In Amnesia, you play as Daniel, a man who wakes up in a castle with no recollection of who he is or why he’s there. His only reality is that there is no obvious way out, and he has to explore the castle on his own in an effort to uncover the mystery of his lost memories and the castle itself. Whatever happens, there is only one way to learn the truth, and that is to gather as much courage as you can and brave on into the darkness.
Fortunately for you, there are candles and lamps that you can light up in the castle to make your journey less taxing, but for how long can you keep your sanity? Were the things you heard just your imagination? Was that figure you saw slowly shambling around the corner just a product of your anxiety?
Sanity plays a crucial role in the game. The longer you stay in dark areas without a light source, the worse your sanity gets. Sanity is represented in the game by how clear your vision is and how easy it is to control your character. The worse the condition of your sanity, the more your vision tends to blur and become wavy, and the harder it is to move around as if you’re drunk.
The game is very atmospheric. Rays of light penetrate the beautiful windows of the castle early on, only to be replaced by an embracing darkness as you make progress in the castle. Creepy sounds such as the gust of wind blowing to creaking doors can be heard. Are you truly alone in this castle, or is there someone else?
Tension builds slowly as you begin to hear moaning and angry howls. What is it that is making those sounds? Why does the source appear to be getting closer and closer? You know that whatever it is, you don’t want to be seen by it. Where can you hide? The darkness that is the source of your fear will ironically also have to serve as your temporary security blanket, as whatever it is hunting you passes nearby.
This game is absolutely horrific. I’ve played for about 5 hours, and I’ve been near to shitting myself several times. You’re just an ordinary human being with amnesia. You have no superpowers, and you don’t even know how to use weapons. Your only hope of survival is through your stealth, agility, and intelligence.
Something that truly stands out in this game is the lack of lighting and tinderboxes, which makes this game even scarier; because if you run out of light, you’re going to panic, literally. If you encounter a monster, you have no way to defend yourself. In Amnesia, you don’t get a gun, you don’t get a sword. When a gruesome shambling creature rounds the corner, you can only flee in terror or hide in the shadows, hoping it will be a safe haven.
This game also has quite a bit of puzzle solving. Despite the bizarre and often disturbing states of the sewers, morgues, and downright revolting torture chambers later on, the solutions often require you to collect a few objects and combine and then use them in simple ways. If you’ve played adventure games before, you know what to do.
This is one of the scariest games I’ve ever played. The graphics, the sound, the gameplay, everything fits so well together. The developers cite “Soul Made Flesh” by Carl Zimmer and older horror movies such as “The Haunting” as being inspirations for the tone and style of the game. This game will really give you the chills. Very few games are able to keep up an atmosphere this frightening throughout the entire experience.