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Average User Score: 8.6Sep 25, 2011Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead
Amnesia is a perfect submersion into a world of terror. It successfully does what few others "horror" gamesWarning: Minor Spoilers Ahead
Amnesia is a perfect submersion into a world of terror. It successfully does what few others "horror" games have: It uses all atmospheric properties to intimidate the player. One: It uses effective lighting and visual cues. Lighting can be an issue, as if it's all too dark, the eyes can be strained, but if it's too easy to always view one's surroundings, the player will become complacent and feel that they are not being challenged. The scarcely distributed tinderboxes create small illuminations, but never close all darkness, so corners are left unseen, and doorways unknown. The use of sanity (and how it changes when one looses more of it), is very effective, as the protagonist of the game "sees" movement out of intimate objects. Two: Sound. Perhaps the most important aspect of a horror game. Sounds are constantly littering your ears. Even in better-lit areas, one can hear doors opening, the screaming of tortured souls, the steps of someone walking above you, as if following you. All of these aspects, and music that suits all moments (e.g., an increase in atonality when being followed, or hearing sounds that don't exist when your lantern is out), work to engage the player in feeling that the moment is real, and that at any time, they are still being watched, followed, and chased by someone or something.
Three: Enveloping storyline. Don't mind me if I make some allusions to another alleged "horror" title, but the protagonist spouting off commentary at random intervals, as well as ineffective use of mystery can be a real bore. The plot for Amnesia gives you tiny bits and pieces, keeping the player interested in what happens next, as well as wondering what the hell is really going on. It essentially gives you enough to keep you going but not usually enough to figure things out, which is exactly what you want: Fear of what will happen but curiosity not satiated, which urges the player to continue. Overall, if Alan Wake scared you, you can't handle Amnesia. But I assure you it's a title that knows how to elicit fear, so if you want a true thrill on an expertly crafted horror game, go for it.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Jan 2, 2011I'm honestly aghast at all the people who think this game represents the pinnacle of good storytelling in a video game. If this is all writersI'm honestly aghast at all the people who think this game represents the pinnacle of good storytelling in a video game. If this is all writers have to do to impress the gaming world, then future game stories are doomed, and blowhards like Ebert will be right in saying that video games cannot be art. Just because you make a game play out like a movie or some hyper-dramatic television series, does not make it a good story; cinematic drama is not synonymous with a good story. Additionally, Alan Wake is grotesquely overwritten, failing to understand the power of subtlety, while beating the player over the head with cliched ideas of "light versus darkness". Was everyone too dumbfounded by the beautiful trees to notice that the human animation and lip-syncing is amateur for this allegedly high standard production? Environments, while pretty, lack the variety and meaning as they did in true masterpieces like Silent Hill 2 and Shadow of the Colossus. The game's plot-line is a contrived piece of crap. It has a pointless metaphysical idea driving it nowhere (i.e. I'm a writer writing myself out of my own story). It relies too heavily on other writers to build its shoddy sense of depth, which, despite its attempts, fails. If anything, I can call this game comedy for all the times the ridiculous commentary of the enemies made me laugh. I have to quote off a few: "Farmers are the opposite of hunter-gatherers"
"Omega 3 Fatty Acids are good for your heart"
"Fishing is both a sport and a hobby"
Seriously, did anyone else pay attention to how ridiculous the enemies are? No, seriously, did you? You can't go five minutes into the game without troupes of enemies barraging you with corny dialogue. Add to this that Alan Wake himself can never shut up, and continually has to state the obvious (i.e. I had to turn on the generator, he said in a narrative voice), and you have a script that, if used for any other medium (such as a book or film) would be laughed at and regarding as juvenile. Ultimately the game lacks focus. It does not know what it wants or what it takes to get there.… Expand