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Average User Score: 5.9Nov 12, 2013Yes, most of the gameplay mechanics of the Dark Descent are gone. That means there is no more inventory, no more health, no more sanity meter.Yes, most of the gameplay mechanics of the Dark Descent are gone. That means there is no more inventory, no more health, no more sanity meter. Your lantern is now electric so you can use it pretty much non-stop. All this serves to bring Amnesia away from being a game about creeping through shadows trying to hide from a monster while feebly attempting to not go insane, to a game where you can freely explore every room and every corner without much hinderance or fear. It is a departure from The Dark Descent, but it works.
The horror in A Dark Descent came from the monster that was chasing you, always hurrying you along. It was very action driven. In A Machine For Pigs, the horror is much more passive. It's in the setting, the atmosphere and the story the game tells, much more than it is in the game's mechanics. And that is where The Chinese Room fits in so well. They are masters at crafting a setting that will utterly disturb you. The visuals are superb, the design of the machine is morbid, the writing in the notes and voice-overs of a quality that surpasses that of The Dark Descent... And the audio is nothing short of amazing, with a haunting soundtrack and ambient sounds that make the setting really come to life.
The game is quite short. You can finish it in 4 to 5 hours. It starts a bit slow, the beginning has a few jump-scares and a setting that is reminiscent of A Dark Descent. But once you leave the starting area and get to explore said machine from the title, the game really comes into its own. I felt The Dark Descent overstayed its welcome a bit, the latter part of the game became more tedious and it ended on a low note. Not so with A Machine For Pigs. It gets increasingly more intense as you progress and continues to build up to a final, horrifying climax.
Ultimately I think A Machine For Pigs is better than The Dark Descent. Sure it is less nerve wrecking to play, but the horror is more subtle, refined and much more unsettling. And it will stay with you once you've finished it.… Expand