So, the new Amnesia is out. Fun fun fun. I figured I'd make a topic, because surely, I'm not the only one here who is buying/bought this and is playing/will play this. I mean, come on. It's Amnesia.
Let's talk pigs, you oinkers.
So, I'm a good hour or two in, and I'll give my impressions thus far. From what I've seen, I really like it. It's not Amnesia: The Dark Descent scary, where there are monsters all over the damn castle. It's very subtle and atmospheric. Plenty of jump scares, but it can still get to you. I found myself shivering more than once when I entered an area and heard some noises not clearly identifiable as ambient noises, my imagination, or some bitch coming to kill me.
The story is really interesting, too, and I think it's one of the game's major strengths. It's not as black and white as the other Amnesia's ("I'm Daniel. Alexander is a douche-bag. Some shit happened. Lets go.") An hour in and I still have no idea of what's going on (I think the most I still know for certain is that the main character's name is Oswald Mandus and he has kids), but in a good way. It piles on the mysteries, but as you go on, you feel like you start to get a sense of what might be going on. It feels like it's more up to the player to piece together the story than the first Amnesia, I guess you could say. It's highly enjoyable trying to do so.
The environments look awesome. Not going to go too much more into it than that. It's about what you'd expect from an Amnesia game. The outside areas are really nice, though. Especially once you get into some more open ones, as you get a bit of a sense of freedom (although you're still confined by the game's walls, of course). It's still creepy and dark, although you can see fairly well, so that's definitely a plus.
The monsters are especially cool. You don't see as many as in the original Amnesia, like I alluded to earlier. But they are definitely creepy, and you can feel your heart thump when you catch a glimpse of one. But more importantly, I just got into my first encounter with one where you actually have to...you know. Avoid it as it walks around. Well, the developers weren't kidding when they said that the game was tougher than the original Amnesia. I tried to act all sneaky and inconspicuous, but just hovering my sight over a monster for a moment or two sets them off, and I get the feeling they can sense it if you're close.
I was hiding in some shadows and the monster passed me by, then I glanced back at him quick JUST as he finished rounding the corner. Big mistake. That douchebag decided "hey, maybe there's some guy hiding in the shadows back there" and turned back. I quickly turned and buried my face into the darkness, which usually works in the original Amnesia. Not here. That monster was on me in a few seconds, and I was dead.
So, yeah, definitely tougher monster encounters. I think that makes it even creepier than the first Amnesia, though, because that one was so exploitable to de-spawn monsters or make them leave. This one, you never feel safe. It's creeptastic.
So, yeah, that's what I'm feeling so far. It's a real pleasure to play, and I'm going to be sad when it's over. Anyone else have it and have any thoughts to share?
Edit: Actually, forget what I said about there being few monster encounters. I've seen plenty in the past hour. I don't know what Jim was talking about in his review when he says they're few and far between.
Okay, I finished A Machine for Pigs last night around midnight-ish. Here are some more thoughts (most is copypasta from a comment I made on the review, but I'm going to add some things to that).
All in all, it felt maybe a bit shorter than The Dark Descent (I noticed, because I didn't want it to end), but otherwise, it was a totally captivating, worthwhile, and creepy experience.
Especially that final act. Holy crap. I won't say what happens, but there's this one area/scene that sets up the final parts of the game that had me in awe. Totally unexpected and executed perfectly. Unfortunately, the final parts of the game after said scene don't really feel "creepy". (With the exception of one final new enemy thrown into the mix that almost made me blurt out "what the fuck is that. You'll know it when you see it.") After that scene, things don't feel "creepy tense". They feel sort of "action/adventure tense". But I think the game still manages to keep its claws you in just as much after that scene with where the story goes.
And let me tell you, the story does not disappoint. I've seen people call it predictable, but I sure wasn't predicting much successfully. Heck, I thought the game was nearly over once I got to the halfway-ish point in the game. How wrong I was. I never would have guessed that the area/scene that's so awesome that I described above would have been a part of the story. And even right as I was going into the end of the game I guessed wrong. Maybe that's just me being really awful at predicting things, but I think people are just looking for an excuse to dislike this game when they say "the story is SO predictable".
I can see where Jim said that enemies are few and far between, now that I've played through all of it. About 2/3 hours in, the game starts throwing them at you in rapid succession, area after area, but once you're through that sort of spurt, actual encounters with enemies are rare. You'll still see them in pretty well every area, you know, catching glimpses of them and stuff, but actually having to run from/avoid them becomes much rarer, then. Still, when you are facing enemies, they're tough to avoid, and it can get pretty tense. You have to be aware of your surroundings and on the move. I actually found it nice to not get what you would have expected (hiding in a corner in the original Amnesia worked pretty well, so I expected that, here), in that regard.
One other thing I hear people complain about is how you don't get to interact with much in the environment. Basically, just any letters or documents that you pick up and things that relate to puzzles. This really didn't bother me, because I don't really feel the need to pick up random useless objects for absolutely no reason other than to pick them up, only to throw them down, again. I was so focused on moving on and finding out what happens next that I didn't care. I guess people have a point, but it wasn't an issue for me.
One last thing to touch on is that the game definitely manages to be creepy in atmosphere, despite the fact that there aren't as many monsters roaming about. Even when you're completely safe, things feel tense. Like Tristrix said to me on Twitter, and he's right, "It lacks in outright horror but it's masterful in creating a sense of oppressive dread that can be just as effective." I'd give it a 9/10. But that's for me. I can see where this is a love it or hate it game. You can either appreciate where it deviates from the original Amnesia and does things its own way or despise it and long for another Dark Descent. I'll definitely be playing it again, in the future. Most likely right after playing The Dark Descent, again. It was worth it.