We're nearing that time of year where developers start to stride towards the holiday season. September is always a big month in the industry because of this push, but September 2010 looks especially impressive, with the likes of Metroid: Other M, Halo: Reach, Dead Rising 2 and F1 2010 all gracing our shelves. If that wasn't enough for you, we also expect to see Playstation Move, FIFA 11, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Batman, Spiderman.. just to name a few.
Because it's such a big month, it might come as a surprise that one of the titles we're most pumped for is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. In development by Frictional Games, this horror/survival adventure is shaping up well. While we'll reserve our final judgements until we've played through the game, the game looks like it will live up to every expectation in the horror department, and the critically acclaimed series of three Penumbra is a credit to the guys at Frictional, and a sign of things to come.
Currently slated for a September 9 release, the game will likely have a high impact not just on the indie gaming scene, but on the gaming industry in general. Here's seven reasons why we're so psyched for Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and why you should be too!
This game is being developed by the same guys who developed the three titles in the Penumbra series. Critically acclaimed and well known among gamers for its horror elements, the Penumbra series drags players into a hellish world, filled with hellish creatures who wouldn't mind having a go at you. With no way of dealing death to enemies, the game became all about survival, and players really had to use their wits to be successful.
Most importantly, however, the Penumbra series shows us that Frictional Games is more than capable of producing a quality title in a genre which hasn't been so successful over the years. Early reports say Amnesia is scarier than Penumbra, so if you're looking for a game which will have impact on your sanity, then Amnesia is one game we will happily recommend to you!
The physics in previous Frictional games were pretty mean, but with a new game comes a new engine. The HPL2 engine looks amazing from early observation, and one of the aspects which strikes us most is the physics. From pushing and pulling objects to block off a doorway, to shaking a bookcase to get a seemingly unreachable object down, you'll be surprised by the accuracy which Amnesia seeks to offer with its physics!
In any title like this, it's easy to judge simply by analysing the major fronts, but it's the little touches like the improved physics which go a long way in impressing you!
Out of Control!
What's scarier than a bunch of creatures coming after you? Not being able to do anything about it! Players will have to balance up playing chasey with enemies and discovering the truth about Daniel - the protagonist - and his past. Amnesia will take all control away from the player and rope him through many staggering puzzles, sucking him in and leaving him in suspense until the very last minute. You'll have very little influence on the events as you go on an epic adventure through a desolate castle, and whether you like it or not, the game will always be one step ahead of you!
What the hell was that noise?
There's no denying how large a role audio plays in horror games.. the right sounds at the right moments can really mess with your mind. Things are to be no different here, with multiple trailers already showing off the diverse range of ambient noises. You'll never know what it is you think you just heard, and most likely you won't be sure if you want to either. The distant sounds of tears and of torture could turn any normal man away, but you'll have to bear with them as you get pulled in for the entire ride.
If this game is to be like others in the genre, it will really play with your head. What sounds actually occur in-game? Was that sound I just heard real? These are the questions you'll be asking yourself as your sanity slowly deteriorates.
They might not be Crysis-standard, but the quality of the visuals is looking pretty high. However, whether the graphics turn out as sharp as a tack or as jagged as a rock is not so important here as the lighting which has been used by the developers. We must say, it looks like they've got this spot on, the perfect illumination levels achieved early and simple lighting effects proving further evidence that these guys know what they're doing with the genre.
It's clear that suspense was one of the things the developers most wanted to achieve, and they've done everything they could on each of the major fronts to ensure the player's tension throughout the game.
In case you didn't realise, all these things amount to one simple little realisation: this game is going to be one of the scariest around of this generation, if not in the entire history of video games. Many predictions say this will be much more scary than the Penumbra titles, and that in itself is an achievement.. Just know that when you soil yourself in horror.. When you lose any sanity you may have once had.. When you start to check every corner you want to go around in real life.. All because of a video game.. That you can take comfort in the fact that there are many others like you who suffered the same fate!
You can admit it, you think we're over-exaggerating the potential Amnesia: The Dark Descent has to scare.. But we're being deadly serious. At the risk of scaring all our users away, we'll even show you. Keep in mind the following is merely a trailer, so who knows what awaits in the full release. Those with heart problems.. don't say we didn't warn you!