By fistfulofmetal 1 Comments
My last installment was not very popular, I'll admit. That won't discourage me however. If I'm going to do something I should just push forward and see it through.
So with that said, welcome back to my totally original video/blog series Being Afraid in which I play some scary video games and talk about my experience with them for everyone to see.
Last time I introduced Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs to my series in addition to Outlast and here we'll be continuing where we left off with both. In Outlast I managed to make my way to the asylum sewer system while in Amnesia I escaped a claustrophobic underground maze of metal and gears. What will we see this week? Well let's take a look
Outlast - Part 3
Immediately I'm not happy with my situation. Sewers are never a happy place to be regardless of the situation. To make matters worse this big fucker has decided to... drop in. Unlucky for me I get grabbed in the first minute and decide to just forgo this run and try again.
A respawn and some intelligent thinking results in me successfully avoiding creeper. My objective here is is to flush the water in the lower levels so I can continue on my journey deep into the pits of hell. Along the ceiling I can see the pipes that are responsible for the water flow. I'm finding it interesting how the game so blatantly repeats it's mechanics. Essentially I have to go to two places and press a button and then go to a third and press a button. I have to do all of this while a creature stalks me through the level. I've done this once before and I'm willing to guess I'll end up doing it again.
No matter. Let's get to these pipes. Left or right, left or right. From the looks of map and layout, right is closer and easier to get to. A quick jump over a board and a right turn reveals a door and a magical button that will solve all my problems. I assume this magical button will also summon Mr. Big Guy. Now I may make jokes but let's be real here, mechanics aside I'm legit nervous. I would rather not have to run from this because my confidence in navigating through this area is pretty low. Instead of being brave and just running for it I wait patiently. My patients is rewarded by being grabbed by the neck and thrown to the ground. And off I run! Quickly scurrying into a nook near the ground. Clear Big Guy can't fit.
Pipe 2 is next. This one is a bit trickier since Big Guy's primary route is over here. Some clever navigation is all it takes and I manage to make my way to the second pipe. Here's where I get cocky. I decide to make a run for it. Suddenly the music triggers and I know I'm had. I make a quick detour towards the nook in the ground. CROUCH. DAMMIT VIDEO GAME CROUCH WALK. Then I nearly soil myself. I no longer am making forward movement. Now I'm being pulled up and HELLO BIG GUY. OFF I RUN AGAIN! Round 2 is more successful and I manage to make my way to level 2.
Aaaaand level 2 is pitch black. Worse yet? I'm running out of batteries. I slowly stalk my way through the darkened sewer path until I see a ladder. Up the ladder a figure peaks his head over. No matter, it's not like I'm going to go back. A bit forward someone shines a flashlight at my face and that's my cue to get the fuck outta here. Through a door I find a psycho who seems to be friendly. Thanks buddy but I'll stick to myself here.
Continuing on, I find myself in a section of the sewer that's completely flooded. This is probably the most terrifying part so far. My nightvision will only illuminate a few feet in front of me. The only indication of my surroundings is the gentle lapping of the water away or toward me. In an open section I hear metal clinking and heavy breathing. This big fucker is in here with me. And I can't see him. The only indication of his existence is the sound and I'm doing everything I can to avoid. So far so good. As I hug outer wall I catch a glimpse of a lite area in the middle and then I catch a glint of eyes in the distance. I probe the edges of this middle lite section and find a ledge. It's at this point I'm found yet again. My muscles tense and my view narrows. I leap for my life at a broken ladder and kiss Big Guy goodbye.
Next up is the games first really major action set piece. I should have seen this coming. Suddenly Outlast introduces a series of heavy objects in front doors I need to push. I continue through doors and past psychos behind hospital curtains. I navigate up through a vent where I find someone tied up and then all of hell comes down upon my head. The world has cracked open and all the psychos now want my blood. My first go at an escape is an utter failure but on my second go I get a better understanding.
When a game is having you run from someone and you go through door, never assume it's over. Keep. Going. And going I do. I run. And I run. I jump. I run. I open doors. I jump over doors. Finally after an exhausting trip a friendly voice calls out. Through a small elevator shoot I climb and up I go.
Right into the hands of a demented nude doctor with gigantic scissors.
You know what? I'll just go right a head and stop here and let you watch what comes next. I'll simply say this is the worst part of the game so far. For 16 minutes I fail to maneuver around this guy and end up dying over and over. Just watch.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - Part 2
My second excursion into a Lovecraftian styled mad-house begins with a gentle tour of an office space. Complete with an interesting phone conversation, and a desk drawer filled with teeth and glasses.
Into the shipping and receiving bay we can clearly see this companies fondness for slaughtered pigs. There's a flatbed covered in grim and filth, in front of that is some sort of refilling station. Refilling what exactly? Down a hallway and through a window I make my way through an alleyway that spits me out in front of a picturesque European cobblestone street. There's a church in the distance, some sort of truck blocking my way and a full moon in the sky.
Unfortunately I encounter some technical difficulties around ~8:20-8:50 so mind that. Then immediately after I encounter some brain difficulties afterwards. The game provides me some sort of rectangular box. My brain assumes I need to put this in the truck and so I spend roughly 2 minutes trying to pick up and fit this box into the hole. I feel like I'm an infant playing one of those shape toys. Finally after enough excruciating time I decide to be logical and take the box back where I came to refill it at the... you know, refilling station. There's a sudden sense of accomplishment as the box immediately fits right into the space and I begin to let the fuel flow. This sense is dashed like I was never there as the facility shudders. A horrifying squeal ruptures forth from the upper levels. I manage to catch a glimpse of a a figure moving above me on all fours. I'm shaken. The scene resembles something out of a 80's teen slasher movie. I desperately try to fill the box quicker. Once it's topped off I stumble and fumble with the controls. Several times I drop the box to the ground. Why can't I carry all these boxes?
Sound in this game is absolutely top notch. Little things are always happening around you. Creaks, groans, cries in the distance, metal clinking, shuffles above and below. It all creates a claustrophobic atmosphere. Outlast is similar but the feeling is a bit different. Outlast feels unsafe, you always feel a threat looming. Amnesia doesn't really give off that feeling. Instead you're just always creeped out. Amnesia digs it's tendrils deep down into your skin and you're always darting your eyes around expecting to see a door open or close or expecting to hear something shuffle away to your right. Amnesia makes you paranoid and unsure about yourself. The different approaches to horror is fascinating to me. Outlast is in your face. Amnesia is patient.
Continuing on past the truck and into a clearly safe church.
Up through double doors we find ourselves in a cathedral hall with music echoing throughout the chamber. I decide to make a small detour around to make sure I don't miss anything. Really I'm actually just delaying the need to walk through the middle of the hall. As I approach the front of the church a desecrated crucifix becomes clear to me. Slaughtered swine adorn the mantle. Beyond I find a mechanism that requires two identical candle fixtures to activate. After a bit of backtracking I find the fixture the game wishes me to find. A quick placement and turn and I turn the machine on. A secret stairwell appears in front of me.
Very much like Outlast requires me to initiate, Amnesia is forcing me to essential jump off a cliff into what I can assume is nothing short of hell. My character echoes my thoughts very will in journal entry.
And thus, Amnesia has turned me into a stiff and rigid shell of a man. I can barely move for more than 2 or three steps before I pause. These cages surrounding me can mean nothing but terrible deeds have taken place in this corrupted place. "SILENCE! Do not startle or upset the acquisitions!" Acquisitions? Jesus.
Amnesia pulls off a fantastic prelude scare and I applaud it quite a bit. I assume I'm in he safe area where nothing is going to happen. I assume a lot because video games have taught me well. As I casually walk by cages some revealed some hidden by a tarp, suddenly a sound of desperation erupts to my left. I never would have thought there would be people in these cages.
Down the stairs and I finally come face to face with what this games primary monster. I'm not disappointed. I'm no longer a man sitting in this chair in the pitch black. I'm suddenly a child and I don't want to go down there. Every fiber in my muscles is tense. I grip my mouse tighter and descend. My brain takes over and I begin to explore. My instincts tell me it would be best to know the layout of this place. My instincts do me good. Further on my lantern begins to flicker and I hear the horrid squeal. I retreat. From down a long corridor. I see a silhouette. It raises to two legs and my brain melts. Fight or flight kicks in and I make a run for it. I know there's a path to my right which I take. A squeal fills my left ear and I disregard it. I simply run. Through the darkness I run until i see a door and escape reaches my grasp.
I contemplated ending it there. For some reason a courage surged through me and I plunged forth.
Through dark streets to the Mandus Processing Company. That definitely doesn't sound ominous. There's only a few moments of reprieve. I take solace in the ability to close all the windows around me. One deep gulp and I descend once again into the bitter darkness.
"Pistol Rooms" is where I am. Pistons indeed. It's clear to me I'm deep in it by now. As I walk forward a humungous piston springs alive and further forward yet I see a figure move beyond the metal gears.
Now I want to reiterate something. Amnesia is a game that gives off a creepy paranoid feeling. It's simple to just say the player is feeling unsafe because it's more complicated than that. Nothing is quite right and there's a layer of mystery surrounding the whats and whys. When finally Amnesia puts you in a scenario where your well being is threatened, it's like lifting a two ton sledgehammer down on the back of your neck. The muscles become rigid and you try your best to stay calm. This is essentially what the next 15 minutes of Amnesia was like for me. I'm down here in another machine hell but this time I'm not alone. They play it gently at first, allowing me to see figures scurrying to and fro. Maybe if I just act quick enough I'll be able to deal with this puzzle before anything bad happens? Deep down you know that thought is folly.
So I'm presented a fairly simple puzzle yet in my compromised state of mind I simply can't function properly. Instead of acting logically and thinking about my surroundings I spend a few minutes opening and closes doors, flipping switches I know to be non-functioning and all around acting a fool. Finally I stumble on the solution which was fairly blatant in retrospect. Fuel. It's always been the fuel. I manage to light the fires and successfully turn this horrible machine on.
And lo, hell comes down upon me. Imagine solving a puzzle in video game and being rewarded with a punch to the stomach. That's what we have here, folks. I solved the puzzle! Now every machine in the facility is on and every terrible swine has gone mad. In my worst moment I retreat behind a set of double doors as if that will stop whatever wants me dead.
The next few minutes are a mad dash. I disregard any logic to hide and sneak. Taking cues from Outlast I simply run. Swine give out their squeals to the left and right but I pay no mind. I push forward through the darkness until the sound is a distant distraction. I believe I'm through the worst of it. Around a corner I turn with my lantern bravely shining the way.
Then. A nose peaks it's way from behind a machine. Sniffing and probing the darkness. I don't even think, I react and retreat once again. With my lantern off I sit and silently as possible. In real life my breath is held. I can't see but for the barely viewable silhouette. I dare note turn my lantern on. I wait. After enough time I can see the shape of a creature moving off in the distance and I make a break for it. Frantically I search for some exit and I finally find it. I don't even care where this leads as long as it's away.
Away it does lead. And with that I end Part 2.
Again, thanks for anyone who decides to read any of this. Obviously the text is not required and you can just watch the video. I do both for my own benefit. I'm completely open to any feedback of all kinds.
I'll be back later next week with more.