Good mornington my fellow readerinos. Have you ever played a game so frightening, so terrifying that you squealed at your PC screen, shrunk into your chair like the blubbering imbecile that you are and cried out for Mumma? Well that happened to me … twice.
So there’s this first-person-survival-horrror-puzzle poop inducer called Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You assume the role of this dude who creeps around a castle in search of the exit sign with only his wits to defend himself. As the adventure progresses you find these conveniently placed letters which purely serve as exposition.
While the plot is interesting-ish, the immersive elements are spectacular. You need to watch your health and your sanity. If you linger in the dark too long, or if you see something grotesque like corpses or monsters, your vision begins to swim. The distortion is unsettling and that’s the point.
You can find tinderboxes to light candles along the way but there are never enough so you do need to rely on your lantern (so long as you don’t burn all of your oil). One of my scariest memories of Amnesia involves complete darkness, being chased by something vaguely human with blades for hands and relying on sound alone to survive. And then I fell off a ledge and died.
Amnesia is an interactive horror film. Those frantic moments where you need to pull that lever to trap the baddie and then slam doors behind you to make it out alive are what makes the game so exciting.
Pace is excellent and the gameplay is fantastic. Frustration was rare but then there’s the DLC ‘Justine’. The game save function is disabled, which only emphasises the tension. One mistake and game over. The trial and error method of playing is super annoying. At the time of writing this I am still getting pwned by that shambling bastard whenever I grab a cog wheel.
‘Justine’ is a cruel bitch. There are two ways to make it to the end. Complete the puzzle to proceed or pull the lever to kill the captive and let the puzzle solve itself. As the intro states: ‘This time it will be a trial of character’.
Another scary distraction I’ve been playing is Tiberium Alliances, a browser game set in the C&C3 universe.
You can’t play as Nod in the open beta but you can build a GDI base, collect resources, build an army, attack mutants and inevitably be annihilated by a fellow player.
Rebuilding is an option but it takes so long for the player to accumulate enough research points and crystals and minerals to be able to do anything cool in a short period of time. You’re meant to build your base and wait 11-plus hours before you can upgrade your structures and tech up your army.
The idea is really cool but the opportunity to dominate the world map quickly loses its appeal when you constantly find yourself with no base.