This is the most innovative game I have played in a long time. It is filled with examples of how games are a unique story-telling platform and immerses the player in a way that only interaction can. Even though this is the most terrifying game I have ever played and I don’t usually manage to play through horror titles, I can’t put this game down.
The interactive narrative elements used in Amnesia relate to pacing and rudimentary motor skills.These techniques were also used in its predecessor Penumbra but now it is a bit more refined. The player’s main tactic for staying alive is keeping a low profile and low visibility, as a result the player enters a room really slowly. This is also supplemented by the fact that doors can be opened at any pace the player sees fit. The way rudimentary motor skills fits into this is because, in Amnesia every dynamic game entity is moved manually by the player. To save a long explanation watch this video.
As you can see the player doesn’t simply click objects to execute their primary function, but rather touch the object, grab the object and move it. What you can’t see from the video above is that when opening draws and doors, you are pushing and pulling the mouse towards and away from you. This makes the environment seem less scripted and makes you feel almost as if you are there in the world.
The puzzles in Amnesia only require minimal thought in order to solve, the game will usually give you exact instructions on how to solve. The idea behind this (or at least my reasoning behind it) is to not keep the player’s imagination occupied, so that their imaginations are fixed on scaring themselves. This is especially important in Amnesia, because the horror is executed through minimalism. The first time an enemy poses a serious threat, you won’t see it, but a message will display. The message reads; “An enemy is in your vicinity, keep a low profile and turn off your lamp if possible.” When I saw this message I was terrified and on-edge. Another example would be when you enter a storage room that is incredibly dark. From what info you have already gathered, in order to survive you need to be invisible. So the logic of having an incredibly dark storage room brings about very daunting ideas and suggestions.
When I played through Penumbra, I stopped playing when the game merely began to start. Amnesia is even more terrifying, but for some reason I can’t put it down. It’s so gripping, there are even some areas in the game that don’t need to be traversed, but I go through them anyway regardless of the risk. I’m not even a huge horror fan, but I’m still drawn to this game.
The amount of Game Design innovations in this game are too numerous for me to go through, so you check it out yourself. Click here for the demo or full purchase.