This game was a disappointment. /spoilers

#1 Edited by Random45 (1460 posts) -

It has been a few weeks since I've beaten it, and I've finally settled my thoughts on this game.

I think the first big issue with this game was allowing The Chinese Room to develop it. Calling it a 'game' might be a bit of a generous term though, since like their previous game, a majority of this experience is simply walking around, absorbing the atmosphere, and listening/reading the story as it plays out. TCR claim that they don't like typical video game conventions, and it really shows, since they stripped out a large majority of the gameplay from the first game. Removing all of these made the game far less intense, and it just went a long way to making the gameplay a complete drag.

The second big issue with this game is the scares - or lack thereof. There was one jump scare that got me, but other than that, the monsters, the atmosphere, and just everything else never frightened me. I will admit the first half hour I was freaking out, but once I realized that nothing was actually going to chase me or pop out at me, the game suddenly lost all tension with me. Some people claim that it's the story that supposed to be scary, but honestly, it's not. It's a little disturbing, sure, but honestly, I've played games that have disturbed me FAR more in the past. The pigs themselves just aren't frightening, and I've read some posts by people claiming that the electric pig at the end was scary, but this game has one huge fatal flaw with the enemies that the first game didn't have:

If you run, the enemies CAN'T catch you.

In the first game, the enemies actually sped up when you were running away from them, guaranteeing that if you didn't close a door and hide, or just get out of the area in time, that they would hit you. This helped give the tense atmosphere that made the game famous, and made it so when an enemy was chasing you, you were frantic. Another big issue with the enemies is that they aren't necessarily monsters - don't get me wrong, they are pigmen, and that in itself can be called a monster, but what I mean is that the game humanizes them. You actually go through their home and see them just living their lives like normal. Contrast this with the first game's enemies, whose only purpose in the game was to serve Alexander and kill YOU, they didn't have lives other than that.

And this leads to my third biggest problem with the game: It shouldn't have been called Amnesia. I was expecting an AMNESIA game, not Dear Esther 2: Walk With Pigs. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, and I thought the ending when the villain is pleading with you to not kill him was excellent, but other than that, I was seriously bored out of my mind. The entirety of the game was simply walking, walking, occasionally running, and more walking, with little variation. I guess I should be thankful then that the game is mercifully short, clocking in at around 3 and a half hours to beat the entire single player campaign. At least there are custom stories to... oh... wait. No, there isn't.

I can't believe they had the audacity to price this VERY short game at 20 dollars. Make no mistake, I explored everywhere I could, looking for notes, and I wasn't speed running the game. It is just seriously that short.

So my issues with the game summed up are:

1. There is very little fun gameplay.
2. It's not scary in the slightest.
3. Overpriced for what you get.

If I were to rate this game solely on the story, I'd give it a seven or an eight, but a game a story does not make. Combining the story with the dull gameplay, I'd rate this game at either a 4 or a 5. It's just ok. I recommend you only get this if you were a fan of Dear Esther, which I was unfortunately not. Avoid it completely if you're expecting a game anything like the original though.

#2 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3490 posts) -

I heard the same thing. It's very disappointing that the Penumbra guys' games are gradually becoming dumbified they longer the live on as developers.

#3 Posted by Levio (1808 posts) -

I just played this game and wrote my review for it.

I'm really surprised that it manages to falter on pretty much all fronts. The darkness isn't scary because you have infinite lamp fuel, the story is nonsensical (Why are the stained glass windows in the church depicting pigs? Are you just crazy?) the beasts aren't scary, the factory is absurdly large for having been built in under a year, and the puzzles of the original game have been entirely replaced with generic "turn this handle to proceed" situations.

#4 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13807 posts) -

Isnt the story more or less the same to? You lose your memory did something bad and now have to atone?

#5 Posted by yinstarrunner (1260 posts) -

I find it really funny that THIS is the game where the populace has finally taken offense to dumbed down sequels. This kind of thing has become a staple of the game industry in the past decade, but it takes a game with barely any mechanics in the first place to call attention to it. A game in a genre where mechanics are not even the centerpiece. I agree with your review, by the way.

I honestly think that TCR should start writing books, or something. Maybe they should make indie movies. They have a certain love for their own storytelling that I can get behind, but it's clear to me that they don't have a passion for actually designing game mechanics and systems. Even the most story-driven video games should strive to have some form of interesting systems.

No, I don't like pressing the forward key and having the story told AT me. It gets boring after a while. They lean on their environments to try and make it interesting, but I feel like their style of design inherently narrows down the scope of story they can tell. A machine for pigs feels like it wants to be a character study, but somewhere along the way they forgot to put the interesting character(s) into it.

Funny enough, Frictional games (you know, the one's who aren't storytelling auteurs like TCR), managed to actually have SEVERAL sympathetic characters in Amnesia and Penumbra. Imagine that.

#6 Posted by MentalDisruption (1833 posts) -

Yeah I really wasn't happy with this game. As soon as I loaded it up and found out the lantern oil and insanity mechanic was gone I couldn't help but groan. It just didn't feel tense at all. It was creepy, sure, but I can look at a picture of a weird bug and get just as creeped out too. I was really hoping for something more.

#7 Posted by thatdudeguy (189 posts) -

I'm the target audience for this game, and I loved it. I enjoyed playing the original, but was way too freaked out to finish it. But after some time has passed since playing AMFP, I tend to agree with the detractors. This game was understandably a disappointment to Amnesia fans, and maybe shouldn't have been positioned as a sequel.

Maybe the true nature of the game would have been better described as "thechineseroom Presents: a Story in the Amnesia Universe", and perhaps advertised as a crossover rather than a sequel. I'd love to see what they could do employing their storytelling slant in a Walking Dead, Call of Duty, or even Zelda crossover in their respective game engines. But fans of any of those series could be understandably disappointed if the next sequel they bought were almost completely lacking their traditional challenge.

I'll buy as many Amnesia games as thechineseroom can release, but if Frictional decides to create a true sequel it should be called Amnesia 2. No subtitle :)

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