Afraid Of The Light? Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Trailer

By John Walker on October 31st, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Squint. No, SQUINT. There - you can see something!

It’s been too long since we saw some moving pictures of the Amnesia sequel, A Machine For Pigs, this time developed by the Dear Esther team, thechineseroom. But we need wait no longer, as the fast approach of All Saints Day means spooky footage is of the highest order, and you can see the new trailer below. It’s a bit scary.

The secret behind Frictional’s games (and they’re playing producer role here, to ensure all is good and proper) is to make you as, well, you – a person who isn’t superhuman, and gets a bit scared when really, really scary things are happening. And as the trailer shows, the best place to be in such a time is hiding in a hole with the lights off. RARGGLGLGEFLURGLE!

It’s weird, cos I figured a machine for pigs would be some sort of giant meat grinder for mincing up humans. Because they want to eat us. Look in their eyes. They want to eat us all.

Rather strangely, the developers are also after your screams. They’ve asked for WAVs, OGGs or MP3s of people’s most frightening bloodcurdlers to be emailed to piggies@thechinseseroom.co.uk. Which is just plain weird, and I fear for the poor bastard whose job it will be to listen to that racket. The idea being they’ll put the best (worst?) of them in their game. Royalty free sound effects!

There’s still no fixed release date, beyond its previous slip into “early 2013″.

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110 Comments »

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  1. MonkeyShines says:

    Aspect ratio? What the fuck?

  2. McDan says:

    Nearly had a heart attack just from watching the trailer. I’m no good at these games. Amnesia all round tonight then!

  3. Baardago says:

    I don’t get it.

    Why is it that thechineseroom is developing this, not Frictional Games themselves? :/

    • AJ_Wings says:

      I think Frictional’s working on their new IP and they wanted to put out an Amnesia sequel rather quickly but they didn’t have enough resources or time. That’s where the Dear Esther guys come in.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        And, as an independent company, they said they wnated to try and gain experience as a publisher.

      • Amun says:

        I don’t have high hopes for this… not because I think the game can’t be good, but because I don’t know anything about the chinese room’s abilities for making a truly scary video game. Time will tell I guess…

        • etho says:

          Then you missed Korsakovia, their second HL2 mod, which was scary as hell. Unfortunately, it didn’t get on well with a Source update, so it’s not playable at the moment, but I assure you, they can do scary.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Frictional’s working on a new horror game, but it’s on a new engine, or a new version of their old engine, and will take a while. They wanted to get another game out in the meantime.

    • Alexander says:

      They might be making a new game, you know… like they’ve already said.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Dilapinated says:

    While this is definitely the kind of game I enjoy watching more than playing, I think this looks very promising and look forward to seeing more of it.

    • kukouri says:

      Seriously. I’ll never play this proper. I’ll buy it day 1, but I will never ever be able to bring myself to play more than 5 minutes before running like a terrified schoolchild.

      • Drake Sigar says:

        I imagine thousands of people are going to buy this game and then not play, like they’re expecting the game to jump out and grab their throat during the installation process.

        • MiloticMaster says:

          I got Amnesia in the Humble Bundle but never installed it…
          You can see it… the icon… it’s watching me…

  5. moreyummystuff says:

    The PC’s display of fear is kind of hammy but I do hope nothing hampers the release.

  6. mortal_vombat says:

    can’t wait for this one. Amnesia is after Silent Hill probably my favorite game. But as someone mentioned here i can’t really decide if it’s more fun playing it or watching PewDiePie play it :D

    • twig_reads says:

      Well, you could try and make some rape jokes, while playing Amnesia by yourself. Best of both worlds, eh?

      • godwin says:

        I see what you did there. Would give you many cookies if I could.

        Personally I’d rather watch Helloween play it. Or if you want to hear and see someone screaming, there’s always Day9.

  7. Cytrom says:

    Well at least theres a bit more variety in the level design it seems. Amnesia had more dull brown dungeon walls than quake.

    (I liked amnesia, but the fear was the only thing going for it. If you increase the brightness and the fear is toned down, there is only mediocrity left in every regard.)

    • Didero says:

      Well yeah, but if you take away the monsters and tone down the shooting a bit, Doom’s rather dull too.

      • Cytrom says:

        Not nearly to the same extent. Doom was state of the art stuff in its time with both high quantity and quality of content.

        Amnesia had mediocre level design, sounds, and the gameplay was pretty lightweight too. It was scary due to low light levels in depressing underground levels and because you had no means to defend yourself. Thats about the extent of its depth. It was impressive what the devs have achieved within a low budget, but it was rather obvious that it was a low budget game after all.

        It looks like they put more effort into the game world this time.

        • Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

          Well, Amnesia is horror. You can’t kill the monsters, and you’re completely defenceless. It’s made to be as scary as they can get it. So why is the fact that fear is the only thing it has “going for it” any suprising, whatsoever to you? What more did you expect?

          • thebigJ_A says:

            RPG elements, duh. All games need them or they’re ‘shallow’.

  8. kadeton says:

    It’s weird, cos I figured a machine for pigs would be some sort of giant meat grinder for mincing up humans. Because they want to eat us. Look in their eyes. They want to eat us all.

    “Some sort of giant meat grinder for mincing up humans” seems to be exactly what the trailer is suggesting, to me.

  9. Howard says:

    So, this is going the same route as Amnesia and simply *telling* the player they are scared, rather than having the talent to actually scare them? Such a shame.
    I love the ideas here but you can’t tell me to be frightened, you actually have to work to freak me out. This looks just as boring and tedious as Amnesia. Shame.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      I wish we could thumb down comments.

    • rifflesby says:

      Your superior courage is duly noted, and you will receive your “I’m a very manly man” badge within 6-8 weeks.

    • db1331 says:

      Comments like this bug the hell out of me. People brag about not being scared by games like these like it’s some badge of honor. It just means you’re a twat. You can’t allow yourself to be taken in by the atmosphere and get the experience the game is trying to deliver you. It’s like going to a theme park and then bragging about how you didn’t even have any fun. You don’t have to be pissing your pants or screaming like you’re trying to get Youtube views, but you should be able to get SOMETHING out of a game that’s as well put together as Amnesia. And if you can’t, that’s a problem with YOU, not the game.

      • moreyummystuff says:

        Somewhat in Howard’s defense I must say that the effects played when the PC was scared, or when a scary moment was coming up in Amnesia did act as a detractor for me as well. It sort of warned me “hey ho – this is supposed to be scary now” instead of letting me indulge in my own imagination-generated fear. In fact the most frightening moments in Amnesia were mostly the emergent ones for me and that’s sort of how I imagine horror storytelling should work, play on what you don’t see/hear/know and keep the suspense up.

      • Bhazor says:

        To paraphrase Yahtzee.
        “A racoon falling through my window and landing on my lap scares the living shit out of me. But that does not make the racoon a master of horror.”

        Amnesia relied far too much on jump scares, turning out the lights and simulating panic by having you stumble around the dark. It’s scary. But a cheap scary.
        Silent Hill it is not.

        • Howard says:

          This. Exactly this. Amnesia missed the point entirely. Fear is a reaction, not a response to an instruction.
          Silent Hill totally got that (and more – it was the only game I every played (2 &3) that managed to instil dread in me).

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          PikaBot says:

          I’m not sure you played past the introductory sequence. That one room near the start is the only such ‘jump scare’ that I’ve encountered. Not sure I’d call that a jump scare either, it’s not something popping out at you and there’s no loud audio.

          Amnesia scares by generating an oppressive atmosphere, and giving you no tools with which to fight back against it. What’s scary isn’t the monster, but the possibility that the monster could be behind this door you’re about to open. Which, hey, is precisely what Silent Hill 2 did with Pyramid Head, so there’s that.

          • Howard says:

            The jump-out sequences were not the main issue. As I say, you cannot scare me by showing me that my avatar is scared. The correlation is stupid.

          • KikiJiki says:

            I don’t get how anyone can find Pyramid Head scary at all. He looks so stupid.

          • Bhazor says:

            Except for when the monsters appear and the music goes CLANG CLANG SPRONG DONG DONG and the protagonist is going MWEHHHHHHHHHH MWEHHHHHHHHH and the monster is going BLARGLE BLARGLE BLARGLE. In many places I took my headphones off just to avoid getting a migraine from all the industry standard scary noises. Hell I started getting scared of monsters just because I knew they’d give me a fucking head ache when they https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUP4QY8unjE

            Thats all they are. Scary noises and a dodgy filter. Theres no symbolism, no meaning and when the story does appear it is absolutely hilarious. I mean that ending. I haven’t laughed so much at a horror game since my VGA card broke half way through System Shock 2 and all the monsters turned barney the dinosaur purple.

            The only monster I did like were the water monsters, the reason being they were a cool mechanic and they represented a primal fear of water. Suddenly there was actual dread and fear rather than just “oh a monster made a scary noise better sit in the dark for five minutes until he gets bored and goes away”. It was the one time it felt restrained.

          • Kaira- says:

            Amnesia’s first half was definetly the weakest part of the game – jump scares out of the whazoo and all that jazz, and not even nearly enough atmosphere building (looping ‘creepy’ background music was especially jarring). It got a bit better towards the end, and I remember the Choir and prison fondly as the best parts of the game.

            All this being said, after a replay or two I found Amnesia to be good, but not great. Even though the monster appearances were supposed to be randomized, they rarely were and even then, you always knew when and where to expect them, making the encounters lose all their scariness. And when I compare to Silent Hill (2-4), I also know every time what I will encounter, but for some reason it doesn’t ease my mind at all, but instead increases my terror – “I don’t want to go there”, so to say. It’s a curious difference which I can’t really explain what it’s caused by.

          • Bhazor says:

            Huh, I’m the other way around. I thought the start was the best part. When it tried to scare me with it’s terribad voice work telling me how scary it is and pointing at itself going “OOoooOOohhhh TOrtURE devices!!! OOoooOOohhhh!” that I got bored. Yes yes I get it I’ve been to York Dungeon. I still have no idea how people found “Cut the line” bit scary. It’s so… rubbish.

            For me the lack of dread was because of the lack of any meaning. In Silent Hill: The Good Ones I know what I’m doing, I have a reason to go where I do. I get a sense of suspense knowing I’ll be going to where the shit is fucked and I know what I’ll be doing and why.

            In Amnesia I’m just a guy wandering randomly around a spoo-ooo-oooo-ky castle/factory/hospital like a tourist missing his tour group. I had no idea where I was or what I was supposed to be doing or how what I was doing was forwarding the story.

            I also ended up dreading many puzzles because it meant I’d have to spend the next 15 minutes crawling around on the floor looking for the right gate key. At least in Silent Hill you can search a room for all items in about twenty seconds.

        • Milky1985 says:

          You paraphase Yahtzee to say that the game doesn’t do scares well and was cheap scares, which is odd because Yahtzee did say in his video about said game that it did scares well and was one of the few games to do so.

          • The Random One says:

            So? I could use his latest Extra Punctation column to explain why I don’t like Gordon Freeman as a character; the fact that he loves Half-Life to death is unimportant. Just because I’m citing someone who has the same opinion as myself on something and has expressed it more loquaciously doesn’t mean I have to subscribe to every single opinion he’s ever expressed.

            Otherwise taking the Hippocritical oath would be devastating for medicine.

      • Faxanadu says:

        Silent Hill used to scare the crap out of me. I remember inviting a friend over to play it for me because I was too scared to go on.

        Today, 10 years later? Nothing. Barely any emotional response to Amnesia. I roleplay in different games, but I can’t find fear anywhere. I think it has to do with not BEING the character anymore. I feel like I’m not experiencing the game from the characters point of view, but instead I’m like an observer, taking in the entire scene, like watching a movie, instead of being one of the actors interacting with the set.

        It must be a fine balance, to be scared enough to enjoy, but not too scared to play.

        I still think horror games have alot to do. Honestly, I think horror games could be absolutely heart attack brutal. Remember that puzzle game, where you guide your mouse through a tiny maze and then there’s the scary face? Now imagine that jump scare, made well, into a game. Sure, there are jump scares in Amnesia and so on, but they aren’t brutal. They aren’t in your face gonna maul you to death violent. There’s SO many ways to abuse people, but most horror games are satisfied with just one theme. Grotesque bending limbs, faceless monsters, unnaturally fast movement, environment turning into monsters, characters you befriend and then have to murder, …list goes on, just put all that shit into one game. Yeah, looking good.

        Holy rant.

    • Howard says:

      I am not bragging about not being scared of games – way to miss the point. I am saying that Amnesia made no attempt to scare me. All it did was show my avatar in the game freaking out: his vision screwing up, his breathing and heart going mad. This does not make ME, the player, scared, it just makes me bored as I lose control of my character/.

      Games are perfectly capable of making me scared or at least putting me on edge but simply holding up a card saying “YOU ARE NOW SCARED” is just laughable. Amnesia was a total snore fest that I have never even bothered to finish as the avatar I am supposed to be buying into is a complete pillock who is afraid of the dark. I too used to fear the dark. Then I turned 4

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        Vesuvius says:

        Oh come on, whether or not YOU were scared, Amnesia does plenty to make the player and not just the character scared.

        First and foremost is the choice you are forced to make between moving your character into the light or the darkness. The darkness is safer, but makes your character go mad- yes this isn’t the same as YOU getting scared, but it does make YOU feel more vulnerable, since you lose control and make noises etc which can attract monsters. In the light however, you are more in control but also far more vulnerable as you are more easily spotted.

        Secondly, the game relies on direct tactile interaction- want to open a door? you need to draggggg the mouse to open and close it all the way. This is the player doing that motion, not the character, and as you get more agitated or the stakes are higher (such as if you are being chased and need to slam the door on a creature), the tension comes from your control of your own body. I’d say that’s pretty direct interaction and a real cause of heightened tension which can lead to huge fear.

        Lastly is the vulnerability you feel- you are given no means to defend yourself- so if you buy into the mood of the game at all, if a simple fright makes you averse and you want to hide, it’s all the more acute because the game has removed all of the PLAYER’s tools to defend. Add to this the way that the game randomizes conditions when you come back from a death- to keep you, the PLAYER, from understanding the scenario and feeling in control of it, and yes, that also contributes to PLAYER anxiety and fear.

        Maybe the game isn’t for you, maybe you couldn’t immerse yourself, but to act as though it does nothing to engage the player feels like a very ignorant and unfair statement.

        • elmo.dudd says:

          You’re both right, but more importantly for me, you’re both wrong!

          The panic causing difficulty opening a door properly is a VERY good thing, because it is the actual player’s actual panic materializing in the game world. On the inverse, my character gasping, or making similar shocked noises when I am doing just fine? That is a disconnect and reminds me that not only am I playing a game, but that the game is assuming my state, or worse, instructing what it should be.

          I personally felt frustrated at the lack of defensive options when I have in my possession corrosive acids, a glass and metal canister filled with a mild explosive (the lantern), and random decorations which could be picked up and moved around, that were actual real weapons.

    • Chris D says:

      You appear to have forgotten why you stopped posting here again. Could I request that next time you remember you write it down and tape it to the side of your monitor?

    • Unaco says:

      Lots of people found Amnesia scary. Same with the devs previous games (Penumbra). I think the problem is with you, and not the game.

      • Howard says:

        Think what you like you shall be wrong. I found Prenumbra to be a great game that actually got how to put you on edge and freak you out (tedious endgame stuff not withstanding). Amnesia though was just pathetic. “You are now scared – see, your character is breathing fast!” Really silly stuff. Nothing actually happens to scare the player.

        Chris D – way to be a prick. Bravo.

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          PikaBot says:

          I am standing in a darkened room. In front of me is a door. I do not know what is on the other side of this door. If I open it, the monster may be on the other side.

          I don’t want to see the monster. I don’t want to encounter it. But I need something in the room beyond that door, and the longer I dither here the more oil I burn.

          I slowly, carefully ease the door open. Nothing but another room. This time. My heart relaxes a little from its current position around my Adan’s apple. The room has three more doors leading out from it.

          That’s what amnesia does to scare you. Just because you aren’t able to invest yourself in that atmosphere don’t assume nobody else can.

          • Howard says:

            All that I get – it is what Penumbra did right. The ridiculous screen effects and removal of control because the game decided my avatar was terrified were just utterly illusion shattering. I could not care for or empathise with anyone that pathetic.

          • Nordom says:

            Yes, I feel your pain. I don’t understand how my avatar can die in so many games after getting shot just 2 o 3 times, when I know that I can endure much more thant that. It’s like my avatar in the game and I were completely non-related entities, with different attibutes! Preposterous, I know…

          • Howard says:

            Yes they are. I never said they were anything other.
            My point is that making a horror game where nothing horrifying, shocking, disquieting or unnerving happens and then relying entirely on the overuse of screen and control degradation to compensate that fact is just lazy.
            If you want to make a scary game, make a scary game. Taking away my control and my ability to see != scary, it equals annoying and without those effects, the game simply had nothing – nothing at all – that even hinted at fear.
            But whatever – if you find 3rd hand fear to effective then all power to you but I do not find that the act of watching someone else be afraid can induce fear in me – the reason 90% of horror films fail for me too.

          • Baines says:

            I can understand Howard’s complaint.

            Vesuvius mentions the interface acting to draw the player into the game, such as how it asks you to perform actions similar to the avatar when opening a door.

            But when the game takes control away from me to show me how panicked my avatar is, it has the opposite effect, disconnecting me from my avatar. At extremes, it can completely undo the whole experience, gutting the game of its mood. The player starts being hammered by the detail that they are playing a game, and possibly even fighting the game to play it. (The extent meant by “at extremes” varies by person.)

        • Unaco says:

          No. Nothing ever happens to scare YOU. But the vast, vast majority of players were scared. It did things that scared them. Unless you’re calling all of those people liars.

          • Howard says:

            And as usual, this is where the wheels have come off. People on this forum are just incapable of reading.

            I have not said anyone is wrong for liking Amnesia, just that I don’t as I don’t find it engaging, never mind scary. Just because I don’t preface everything I say with “IN MY HUMBLE OPINION” doesn’t mean it isn’t It’s me saying it and I, like most people, do not presume to speak for humanity at large.

            Why people have to get so fucking uppity when someone disagrees with them is beyond me. It is possible for me to disagree with you without loathing the very skin you inhabit, ffs.

          • Unaco says:

            “I have not said anyone is wrong for liking Amnesia”

            “Think what you like you shall be wrong.”

            Whose wheels have just come off?

          • Howard says:

            “Whose wheels have just come off?”
            Again, reading fail.
            I was saying that you can think what you like, but the defect is not with me as you stated but rather with the idea (the game). I never once implied you were wrong for liking the game and it would take a very, very low view of humanity to conclude that I did.

          • Unaco says:

            I think when the vast, vast majority of players have found the game scary, and the press and the media have praised the game for its scariness, where it’s become something of a classic ‘horror’ game… that the developers have the talent to scare people. The game is scary.

            You don’t find it scary. Not because the game isn’t scary (see above, and the vast, vast majority of people who are scared), but because you don’t find it scary.

          • Baines says:

            There are plenty of things for which you can find a lot of people who say it is scary. However, you will also find not all the people are the same for each of those things.

            Blair Witch was extremely successful, and plenty of people found it scary. Paranormal Activity is apparently popular, and people apparently find it scary as well, though I can’t see why. Plenty of people also found it poorly made, gimmicky, and not scary at all. People used to debate the merits, scare factor, and shortcomings of the various Resident Evil games, Silent Hills, and other horror games, and people could have completely different opinions. There are people who praise Silent Hill 2 while dismissing Amnesia, as well as people who praise Amnesia while dismissing Silent Hill 2, and both can give reasons why they find one of those games not to be scary. It depends on the nature of the person.

        • Chris D says:

          I try, but there’s still a long way before I reach the lofty heights you achieve so naturally.

          • Howard says:

            Seriously – blocked. What kind of wretched little scab on the turd that humanity shat out has the time to come here and insult people they will never meet? Baffling.

            Go away.

          • Chris D says:

            You seem oblivious to the fact that you have just insulted everyone here only a few posts above this one – ” People on this forum are just incapable of reading.” This is not the first time you have done this. You’ve hardly been little Miss Sunshine in your initial post here and subsequent responses either. What kind of person would do that? You said it better than I ever could.

          • Bhazor says:

            And your first comment was a direct insult to someone.

          • Chris D says:

            @Bhazor

            I like to think of it more as an indirect insult/gag personally. It was also aimed at someone who had previously insulted pretty much everyone who comments here, and has indeed done so again. I don’t go after people for no reason.

            If you want to discuss why you didn’t find Amnesia scary, fine, you expressed that in a perfectly reasonable way. Howard did not.

    • caddyB says:

      I, on the other hand, wasn’t able to play Amnesia for more than a few hours even in broad daylight for I was scared shitless, and couldn’t sleep with the lights turned off that day.

      I have a soft spot for the imaginary monsters.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      I don’t understand why your opinions always sound like you are stating scientific facts.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      Haha look at how dumb this man is.

    • genosse says:

      Howard, just an unrelated question: What games and movies did scare you? I’m pretty eager to know, because I want to try those. You mentioned Silent Hill, but there is probably more. And don’t worry, I don’t want to call you out on it or something – I’m just looking out for a good chill. Thanks!

  10. Caiman says:

    Trailer scared the crap out of me, which given the slow burn fear that makes Amnesia so scary is quite an accomplishment. Perhaps it’s because I’m remembering how frightened I was playing that game. This looks promising.

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    particlese says:

    Ooooo…horror’s really not my thing unless Yakety Sax is playing, but that looks and sounds fantastic anyway. I would love to play it as a puzzley explore-em-up without all the jumpy bits, especially if that non-ambient music goes beyond the title screen, but I suppose that’s missing the point somewhat.

  12. Stevostin says:

    This really doesn’t cut it for me. 1st Amnesia didn’t either thus. I think what doesn’t work is the setting, so unrealistic, so ignorant of architecture history I fail to have any sense of place and simply feel myself in a 3D map. Chinese Rooms seems to do a slighlyt better job at this and the “luxury house” map seems so to be close to a place that would work. But then you’ve got some crappy mechanic parts that just look like Myst has gone real time. Also the breathing of the character we’re playing, it really puts me off. When you’re terrorised to get noticed either you controle yourself and mute, either your don’t and if the world diserved to be feared your immediate punishement is you getting caught. But noisily stay hidden just doesn’t work at all. Bought Amnesia at a cut price but probably won’t go for this one even for free.

  13. Zeewolf says:

    I should set something to record when I’m having one of my night terrors.

  14. DickSocrates says:

    I was hoping the art style would be more of a departure from Amnesia. I didn’t ‘dig’ the original’s faux Victoriana either. It’s like London as seen through the lens of a PC point and click Sherlock Holmes adventure.

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    Bluerps says:

    I squinted, but I didn’t see anything. :(

  16. tobecooper says:

    Have you guys even watched the trailer? ‘THE SWINE WILL RISE!’

  17. Bhazor says:

    So a trailer focusing mostly on crap fuse box puzzles. Goody.

  18. ArtyFishal says:

    Whenever I hear about this game I think of the slaughterhouse from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, and perhaps that’s exactly what they’re going for.

  19. BreadBitten says:

    Can anyone here point out a non YouTube link to the video to an unfortunate soul? Apparently the website’s been banned in this ass of a country…

  20. Premium User Badge

    Maelig says:

    THE SWINE WILL RISE

  21. skyturnedred says:

    I was thinking about finally playing Amnesia, which I bought a long time ago, but that trailer reminded me why I haven’t done so yet, and probably never will.

  22. televizor says:

    The swine will rise? What the fuck, shit, I don’t wanna

  23. pakoito says:

    I have heard that pig killing noise before, in a notification or another game or something.

  24. NothingFunny says:

    If only I was still 16 y/old to get scared by such games …

  25. Shooop says:

    Suspenseful, for sure. But I will have to agree with Howard about the heavy breathing sound. That’s really an immersion killer instead of a way to ratchet up the fear in my case because I certainly know I’m not doing that labored breathing.

    But outdoor environments! Modders could make this the Cthulhu game I’ve been waiting years for!

  26. GunFox says:

    I have to chime in with the few other folks that disagreed with the “sanity” concept from the Amnesia games. Portraying the player character as being afraid is fine, but physically affecting his capabilities as a result is really immersion breaking for me. When the player character is afraid of things that I know to be making him safer (hiding in darkness, observing the actions of the enemy), the disconnect between our two motives and understandings shatters immersion quickly. It isn’t that he is necessarily a coward, more that he is just stupid and unwilling to recognize what is actually necessary to keep himself alive.

    I also have to add, and I’m sure that I’m in the minority here, that the removal of combat after the first Penumbra game was a terrible decision. The manual swinging of weapons was ridiculous (you could turn it off in the ini and life was much better), but some of the physics and environment based solutions to enemies were fascinating and a great deal of fun. Fun being a missing ingredient much of the time in the later titles. In later titles you fled. No matter the opposition, you simply fled. In the original part of the fear was the knowledge that fleeing might not be enough. You might have to be creative or even aggressive against your opponent in order to achieve the best outcome. Fear wasn’t your only driving factor, it was a wall put in place to damage your judgement and wits, which were what successfully would see you through to the other side.

    The original game was by no means perfect, but it had a lot of the right ingredients. Subsequent games seemed like a departure from the promise of the original.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The whole sanity thing very rapidly put me off.

      That’s not scary. That’s just eyestrain from someone begin afraid of the dark.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Quick counterpoint from someone who loved the fear/insanity mechanic in Amnesia: Terror is paralysing. The rational part of your mind screams “do this!” while the rest of you does the opposite. The disconnect between the player and the player character expresses this conflict perfectly. In fact, this is a way in which games could portray fear more effectively than any other medium.

      • GunFox says:

        Except terror isn’t paralyzing. I have never been paralyzed with fear. This isn’t to say I am some sort of badass, but simply that I have functional adrenal glands. When I experience extreme fear, I get an adrenaline dump that supplants fear with anger and power. It is “fight or flight” not “sit quietly and shake until it eats you”. If fear were paralyzing, I have no idea how we would have survived as a species.