Thursday, July 26, 2012

Frictional Games & thechineseroom: A Match Made in Hell?

The word "Amnesia" means one of two things to people:
  1. A word in which the definition has escaped them. (sorry, had too)
  2. That one game that is scary as shit.
To me, it means the latter. I know Amnesia very well (and I know of the Penumbra franchise), though; It's a game I will never forget. Sitting in that dark room, with nothing but Amnesia on my monitor, and a pair of headphones on, I had some of the scariest moments I've had playing games. I have never been so deathly afraid of turning a corner, nor have I jumped so high after accidentally knocking a rock over. If you have followed the game, in the same manner that you might have been followed while playing the game, you will know of the spiritual sequel "Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs".

Until the trailer, feature above, was released I had only known thechineseroom because of Dear Esther, and that was before I really knew what it was. The news of a spiritual sequel frightened me, but also excited me. I wanted to know what thechineseroom had to offer Frictional Games, and what their partnership meant. I'm hear to tell you that we should be very, very afraid.

In a good way, of course.

During the great steam Summer Sale of 2012, I happened to pick up Dear Esther. I've known about the game long enough to know that the minute it went on sale, it was mine, but some of you might have missed this gem. Dear Esther originated as a Half-Life 2 mod back in 2008, which apparently everyone fell in love with. With its experimental all first-person mechanics, you are left with nothing but a rich environment to explore, and its poetic story to digest. Fast forward to its February 14th release this year as a stand alone title, I can tell you that this is something you need to experience, having played the original or not.

When I finally got to playing it the other day, I was excited. I had heard so many good things about this, and I'm always looking for the next best storytelling experience. I booted it up, and I was not disappointed. Everything about this game blew me away; I had to pick my jaw off the floor a time or two, no joke. The world that has been created here, both visually and atmospherically, was astounding. I was so lost in the world I had forgotten that it was built all upon the Source engine. As I walked around, I wasn't sure what to expect. The environment drew me in, but I'll get into that in a second. Needless to say, I loved the experience, but this isn't a Dear Esther review. I wanted to talk about Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs.

Frictional Games have become masters of their craft. They want to scare you, and they sure as hell know how. I wasn't sure what to expect from thechineseroom's involvement with the new Amnesia, but now I'm more than excited. This team certainly knows how to do bring you into an almost creepily atmospheric world like Dear Esther. I would see things out of the corner of my eye, and jump, because I had just mistaken a plant for some creature. i know that sounds weird, but the environment was so reminiscent of how I felt while playing Amnesia, that my body just responded to what I felt like I should expect. That is fear.

As for the game itself, I guess I should talk about how I feel about it overall. I'm excited for their venture into an outside world, especially since thechineseroom knows all about that. I'm interested, though, in what that might entail. I'm really interested in whether or not we will be exploring a ghost town, or will their be new characters akin to Agrippa? To me, I think what made Amnesia so terrifying is that you are essentially alone, so anything you see or hear will frighten you. I know I can trust these two devs, now all I have to do is wait until 2013.

I guess that sums up my feelings, so leave your comments, concerns, and suggestions for future topics in the comment section, and as always, thanks for reading, stay tuned, and stay sweet! :)

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