I was jolly pleased when Frictional Games patched a ‘Safe Mode’ into Soma, letting fraidypants like me freely explore the undersea horror. Conversely, I said “Ha ha ha NOPE” aloud after Frictional announced today that they will next add a new difficulty level to Amnesia: The Dark Descent – a ‘Hard Mode’ to freak your nut out and murder you hard. No thank you! But I know some Amnesia players had wanted their minds more fragile and its ghoulies deadlier, so good for them? Agh.
Frictional are adding Hard Mode to their 2010 breakout hit as it comes to Xbox One in a new collection. That’s due on September 28th, “after which the mode will be available on Xbox and PC,” Frictional say. As for the specifics of what makes Hard Mode different, they explain:
- Autosaves are disabled, and manual saving costs 4 tinderboxes
- Sanity dropping to zero results in death
- Less oil and tinderboxes throughout the levels
- Monsters are faster, spot the player more easily, deal more damage and stay around for longer
- There is no danger music when the monsters are near.
Naw I’m good, thanks.
Amnesia’s horror is more about mood than systemic challenge, so some of this is curious. The danger music they’re removing here is part of what builds that mood, and I always find that I stop being scared of a horror game when it starts to frustrate me, too. But hey, Hard Mode is an option I can easily avoid. Regular and Hard mode will be separate, with no way to switch between them once you’ve started your spooOoky adventure.
Babies like me can remove Amnesia’s enemies by fiddling with some files if we really want, but I don’t quite want that. I liked that Soma’s Safe Mode kept its monsters, making them docile rather than removing them; they were still wonderfully horrible just hanging around. I like how I’m saying all this as if I will ever return to Amnesia, as if I’ll ever unlock the cursed digital crate of horror games I have flung away in terror. Very brave.
If you’re interested in Frictional’s spook ’em ups, do also read Samuel Horti’s recent chat with Frictional co-founder Thomas Grip and other spookmarkers.
Anyway, right, go ahead, start boasting about how you weren’t scared AT ALL during Amnesia and how anyone who says they heard your mam had to sing you to sleep while stroking your hair for a week after is a liar.