If you're looking for something to scare yourself stupid with, or just want to prepare for Halloween next month, this should do the trick. Fives years old and still one of the better survival-horror experiences available, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is current free to everybody on Steam. All you have to do is click 'Install' on the store page and the game will be added to your library, for free. Act fast though, as the offer ends at 6PM tonight. Thanks to fattyuk @ HUKD!
I've been playing a lot of horror games recently, with reviews in the past few weeks coming in fairly quick succession for Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within -- two very different games that approach horror gaming from two distinctly different perspectives. For me, at least, I find that one represents the future of the genre and where we're headed in terms of horror gaming, and the other is a testament to the classic foundations upon which horror gaming was built.
I love the classic Resident Evil games, and I still believe Resi 4 to be one of the finest games ever made let alone survival horror games, but I don't find them scary, and I'm not sure that I ever really did. They, much like Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami's latest game, are incredibly good at generating mechanical horror through scarce ammunition, oppressive enemies that require thought and skill to dispatch, and giving protagonists a palpable vulnerability. Knowing when to fight and when to run is crucial in these games, but having the option to fight is key to them as well. Mikami, certainly, is a creator who finds value in overcoming fear.
"Used at the right time and in the right way disempowerment can be the most powerful tool for the horror game creator," he said in an interview earlier this month, ahead of The Evil Within's release. "Sequels are a big problem in horror entertainment. As a horror game series continues you begin to know who the enemies are going to be. Just this knowledge naturally makes the game less scary. So to capture a wider audience designers add more action. That further reduces how frightening the game feels.
"That's one reason I'm making The Evil Within. Also, because the graphical quality of games has increased. This has the capacity to make the fear much closer to you. We can add in a far greater amount of animation and make it context based, so, for example, we can change how a character moves in a certain situation. Really, I'm making this game just because it's fun to scare people. Instead of trying to introduce new ideas I want to return to survival horror's roots. We've strayed from that. I want to explore fear again, and that sense of overcoming fear, one that's unique to games."Click here to read more...
Do be warned... potential spoilers ahoy in the video!
Last week was a bit of a shambles, and several releases, along with a press trip, and losing my voice for a day or two meant that Interactive Narratives #2 never happened, sorry about that.
But it's a new week, and a new Wednesday, and I've decided to try to tie this series in with a topical game wherever possible, going forwards, filling in gaps here and there with interviews and other features as and when they come in. I'll still be running the interview I did with Inkle in the near future, and taking a look at 80 Days, but this week I wanted to talk about the one game that's been dominating my mind (and psyche) for the last ten days -- and that game is Alien: Isolation.
So it is that this week's edition of Interactive Narratives takes a look at horror games, and why Alien: Isolation is particularly effective at eliciting an incredibly primal emotional response: fear. I compare it with Silent Hill 2, discuss the differences between story and narrative -- the written plot and the player-driven experience -- and the importance of both to this particular genre.
Pay what you want for everything except Amnesia.
We've had this date from the beginning. After rounding up the Top Ten Scariest Games Ever last year, it's high time that we took a closer look at the collections of pixels and polygons that haunted our darkest nightmares. With luck, there'll be plenty of familiar freaks on this creature feature, along with a couple you might've repressed...
Honourable Horrible mentions: Cherub (Doom 3), Abstract Daddy (Silent Hill 2), Alma (F.E.A.R.), pretty much everything from Shadow Hearts, Beheaded Kamikaze (Serious Sam), Crimson Head (Resident Evil), Parasite (Quake II), Slenderman (Slender), Wallmasters and Re-Dead (Zelda), Bubble Head Nurse (Silent Hill 2), Rumbler (System Shock), Simalacrum (Marathon: Durandal)
Hey, are you okay? Why are you crying? It's okay, come on, we've got to get out of here...
...whooooarrrrrgh! My organs! Oh God, what are you doing with my organs?!Click here to read more...
Impulse Driven (Gamestop by any other name) are currently running a bit of a Halloween blowout, featuring a number of scary games brought down to some impressive price points. Indeed, I started writing up about five or six deals in tandem... before noticing that the ever-observant gamestraderjames has already rounded them up at HotUKDeals. Awesome, if embarrassing.
So, without further ado, here are the links to what we consider to be the best of the bunch.
It's likely that some of these games will be reduced closer to the 31st on other sites, but if you want to get in early, now might be the best time to do so.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent designer Thomas Grip believes that developers and gamers need to realise that "story is not just the plot" - i.e. that games should convey their narrative through interactive gameplay, art design and audio rather than relying on cutscenes.Click here to read more...
Gamefly are gearing up for Indie-pendence day (see what they did there?) with a nice little bundle that includes the phenomenal strategy game Frozen Synapse, chilling horror title Amnesia, monochromatic darling Limbo and more. Considering the quality of the games on offer, this is definitely worth a tenner.
The Humble Indie Bundle V, which offered a fantastic package including Psychonauts, Bastion, and Limbo, amassed 598,972 purchases at a total of $5,106,652.68.
The average amount paid was $8.53, and as per usual Linux users were the most generous, followed by Mac users, and then the PC masses.
Want a genuinely scary experience? Looking for a game that involves both survival and horror? Look no further. Amnesia is the game you've been looking for. £3.50 is a great price for the game, although we've seen it cheaper on occasion before. You're still saving several quid on the current range of competitors, though we imagine that extra money will inevitably be spent on new underwear after playing this.
Frictional Games has launched a teaser site for their next project... and tease is definitely the operative word. The Amnesia logo is plainly visible along with a hyperlink to a Google Earth map of China. And that's our lot.
So... adding two and two together gives us an Amnesia sequel set in China. Too easy?
RPS has diligently ferreted out some extra info regarding the domain - which is definitely owned by Frictional. Keywords include "3D game, frictional games, advanced physics, survivial [sic] horror, action adventure, first person, horror, scary, HPL, work in progress, upcoming game, next frictional game and game development." Watch this space.
Steam's Holiday Sale 2011 is in full swing, bringing a host of major reductions that may or may not be the cheapest around. We've done the legwork for you by highlighting the major savings, and we'll be on base throughout the next few days to save you some money on the run-up to Christmas.
By far the best deal of the day is Orcs Must Die!, which is down to a frankly stupid price of £2.99. Buy this sensational tower defence hybrid immediately.
Otherwise, some decent savings on the Portal series, Metro 2033 and Just Cause 2 round out the package. These deals will expire this afternoon to be replaced by a new batch, and we'll keep you updated by the wire.
Eagle-eyed reader Tsung also reminds us:
"Don't forget to add their great gift giveaway, you might be able to bag a free game today just by signing in and looking at your gifts page (little envelope top right corner of steam app). Play games like Orcs Must Die for achievements to win prizes or a lump of coal. 7 Lumps of coal = another prize."
I don't know about you, but in this day and age, I feel myself becoming more jaded and apathetic with each passing week. The fact is that we live in a world that constantly bombards us with stimuli at an insane pace, and it's all too easy to switch off emotionally and just go with the flow. Given enough practice, you can turn it on and off like pressing your laptop's power button; allowing you to enjoy great games or meaningful interactions with NPCs... sorry, I mean loved ones... while blissfully repressing the global economy, terrorism and rising energy prices. Shudder.
Which is why, every once in a while, I like to ruin my trousers with a game that jerks me out of reality, plonks me in an immersive, nightmarish alternate reality and proceeds to frighten the living daylights out of me. Fear is the most primal and basic instinct we have; it strips us naked, pumps us full of adrenaline and lets us know that we're alive - not just living. We're convinced that games, through their interactivity and immersion, can deliver the most effective scares of any medium.
But sadly, videogames have done a poor job of scaring us over the last couple of years because many developers and publishers have lost sight of what's really important. To this end, over the next few hundred words, we're going to discuss what makes for a great horror game... and why we love the titles that have terrified us beyond mortal reason.Boo! See, that didn't scare you. Read on to find out why...
A timed offer here from Steam; until 6PM today, you can pick up Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the critically-lauded FPS survival horror title. It's the cheapest the game has been in a long while, saving you a good few good, although the price is set to jump back up again when the clock ticks past 6 today, so I suggest you hurry on down to Steam and chuck it in your basket!
Thanks to fedexpress over at HUKD
Here we are again. Direct2Drive’s deal for today brings down the price for this terrifying indie title to the lowest it has been so far, netting you a saving of around £8.75 over alternative sources. That alone should be reason enough to get this, but if you decide not to we won’t judge you... much. After all, Amnesia one of the scariest games in recent memory, taking the weapons out of your hands and forcing you to use puzzles and stealth to avoid the dangers that stalk you. If you’ve been looking for a way to scare the life out of you, put down some cash on this one and turn the lights off. Thanks to cwildey1 @ HUKD!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a truly terrifying game with a cuddly, heartwarming price tag courtesy of Gamers Gate. You'll save at least a fiver on the competition! As far as gameplay is concerned, players are trapped inside a creepy house with a terrifying nemesis stalking the shadows. Having no idea why or how they ended up there (hence the title, natch), you've got to rely on your wits, desperate stealth and all-out flight to evade your pursuer... and it makes an incredible change from just shooting undead horrors in the face. The visuals and sound design create a horrifying atmosphere that's best enjoyed with the lights off.
Many thanks to gamestraderjames at Hot UK Deals!
It may seem an odd title to play at Christmas, but if you feel the need to scare yourself stupid then Steam gives you the perfect opportunity to do so with their special deal for Amnesia: The Dark Descent. With no idea how you got inside an eerie house (thus the title), and with no ways to defend yourself other than hiding, running, and trying to outwit your nemesis, it’s a dark, effectively scary and well-presented experience. And if you’re feeling particularly tough then I dare you to turn all the lights off, put on some headphones and have at it, unless you’re scared… you big girl’s blouse. Check out David’s review for the full scoop!
This Halloween, how about NOT shooting zombies in the face and instead experience something that could potentially wet your pants? Well Steam gives you the perfect opportunity to do so with their special deals over the weekend, the highlight of which I would say is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. With no idea how you got inside an eerie house (thus the title), and with no ways to defend yourself other than hiding, running, and trying to outwit your nemesis, it’s a dark, effectively scary and well presented experience. And if you’re feeling particularly tough then I dare you to turn all the lights off, put on some headphones and have at it, unless you’re scared… you big girl’s blouse.
Developer: Frictional Games
Publisher: Frictional Games
You might have read quite a bit about this game over the past week or so. People going “It was so scary, I screamed out loud eight times while playing it!” or “I had to get out the extra long poopsock for this one!”. As usual, the penchant for hyperbole that certain scribblers suffer from causes the eyebrow to cock upwards, the brow to furrow and the mouse to be tapped aggressively. If you're screaming out loud while playing a game, there's something wrong with you.
Behind all the ludicrously overblown guff spouted by some lies a genuinely unnerving experience, as close to a chilling gaming experience as you are ever likely to get. So, while the screaming exaggerators are overplaying their hand, there is a large grain of truth in what they say. One person has told me that he literally tossed his mouse across the desk in shock, while another had to stop playing a number of times simply because he was too unnerved to continue.
With all these thoughts ringing in the head, it's easy to scoff and say “Well, it wouldn't happen to me,” but would it? Ensconced in a dark room and an empty house, the challenge was set. After a few hours of play, it's definitely fair to say that the game shits you up good and proper. Not in a screaming out loud way, but by creating an intensity of panic you'll rarely ever find in your bog-standard survival horrors.