Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Will Have You Cowering In A Corner
Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs is an “indirect sequel” to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Will this one be as nerve-wracking and painstakingly atmospheric as its predecessor?
Name: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
Genre: First-person Survival Horror
Publishers: Frictional Games
Release Date: 10 September 2013
Price: $20 on release and $16 for pre-orders (Approximately R200 and R160)
Have you played Amnesia: The Dark Descent? I’ll wait. Done? Congratulations! Go fetch yourself a new pair of trousers and continue reading.
We find ourselves in 1899 within the same universe, which is about 60 years after the events of the previous game and we take on the role of a new lead character that goes by the name of Oswald Mandus. A stinking rich industrialist who has not too long ago returned from a less-than-pleasant expedition in Mexico. Nothing more has been revealed about this expedition; merely that it ended tragically.
The game starts with Mandus waking up in a fever with no gauge of how much time has elapsed while he was out. He finds himself preoccupied by visions / nightmares of a terrifying machine. When waking in his bed he hears the sound of a ghastly machine coming to life. Coincidence?
The game will have several intertwining storylines taking place in different periods of time with different aesthetics. Some taking place in the past, others in the present, mixed with realistic setting or spectacles that may or may not be imagined. In the previous Amnesia title, we often experienced flashbacks and dialogue as Daniel, the player character, remembered fragments of what had happened in his past; thus revealing more about himself and his actions that have brought him to this point. I think that having multiple strorylines will be ideal to flesh out the character of Mandus and provide us with details about the events in Mexico.
There will be additional characters to drive the story forward as Oswald makes his way though this nightmarish world. These are Inspector Felix Marot, Father Hector David, Justine Florbelle and Victor Fournier who is a psychiatrist. There has been speculation about these characters and how they fit within the story, but in the end – we’ll have to play the game to find out for ourselves. Something I liked about The Dark Descent was that you were never truly certain about what was going on around you. It was pieced together as you progressed and I hope to have that again with different characters in this one. I’m fairly certain that will be the case.
One aspect that made Amnesia: The Dark Descent such an absolutely stunning horror game was the fact that your only defense is to run away from the shuffling abnormalities and find a place to hide before your ample posterior is served as a bloody and freakish dinner. This will be the same in A Machine For Pigs; the enemies have not been shown in pictures or trailers – merely glimpses are seen and your imagination is doing most of the work for you and that makes for one killer combination in regards to help the tension along. The squealing sounds that emit from the enemies this time around already has hairs raising on the back of my neck and I’ve yet to play this game. Be sure to check the teaser trailer below. It’ll give you an idea of what I’m talking about – showing us the potential of dry-cleaners making a fortune from having to deal with the soiled trousers of those brave enough to tackle this game.
Puzzles comprised one of the core gameplay mechanics in The Dark Descent, but it was never frustrating. The fact that you’re running for your life every now and then forced you to backtrack and explore all the rooms for needed items, but remaining extremely cautious while doing so, because of the fact that you’re regularly being hunted down and nibbled on. You still have no defense besides running away and that much is still apparent this time around. If one is to figure out what exactly you should do, keep an eye out for notes or listen to what is being said in flashbacks. Who knows? There may be other surprises awaiting us as to how finer details are revealed.
Suspected Selling Points
- Amnesia and horror fans will have another hefty dose of good old horror – something the triple-A industry doesn’t provide very often, or ever, for that matter.
- Plenty of tension and scares.
- A narrative that will have us questioning our very surroundings and motivations.
- Might be more of the same of what we experienced in The Dark Descent.
- Horror is a niche genre that doesn’t appeal to all.
To summarise, I hope this will be another prime example on how horror is properly executed. Couple that with a new breed of blood-thirsty enemies – complete with hair-raising squeals and an atmosphere so thick you’ll need a severed limb with sharp claws to cut through it. For fans, A Machine for Pigs is a no-brainer so far as buying it goes while the acclaim that Amnesia: The Dark Descent received cast little doubt on this sequel replicating that success.