By Fistfulofmetal 0 Comments
Welcome back to another installment of BEING AFRAID with Fistfulofmetal. Or "My Goddamned Video Game Experience".
In my last entry, I played through the first 45 minutes of Outlast and forced myself to jump off a cliff into a pit of horror. Today I would like to show you where I go from there in the terrible insane asylum. Also I will be introducing the first installment in the parallel series for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. So lets get started shall we?
Last we left our intrepid journalist stuck on an Insane Asylum he successfully navigated a flooded basement with the goal of turning power back in for the facility. Unfortunately for our man with the cam a crazy priest had been waiting for him the entire time. Now we wake in padded cell surrounded by crazies.
Within the first several seconds I decided to cower underneath my bed like an abused child. They're out there! And they want me to go out there as well? Well... alright. Building up enough courage I take my first step into the blackness. Below me psychotics roam around shouting unintelligible speech. It's become clear to me at this point something is most definitely not normal here. As I make my way down the hallway an inmate shoots his arm through the glass square window of his cell door. He wants out, probably wants a piece of me as well. I offer a chance to open the door because hey, maybe he's just misunderstood? No go, the door is locked.
Turning the first corner I'm greeted by a pair of incorrigible gentlemen in impeccable attire. Clearly they're here to class up the joint. I find their tone of speech vs. the content of their speech interesting. They definitely want a piece of me. At least my tongue, liver, and maybe even more. Luckily there's a steel grated door between them and I.
Moving things right along, I navigate through the decrepit halls making my way to the other side of the steel door. It appears the gentlemen have moved on. Through a security checkpoint and up a set of stairs I find the only path available to me is a hole in the ground. Here we find a psycho who has clearly had a disagreement with an asylum guard. He wishes for me to be quiet so I'll just go right ahead and comply. Down a hall another psycho is toying with the security systems. He isn't as agreeable and I'm forced to run. Lucky for me I know exactly where to hide. Psychos typically have no concept of "under the bed".
Triggering the security system opens the checkpoint but to my horror it also makes a lot of noise. Our quiet friend isn't pleased with me and I'm forced to flee for my life again.
Through the security checkpoints we meet our gentlemen friends again. I stand and listen to them lust after my tongue and liver. After their speech routine finishes I observe as they creepily shiver and convulse in place. To my completely lack of surprise, I have to make my through the metal gate again and like before the gentlemen decide to move on before I can reach them.
Oh Jesus. Not the big fucker again. Ripping the head off a guard to prove a point? I'll just go ahead and turn on this security checkpoint and FUCK NOPE NOPE. Maybe this glass will hold him back? NOPE NOPE. I RUN. FOR MY LIFE. THROUGH A DUCT SYSTEM... A LOCKED DOOR BETWEEN HIM AND I STANDS NO CHANCE. RUNNING STILL UNTIL AND EXPLOSION SENDS ME FLYING DOWN, DEEP DOWN ON TO A PILE OF BODIES.
The next ~10 minutes become the most tense moments in this game so far. In complete darkness I need to avoid this big fucker and make my way back up.
I just want to take a moment and discuss the amazing night vision effects in this game. Night vision is the only option when you're in pitch black but also turns the visible spectrum into a nightmare. Limited color depth and field of view creates an extreme tunnel vision effect that turns a standard stealth section on it's head.
Suffice to say I managed to maneuver around my adversary and into a cell-block. There's a dead guard in the center. The scenario resembles a coliseum for gladiator combat. Inmates surround me on multiple levels as a light shines down on the center of the room. It's a raucous, unnerving setting made even worse by the straight-jacket laden man who simply wants to walk near me.
Scaling the cell block I encounter inmates in cells, inmates prowling corridors, and inmates trolling me as I shimmy across ledges. All culminating with a trip through a hole in the showers into the sewers.
And that's where we end it. The last 45 minutes have been nerve racking. Outlast is definitely hitting the right notes for Horror. It builds tension, forces you in terrifying flights for your life, and nails the jump scare pretty darn well. Next time we'll be dealing with a sewer and I am not looking forward to it.
AMNESIA: A MACHINE FOR PIGS
Ahh... Amnesia. We all remember A Dark Descent, don't we? It was a game that rejuvenated the Horror experience in video games community. A Machine for Pigs is the highly anticipated follow up to one of the scariest games of all time. We'll see how it holds up.
The first minute already creates a supremely oppressive tone. Something sitting on a stage, electricity going crazy, everything is shaking... oh god what is happening. The screen is turning to an uncomfortable shade of red and I'm creeped out.
Someone is calling for their daddy and I assume I'm the father. Thescreen has a strange blue tint... I'm following calls from a duo of children.
This house seems gigantic and seriously oppressive. Reading these notes, something odd is going on. It sounds like the character I'm playing did something bad in his past and to be honest I think the kids are probably dead.
There's a clever puzzle here with the rifle on the wall. A note by the main character talks about grabbing his rifle and the note emphasizes the rifle several times. Then directly to your left is a series of rifles hanging on the wall. It's a simple puzzle but I like that it was something you needed to pay attention. Clever. I also liked the way they revealed the spaced behind the walls and how the kids think it's ghosts behind the walls.
So far the game doesn't seem to be going for the kind of scares as the first Amnesia. This game seems going for a more subtle approach over blatantly horror. I guess that the oppressiveness would be far more affective if I hadn't just played Outlast which is basically IN YOUR FACE with the scares.
I'm not particularly sure what's going on here so far. There are machines down below? The kids are done there (yeah right)?
The next 10 minutes or so I spent wandering around until I find a secret passage in the bathroom. From there I can see a roof with a cage in the middle. That's pretty ominous. I think this is basically the point where the experience truly starts. In front of me inside a roof filled with machines is a valve. Turning this valve is basically allowing the horror to begin. It's an interesting idea to force the player to do this, I'm making the bad things happen here. Everything that happens from here out is my fault.
And sure enough, something, scurries away down the hall. That was a pretty good moment.
Unfortunately I spend the next 10 minutes wandering again until I realize... THE BEAR! The bear leads me to the second valve which leads me to the machines.
Tremors have been a common occurrence so far in this game. There's a real sense that everything is falling a part around me. It's unknown to me if this a metaphor for my state of mind or if the flooding down below is literally causing tremors. I guess that will remain to be seen. Also, I finally figure out how to use the damn lantern! Light! Finally!
Moving through this machine hell is a pretty different experience than the house. Everything is dark, cold, and foreign. I'm going around finding fuses to flip these switches. Every time I do, hell breaks loose a bit more. Eventually I the final switch and FUCK WHAT WAS THE TO MY RIGHT? Something just darted away. I don't get a clear look but that was biggest scare so far in this game.
I can say I'm enjoying the fact that this game trades in serious tension over blatant scares. The problem I can see however is if they are simply always building tension and not releasing it, the player can become numb to it. Hopefully this machine hell is the beginning of some serious shit. I've barely scratched the surface here. It's caught my attention and I'm interested in seeing what will happen next.
Alright. That was a lot of text. Amnesia isn't delivering the scares like the first but I'm interested in the approach they are taking. Honestly, playing Outlast and Amnesia and seeing their different takes on horror is pretty cool. I have a lot ahead of me.
Thanks for watching the videos and if you had enough patience for my rambling, the text. I'm open to feedback on both obviously so please tell me what I suck at!
I do know the Amnesia video's quality isn't the best. I'm still tweaking the settings for OBS and hopefully it'll get better over time.