It’s hard to scare the player in horror game. But scaring, while telling an entertaining story, is even harder. If I’m locked into yet another “gothic” mansion, as in the conditional Maid of Sker, and forced to wait for another screamer – I’ll turn around and go, it will be better to re-read classic British ghost stories instead. But if the action, preferably in off-the-beaten-path locations, is enhanced by a story at least on the level of the recent Someday You’ll Return, then I’m likely to play through it with joy and positive emotions. Ten years ago, Amnesia: The Dark Descent came out, which had a great fear of the unknown. We didn’t understand what kind of artifact we were holding, why we were being haunted by something, whether it was related to the artifact, and whether it was possible to stop it. And now we got Amnesia: Rebirth, is it good or bad we will find out right now.
Brief Introduction of the Game
So, it’s 1937. A plane with a scientific expedition, including Tasia Trianon and her husband Selim, is headed for the Algerian desert to the Tin-Hinan tomb. The same one from which Daniel Thurston returned a century ago with a mysterious orb and a Shadow on his heels. But the plane crashes on the approach. Tasi loses consciousness and, upon awakening, finds herself alone. There are things scattered around, but some of them seem to give her direction. As she walks across the scorching sands, she suddenly realizes that she has been here before. The memories literally attack her, and we are at a loss as to whether it is a temporal trap or something other. And it is unlikely that in a 100% reality the others would leave Tasi alone and leave her like that. Along the way she comes across notes – a dream from a dream, a repetition of past events, recursion? Tasi reaches the caves, where she finds the camp abandoned by the expedition. She looks around. And for the first time she is subjected to a panic attack with the invasion of images of something beyond. When she comes to her senses, Tasi realizes that something physically happens to her – yes, she was pregnant, but… not in her third or fourth month. In addition, a strange amulet has appeared on her right arm, which sometimes begins to glow and works like a compass. Everything is like a bad dream for Tasia.
Upon returning to our world, Tasi finds the dead Selim and a note in which he spells for her to save herself and her child. On the trail of the expedition, the woman arrives at a colonial fort with nothing but dead bodies inside – the notes suggest that something related to creatures from Arab mythology has happened. A non-trivial for horror setting in all its glory, it would seem, but no, we won’t see more desert marching and the flavor of French Algeria, except closer to the finale. There will be underground communications, science labs, and complexes to explore something that opens the door to the unknown. This is not a bad thing in and of itself: the atmosphere of a civilization older than ours and not from here is right there in the air, and the numerous scientific reports, diary entries, and revelations about experiments being conducted – including those that cause memory loss – only reinforce it. We are at the very epicenter where it all began, and this is also laced with myths and legends of Bedouin tribes, which speak of either a spirit or a great goddess. So, buckle up, the game will be very strong with a lot of emotions and this “trip” can be compared to the modern Australian online pokies it will bring you risk and fun.
Suspense and horror
Subjectively, there is little horror in the game. It has almost nothing to do with monsters at all, especially since they don’t even kill you at the beginning of the game. What’s more, if some monster spots you and attacks you two or three times, after another panic attack you’ll find that it… disappeared. It sounds absurd, but in general it’s a sensible move: the old methods of intimidation do not work for a long time, they become just more annoying.
In general, more scary (and just tense) darkness and its attendant trappings rather than monsters: rapid breathing, visions, seizures in particularly severe cases. Light, of course, helps to fight all this. The oil in the lantern is used up very quickly, but if you use it in the most extreme cases, there is no shortage of oil at all. Even more so that matches can now be lit for nothing, and not necessarily to light a torch or candles. One match is enough for three torches if you don’t hesitate – it’s enough to light a dark room.
Quests and gameplay mechanics
We did not expect any surprises from the quests, and there are none. But they were performed at the good level, so you don’t want to complain about them. There are tests of ingenuity: in the fort, for example, to find the wheels of the cannon and push it then along the corridor, which will allow Tasia to get in previously unreachable place. There will be a mini labyrinth: in it the main thing to determine which plates to activate by pressing something heavy, and which should not be stepped on. But the central place in the game is given to fixing portals, in general, working with outlandish mechanisms. For me the most memorable task was with self-scanning and sadistic process of extracting the life-giving substance closer to the end of the game.
Finally, there’s the immersive experience, which also worked for the atmosphere. From time to time the baby in Tasi moves, and we must soothe it: to stroke the belly, to talk to the baby. In doing so, Tasi also calms down: the mechanics make sense on their own. It’s interesting mechanic and never seen before in games, at least by me. It’s like playing perfect baccarat card game for the first time – you won’t get this feeling elsewhere.
Amnesia: Rebirth is no better or worse than other games from Frictional Games, just the accents are placed a little differently. Of course, you always want more. Of course, there is always something to complain about, and not just the little things. In addition, the studio itself did not bring to mind two of its most interesting ideas: the non-standard for the genre “Sahara-setting” and the ability to move at will into a parallel dimension. And yet compared to most modern horror games Amnesia: Rebirth is heaven and earth. Except that the actual horror in it just turned out to be not so big. If you came for a hardcore horror game – you may not like it.
FINAL RATING: NOT RECOMMENDED