Posts Tagged ‘Amnesia: The Dark Descent’

Wot I Think: SOMA

Five years ago, Frictional released Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a horror game that made us afraid of the water. That was five years ago. Now, with SOMA [official site], the studio have switched from gothic castles to science fiction and they’re taking us right to the bottom of the ocean. I’ve faced my fears and here’s wot I think.

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From The Depths: Soma’s Sound And Story

Next week, Frictional’s Soma [official site] will finally be available. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is five years old and surely everyone is ready for another round of the first-person frighteners? I’ve already played a fairly large chunk of the game and will have a review ready for you before launch, so you can trust me when I say that the “story trailer” below has been carefully edited so as not to spoil any major parts of the story. There’s an awful lot going on.

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Free Cheese & Whine: Red Alert 2 & Amnesia Now Free

Yeah, I bet you can make it past him before this offer ends.

That’s the cheese of Yuri with his mind-controlled squid and the whine of you whimpering as horrible things stalk you through the dark, to be clear.

Point is: you can now download and keep forever Westwood Studios’ olde RTS Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and Frictional Games not-so-oldish first-person spooker Amnesia: The Dark Descent and not in that way, you little urchin. RA2 (plus its expansion) is the latest freebie on Origin to promote EA’s service, while Frictional dropping this freebie shortly before the launch of their new horrorshow Soma.

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The 25 Best Horror Games On PC

Below you will find the 25 best horror games ever released on PC. To ensure the list was as accurate as possible, the compiler was locked in a dark cellar with a copy of every game in existence and a computer capable of running them all. Two weeks later, the following article was found written on the walls in blood (the postscript was recorded on an audiolog). The writer was nowhere to be seen.

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SOMA Out After SUMMA, Has Terrifying Robots

everything is just fine

I’d presumed Frictional’s upcoming SOMA was basically just sci-fi Amnesia: the night is dark and full of terrors, and all that. Turns out there’s at least one major change to formula: you get to talk to people. And you know things about those people that they don’t know themselves. And it’s horrifying.
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!: Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Seven Year Humble Bundle

We’re seven years old! (Actually, we were seven years old last month, but we’ve never been much for punctuality.) And so by way of celebration we’ve curated the latest weekly Humble Bundle, and that means we’ve chosen some of our most beloved indie games from the past seven years for the Pay What You Want sale. An esoteric bunch, but so very beautiful, all. If only there were room for all the delights of those many wonderful years. As ever, some of the money goes to charity, too: we chose EFF and Medecins Sans Frontieres. Find out more, below, or simply click over the the bundle itself.

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Don’t Stay Away From The Trapdoor, An Amnesia Mod

Don't you open that trapdoor. You're a fool if you dare...

Somewhere in the dark and nasty regions, where nobody goes, stands an ancient castle, according to an old British legend. Deep within this dank and uninviting place, lives Jonathan Burke, overworked servant of “the thing upstairs.” But that’s nothing compared to the horrors that lurk beneath the trap door, for there is always something down there, in the dark, waiting to come out.

Don’t you download that Trapdoor. You’re a fool if you dare. Stay away from that trapdoor, ’cause there’s something down there…

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SOMA’s Grip On YouTube Screamers, The Future Of Horror

I played Amnesia: The Dark Descent spiritual/ghooooostual successor SOMA, and it didn’t really do it for me. That said, Frictional creative director Thomas Grip’s plans for the wetter-is-deader stroll into the maw of madness are quite interesting, though whether he can pull it all off remains to be seen. Today we continue on from our previous discussion, pushing doggedly forward into Grip’s plan for possibly the longest build-up (five hours!) in horror gaming history, YouTube culture’s effect on horror, procedurally generated scares and why they both aid and mortally wound true terror, modern horror’s over-reliance on samey settings and tropes, and where Grip sees the genre heading in the future.

Agree or disagree, the man has some extremely illuminating perspectives, and you can’t fault him for wanting to break away from the played-out influence of his own previous game. It’s all below.

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SOMA’s Grip On BioShock Comparisons, Indie Influences

SOMA didn’t scare the scuba suit off me, but I did find a creeping sort of potential in its soaked-to-the-bone corridors. Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 this ain’t. Or at least, it’s not aiming to be. Currently, it still feels a lot like a slower-paced, less-monster-packed Amnesia in a different (though still very traditionally survival-horror-y) setting, but Frictional creative director Thomas Grip has big plans. I spoke with him about how he hopes to evolve the game, inevitable comparisons to the Big Daddy of gaming’s small undersea pond, BioShock, why simple monster AI is better than more sophisticated options, the mundanity of death, and how SOMA’s been pretty profoundly influenced by indie mega-hits like Dear Esther and Gone Home.

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Hands-On Impressions: Amnesia Follow-Up SOMA

It’s not that I feel like SOMA is poorly made. On the contrary: for a demo of a game that’s at least a year out, the Amnesia spiritual successor practically sparkles beneath its grimy, moss-encrusted shell. I just feel like, despite a very unexpected setting, I’ve been here before. Crept through these halls, turned these nobs, let these tidal waves of otherworldly sound crash into me as I press ever onward, slightly on-edge but no worse for the wear.

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So Much Clanky, Creepy Foreboding In This SOMA Trailer

SOMA-uch? No, that doesn't work at all

Everyone knows that the scariest things aren’t actually monsters themselves. It’s the horrors lurking in our own runaway imaginations, creatures of such impossible (and impossibly specific) phobia that our only recourse is to head for the hills long before we ever see them. That’s the power of a great horror environment. SOMA‘s Upsilon research facility, for instance, creaks, groans, and whines quietly to itself like a child who’s afraid of the dark. From there, your mind does the heavy lifting. Watch below, and then read about Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional’s core design pillars for its sci-fi madhouse.

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Level With Me, Thomas Grip

Level With Me is a series of interviews with game developers about their games, work process, and design philosophy. At the end of each interview, they design part of a small first person game. You can play this game at the very end of the series.

Thomas Grip is creative director of Frictional Games, based in Helsingborg, Sweden. They’re known mostly for the Penumbra (a first person horror game series) and Amnesia (another first person horror game series), and they’re currently working on another first person horror game called SOMA (a first person horror game). Astute readers may sense a pattern.
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Why Horror’s Future Is Bright (Or It’s Totally Doomed)

It was not so long ago that our own Adam “Murder Maestro” Smith lamented the lack of imagination in horror stories. Implausibly trap-laden asylums, spoooooky forests, and hastily cobbled-together castles dominate, while more interesting locales and subject matters are few and far-between. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that horror’s stuck in a full-blown rut, it could certainly end up there if it keeps wandering down the same predictable trail. I’ve been thinking about it, though (largely while replaying Amnesia: The Dark Descent as Halloween nightmare fuel), and I’ve come to realize that there are some amazing avenues ahead for stomach-lurching scares in gaming. Problem is, there are a few major, perhaps even primeval forces that could slip a dangling noose around possibility’s all-too-exposed neck.

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