Originally released in 2010 for Windows PCs and Mac, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a downloadable single-player survival horror game that relies upon a combination of psychological horror and puzzle-solving for a game experience that is truly unique yet reminiscent of classic titles like The 7th Guest. Most recently released for the Xbox One, Frictional Games’ the game puts you in the shoes of Daniel as he delves into a dark, mysterious castle full of secrets and horrors for you to stumble upon during your journey.
How to Download Amnesia: The Dark Descent
You can obtain the game from Steam or GOG.com. To start downloading hit the Download button below the game review.
The Game Review
Employing a unique sanity system, players are tasked with avoiding monsters and other horrors in order to keep a grip on reality. Though not entirely immersive, Amnesia: The Dark Descent does feature object interaction and in-game physics.
This is incorporated into some of the puzzles in the game and imbues it with a level of interactivity that makes it more immersive but in a consequential way. For example, opening a door requires motions similar to the push and pull of actually opening a door. Some players might find this gimmicky or frustrating and prefer a more traditional approach to controls instead.
But, trust us, once you see how these elements are incorporated into later gameplay, you should really just go with it. In addition to keeping insanity at bay, Daniel also has a health indicator that you have to watch. This dueling system of needs results in some quite interesting paradoxes.
Encountering horrors often has a very damaging effect on Daniel’s sanity, and engaging with them has even more of an effect on his health. Yet sometimes it is completely unavoidable.
To solve this conundrum, Amnesia: The Dark Descent places a huge emphasis on light sources and staying within the beam of a nearby light. This helps keep monsters at bay, thus avoiding damage, and maintains Daniel’s sanity. Levels then become a race to light the correct candles, sconces, etc. while watching out for obstacles and things that could otherwise harm Daniel.
And this introduces one of the best mechanics in the game: flight. You see, Daniel can take damage but he can’t use weapons. You can toss things at pursuing monsters but you cannot harm them.
To escape, Daniel has to flee and find refuge, whether by barricading himself in a room or something else. In what are some of the best scares in the game, monsters are even capable of bursting through a barricade you’ve put up and are quite dogged in their pursuit of Daniel once they’ve spotted him.
Infused with gothic horror that commands much of the narrative’s tenor, this is an experience first and a game second.
It is an odd twist that the player is a protagonist incapable of defeating his foes with weapons, but it is also the bedrock concept of one of the most interesting survival horror games available. Ideal for fans of classic PC horror titles, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is also great for people who enjoyed Silent Hill and Eternal Darkness for the GameCube.
- Survival horror gaming at its best
- An innovative approach to puzzle solving
- Sanity meter is a neat approach
- No combat or action
- Absolutely helpless
- Sanity meter and health meter together seem pointless in a game without any action