Amnesia: The Dark Descent Review

It is remarkable that in this day and age in an industry in which the
budgets for video games have skyrocketed, reaching record highs of up to
$ 100 million, small companies like the Swedish developer Frictional
Games are able to gain a foothold in the market with an audience that
follows them and allowing them to launch with this his fourth game. The
salvation of all these studies has been developing digital distribution,
enabling them to bypass all intermediaries and to be able to get their
product directly to end users, and through that in recent years we have
enjoyed of the most fresh and original thanks to these talented
developers modest and eager to innovate.

But perhaps the term small for this Swedish company is, forgive the
repetition, too small, and we talked about a study, consisting of only
four people. In 2006 launched a technical demo using a graphics engine
called HPL created by them, and this demonstration was so well received
that encouraged them to make a full game. The result was Penumbra:
Overture, the beginning of his intended trilogy that was followed by
Penumbra: Black Plague in history that ultimately end up as the third
installment titled Penumbra: Requiem appeared the same year of the
second part was a expansion of this in which we simply solve puzzles
without any plot sense.

The Twilight saga are some games first-person adventure which we will go
dark and grim work environments to solve puzzles, with some moments of
action in the first issue but much more diluted in the second, which was
dominated by stealth. In the puzzles, which are revolving around what
this trilogy, has a strong physical use of a very well recreated, thanks
to the engine free, non-profit created Newton Game Dynamics, which gets
great results. This basting with an intriguing story that motivated to
play keep playing.

The truth is that the three Penumbra games despite being a modest titles
have a respectable number of fans who love adventure games and in time
were evaluated and received by the press fairly correct, so Amnesia: The
Dark Descent, the new game, has created some excitement after the two
years since the last work of the Swedes, who started with this title but
a new series follows the pattern of their previous games.

Interesting Story:

At the beginning shocked awake in a dark room to a mysterious abandoned
castle, barely crawling in the early stages of the game until we
recover. The story is set in the late nineteenth century and soon
discovers that the owner of the castle is a certain Alexander, who met
on an expedition through the desert with a strange orb that contains
some sort of paranormal power with which he has been experiencing in the
castle, and for some personal reason we will kill him. The game uses
several narrative devices such as written notes that we are finding, and
views that will suffer mainly occurred in the past dialogues will hear
in the rooms of the castle and we will address at any time. All these
elements very well dispensed in small doses that make what at first is
pure confusion as we move it takes shape and logic proving very
interesting and terrifying the whole argument.

At the beginning you will find us with a clear declaration of intent by
the creators aimed directly at us, telling us not to play at Amnesia to
win but we step into their world and history. The game controls like any
action game in first person relying on the typical movements of the
genre as pointing with the mouse, move the character with the keyboard
and actions such as jumping, running and bending, but here the
similarities end because in Amnesia do not have any weapon, which is not
to say there are no enemies, which also warns us before you start
warning us that we do not try to fight them, "hide and flee, use your

Although monster before facing any enemy will be our first indicator of
sanity, that we keep by the light, which is diminished every time we
watch a disconcerting fact, we heard a disturbing noise or especially
when we spend too much time in the dark, causing it if our level of
sanity is seriously concerned that we should not hear noise, our vision
is blurred and it costs us even move. And is that an abandoned castle
can be really dark and long stays we can go through tinder-boxes that we
go about gathering that allow us to light the candles, torches and
lamps that we find, in addition to our inseparable lantern that we feed a
oil very scarce, so we dosed it was used but at some point we move
completely dark touch and we assure you that it is not pleasant.

Walk around the rooms of the castle slowly discovering the story and
solving some puzzles not too difficult for any lover of adventure, as
this is at all times very logical and coherent, not arriving at any
moment to shine especially but not to defeat or despair , which is a big
plus. Blame has its own approach to the game with a great physics
engine, which makes many of its puzzles revolve around this. In the
rooms of the castle will find all kinds of furniture with which we can
interact in the majority of cases serves only to decorate but in others
it is where we find the solution to our problems.

For example, a place that we achieve and what we will have a series of
boxes stacked to achieve, or a string that holds damaged a bridge and
which way to destroy any stone will look around and throw it to break
it. This type of puzzles to play with the physics are very rewarding but
then we found other more classic than having to look for certain
objects to be used in a certain place and move forward. The interaction
with our environment is done with the mouse emulating real movement,
such as opening doors if they are in or out we make the gesture with the
mouse, or using cranks we make circles, intuitive controls and
increasing immersion in the game.

The strong play with narrative and puzzle solving is definitely the
atmosphere, the whole of which are guilty of both the technical section
which will be discussed later as the game design. The fact of having to
move without knowing that no weapon a threat can hide behind any corner
gets to stay in tension, especially if we are already sensing his
presence by certain noises. When we meet one of the enemies we squat in
the shadows and not move so you do not see us, but as they do will be
very tough and while we hid in a room will be able to pull down the
door, creating lots of tension. To run like crazy with one behind us is
not a solution because they are quicker than us and pair of claws is
capable of ending our lives, which is an indicator and can be recovered
with some items though it is anecdotal, because as one of these
creatures with us we can be dead.

Another type of aquatic enemies do not even see and only intuitively by
the waves generated in the water, which we must avoid so as not be
achieved. One of the most memorable situations of the game is when we
have to move through a flooded hallways can assure you become one of the
moments of greatest tension that we played in a long time in any title.
No doubt it could be considered a mistake that only has two types of
enemies throughout the game but we have enough for about 8 hours of the
game to keep us in constant tension, we do not know if our heart had
endured more variety of monsters wandering through the huge castle.

The game is surprisingly well designed, taking into account the size of
the developer, and he moves very smoothly, without getting stuck at any
time over the account by the occasional puzzle or action scene while not
being a walk, and we should not relate that a game is intuitive and
well designed with easy, as many titles lately taken to the user stupid,
and this game gives lessons to design many games that multiply your
budget safe in some zeros.

Graphics and Sound:

In the notices of programmers to start the game that I have discussed
also emphasizes the conditions under which we should play, helping in
proper adjustment of monitor brightness and advising you to play the
dark and helmets, but from experience a Surround Sound good team meets
their duties. The truth is that if we play in these conditions becomes
totally immersive experience and put us fear get in the body, not like
in other games that aim to get it through effects in order to fall
suddenly and blows more typical of music Hollywood movies. Here is more
about infusing a terror, as they say lately, psychological, and succeeds
in spades.

The game does not have a pointer graphics engine, is actually an
evolution of previously created by this small Swedish team, nor do great
graphic effects to delight the graphics card which change every six
months, but thanks to all robustness and great design ideas just to be
above average. In a title in one of its pillars is in the atmosphere is
difficult to assess for themselves the graphics since the game takes us
into a total experience of both images and sounds that really is almost
perfect. Does not have great textures and models but the environments
are well designed and are quite varied though the entire game to run in a
castle, and some effects of our deteriorating state fruit of wisdom are
well made, not because they dazzle but getting technically convey very
well the feelings that claim, such as dizziness or disorientation.

The game shows robust and with a very stable frame rate, and it is clear
that the pervasive darkness throughout the development is able to hide
their shortcomings, but the graphics engine is well suited to the
demands of the game. Since the pointer is not technically the game works
very well to any computer and unless we can be too old to play in a
good configuration without any problems on almost any computer.

The sound is top of the game and the blame for the tension that gets
created in the player, constantly hear disturbing sounds that will keep
us in tension or the growls of monsters, which will be enough to put us
on alert, even when silence absolute returns is able to disconcert. Also
note the very breath of our protagonist that varies according to health
and sanity we are, getting convey the protagonist’s own tension
brilliantly. The music does appear very rarely but when it does ring
some beautiful melodies, including giving one of the few moments of
relaxation in the whole game. The voices are in English but with
subtitles in Castilian at all times, and prove the worst of relying on a
paragraph sound somewhat forced interpretations that could be better
but who cannot tarnish the excellent sound section in general.


After playing this title we see that this term has been used very
lightly in recent years, or that directly re-interpreted or
misinterpreted. Survival horror is an abandoned castle go completely
dark having to avail ourselves in low light, without any weapons and
controlling our wisdom to keep her head with enemies that we must avoid
at all times hiding and a history of drinking classic horror, being
mysterious and interesting. If you like to have genuine fears and solve
puzzles this is your game, eye not for everyone, its content is clearly
for adults and not for everyone, so rugged in history some very
unpleasant moments as the unrest that is able to provoke us, and if you
are not familiar with adventure games can be that at some point we

If you start it before we noticed how a four-person development team is
able to lift a similar project, after finishing our hats to Frictional
Games for making one of the best horror games of recent years and will
continue the track very carefully, because only with great talent can
achieve such a work.




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