Jump to content

Amnesia: Rebirth (OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT part trois)


Recommended Posts

Somehow I completely missed this, I can't find a thread for it and the old Amnesia threads haven't been updated for years. There's a new Amnesia game on the way from Frictional. Forum vets will remember the fun we had playing through the original back in 2010. For me it's still the best Lovecraftian game.

 

 

They've been dropping some weird videos on their channel to tease it too.

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/frictionalgames/videos

 

You guys in?

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a tread about it, or this game has been mentioned in one of the Amnesia threads.

Can't find any evidence of it. It's in both Amnesia threads nor the SOMA one.

 

Great news nonetheless. Big fan of the original, not overly fond of A Machine for Pigs, big fan of SOMA. So yes, I am very much IN.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm definitely in, I only came to Amnesia via the remasters, but its one of the best horror games I've played. I'm usually pretty OK with 'nope' games but Amnesia was so scary I thought I was going to be sick. LOVED IT!

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, df0 said:

There's a tread about it, or this game has been mentioned in one of the Amnesia threads.

 

Great news nonetheless. Big fan of the original, not overly fond of A Machine for Pigs, big fan of SOMA. So yes, I am very much IN.

 

Mods please do merge if you can find it. All the Amnesia threads end with me talking to myself years ago.

 

It occurred to me these guys haven't done anything since Soma, that this is technically the followup to Soma, which is REALLY exciting. Soma was breathtaking.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, I was hoping for a PSVR logo at the end of the trailer but I'll probably be all over this anyway, the Amnesia games are worth playing for the atmosphere alone. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, df0 said:

I don't wanna play this in VR, are you mental.

 

I might be. 

Honestly, though, horror games are generally much scarier when played in VR, RE7 was a lot better as a whole in VR because of it so I wouldn't mind playing this in VR at all. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The original's revolutionary formula's aged a bit now thanks to familiarity from (some great) imitators that has taken the edge off by making the limited techniques predictable, and rather well-worn in 2020. I wonder if this one will be as successful in making an impact by doing something newer too. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was it revolutionary though? It was someone's vision, that's clear as day. The team knew want they wanted to make, their ideas and visions were not diluted by focus groups and outside sources demanding they need to appeal to the audience who likes shooters.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Silly line from the start of the Eurogamer review.

 

Quote

What kind of self-respecting horror game kicks off in the middle of a desert under a blazing sun?

 

Erm, loads of horror media for decades has started off in bright locales to contrast with when things go to shit later.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Harsin said:

No, they're trying to paint it as some kind of amazing subversion when it's horror 101.


As exemplified by the little known Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never played the Amnesia games before, but always been interested. Hearing them described as Lovecraftian has sealed the deal.

 

I went to the PS store, only to find that I can download the collection for free, as it's been on PSPlus! Amazing! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MansizeRooster said:

I've never played the Amnesia games before, but always been interested. Hearing them described as Lovecraftian has sealed the deal.

 

I went to the PS store, only to find that I can download the collection for free, as it's been on PSPlus! Amazing! 


You lucky devil! Remember to turn out all the lights. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody else daring to play this then? ^_^

 

The first hour is really confusing and overstuffed, but then you get to the first proper area and it's good old Amnesia again, frantically interacting with physics objects while something unspeakable closes on you, and solving dumpy chemistry-set puzzles in the dark. The original TDD still easily outclasses any of the "flight simulator" imitators it inspired, so this is all catnip to me. 

 

Biggest problem, and it is a biggie, is that the characterisation is super-prominent and super-cringe. It seems like Frictional have decided that they're dramatists now, but the work here is mawkish, on-the-nose, and potentially--depending on how the plot develops--really, really tasteless. The story in the original just existed to serve the gameplay and atmosphere, a pulpy treatment of pulpy themes, and I get the feeling Rebirth is going to be much less successful in that department. HP Lovecraft never had any truck with characterisation and human drama, and I'm not convinced that games like this should either. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not just you @RL666, I grabbed it from the PlayStation store last night!

 

I got to the fort before turning it off and yes, it’s proper Amnesia, isn’t it? The matches are a real bitch - they don’t last long and you can’t really move while holding them. I get that they’re only meant to be used to light lamps and candles in rooms but they usually burn out before you’ve found more than one, since you tend to move quicker while flailing around searching for them! 
 

Also - and this isn’t really a spoiler but I’ll put it in tags anyway for those who want to go in cold - one thing I did find a bit mean-spirited is...

 

Spoiler

...sometimes you’ll use one of your very scarce matches on a lamp, only for the game to blow it out and plunge you back into darkness!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I guess I can't be too far from the end now and... not really sure what to think of this.

 

The opening is definitely rubbish, a huge contrast with SOMA's, which was simple, stark, and memorable, disorientating in a good way. The overly-voiced protagonist probably isn't ideal, but I guess you couldn't do it any other way when trying to tell this kind of story (it would be pretty absurd if she was actually saying all this stuff to herself, so I'm just assuming I'm party to her inner monologue). The locations are lovely. The puzzles are fine, if a bit abstract in places (see spoiler). It definitely delivers the masochistic horror goods to an extent. 

 

Nonspecific pacing/gameplay stuff: 

Spoiler

Rebirth feels less relentlessly cruel than TDD, which is to say that there are some pretty long sections where it's clear you're under no threat, and exploration/sightseeing/puzzling are the order of the day. I'm fine with this, because the environments are strong enough to carry it, and the variation in pace makes the intense parts more intense. But it's the opposite of the Halo "20 minutes of gameplay on repeat" philosophy, and I can imagine people will be frustrated if they grab an hour on the game expecting scares, but instead are served up with an hour of low-rent The Witness. Still, I absolutely prefer it this way if the alternative is to be like, say, Alien Isolation, which had Alan attached to you with an invisible tether and on your ass all. the. time. to the point where the game ended up annoying me rather than scaring me.

 

Story and specific gameplay spoilers: 

Spoiler

 

I still don't know where they're going to dare to go with the pregnancy/laudanum angle, but the ingame literature makes some pretty ominous noises about it. I took a little in the Cistern because my fear was at critical, and in the next segment the baby's heart stopped for a while (!) before kicking in again a little later. I have no idea if that was a totally scripted story thing or if my actions in-game caused it. But I haven't touched a drop since! It seems to be an infinite resource, so I guess use of it must be tied to story outcomes?

 

If TDD was The Outsider crossed with THAT bit from Charles Dexter Ward, then with Rebirth they're going full Mountains of Madness/Shadow out of Time. The alien parts look awesome, they've nailed the weird architecture and the "extradimensional-punk" aesthetic from the stories. Sadly I don't think the game marries its various impressive environments together very well. The opening, in which you're arbitrarily and confusingly blipped between locales with little sense of topographical progression, turns out to be a microcosm of the whole game. Certainly, TDD was less ambitious there, in that it took place inside one dripping Gothic castle, but the sense of spatial progression was really strong (at least, according to my ageing memories of the game) and is missing here. Also puzzles in games like these are always more fun for me when they're embedded in recognizable, real-world locations. Turning a crank to grind charcoal to hand-load a tank round? Fuck yeah. Rotating alien obelisks with made-up characters carved on the faces, then sticking a thingumybob inside a whatchamacallit? Ehh, not so much. 

 

Some of the encounters have been nicely bloodcurdling, but I can't shake the feeling that too much of it is scripted. I mean, TDD had lots of obvious triggers but if anything they added to the nightmarish sense of dread, knowing that as soon as you pick up this key item a monster is going to spawn a couple of rooms away. But crucially, when a monster in TDD popped out of the dispenser you knew that it had been released into the environment with you, and it was your job to handle it (or not handle it, from the safety of a friendly wardrobe). Rebirth has some segments like that, but equally there have been moments of heavily-orchestrated setpiece flight when it feels like Outlast. And that is not a good thing. In fact, you can't even climb inside wardrobes anymore.

 

 

Right now, I'd say a hell of a lot depends on how they stick the landing. 

 

Ok, sun's down, I'm going back in. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve just completed the fort. Tense stuff! 
 

Is it better than The Dark Descent or Soma? Not yet. Is it hitting all the right notes and shitting me up? Absolutely. 
 

Edit - just discovered there’s a quick turn. Useful when fleeing some horror beyond human conception. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished. 

Spoiler

 

So, guess I'm a dope, the laudanum angle came to nothing, despite the in-game directions with their ominous red-boxed warning about using it while pregnant. Turns out there's just almost none of it to be had, I only found 2 bottles in the entire game, making me think it was a single, infinite, use-at-your-peril item instead. Still, ahem, all things considered it's probably for the best. Reading a little on the internet, it seems that the game does track your performance, but solely through death/blackout count, potentially locking you out from the "best" ending if you let yourself succumb too often (and I'm pretty sure I did). 

 

Not that it was relevant, because I went for the fuck-you Iconoclast ending instead. The game frames it very grimly even though in theory it's a good one, but, y'know, it's a Lovecraftian horror game, so anything less would be a sellout. Regardless, I don't think I/Tasi could have faced any other option. 

 

The game's biggest strength is the environments. I loved the alien-world areas, and I'm really happy Frictional allowed them space to breathe by not stuffing them with enemy encounters. This is by far the best, most loving realisation of exploring the deserted ruins from SooT/Mountains that I've come across outside of the stories themselves. Bravo! The Cistern was absolutely lovely as well, and the slow descent to the bottom, re-emerging into the main space every so often a little further down, came with a thrilling sense of topographical progression largely missing from the rest of the game. 

 

I like how they've dispensed with deaths, instead having a softer fail-state they can incorporate into the continuity, which is then tied to narrative outcomes (albeit not as interestingly as I'd hoped). Sadly it does involve overbearing cut-scenes that become pretty ho-hum after the first couple of repetitions, almost making me wish for the snappier death-reload system of old. Just streamline it a bit and you'd be onto a winner. 

 

The story is much weaker than the environments it takes place in. The game does manage a moving climax at least, but too much of the stuff in the main body of the game is soppy, intrusive, and poorly told (or nonsensical). Needless to say, Howard would not approve. It does a terrible job of showing you the rest of the plane's crew, and my reaction on coming across their corpses or ghoulified forms was generally a shrug. 

 

In all, tooooo much scripted stuff. The number of canned pratfalls and fingertip-saves was near Uncharted levels. The ghoul-nest was practically Outlast. The labour/childbirth sequence was exactly the kind of interminable, push-forward cutscene that I thought everybody hated these days. This stuff's tiresome, and TDD didn't need it. Like, just stick me in a dark room with something horrifying and let the mechanics do the rest, it's much more effective. Problem there is that the actual encounters and sneak/run/hide/sanity stuff has been static since 2010, and if anything has regressed a little here. Systemic innovation in future would be more welcome than chasing AAA action-adventure thrills. 

 

 

So all in all, I guess a 3/5? This type of game is very much my jam, and it's telling that I mainlined it over just a few nights, which I don't really do that often anymore. Don't get me wrong, TDD is one of my fave games of AHL TAHM and I love that Frictional exist and are making games like this. Still, the storytelling and gameplay cruft mar this outing, and they'll hopefully have the confidence to begin experimenting/innovating a little more with their systems with their next effort. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.