigger an event which I would unfailingly avoid through the method described above. The only challenge left in the game were the puzzles themselves which were excellent. They required just enough thought that you felt accomplished solving them and they weren't so difficult as to feel tedious or mind numbing and forced. The pacing and placement of these puzzles was also excellent. The story was also engaging though the three endings leave a lot to be desired. Unlocking the different endings is as simple as reloading save to the final minutes of gameplay. Nothing you do throughout the game affects which ending you will receive - only what you do at the very very end of the game. If you're a horror game fanatic, you'll enjoy this game more than I did. Otherwise, it'll feel like a puzzle game with a half baked stealth mini game of avoiding monsters thrown in the break the flow. Expand
  21. Sep 8, 2010
    this game is great , very similar to penumbra but is much scary , it should be more games like this. I give it a nine because storyline could be better
  22. Sep 9, 2010
    The complete vulnerability evokes the most intense emotions while also adding adrenaline to your fright fed furnace like no other game currently available today.
  23. Sep 15, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the best games I have ever played. The atmosphere is gorgeous. The game play is very straight but in its simplicity it's perfect. Add freaky monsters, entertaining plot and great ambiance and you should have no dilemma about buying this game. It's absolutely outstanding and miles away from other survival horror games. I can ercommend this game to everyone who like to be scaried. Expand
  24. Nov 2, 2010
    A truly remarkable horror experience, you won't find cutting edge graphics or Hollywood voice-acting but what you will find is true fear and tension that even sometimes you would want to quit just because you're too scared to carry on.
  25. Oct 15, 2010
    This game itself has to be the best game I've ever played in a long time, including the scariest game for me too! The atmosphere, story and artistic environments all add up and present a game with a deep, spooky atmosphere, a complex yet interesting story, and the most cleverly designed environments in a game. Frictional Games have managed to impress many and scare the hell out of people yet again. Good luck and a thanks to Frictional Games. Expand
  26. Oct 17, 2010
    I think Amnesia : the dark descent is one of the scariest games ever made. We can see a very few mistakes, but we can understand that because the game was made by an independant developper. I really love Amnesia because all the games that qualify themselves has "horror-survival" are not scary at all, I think about Left 4 Dead or Resident Evil 5 (even if I love these games too), when you see a zombie, you kill him with a shotgun and that's all. In Amnesia, you run and hide, the only answer to the encounter between you and a monster is to escape. The fear is omnipresent, when you hear screaming voices, when you open a door, when you go into the darkness of a room without light, your heart is going crazy. This is one of the game I will remember all my life as a game of quality. Expand
  27. Sep 15, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It certainly is a creepy game, that can get the best of you at times. The level design, in some places anyway, is pretty solid, and you actually feel like you're in a massive castle. And then the horror elements come in. At first, they are genuinely scary. Monsters are intimidating in every way, be it by the growls they let loose to let you know of their presence, the tell-tale footsteps and grinding noises, and the possible rage they get into when they spot your sorry behind. They've definitely roused their fair share of scares from a number of players. But I'm not really one of them.

    For starters, the AI in this game is almost non-existent, following a seemingly on-rails methodology. This is ALWAYS the case in the game. Yes, there is pretty much one monster that doesn't follow this system, but it's for the only genuinely scary part of the game which doesn't last. When a monster appears, simply hide somewhere, wait for it to go out of sight, and it'll disappear from the level outright. The trend never dissipates, which is disappointing in the very least. This definitely makes the monsters more of an obtrusion than an actual enemy that could pose a threat to you. Even sadder is the fact that Penumbra did a better job in this regard.

    Music is pretty good, though. Mikko Tarmia is the composer, and he knew what he was doing with the game's soundtrack. Rather than give a sense of total isolation like Penumbra did, this one makes you feel like the walls are closing in. Graphics are mixed. There are solid effects here, like the SSAO lighting and higher-than-average polygon count, considering the low budget at work. Monster designs are a plus, so Frictional did a good job here. However, you can't help but feel like it is outdated. Hardly to the fault of the developers though, who may have earned enough cashola to warrant an improved engine.

    Physics is sort of important here. You can interact with pretty much anything in the game world, but other than opening doors, flipping levers & switches, and picking up items or notes, you don't do much of anything that makes you want to interact with the game world. While they did add the ability to fully rotate some objects, there isn't really a reason to. It could have been used to better effect, like say, to investigate an object that might have a nook or cranny containing a key or some other thing. Story is alright. There's little to involve you in the game, and there's no narrative. Every bit of the story comes from the notes and mementos you come across in the game. Plus, you might find yourself wanting some kind of landmark to come around to break the monotony you happen upon. You only come across one character that kind of interacts with you, but it's kind of creepy and you would have to have a suspension of disbelief to cope with it.

    You can play custom stories, even with things you make yourself, because the developers added features to elongate the game's replay factor. At least they accomplished that.

    It's a disappointing title, considering that Penumbra (sans 'Requiem') was a solid series of horror adventure games. This one is convoluted, gets predictable quite fast, and could have been improved in so many ways (don't make the enemies so pointless, for starters, as they are only there to give you the chills or scares for a few moments). Hopefully, though, they've learned their lesson and they try something better next time.
  28. Nov 1, 2010
    A lot about the game-play is said already in the reviews. It's one of a disturbing game ! Frictional guys really invested themselves in making a very original gameplay. I just love the visual effects slightly distorting the first person view.
    But what I'd like to add about this game, and it's an important thing is the intercompatibility between windows, mac and linux. The penumbra games
    were restricted to a specific os from a purchase. So I'm happy they followed 2dboy in doing this way. However there was very annoying bugs in the first version and the linux patch were published much later than the windows one...

    Also about the story I'd like to say the end was quite frustrating. Some ends kick you to the credits only with a small comment. It's more like a game over... So I feel like it's a shame and it would have deserved more.
  29. Nov 2, 2010
    They hype around the game's fear-factor is well justified until later in the game when much of the fear is replaced by horror of a different kind....
    I'd also say the use of sound is the best I've come across in all my years as a gamer and only wish my headphones had not broken days before I got the game. Still, played at high volume in the dark had the desired effect.

    Graphically very
    strong with well implemented sanity and disorientation effects.

    The story is decent, certainly daring (I think the Devs have read the same disturbing book as I: The Roots of Evil). At times though, the lead actor hams it up a bit too much and if I was reaching to find more weaknesses I'd say it was on the whole a bit too linear and the clues often obviate the need to think too much. The ending also left me wanting thought I predict that was deliberate.....

    So while nothing is perfect in this world; since this game cost me just £7 and appears to have been created by a team of about 4 people, it scores a solid 10!

    An absolute triumph for Indie Development and I look forward to their next offering!
  30. Oct 13, 2013
    A horror game that is ACTUALLY scary.... I mean REALLY scary... allow yourself to be immersed and then terrified and be stunned that a level that was essentially a platformer became a stress inducing terror.
  31. Jun 3, 2012
    I didn't expect much out of this game as I am not a fan of the horror genre, but I was plesantly surprised by it. The ability to pick up and move a good amount of things in the environment was greatly executed. The slow pacing followed by sudden shrieks or lourd noises kept me on my toes throught the whole game. I just wish some of the puzzles were more well thought out. Some of them were very difficult while others were quite easy. I wish they had implemented the ablility to stack boxes or other items to reach other areas better. The story was quite interesting at first but it began to lose steam towards the end and i ended up kinda forgetting what was going on when i did reach the end. I also felt that the ending scene was unfulfilling as well, no matter which of the 3 different endings I received. Overall it was an enjoyable experience, those that are fans of the genre should definitely look into it. If you're looking for more action, then stay away. Expand
  32. Nov 2, 2013
    Best horror game I've ever played. The atmosphere, the suspense, the feeling of being absolutely helpless, the balancing between light and dark and the storytelling worked wonders for me.
  33. Feb 11, 2012
    While I feel it doesn't live up to the hype of Penumbra, it is still a great game. It may not be very scary, but it does give you a rush of adrenaline when you need to evade enemies. The puzzles are pretty original and symbolic, and you get a good feel for Daniel's psychosis, even though he never speaks when you are playing as him. The very beginning areas of the game, to me, were pretty boring. It kept me from playing the game for a few months (I forgot that I owned it for a while), but I eventually began to enjoy it. This game has become the popular "scariest game in the world" on Youtube, and you it's almost impossible to find a Partner who hasn't done a Let's Play of it (while also slapping a video of his face over the gameplay so you can see him pretend to be terrified). I think you'll enjoy it, but please, don't ham it up and pretend this game made you cry for your mommy. So in conclusion, I think this game is worth checking out, but more for the puzzles, and not for the scares.At its core, it is fun, and that's what matters. I recommend the Penumbra games if you want more. And I do mean a whole lot more. Expand
  34. May 28, 2012
    I wanted to love this game but it ended up pretty average.
  35. Jun 13, 2012
    Frictional has made some pretty good games in the past--I played and enjoyed all three of the Penumbra games, and even consider Black Plague to be one of the best horror games ever. But within five seconds of beginning Amnesia: The Dark Descent, I want to throw up--literally. Like, the nausea from the forced camera motion is so strong that I cannot play the game. I checked the forums, and there is no workaround for this introduction. I cannot give a game anything higher than a "0" if I cannot physically play it in the first place. Sorry. Expand
  36. Dec 21, 2012
    Atmospheric and creepy for a while...then it gets boring. There's something that really breaks immersion for me. You can't fight at all. You can't even shove things away when you get close. You can't pick up any sort of weapon despite passing dozens of reasonable objects like shovels and knives. This leads to a problem. All the monsters have to be lame enough that you can just walk away from them. The sense of danger just goes out the window once you figure out the game mechanics. A "Horror" game isn't scary once you realize you are literally no danger whatsoever for 90% of the play time. It's not terrifying, it's a fun-house ride. Complete with blinking lights and people making "OOOoooooo" noises from around corners.

    If you really try to get immersed in it, I guess it could be a pretty creepy experience. But it's not a all that great as a GAME. Which is a pity, because it's been quite a while since we had a horror game that was both fun to play and actually scary. We might have to go all the way back to System Shock 2 in 1999. Although i suppose F.E.A.R. or Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth might be honorable mentions.
  37. Nov 2, 2010
    This game is by far the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced. Add to that excellent physics puzzles and a gripping story, and you've got what should be outselling the latest COD or Halo title by a longshot.
  38. Nov 12, 2010
    A spiritual successor to Frictional Game's impressive Prenumbra franchise, Amnesia: The Dark Descent breathes life into a dieing genre; offering what is probably one of the most terrifying experiences in the gaming industry and easily the best horror game to grace gamers over the last ten years. If you consider yourself a fan of Survival Horror; you owe it yourself to purchase this game.
  39. Feb 16, 2011
    There are a lot of things to love in this game. The atmosphere, the locations, the bone-chilling horror, are all done well; however, the horrendous English voice acting really pulls the player out of the experience - enough so that I feel 8.5 would be the right score. This is a shame, because Amnesia is one of the best "survival horror", or whatever you want to label it, games available. One minor complaint are the flat textures and somewhat sluggish controls. However, I fully realize that this is an independent game, and the budget and resources available are far less than a developer like CAPCOM or Konami has to work with. All things considered, and with the exception of the voice acting, this is probably the scariest, and best-conceived game I have played in this genre since Silent Hill 3 and Fatal Frame 2. I also applaud the creators for taking a considerable risk when they could have easily made another sequel to their prior games. Expand
  40. Nov 25, 2010
    I was never good with horror movies. Turns out, I am not very good with horror games.

    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a brilliantly engineered experience. The game does a job of scaring you witless, but many of your worries will be of your own creation. Using gloomy graphics and clever ambience, you will see monsters where there are none, and run away from thin air.

    The game has an
    intriguing story that draws you in and slowly unravels the mystery of Brennenburg, the eccentric Alexander, the protagonist Daniel and the evil that lurks in the shadows.

    Amnesia deserves a place in the Hall of Fame for an experience that will leave you anxious to walk down a dimly lit hallway.
  41. Apr 19, 2011
    This is the Greatest Horror survival game to date. the mouse actions are good, the atmosphere is dark and terrifying, and its only 20$. oh and if you do pick it up, do as the game says: adjust the gamma and contrast , play it in a dark room by yourself, with a good headset. - Nov '10

    OH GOD! why does this game effect me this much. maybe I take it too serious. Might not be so bad If I
    didnt care about not Dying so much. the piano just started playing.and I heard a moan back that way. I dont want to go back, but I have to. AAAAAAH! -Dec '10

    I had to start over, didnt copy my docs saves when I Reloaded my OS. Even though I have been through the some areas before, I still dont know if the creature is gonna pop out or not. and every moan and Squeak makes me flip around, or run to the nearest door and turn the lamp off. Its Great. - Jan '11
  42. Jun 14, 2011
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is, in almost every sense of the word, scary. Scary as in the obvious, "OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT THING AND WHY IS IT CHASING ME?!". The horror of Amnesia is something I have never quite seen in other games. Instead of little startles here and there to momentarily freak out the player (games such as Dead Space 1 & 2 express this quality in bundles), Amnesia goes for the masterpiece symphony kind of scary, where the horror is carefully crafted with the players emotions and feelings in constant mind. There is no set place that a monster will be in at a time, rather it patrols the area that you are or could be in. This not only triggers the scared, yet curious emotions in the players brain, it also adds a great deal of immersion into the atmosphere. You see a room you haven't explored yet, one half of your brain is telling you to go in and explore, "You might find something of value in there and progress through the game, and after all that's what it is a GAME". But the other side of your brain is pleading with you, "Don't go in there! There's obviously going to be a monster in there that wants to eat yo-WHAT WAS THAT?!? I heard a moaning noise!!! I am NOT going in there!". In the end curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to explore. And you either find a clue or item to help you progress, or you find a monster that wants to use your face skin as a napkin after enjoying a nice, tasty dinner of your intestines, in which case you want to hide somewhere and hope that the monster passes by without noticing you. In some cases you'll find both a monster and an item. Another use of the word "scary" is used as in such phrases "this game has a different all together play style of any other game I've ever played...it's...it's scary". Amnesia isn't your average first person shooter, as in it takes out the word "shooter" as there are absolutely NO weapons at your disposal (which in turn, makes the game a LOT scarier), and replaces it with "fright fest". It also adds an item that I really enjoy, puzzles! There are a plethora of puzzles scattered throughout Amnesia. They range from collecting bits of a machine and putting them together, to pressing buttons or pulling levers in a certain order. These puzzles create a nice island that is your piss and excrement from the insane scariness everywhere else in the game. Finally, scary can be used such as in the phrase "this game is scary good!". Which this game most certainly is. You can't find a scarier monster film, book, game, or story that tops the Fright-skyscraper that is Amnesia: The Dark Descent! This game is perfect for a group of friends looking for some fun entertainment, or a single person that's just looking for a good time. For $20, and hours upon hours of mind bending, scary fun, you can't go wrong! Expand
  43. Jun 15, 2011
    Very unique. Yes you can't attack enemies, I understand that, but that's the point. They are coming to kill you, and all you can do is run, escape, get away, that's why the game is so scary. Total 10 from me, game is fun, interesting, and scary as hell.
  44. Jun 13, 2012
    Amnesia is one of the most overrated games out there. It *does* have decent puzzles and a fairly interesting story, but I would not call it 'scary', unless maybe you're someone that can't go to sleep after reading a Goosebumps book. I give it credit for being different, in that you're not some sort of macho space marine killing ghost alien bugs, but I don't really want to play the opposite end of the spectrum either, where my character is such a pant-wetting wimp that crouching in a dark corner of a room causes him to go insane. The monster AI is simplistic and exploitable, and as others have said, once you know what's going on they are easy to avoid. Meh overall. Expand
  45. Nov 13, 2012
    Because I am not human and therefor lack human emotions, I am unable to become physically "scared". But, this game has more presence in that department than any game I have played. More please!
  46. Jul 7, 2012
    For the price, it's not a bad game. Steam had it on sale for $5 or $10 when I bought it. If you're looking for something original, this game tries some things brazenly. In the end, it becomes repetitive. Thank goodness it's fairly short. I generally take a long time to finish games, as I'm something of a completionist, but this game was done in 12 hours. Games like Deus Ex: HR took me closer to 50 hours, and games like Skyrim took about 100 hours. -------
    That said, those are the game's two major flaws: narrow world which makes it short, and a repetitive game play. In the beginning, when the game play hasn't had a chance to wear on you, it's a fine and novel game. You sneak around, you get scared, you run, you plan your escape routes methodically, you wonder what is going on in this hellish world. All wonderful things. And if you're like me, you'll relish the immersion, so you'll put on a pair of headphones, turn up the volume, and turn off the lights. Make sure the kiddies are asleep because you won't want them catching a glimpse of this little horror bit. It'd give them nightmares. But it doesn't do this through cheap thrills and gore - though there's a little of that. Much of it is done through understated mixtures of sound and visuals. ----------
    Still, eventually you long to be able to use some of the things you find to at least hinder creatures. It feels like I should be able to use some simple lamp oil to set these nasties on fire - especially if I felt like wasting my precious oil, or if I'd been especially careful about saving it, as I was. And eventually you get the hang of the AI, but I can't complain too much about that. For what it's worth, the AI is better than new games like Deus Ex: HR. Probably the worst offending part of the repetitive gameplay is that the game actually gets easier if you reload more than twice. That's sad. Being a completionist, I *enjoy* the challenge of retrying the occasional situation a third or fourth time. That should be rare, since it breaks the immersion, but so does a monster totally disappearing from a zone because I happened to be taking a sip of beer on the first playthrough, and didn't quite get it right on the second playthrough. It detracts from the game's serious attraction: brutal and unforgiving horror survival. That gameplay would also be seriously enhanced with more to do in the game and more to explore other than the single dungeon. There were many times I asked myself, why would I stay in such a deathtrap?? I'd like to at least break a window and climb outside in the snow and discover that I couldn't travel far without the wolves attacking. Perhaps that would lead to some interesting gameplay with me exploring the stables and finding a demolished wagon, or perhaps I'd find that the roads leading to this castle were treacherously steep as poor Jonathan Harker discovers in Bram Stoker. These diversion would make sense, give me a break from the monotony of the castle, and immerse me in the world a little.------
    All in all, though, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the game for the pennies I paid. The game studio deserved my money, and perhaps we'll see more developed games from them in the future.
  47. Jan 3, 2012
    After I had finished Amnesia: The Dark Descent, I felt I could wear my victory as a badge of honor and experience against any and all horrors the video games industry could throw at me. For nothing could possibly compare to the masterpiece created by Norden and Frictional Games.

    These folks have fear down to a science. Suspense that makes you remind yourself (hopelessly) that it's just
    a game, scenery that's to die for, music expertly integrated into your nervous system, sounds that quickly match your heart rate, a story I can't believe didn't come out of a novel, and seamless game play between fleeing horrors your friends won't understand and Valve-worthy physics puzzles.

    The only hurtle for me was that this game did not immunize me to horror, but had by all means destroyed me. Thank you Frictional Games. Indie delivers again.

    It's a shame Amnesia was not made by Russians, because you don't beat this game. It beats you.
  48. Feb 12, 2012
    Finally! A survival horror game - that is a survival horror game! Well done gaming industry as a whole! Was it really that difficult? Anyway, enough of this obnoxiousness. I thoroughly enjoyed Amnesia despite it's clunky controls. Genuinely terrifying with a very well told story that requires player exploration instead of intense cut-scene overkill. The removal of combat that was present in the Penumbra series (also made by Frictional) really helps keep the pace and prevents frustrating mouse swinging angst. You survive by running and hiding. The shadows are as much your friends as they are your enemies adding an element of risk to all of your actions. To a certain extent it has the same appeal as a well thought out point-and-click adventure with simplistic gameplay that allows you to get absorbed by the terrifically dark atmosphere instead of having you scrolling through inventory lists and entering attack combos. This game won't be for everyone, and many people will simply be bored by the lack of action and direct story telling. But I don't think this game was ever trying to grab a mainstream audience and all its appeal is rather quite niche. But nonetheless, it is a game that most should at least visit, for it truly is a welcome sleeper indie hit for us horror fans. This game is best played in a dark room with a decent headset. In fact I refuse to play this game during the day! It's also a good idea to have your face pressed up to the screen so you sh*t yourself quicker. True story. Expand
  49. Aug 1, 2012
    One of the best true horror games of all time. This is game is not for the faint of heart, you will be scared **** A must buy for every horror fan.
  50. May 16, 2012
    Have you ever imagined playing a game in which you are afraid to check what is beyond the next corner, behind the next door ? I have, and boy was I with mixed feelings while playing this game. Amnesia: The dark descent is a game in which you do not have your guns with which you can shoot monsters between the eyes, nor blades with which to cut them to shreds for trying to kill you ... nope. The dark atmosphere, blood spills from paintings, screams that you hear in the begining of the game that echo in your mind until you finally lose the courage to continue on and just Save+Quit is what you will expirience in this game. Darkness is all around, making you lose your sanity and the only thing that could probably help you out is a little candle or a oil lamp - that is what keeps you from losing your mind in the game - light ! I will not spoil the story and start telling what you will see and thus spoiling all the "fun" you will expirience. The only thing I can tell you is this - must buy for all horror fans ! And even if you ARE an extreme horror fan - do NOT get overconfident - this game will crush you if you take it lightly ... think I am joking ? Play it at night on a widescreen monitor with all the lights turned off, doors tightly shut, headphones strapped tightly to your ears and dare finish the game in one go ... I dare you ! The story and game is said to be 4-5 hours ... well it took me 5 times starting the game with 2 hours of game time ... I couldn't afford any more of it, else you can't sleep at all !

    For those that are "graphics obsessed" I can say that the game may not be in CryEngine 2, but the atmosphere from the sounds and everything else will make you stop paying attention to how pretty that rocking chair in the room is and make you ask yourself non-stop "Oh my God, what is that behind the corner ?!?!?!?!?!"
  51. Sep 28, 2012
    Anyone who loves horror should definitely try Amnesia. This game is able to enter into the human psyche, so if you follow the advice given before starting (play in the dark with headphones) you will certainly be taken from the atmosphere around Daniel.
  52. Jan 3, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A truly terrifying game that is only rivaled by the other series made by this company, Penumbra. Unlike most horror games, this one focuses less on "monsters jumping from the closet" scares and is chock full of psychological and moral horror. Even without the literal monsters, the plot is full of human monsters; torture, human sacrifices, black magic and sorcery make the game reek of evil. The immersive sound design and well-implemented screen & graphical effects feed the fear of being cornered by other worldly monsters and human abominations. Without any weapons to fight back, this is a genuine "survival horror" game that you should pick up and lose sleep over. Expand
  53. Mar 6, 2013
    This game scares me like no other. You can't fight back, so your best bet is to avoid the monsters whenever possible, and run like hell when you can't. It's an eerie on-edge feeling punctuated with adrenaline-rush moments. The story is quite captivating; sometimes I wish the game weren't quite so good at scaring me so I could get through the story more quickly.
  54. Dec 17, 2010
    This game concept was new to me, as I have never played a survival horror on the PC, there is so many things that make this game great the most important is how the game always keeps you on the edge of your seat ready to jump up and shout in fear. The main features of this game are adventuring, puzzling and crapping yourself with fear, the games monsters aren't the only thing that keep you on your guard as there are factors like sanity, stay in the light and you will stay sane, stay in the darkness however and your sanity will start to decrease or witnessing unnatural events will as well. The game has great graphics and spectacular sound and atmosphere, this is a must play! Expand
  55. Oct 24, 2010
    Amnesia is a game of horror that truly honors the genre: It scares. The gameplay mechanics for the game are at first disheartening: There's no way to defend yourself, other than hiding or outrunning whatever you bump into. But, that's the beauty of it. The game inmerses yourself. It doesn't punish you for being killed, but it instead seeks to inmerse yourself completely in the game so you truly feel fear for not knowing what's around the corner or hiding in the dark. And, the puzzles themselves are at the same time challening but with solutions reached by the use of reason and exploring.

    Graphics are quite good considering the minimum requirements that the game asks. I have seen a review from one critics that he struggled on making this game playable. I don't really know what game he was playing, but this one didn't require from me even a minor tweak to get good fps or to fix any bugs. It simply sets the recommended settings depending on what graphics card that you are using.

    The story is quite good and makes your moral compass struggle between what's right and what's wrong. This game is also about collecting clues to regain a sense of what happened and why you don't remember anything.

    So, to sume it all up, it's a must buy and it really has an excellent value considering the $19.99 price tag on steam. Hell, if I would have known that it was this good, I would have payed $49.99. It truly is better than most titles that reach the $49.99 price tag.
  56. Nov 4, 2010
    Amazing game. Delivered the much loved penumbra-esque atmosphere, yet felt nothing like Penumbra, which is a plus in my book. The atmosphere, the story, the intensity and the gameplay mechanics all suck you in. I only wish it were longer! (and that the end was a bit better...)
  57. Nov 5, 2010
    Initially watching a You Tube video of a Halloween special from TotalBiscuit, I grew curious of the game and followed the immersion factor that TB had placed himself in as was recommended by the developers. I have yet to purchase the full version as I had only tried the demo of the game. But even the demo itself is capable of making one jump from their chair and/or have an accident; depending on the person.

    What Amnesia gives you is a first person survival that reminds me of elements from Half-Life puzzles, Doom 3 sudden enemy appearances and events, and enemies that are so twisted and flayed that I would expect that Alma from F.E.A.R. to do.

    To recap I intend on setting aside of few nights to stay up all night and experience the terror that Amnesia will have in store for me in the full version of it. It created a hunger for utter terror in me that I'm not sure that I should be ignoring it or concerned about it.
  58. Nov 6, 2010
    I confess that this is not the sort of game I usually go for but I decided to give it a try for several reasons: I'd read numerous reviews singing it's praises; it was a bargain on Steam over the Halloween weekend; it is available on multiple platforms (I am a big fan of supporting developers who support my freedom of choice for OS) and I believe in supporting indie games development. I was pleasantly surprised therefore that Amnesia: The Dark Descent really does live up to the hype (which I suppose I am adding to!). Amnesia exceeded my expectations in almost every regard: the graphics, while not on a par with AAA+ games, were strong (excellent for such a small developer); the audio was truly superb; the levels were well designed; the puzzles were (for the most part) logical and necessary and the story was compelling. All of this combined to great effect to make an incredibly immersive game that simultaneously drew me in while making me want to stop playing and go outside into the sunshine for a while - with clear lines of sight and heavily armed just in case... So why not give the game 10 out of 10? Aside from a couple of occasions in the game where I was unsure what to do next, which in reality probably says more about me that the game, my only criticism would be that ending was weaker than I'd expected. Maybe this is something to do with how well constructed the rest of the game was but the ending felt quite abrupt. After playing Amnesia I am keenly aware that this is what a survival-horror game should be. Other games I have played recently using that label, such as the Left 4 Dead games and Resident Evil series, do not come close. Amnesia introduced me to fear, the need to survive by hiding in the shadows on the edge of sanity, the dread of knowing there was nothing I could do should I be found, before unveiling the horror of the reality in which I found myself and which both fascinated and repulsed me... Somehow I just don't think facing horrors with a shotgun will ever instill that same sense of fear and dread...

    Frictional Games is definitely a developer i shall be following in future.

    Overall Amnesia is an experience I would recommend to everyone... except those under the age of 18 or with a weak disposition... :-)
  59. Oct 1, 2011
    One of the best game ever. I enjoy it sooo mutch. The atmosphere is strongest and gameplay si great. This game is an 'must have' for all lovers of horror.
  60. Nov 11, 2010
    Haunting. Harrowing and a bona fide cult hit. Do you remember that scene from the original Resident Evil when you walk into a mansion room and see the first zombie chomping a corpse - and he looks up and goes for you! Or recall the first time you see Pyramid Head in Silent Hill - both classic scary gaming moments. Both put to shame by Amnesia. Yes, it is that good. And yes play it with the light off with spare boxer shorts on hand. Survival horror just got re-invented. Combat takes a back seat, intelligence takes the wheel. - CuRiOuS Expand
  61. Nov 12, 2010
    i cant play for too long before turning it off because its so intense, it sets up an amazing atmosphere, along with great graphics and near perfect game play it really is a great game that no one should miss.
  62. Nov 19, 2010
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a breath of fresh air for survival-horror fans. Anyone who's an avid gamer knows most survival-horror games involve a larger-than-life hero, toting mass arsenals of highly destructive weapons used mainly to plow through waves of demons, zombies, mutants, etc...
    Well, Frictional Games took a different, and highly innovative, approach to surviving a nightmare;
    they made the lead character as weak and fragile as possible, then threw him directly into a story of mystery, violence, shattered memories, and impending doom with only his cunning, and a small lamp at his disposal. This combination of great story, challenging puzzles, dark atmosphere, and realistic characters make Amnesia: The Dark Descent a masterpiece of survival horror and a great addition to any genuine horror fan's gaming library. Expand
  63. Nov 19, 2010
    Sorry for the wall of text, but it's not possible to make it look better.

    A crossing, I stop for a second. Which way to go? As I turn around both left and right to see where they lead I stop at the left way. What was that? Did I just see something moving over there, or was it just my imagination? I stand completely still, afraid of moving. After ten seconds I notice I wasn't breathing.
    After twenty seconds I pulled a deep sigh, it probably was nothing. I turn around to remember where I came from and there's someone there. Something there. It's running towards me, and I can't react. I've never been so scared or surprised in my whole life.

    Do you remember Penumbra? The survival-horror game from Swedish developer Frictional Games? If you do, you already know the basics of their new game Amnesia: the Dark Descent.

    Amnesia starts out as your character, Daniel, walk along a pair of corridors in a castle that seems desolated, mumbling to himself. After not long you find a note that you apparently wrote for yourself, and that's all you know from the beginning, and the more you continue on, the more you get to know about the story. As you carry on you'll see flashbacks, and find notes from your diary, from which you can finally understand what you are doing in that medieval castle, and what you're going to do. All this while trying to stay away from the shadows that are hunting you, to kill you.

    Something that Frictional Games gets right, that most other developers of horror games do not, is just that, horror. They understand that we're not mostly afraid of what we know, but what we don't know. Every time you round a corner in Amnesia you'll think that something will happen, every time you open a new door, only because you don't know anything about it. And since you do not know about what horrors await, you will imagine your biggest fear there, not far ahead. It never does, even thought every sound you hear tells you it is. The sound of footsteps, a woman crying for help and mercy, whispers that you do not understand. You can't help but think: does this mean something is coming? Is this just created to make your imagination go wild? Is it in-game, or only in your brain? You can never know for sure, without asking whoever you got over to hold your hand if they had heard it too.

    Another thing adding to the horror is the horrible look of enemies, and the fact that you got nothing at all to defend you with. Sure, you can pick up a chair and throw it, but they are mostly faster than you, you can't run away that often. You have to hide, run around a corner and hide behind a pair of barrels. It's your only way to survive, this time there's no rocket-launcher with auto-aim to help you.

    Even though all this Amnesia do have some flaws. At certain points in the game you could easily have continued, but you're not allowed to. You can't move those rocks, and you can't use anything to break a locked door, it's very annoying and sometimes even breaks the atmosphere. Sometimes you have no idea what you're doing, and that also annoys me. Sometimes, though, it's none of these thing stopping you from moving forward, you're simply to afraid to continue, sitting in a corner behind a crate, hiding, from whatever your imagination came up with.
    Sometimes I had to quit playing, because I was close to throw up. I won't say much, but there was some rooms that should show how torture and experiments worked at that time, and since torture is my big fear... Well, you can guess what sort of horrible scenes my imagination thought up. Those images are still terrorizing my mind.

    This is a first-class survival horror game that will make your mind go crazy. Not in a bad way, since you'll always want to go back and continue the story, but in a good way.
    It's an amazing experience, and even if I hate my mind for coming up with those images I'm also glad it did.
    For 14.99$ this is the best horror game you will ever find, just make sure you have three hands; One for the mouse, one for moving around and one for pressing escape to pause the game, while yelling curses that you just made up. Honestly, that will happen.
  64. Dec 2, 2010
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent has a great merit, this is one of the most original horror games ever made in the last decade. I'm not talking about monster or level design only, but if you like horror, you could love this game because instead of killing your foes with pistols or other weapons, here you can only hide in the dark, because you are an ordinary man, not so brave and strong to face the nightmare which is looking for you.

    The only way to survive is hide or run depending by the situation, and in some case this is extremely useful to the atmosphere of loneliness and on desire to get outside the castle given to you by the light crannies that force you to think outside is all quiet and clear from the enemy.

    This is not the only feature that make this game a great title, let's talk about environment interaction, in this game opening doors or furniture is great, because you must use your mouse like your hand, so to open a drawer you have to press click on it, pulling and then release the mouse button. It works perfectly and it's very realistic.

    I must remark I usually don't like horror games especially because you have to do weird things on level mechanics to go on, for example in Resident Evil, in a police station you must burn a painting to get a jewel, position it in a fountain (a fountain in a police station??) to open a secret compartment where is located a shotgun... WTF? Does the police-men work like this in Resident Evil universe? I hate senseless enigmas, and fortunately, this game is far away from this.

    In facts, level design is absolutely logical and the things you need to do to go on are like repair a machine with some missing spare, to take it you have (logically) to looking for it in a spares depository. And because you have to do logical things this doesn't mean it's easy, moving inside the areas is not so secure.

    Great part of the game-play is based on light and dark, your character can hide in the dark from dangerous creatures which can see you if you are moving or if you are near a lights source. But that's not all, seeing supernatural creatures, events and live high tension moments debilitate your mental sanity and stability, because you have a body health indicator and a mental health indicator too. Obiously, the first obiously can go down if you are shoot by a creature or if you do something can hurt yourself.

    I don't want to talk about the story to avoid unveal something, but I can say it's great and particulary adapt to the game universe, rich in turnovers but without excess, rich of details but without loose the main story line, so very well orchestrated, in facts, sometimes if you expect something dangerous happens by activating a door nothing happens, and when you think to by safe is right when a creature come near you. I can beg to say there is some conjunction with Roman Polanski's "The Ninth Gate" mood.

    A must for people looking for game-play and originality in a game.

    Closing comments
    - Great atmosphere and game-play
    - Awesome sounds
    - An horror different from the horror mass
    - It doesn't require a super computer
    - The graphic flawlessly immerse you in Amnesia universe although it's not incredible
  65. Jun 10, 2011
    This game will definitely send chills down your spine. Roughly 9 hours of gameplay that gets kind of repetitious towards the end. Great story up until the anticlimactic ending. Recommend playing at night in an unlit room. Probably worth waiting until it goes into the $5 bucket due to it's lack of replayability.
  66. Feb 12, 2011
    One of the most draining, terrifying, screamy-fit-inducing games ever made. Why you would want to play it is beyond me, but that doesn't make it any less of an absolute work of genius.
  67. Feb 7, 2011
    I wish someone had told me it's a PUZZLE GAME. Basically you walk around and solve puzzles while the game throws every haunted house cliche there is plus the kitchen sink at you. If you like atmospheric and mildly scary puzzle games, this is for you.
  68. Jun 14, 2011
    Wow, my friend owns this game and we only play it at night to add to the already creepy atmosphere this game delivers so well. I don't even play the game, I just watch, and I must say it plays a lot like a good old fashioned scary movie. The only reason I don't want to play is I know I would get the crap scared out of me if I sat closer to the screen; being a bit farther back I take myself a bit out of the first person aspect. Man it eats at your imagination! Expand
  69. Feb 11, 2011
    I don't know if i'm qualified to review this game yet: I didn't finish the game. But I plan finish it real soon. I only managed to make about 30 minutes in before chickening out. This game is on a WHOLE NOTHA LEVEL. Quote me on that. If any game is going to beat this in horror, it need to be where the main character only has a box of matches in a graveyard while it's raining.
  70. Feb 19, 2011
    The true Survival Horror, even if it lacks at the technical department its a true masterpiece, it achieves what no game has ever achieved so perfectly, Scaring people, which should be the primary goal of a survival horrors, lastly survival horrors such as Dead Space have focused on the action part and have failed in the scare part as the primary trick they have to scare people are Necromorphs just falling of the ceiling , on Amnesia the whole atmosphere is scary, as your light sources are very limited and you have no weapons aside from the darkness which is a double-edged sword as it can act as cover but will drain your sanity. Expand
  71. Mar 3, 2011
    This games Gameplay got hit by a rock, so did it's music and character's, but it's immersion was instead rewarded with a gold medal ... And then hit by it.
    Amnesia told us : "That a isn't scary because one of the monster's have **** growing out of their knee's or the overarching plot, it's scary because of immersion, and being completley ... Alone ..."
    And hey! For an indie game the
    voice-talent is prety good. Expand
  72. Apr 19, 2011
    This game is absolutely horrifying and beautiful. I honestly do not know why I bought this game because I am not a fan of horror games at all. After finally collecting my nerves I played the game and was absolutely traumatized, but I mean that in the best way possible. Between the immersion, horror, story, and puzzles, I was enthralled and on edge yet always wanting and ready for more.

    Definitely one of the best games I have ever played.
  73. Apr 22, 2011
    As I was a Penumbra player who followed and pre-ordered the game months and months before it was out .I loved this game, and was worth all the waiting in the world for it to come out.

    The true and ONLY Survival Horror.

    MUST: Play at night, with headphones on, and lights off. You're doing yourself a great disservice if you don't.
  74. Mar 22, 2011
    This game is not one of those all "hype" and no "show", it will drain your guts dry as it is one of the scariest horror game there is. You play as Daniel, a Londoner who just experienced a terrible "amnesia" and woke up on the floor of a big mansion, armed with nothing at all but cinder boxes and a lantern to lit the darkness where the fiend of the mansion may hide and stalk your back. Reminded me of how a survival horror game should be, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is really the ultimate interactive horror software that horror mongers should enjoy, with a good and deep story telling keeping you tense on the edge of the seat on most of the playtime. The sanity feature really gives an identity to the game, as no game before this has it. Will you prowl in the dark hiding from the "residents" of the mansion stealthily and go nuts, or lit everything that can be with the risk of being seen but stay sane? Definitely a must buy for the true fans of the amazing genre survival horror that is. Expand
  75. Apr 7, 2011
    Scariest game Ive ever played, 3 of us sat down in the living room with the speakers turned up in front of a 32in lcd. We would scream. There is one level that simply horrified my friend early on, nothing but loud shrieks coming from mid 20s grown men. After a few hours we would have to take a break for a few days to get the urge to scare ourselves to death again. Excellent atmosphere, sounds, good graphics, good puzzles. I got this for 10 bucks, and regularly its 20. THIS IS AMAZING FOR 20 BUCKS and a steal at 10. Buy this now and scare yourself, but be warned, for me I couldn't play the demo more than 15 mins alone. Then my friends made me buy it and we played it together. Our wives must think we are wimps to scream this much at a game. Expand
  76. Apr 14, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Move over Penumbra; Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the new king of scary now. Take everything you've seen in scary movies and games, like mutated monsters, mysterious noises, and an unseen hunter stalking you at every turn; now imagine facing them all with absolutely no way to defend yourself. That's right. You have NOTHING but your "legs" and your wits to survive.

    Very well done, fictional games. You'll be getting my therapy bill soon.
  77. Apr 20, 2011
    This is one hell of a game. There is no game that I have ever played that comes close to this kind of gaming. Games like Doom, Resident Evil and Dead Space are scary, but when you come face to face with a monster that has their jaw hanging down to their chest, and you have nothing, NOTHING, to defend yourself with, a jolt of terror runs through your whole body. It goes beyond scary and frightening, it makes you scared for much longer periods of time, rather than just getting startled and regaining your stature. I found myself many times running for my life, with the growl and footsteps of the monsters following closely behind me. Both of my arms would be shaking because I was so terrified and it would be harder to open and close doors because I couldn't click on them properly, being out of control scared was something I literally have only experienced in nightmares. The graphics are nothing to be bragging about, but by no means are they bad. They provided a good well balanced environment that fit the story and the fear perfectly. The thing that impressed me the most about this game, were the sounds. Very masterly done. I played through this game with a pretty high grade vibrating headset, the sound quality was outstanding. The voice acting, some of the best I've ever heard. I can honestly say that if I had played through this game with no sounds, it wouldn't have come close to the level of fear produced as it did with sounds. Between the terrifying monsters that the characters only hope of surviving was running for his life, and the sounds, this game delivered a 1-2 punch straight into my fear center. I found myself quitting because I was too scared at times. Puzzles are another important factor of this game. Fun and intuitive they kept my brain from getting too relaxed. Difficult at times left me wondering if I would ever get past them, I did have to cheat a little and look up solutions. Overall: A very, VERY fun game. very scary and deep, it has an amazing storyline that doesn't leave you with questions. Expand
  78. Apr 23, 2011
    An experience created only by a few people, but that proves developers don't need a huge team to make an unbelievably horrifying game. Not only is this game incredible, but it takes a different approach to the now existing horror genre and completely goes the other way. It's a fresh experience, with well thought out sequences and horrific creatures. In the end, it creates an extremely tense and insane design. It's so well done, that it is one of the scariest games ever made. It doesn't achieve this by giving fake scares, it scares you psychologically, until you can't play anymore. Expand
  79. Apr 19, 2011
    Scariest game that I have played in a long time. This one will have grown men shaking. Best played late at night in a pitch black room alone. Headphones are a must.
  80. Jun 14, 2011
    An amazingly atmospheric and immersive game. While it's definitely the scariest game I've ever played, I can't help but feel that it could have been a bit scarier. More non-despawning monsters would have accomplished this nicely I think. The story is subtle and non-intrusive, but satisfyingly rich if you look for it. The only gripes I have are the lackluster endings and the outdated graphics.
  81. Jun 17, 2011
    Amnesia, saying this word makes me scared, when i think of my past in this horror filled game, it is so painful to remember, the howling voices are things out of nightmares. This game does well on what it focus's on for example, the atmosphere and the puzzles are brilliant, and the monster encounters are totally scary, I have never got scared from a horror movie and the only other game I know that is this scary is night mare house 2. Amnesia brings back survival horror, you have to keep your lamp full of oil so you can see, but monsters are attracted to light so you have to be careful when you use your lamp, you can also use tinder box's that are scattered around the game which can light up light sources like candles.If you like horror games amnesia is your game, if you like survival then amnesia is your game. The graphic in the game don't matter, they are descent enough to play and they are quite good for an INDIE DEVELOPER! So help them out, buy this game, you will have a hard time playing on it because it will send shivers down your spine when you even look at it on your steam games list. That's my review, I will be reviewing more in the near future to save this site of idiot reviews. Expand
  82. Jun 19, 2011
    Amnesia is a one-of-a-kind experience. It's been said countless times before, but this really is the scariest game out there, assuming you go into it with the proper mindset (that is, you play the game to have a unique and immersive experience rather than to just brag that you beat it or weren't scared by it). The atmosphere is (almost) flawless. The castle is as dark and menacing as it is beautiful (and yes, Amnesia is quite the looker), but it's the little things that really make it scary. The creaking footsteps on the floor above, the small dust trails that seem to appear out of nowhere in dark corners. Oh yeah, and the big monster that stalks you, waiting for a chance to sink his monstrous claws into your flesh.
    Actually, that brings up my first complaint about the game: the monster. There are actually 3 monsters in Amnesia, but one was only present in two very short sections and I honestly never saw the third (I guess I assumed it was the same as the first one you encounter). So a vast majority of the encounters you have with an enemy of any sort are with one type of monster who loses his scare factor once you've seen his face (which is actually rather laughable once you see it in a steady frame) up close and personal for about the third time. He still got your heart pounding every time he turned abruptly in your direction, but the pure terror that filled you when you first glimpsed his hazy outline in the beginning would be something much less powerful. The reason the monster was terrifying in the first place was because it was an unknown. After a while, though, it became familiar. The other monster you see acts exactly the same way, enough that you might just mistake it for the other monster like I did. I think that is Amnesia's biggest flaw, it allowed the enemies to become a familiar element. If there were more varied enemies who acted differently, the game could have been really sadistically frightening. But as it stands it is only simply terrifying.
    Back to the positive, the game did do a great job of making the player feel helpless, even if the enemies did lose their original scare power. The player has no weapons and no means of defending himself. Some may argue that this is a negative point, but I think it is one of Amnesia's strongest. Even if they player was given a weapon that would just subdue the monster temporarily or slow it down, this would give the player a means to feel secure, to feel that not situation is too hopeless. But that's not scary. Scary is being able to do nothing but run and hide and hope that you won't be mercilessly torn to ribbons. Added to that is your dependency on light, which is largely what forces you into the above situation in the first place. You can't stay in the dark forever to avoid the monsters, but you can't stay in the light without being detected. It's the tension between these two that really make the player feel helpless.
    Putting aside the terror aspects of Amnesia (I know, right?), the story is surprisingly well-written for a horror game. Although nothing mind-blowing or particularly oscar worthy, it is written well, and voiced magnificently (seriously, if you appreciate good voice acting, this is a shining example for video games). The way it is revealed steadily throughout the game is also very effective and will allow you to readily forgive the amnesia cliche. In fact, I just have to be frank and say that the presentation is absolutely perfect. The puzzle elements are also very good here. There's nothing too challenging that you'll have to resort to googling solutions (unless you're just not good at logic puzzles), but they're also stimulating enough to give the biggest puzzle buffs satisfaction.
    All in all, Amnesia has it's flaws like any other game. Some elements are overdone, such as the painfully annoying beetles/roaches/whatever that crawl all over you when your sanity begins to dip. But unlike many games, Amnesia doesn't offer just a fun way to pass the time (in fact, fun isn't exactly a word I would use to describe it). The Dark Descent is very dark in both the literal and figurative meanings of the word, but it is also unimaginably magnetic. It will shake you and give you a miniature stroke and you will inexplicably beg for more. It will give you an unforgettable experience unlike any other.
  83. Jun 26, 2011
    I actually crapped myself while playing this alone, in the dark, in the middle of the night, with my headphones on, after smoking marijuana. Advise to anyone intending to play this game under these circumstances: do NOT smoke any marijuana.
  84. Jul 7, 2011
    I appreciate games that deviate from the standard shoot everything that moves, and like the early Silent Hill games, this game delivers it. I have only two gripes with the game that ruin it for me. First, the light mechanic looks like an after-thought. Why can't I take an obvious light source on the table? It's not like this is glued to it. Second, the jump mechanic was awful to me, making an entire flooded section be so difficult to pass that I literally turned the game off and never picked it up again. Expand
  85. Jul 30, 2011
    Personally, I don't find that Amnesia: The Dark Descent is that scary anymore. Not as scary as Penumbra. But nothing else in the horror genre can top this. Hands down.
  86. Sep 3, 2011
    Even though I'm only 12, I rarely get scared from games. All the blood and gore to try to scare means nothing. Amnesia, however, is one hell of a scary game. Instead of going the mainsteam Blood and Gore path, it focuses on making an atmosphere that chills your spine. The sounds play a MASSIVE part of the game, so use good headphones/speakers. Once I finished the Water part, my heart was beating. FAST. Pick it up in a sale for sure. Collapse
  87. Sep 22, 2012
    This game isn't for everyone. Amnesia is an artfully mastered, ambient experience for anyone craving a taste of quality; like a fine wine upon the mountain of cheap beer being produced by the triple-A production line. Take a break from Call of Duty and enjoy Amnesia: The Dark Descent; witness a lost form of creative craftsmanship which only Frictional Games is still bold enough, willing, and able deliver. Expand
  88. Nov 11, 2011
    For the first half, a nicely atmospheric horror adventure. It kind of lands somewhere between Penumbra 1 and 2, gameplay wise, keeping to the same style but bringing back some of the real danger and stealth elements that were (sadly, I think) toned down for the sequel. Still, most of your time is spent crawling through the dark, keeping track of your tinderboxes and lantern oil and looking for ways to progress deeper into the castle.

    Around the halfway point, however, the game somewhat falls apart at the seams. The second half feels a lot more low-key compared to what came before it, and sadly fails to live up to the truly nerve-shattering set piece moments of the first. The whole experience loses some of its very compelling sense of dread and mystery as you go on, especially as it often fails to throw any real surprises at you.

    Amnesia loses even more of its luster if/when you figure out its one big trick for keeping you on your toes - for me, this coincided with getting into the latter half of the game. Suffice it to say that it made the formerly exciting and horrifying monster encounters less so, though even then it managed to sneak a few satisfying scares right in my face.

    In the end, it's worth playing through if you're at all interested in the type of games Frictional makes. Still, the first half seemed to promise so much more, and if only it had lived up to itself Amnesia would have been an exceptional game rather than a good, interesting but flawed one.
  89. Nov 1, 2012
    very random game, cant mention anything special. you walk arround and solve more or less obvious puzzles. graphics look a bit old, the sounds are ok, it has some basic physic effects. a weird story... if you find this game scary you might should take a look in a dictionary for the definition of this word. a ingrown toenail is a lot more scary than this. when its on sale buy it only if you are really bored, the regular price of 15 Expand
  90. Mar 8, 2012
    I hate this game... but in a good way. I hate playing it because it scares me. I've not played a game like this in ages... in-fact I don't remember ever playing a game like this. It is truly amazing. When I walk home in the dark it causes me great paranoia!

    If you're afraid of the dark... I highly recommend not playing this! Scratch that... I recommend you getting over your fear, playing
    this, then releasing your fear didn't leave you! Expand
  91. mez
    Dec 18, 2011
    Very scary. The most tense and unpleasant (in a good way!) atmosphere of any game I've ever played. It's not perfect - the story tries to be mysterious but instead feels muddled (and the ending is massively disappointing), the puzzles are quite arbitrary and "computer-gamey" (I need some rope. Why do I need a particular special piece of rope which is miles away? Why not one of the bits I can see hanging on the wall right in front of me?), and the scares really drop off towards the end because the writers make the mistake of being too explicit and going down the ultra-gore route rather than leaving it all to our imagination. BUT... the prison level makes up for it all. I played it in the middle of the night when I was on my own in a big, old house in the middle of nowhere, and it was one of the best gaming experiences of my life. If you like horror games, you must, must play this. Expand
  92. Jun 25, 2013
    I was not scared by Dead Space or Silent Hill: Homecoming. I was not even remotely scared by Resident Evil 5 or 6. Condemned: CO and Condemned 2: Bloodshot had maybe 4 or 5 creepy spots. There are not really any horror games anymore.

    Well, Amnesia is a real survival horror game. It's the first game to actually make me nervous and keep me nervous since I was 9 years old. You'll fear the
    dark, you'll fear the little grubs that hide in shadows, and you'll fear the scratching noise behind your eyes. Most of all, you'll be scared the moment you realize that you literally don't know if something is right behind you.

    As if Amnesia isn't good enough, it's moddable and allows players to create their own stories. There's a ton of fan-made content online.

    This is everything a survival horror fan could want in a game...
  93. Dec 23, 2011
    First of all, I want to say I'm an extreme horror buff. Between movies and games, I can't get enough. This game was definitely one of the scariest things I've ever had the chance to witness in my entire life and I loved it. Now that probably makes me a little bias for this game but I don't really care at this point. The biggest thing this game has going for it is the atmosphere. Frankly I've yet to see anything come close to the kind of atmosphere this generates throughout most of the game (the beginning is a bit boring but once you get past that it gets really good). You will be freaked out immensely by playing this game and that's the best part. Yea there are some things that this game doesn't do well, including a lack of conveyance on where you need to go at times and what you need to do, but it's easily something you can get over if you are REALLY into scary things. And take it from someone who's seen tons of scary movies and games over the years: this will freak you and anyone else you know out so much you might not sleep for days afterward. Buy it and you won't regret it (or you will after you play it for awhile....but that's the best part :)) Expand
  94. Feb 7, 2012
    My Review (WARNING! Some adult language exists within this review)

    In two words, it sucks. I have to admit I was scared...for the first 1 hour of playing. After that, I was like "Yeah, yeah....wind blowing, creaky noise...I'm scared. Come and get me already!" The environment would have been much scarier if they hadn't thrown in the creaks, the moans, the
    things-that-give-me-hibbie-jibbies every 10 seconds or so. I found myself jumping at nothing...other than jumping awake after realizing I had dozed off. This game is boring. *Find the key to the Wine Cellar*: Whatever you do, don't give me a hint on where it might be..other than "...in the castle". Please, make me pull EVERY effing book off of every effing shelf just so I can become desensitized to the scary environment because I've seen, listened, hell, even TASTED it over and over and over again (okay...I admit...I hadn't tasted any of the environment).

    Some may like this game, though. It seems to have those god-awful puzzles that some have always seemed to like. Me? I gave that **** up when I hit 25 years old. I want a game that is spooky, has a few puzzles, and gives me the chance to actually HIT something periodically. In this little gem, you run like a scared sissy from anything...even the **** dark. That's right...I said the DARK. If you remain in the dark for an extended period of time, you go...get this...INSANE. Not hysterical. Not just a little scared. Insane. Want to know how to stave off that little ounce of craziness? Look no further than...you guessed it...the LIGHT. Which is awesome, because they give you a lantern...that you have to find oil for...which is INSANELY (see what I did there? :P) few and far between...and, the oil is the fastest burning **** since human hair. I filled my lantern up and got about 5-6mins of actual light. I would have to be under contract with BP just to keep this **** burning.

    So, if you enjoy running around in a spooky castle, avoiding anything that would make a 16-year-old school girl jump, then get this game.
    Or, if you really enjoy taking aspirin. A LOT of aspirin, as this sonava**** gave me an Excedrin Headache +12.

    Final Score:

    1.5 Lit Lanterns out of 5.0 (See what I did there? :P)

    P.S. I'm not bitter.
  95. Feb 20, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Warning, if you haven't played yet, you probably don't want to read too many reviews or any and not mine.

    First of all, turned off the lights, put on headphones, hope ended there...

    The good: The game had a decent atmosphere and graphics as well as minor puzzle solving. The in game playing and use was easy to handle. Not a lot of glitches, didn't have to restart due to any odd issues. The bad: I was never once "terrified" or even a bit shaken up by this game and still sit back scratching my head as to the horrified reviews, especially the screamer reactions on Youtube. I suggest for those who are scared of this game, don't watch Scooby Doo, you will also be terrified.

    There are decent puzzles, most of it was spent on useless object moving. Madness? Only after tossing 5000 books off shelves that had nothing behind them, that in fact, was maddening. Most solving was meager at best and child's play to figure out.

    Scary? Disturbing would be more the word. The only thing completely scary was having to look at another man's genitalia of a tortured body. The creatures, zombies? that lurk in the dark, give plenty of warning they are there, so they may slash and kill you which is easy enough to avoid. The water creature? Yes, there is nothing more terrifying than a splash chasing you I guess.

    There could easily have been more puzzles to solve, the game became extremely repetitive. There were a few instances of building, putting together objects, etc... but not nearly what could have been. Why give 10 candles to light in one area? Why not just one or two for what is needed? I started over simply due to wasting tinderboxes where they weren't needed. One hint I would give to players, save the tinder boxes don't waste them lighting everything in sight, only what's needed.

    The over abundance of notes and entries were for what? The story line was very weak, and maybe would have made more sense to me if pulling out my fingernails wasn't more interesting than the read. What happened to some of these people? I have no clue, they disappeared along with the plot.

    The ending was the easiest and most disappointing aspect of the whole game, waiting for that big finish only to find it was over in less than 20 seconds.

    Conclusion: All in all, a good game to play once. I can't understand all the +10 ratings or the screamer reactions on Youtube but again, decent enough to have some fun.
  96. Nov 30, 2013
    You'll wish you had amnesia so you could forget you ever bought this game. Either that or bring coffee, lots and lots of coffee. It is so boring you will be snoozing with out a huge dose of stimulant. If you look poking around in the dark or shadows clicking away endlessly at "who-knows what", then you could like that game. There's no mystery here, just things that are not easy to find nor necessarily logical. Good luck finding those hours you'll lose wasted on this game. Expand
  97. Nov 18, 2013
    Old castle, things that go bump in the night and a lot of other general weirdness, but not really that scary. Playing it on and off it fails to grab my attention for long. Games mechanics make no sense, you have to collect tinder boxes to light candles, but you can't carry the candles or candles sticks? The Lantern burns out ridiculously fast. I could kill for a glow stick out of Penumbra, buts its the wrong era. Trapped in a area painstakingly build a way out have to reenter the area missing an item, The area has reset so I have to do all painstaking building a wayout all over again. Seriously devs way to troll a gamer. Expand
  98. May 11, 2012
    This is my all time favorite game. I am always on the lookout for games that can elicit a real emotion. This game does just that. Its atmosphere and immersion set you up for incredible scares. It turned out to be the game that has inspired the most emotion of any in me.

    That's not to say that it's perfect. Its graphics clearly show that it is an indie game. Beyond that the ending is
    disappointing and there are sci-fi elements that detract from the story. Regardless it's one of the greatest games in terms of emotion and immersion. Expand
  99. Jul 12, 2012
    Amazing game! Yeah some people may say, it's all about the sounds and the visual, but think about a horror movie, what makes it scary? The sounds and the visual effects, and this is what amnesia offers, a fantastic horror atmosphere! It is surely a great game, made by a thriller writer! In my opinion other games from diff. genres should take a note of this game's atmosphere! After all, in my opinion, one of the most important things for a game is to have a great atmosphere and story. To suck you in the virtual world and to engender emotions! To enjoy it, put HEADPHONES and play it ALONE with all lights OFF =] Expand
  100. Jul 16, 2012
    This game just killed me. The feelin is just beyond awesome 11/10.,.,.,.,.,.The sound effect is awesome! 10/10.,.,.,.,.The graphic not reli good, envirnoment not real enough, the monster not scary enough! They can make it better! But the cloudy effect when you see the monster just kill the problem of bad graphic monster. 7+3/10.,.,.,.,.
  101. Sep 3, 2011
    Even though I'm only 12, I rarely get scared from games. All the blood and gore to try to scare means nothing. Amnesia, however, is one hell of a scary game. Instead of going the mainsteam Blood and Gore path, it focuses on making an atmosphere that chills your spine. The sounds play a MASSIVE part of the game, so use good headphones/speakers. Once I finished the Water part, my heart was beating. FAST. Pick it up in a sale for sure. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Apr 19, 2011
    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.
  2. Jan 31, 2011
    Amnesia offers an experience so rich that we're willing to forgive its weak ending, imperfections of the engine, and low-bugdet production values.
  3. Jan 29, 2011
    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.