Video Games

Amnesia: The Bunker Review – IGN

Amnesia: The Dark Descent changed the face of horror games 13 years ago, but 2020’s Amnesia: Rebirth will continue to plant the narrative seeds it planted, ending with a bone-chilling climax. It looked like it bloomed. So Amnesia: The Bunker is a smaller, more self-contained chapter that does a great job of getting you excited about this terrifying series all over again. And while many of its stealthiness and exploration basics are still the same as when I woke up as Daniel over a decade ago, this gloomy, never-ending weasel-and-rat thriller turns the old hellbeast into a Some new tricks that prove you can teach.

Set in the doomed gloomy bunker of 1916 World War I, we are wounded in battle and wake up to find our exit destroyed and nearly all of our comrades slaughtered by something lurking inside. Play the role of a French soldier. dark. The first and biggest change to the normal Amnesia routine is that you can explore the entire bunker quite early on, which feels bigger than it looks on paper. Similar to Metroid and Resident Evil, you’ll need to find little tools to access certain areas and advance the story, but you’re given very little direction as to where to go next. This helps build tension. Because every expedition out of the central lamplit safe room drains your very limited resources and perhaps also your determination.

While most enemies in other Amnesia games are scripted to patrol specific areas in specific ways, The Bunker is a fresh page out of the Alien: Isolation book, and it’s behind walls. It features a single, ever-present threat called the Stalker, who lives above and above. Concrete prison ceiling. I’m drawn to all sounds: running, firing weapons, using a hand-cranked flashlight. The fact that its behavior is somewhat unpredictable amplifies the terror and adds much-needed dynamism. With strumming and grunting with effective sound design, you’ll know you’ve got your attention by fueling the paranoia further.

shoot for thrill

Amnesia made a name for itself as a weaponless horror game, so it seemed strange at first that The Bunker would hand out pistols and sometimes grenades. But these jokes really bothered me because, at best, the stalker leaves you alone for a few minutes. Ordnance can be useful in some situations, but in the end it just scares the enemy even more. After all, what’s wrong with that? Have you ever seen a monster that you can’t fight at all, or that a bullet to the face just annoys you?

But where this beast failed to impress me was its AI. Aliens in Isolation will gradually learn more about you the more you encounter them, especially if you have reliable strategies such as hiding in lockers. Sadly, stalkers don’t seem to be all that knowledgeable. On default difficulty, most of the time you just had to squat under the table, and even if you were breathing on your ankles, you would never be found. Once you understand that, the tension that bunkers have worked so hard to build will be greatly relieved. Luckily, there’s another clever way to make yourself sweat, even if you’re good at hiding.

The entire bunker is powered by a central generator that guzzles fuel like a thirsty elephant, with a limited amount of fuel available across the map. You can explore without the lights on, but that’s… well, very bad. Stalkers usually stay inside the tunnels until they find you, but they are free to roam the corridors even in the dark. Worse, the only reusable light source is a stupid flashlight that lets you know your location by making a loud noise.

What this means is that every corner of the bunker is accompanied by a sense of urgency and purpose. This is embodied by a pocket watch that synchronizes with the amount of fuel remaining and lets you know how long it will take to turn off. If the stalker chooses to hide every time he is around, he may take a minute or two before the stalker stops patrolling and returns to the tunnel, thus burning valuable resources. This is arguably The Bunker’s most effective new trick to make you feel like you’ve done the first Amnesia all over again.

war story

The story is a relatively simple one, especially when compared to Rebirth, an interdimensional cosmic nightmare. A chronology of events slowly unfolds as you find notes written by various non-commissioned officers and officers who once called this box their second home. There’s a pretty clever twist towards the end, and it defies my expectations as an amnesiac veteran. Past games have been mostly about remembering and accepting a character’s sins, but that’s just a prelude to what The His Bunker actually has in store.

Sure, we get a little glimpse into the larger world of Amnesia, but we found it refreshing how small and more self-contained this story is. If you’ve played Rebirth, you’ll be rewarded with understanding the background behind the oddities you see. If not, I would be surprised and perplexed by these moments in a different way than I am. Then play Rebirth to understand what’s really going on.

However, I thought the ending was very predictable. I think that if you give a little thought to what you’re doing in “The Bunker,” most of you will realize what “escape” actually means all along. But it’s still effective, a reminder that we humans are capable of creating far more terrifying horrors than the writer’s macabre imagination. And knowing where you’re going doesn’t ruin your trip.

As a final touch, many elements of The Bunker are semi-randomized with each playthrough, including monster behavior, locker codes, and the location of a few key items. This should keep things interesting if you decide to play it. It didn’t seem like there was a particular reason to do it, but it was nice to know that one day it wouldn’t be enough to just speedrun the same route. My first playthrough took about 8 hours according to Steam’s calculations, but only around 5 hours according to the in-game clock. This no doubt has something to do with how many times I tab out to watch funny animal videos to control my stress.

There is also one technical issue that is a little annoying. Screen hangs during loading when navigating between areas. Sometimes it hangs for up to a few seconds even when installed on a fast SSD. These areas aren’t huge, and this doesn’t seem very justified considering the developer’s Frictional games don’t look like Crysis at all.

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