Following the success of the original, the Amnesia name is held with such regard that even the bizarrely entitled 'A Machine for Pigs' is enough to send a chill all the way down to your socks.
That subtitle, which has been quite the tease, isn’t as abstract as you may have imagined either. It becomes evident from the beginning there's most certainly an evil-looking machine that's core to all things, and you’ll absolutely encounter the pigs as well. Real, not entirely metaphorical pigs.
It turns out that this contraption has been built as part of some grand vision to recreate humanity itself and, as is often the case with such Darwin-defying notions, things start to get pretty scary, pretty fast. Yet for all its deafening noise, it's never this monstrosity that freaked me out, but rather the people that created it.
For the first hour of AMFP, there's a limit to its horror. A few jumpy moments aside, the scares and tension mostly come from the scraps of backstory being collected. Unlike before, which followed survival horror rules with the huge twist of leaving you unarmed and constantly running from monsters, this felt like an exploration game instead of a true sequel to The Dark Descent. That was before I met the first of the machine’s creations.
Those 'not entirely metaphorical pigs' I mentioned? Well, they’re not entirely pigs either. Hidden away underneath a meat factory, the quest to redefine humankind has demanded certain flesh only such a factory could provide. The end result is part-human and part-beast: absurd creatures that are a lot scarier than they might sound.
After a tame introduction, you’ll find yourself striding with a little too much confidence; your lantern held just a little too high. Then you see it: a huge, ungainly form darting across the opening at the bottom of a staircase. Suddenly your lantern is a hindrance, running feels far too risky, and you crouch in a corner hoping this creature doesn’t get too close. After an hour of 'easy' exploration, you welcome back the real survival horror of Amnesia.
Completed in 5 hours
8 / 10
- Pig-men are far more horrific than I would have believed
- Brutally dark storyline
- Is often terrifying
- The opening hour feels a little too safe