by Ingvi Snædal
previewed on PC
There is still a contract lying in a desk drawer at the Hooked Gamers offices waiting to be signed which states that in the case of my premature death caused by playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Hooked Gamers must cover all funeral costs. I dare not play it without some reassurance that my family will be taken care of. Yes, dear reader, that means I still haven’t played it and that I’m a super muscular coward. Now that Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is in development, however, perhaps it is time to blow the dust off that contract and demand a signature. Or maybe not. Amnesia: The Dark Descent had the potential to kill me. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs appears to take that potential and turn it into a certainty.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent enjoyed surprising popularity when it was released in 2010 on Steam, especially following some rather amusing reaction videos of grown men crying as their characters hid behind a closed door while a monster lurked outside. Even more amusing were the videos of teenagers forcing their grandmothers to go through this traumatic experience, some of whom took it better than I ever would, which made me question my manhood quite a bit.
The game’s reception wasn’t only based on the youtube videos, however, as the game is probably one of the most analysed games of our time in terms of its literary value and fan made short stories and art clog the internet tubes wherever you look. Will Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs make as big of a splash when it hits Steam later this year? Probably not as the “surprise hit” factor caused by the curiosity of youtube viewers will not be present. We know about Amnesia now and we know what kind of game it is. That being said, the series has many die-hard fans and it is sure to be a success. It may just be a slightly smaller one.
In Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, you play as rich industrialist Oswald Mandus who, upon returning from a disastrous expedition to Mexico and suffering from fever, has a reoccurring dream about a machine. When he wakes up, however, months have passed since he lay to rest and somewhere in his house a machine roars to life. Not much else is known about the game at present, except that it is apparently a much bigger game than the developers, Frictional Games, intended.
Originally conceived as a short, experimental game set in the Amnesia universe, the game was meant to be released during Halloween 2012. When thechineseroom entered the picture as co-developers, however, they brought a whole new direction for the game along with them and a fully-fledged Amnesia game is what they have promised.
The game is set to provide a different gameplay experience from that of The Dark Descent which should yield a fresh experience even to veteran players. Larger areas and outdoor environments are set to create breaks between claustrophobia inducing corridors and rooms and the AI will be made less predictable, especially to veteran players who might feel tempted to treat the game’s monsters as they treated those of the previous outing. Do not fret, however, dear reader as the core of the game will remain unchanged.
Made its mark
Amnesia certainly has made its mark on today’s gaming world and it will be interesting to see how well A Machine for Pigs succeeds at carving the franchise’s name deeper into our consciousness. And for those of you who partook in thechineseroom’s collection of screams and death growls online, I look forward to hearing you die... repeatedly.