Amnesia: Rebirth 

released on Oct 20, 2020
Amnesia: Rebirth

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Amnesia: Rebirth 

released on Oct 20, 2020

Amnesia: Rebirth is a new descent into darkness from the creators of the iconic Amnesia series. Set in the desolate landscape of the Algerian desert, the game will focus on new character Tasi Trianon as she sets out on a harrowing journey through devastation and despair, personal terror and pain, while exploring the limits of human resilience.


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the best part of this game is the desert setting, yet sadly that is only like 40% of the game. the other 60% is set in a very bland alien world setting with a boring color pallet, and some uninteresting puzzles. other then that the story is interesting, however the three endings are not that good and just kind of end with no satisfying resolution. voice acting is great, gameplay is classic amnesia.


My disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined.


The game finishes a lot stronger than it begins, which is just what you’d hope but not at the cost of making the beginning super unengaging and rote like I thought it was. Honestly, for the first half of this game I was very bored and frustrated. But by the time you get to the Catacombs, a later area set in a Roman style excavation site, the game really stops withholding the fun. I just finished TDD last week so I knew going in that Frictional’s horror philosophy is to make you think you’re in greater danger than you actually are, so going into the encounters with enemies and chase sequences I was struggling to let myself feel actually harassed by the horrors.

But despite that cynicism which is so undermining to horror, basically every single encounter managed to make me feel like I just barely survived.

I think a big part of that is with so many of them, and the parts in the catacombs especially, the level design shifts from being completely linear to offering you a shocking and disorienting amount of choice for navigating these parts. The difference is extremely slight, but having just one more option than normal to make a wrong turn and end up in a small room with nowhere to go, or being deprived of a clear and obviously delineated path through is really freaky when the game is otherwise so clear about how you’re supposed to move through the space. It’s like the game suddenly dials back the handholding at just the right parts, and it was really effective for inspiring doubt about probably the one thing the game has basically trained you to never really question. Suddenly it seems very possible to completely miss the correct way to safety, you actually have to seek it out and it just the worst moment too. So despite never dying until like pretty much the last stealth section I had several moments where I thought “oh shit, this is the end.”

That’s not the same as being dumped into a maze with patrolling monsters like the Choir part in TDD, which I love, but it’s honestly maybe even better. I changed my mind from thinking that Frictional just seemed to forget how to make a scary game after TDD (SOMA was not very scary imo) to that, actually, they seem way more confident and refined in their tricky designs. They play the long game of queuing your expectations and building your confidence up to effectively disorient you later on. Unlike many horror experiences, I thought that contending with the confusion of navigating these levels was essential and, miraculously, never actually frustrating. I made it out alive of some locations, but I probably couldn’t tell you what that level actually looked like to help you navigate yourself.

It was luck! Sheer survival!!