I love spooky, eerie, terrifying games. Some of them I can’t put down and others, I can’t pick up! The best terrifying games give you just enough challenge to not “scare” you off but also feature the right amount of dread and atmosphere. Today, we’ll be discussing the good and bad of Amnesia: The Bunker (Frictional Games, $24.99) on console. Is it worth your cash? Let’s talk about it.
Amnesia: The Bunker is a first-person horror game from the makers of SOMA and Amnesia.
Left all alone in a desolate WW1 bunker with only one bullet remaining in the barrel, it’s up to you to face the oppressing terrors in the dark. Keep the lights on at all costs, persevere, and make your way out alive. A truly intense horror experience.
Immerse yourself in the multiple ways of tackling survival. In the shoes of the French soldier Henri Clément, you are armed with a revolver gun, a noisy dynamo flashlight, and other scarce supplies to scavenge and craft along the way. With randomization and unpredictable behavior, no play-through is the same.
Hunted by an ever-present threat reacting to your every move and sound, you must adapt your play style to face hell. Every decision will change the outcome of how the game responds. Actions bear consequences.
Escaping the nightmare
Solve things your own way in a semi-open world. You must explore and experiment to make your way out. Figure out what’s going on down here – what has happened to the other soldiers? Where have all the officers gone? What diabolical nightmare lurks underneath this hellscape? Unravel the mysteries of the Bunker and get to know the nooks and crannies of this cruel sandbox to up your odds of survival.
Amnesia: The Bunker is a highly immersive horror game consisting of only the player, the monster, and a terrifying environment. The game features a randomized item placement system, which makes every venture outside the safe room unpredictable and unnerving. The game emphasizes careful exploration and strategic decision-making to survive, with actions like running, cranking your flashlight, or firing a weapon affecting the likelihood of the monster appearing. My hands are trembling just remembering the pressure I felt!
The game’s story is a haunting contraction that creates a devastating emotional impact when the pieces finally come together. Players gradually uncover the story through exploration using notes and diaries, more on that later. Waking up in an empty bunker and discovering the expansive cast of now-deceased French soldiers adds depth and intrigue to the experience. The game’s limited inventory system emphasizes the importance of managing scarce resources like fuel, healing consumables, and grenades. Again, lots of pressure.
I found that the title’s claustrophobic design maximizes atmospheric dread and tension, and requiring us to use a generator time and again created even more pressure for me. Thus increasing the thrill and dread-inducing fear in my gameplay experience. The memorable level design and superb sound design build a sense of unease and let’s not forget about those nasty jump scares. With a nonlinear, labyrinthine world and multiple routes to explore, the game challenges players to think strategically to survive, more on that later.
Amnesia: The Bunker is a departure from Frictional’s previous horror games, focusing on the horror of war and what humanity does to itself. I try to not to get too deep or heady in reviews, especially with topics you’re supposed to realize yourself. But the seeting of The Western Front being a battlefield creates a pulse-pounding terrifying hellscape. Best of all, the game’s immersive elements are described in detail, providing a clear picture of the game’s setting and atmosphere.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent was a landmark release which brought the survival horror genre back to its roots (at least in my opinion). The game relied on players’ imagination and fears rather than jump scares or brutality. That means to us horror fans, Amnesia: Rebirth had big shoes to fill. It definitely still delivers in many respects, but truth be told, it may not be for everyone. The game’s limited scope may feel restrictive or repetitive for some players. That’s not to say it’s boring, that’s to say that you’re going to be going back and forth a lot. And then some players may find the game’s pushing of note reading and investigation to be tedious or…boring.
The game’s horror elements, such as the monster, mutated rats, and traps, may be too intense or frightening for some players. If so, I recommend starting off with easy mode. That way you can just get the story and a touch of atmosphere. However, others might find that the entire experience doesn’t deliver compared to previous titles from the developer. This remains to be seen as more and more reviews and public opinion hit the internet. Additionally, the game’s emphasis on managing limited resources can feel frustrating or overwhelming at times, especially given the gameplay loop of dying and resetting at the safe room. Not all of the time, mind you, but sometimes I didn’t want to continue, as if I was stuck. Not to mention that dying time and again can take away from the game’s atmosphere.
And the story is given via diaries, notes, and photographs, which I found a bit slow going and kept me out of the actual gaming for longer. I wish they had built a system where I could’ve experienced it through radio or quick writings on a wall, etc.
Speaking of gameplay, the cramped level layout and bottlenecks between different sections can be restrictive. This may further hamper your natural feeling of exploration and investigation. The gameplay mechanics overall didn’t quite give me enough information to keep me interested in the game’s story or characters. It was all about the scares in the long run and trying to get that pulse-pounding rush.
In my opinion, I don’t believe this installment quite reaches the heights of The Dark Descent. Having said that, it is still a worthwhile purchase. Amnesia: The Bunker offers unique gameplay elements and, at its reasonable price of $25, it is a no-risk purchase. Moreover, the game’s replay value is a plus factor since even if you play it to experience the story on easy mode (no big scares) there are additional difficulties that allow you to play upon secondary playthroughs. While it is not a new game plus, the more you play the game, the more rewards you will receive.
Personally, the game provided me with an enjoyable and thrilling experience, and this was only after playing a limited amount due to the embargo. There are still areas of the game I am yet to explore, and I am only two hours into the game! The game is not only fun but also challenging, with some truly terrifying moments.