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“Amnesia: The Dark Descent” holds up eight years later

by Christopher Falkiewicz, Staff Writer

9/10

Horror, thrills, and spooks can all be found in a classic bone chiller, “Amnesia The Dark Descent.” Released Sept. 8, 2010, with quite a large following thanks to popular youtubers such as PewDiePie and CrazyShootin, who gained a large amount of their views off the game.

The story is focused around Daniel, a young man who has become a victim of the amnesia potion that he had drank and lost all of his memories and waking up in a room remembering only his name and his hometown. Daniel wakes up inside Castle Brennenburg, the main setting of “Amnesia: the Dark Descent.” As players traverse expansive halls and never-ending dark rooms, they will be chased by a multitude of different monsters that vary in attack damage, specialties and are all faster than Daniel, so the only way to survive is to hide or distract them with noise. If Daniel is ever seen, players can stun the monsters for a few seconds by hitting them with an object they throw, which buys them a minuscule amount of time to escape.

“Amnesia: the Dark Descent” is also filled with puzzles, so players will need to be prepared to solve troubling and complex problems. The game is given depth through its sanity and health meter. The health meter is a visual heart displayed in the inventory and the sanity is a brain. Both progress into mutilated forms as Daniel takes damage or loses sanity.

The only ways to increase this back to full is to stay in the light for a while and risk being spotted by a monster to raise sanity, and to take laudanum, which is equivalent to a health potion to restore health. When the sanity bar falls too far, Daniel will fall to the ground and the screen will become blurry or disorientating. If the health bar goes too low, Daniel will die, but the monsters will disappear from that level.

Throughout the journey, players will find many different notes and items to read and interact with that will give hints or insight on the story or puzzles. These notes will have quite a bit of context that can be either useful or disturbing to keep up the creepy atmosphere, making it feel as if anything can pop out at any time. The three different endings give “Amnesia: the Dark Descent” a large value of replay ability.

“Amnesia: the Dark Descent” provides lots of scares throughout and even a few fun glitches as well. The story is great, the ambiance was terrifically terrifying, the monsters were nightmare fuel, the puzzles were geniusly made, no hindrance from bad design, and the overall design was gorgeous.

“Amnesia: The Dark Descent” is available now for $19.99 for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.