Review: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
So I just got around to finishing the long-delayed and highly anticipated sequel to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I was incredibly psyched to play this after the original game being probably my most memorable gaming experience ever, certainly up there with classics like Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil. The first problem I had were the bugs. I’m not going to spend too long on this because it’s been flayed like a dead horse, but the game crashes almost every time you reach a new level. This is very frustrating and is the sole reason why I’ve taken so long to complete the game.
Apart from technical glitches, I was very rarely scared whilst playing AAMFP, and on the occasions I was, it was only up to a fraction of the frenetic fear I faced in the Dark Descent. Every time they managed to build up some tension and get me on the edge of my seat, the danger disappeared and I was back to reality, feeling somewhat cheated. This was not helped by the fact that developers The Chinese Room decided to give us plenty of opportunity to have a long, hard stare at the monsters throughout the game, and even without that opportunity, it is clear that they are less than half as terrifying and grotesque as the grunts and brutes from the previous game. One of the things that made the Dark Descent so great was the constant feeling of being hunted and watched. In AAMFP I very rarely felt in danger of being killed, and when I did I was not afraid of it.
The final problem with this game is that it is very, very short. I am a rather thorough player who likes to read all the notes and search dark corners for Easter eggs, but even so I completed the game in less than 6 hours, possibly even less than 4 hours. (I wasn’t counting.) This simply isn’t acceptable for a title that was delayed for almost a year and costs $20. I played Slender: The Arrival, (which, by the way, costs $6) expecting it to be a starter dish, whetting my appetite for the main horror entrée that would be A Machine For Pigs, but unfortunately it’s turned out to be quite the opposite.In conclusion: if you want to buy a game made by The Chinese Room, buy Dear Esther, and if you want more Amnesia, download some of the multitude of excellent custom stories made by fans.