Frictional Games has already brought the evolution of the horror games genre with titles such as Penumbra and Amnesia series, by bringing the first-person perspective and using the sounds, they added all the jumps scare without revealing the entity that haunts us. They even inspired titles such as the Resident Evil series. Lastly, they released SOMA, which had a different approach, a science fiction adventure focused on narrative, and we can’t forget the experience.
Now, they are back with Amnesia: Rebirth, an apparent return to the origins, by mixing the best features of their previous title into one. Amnesia proposes an adventure that stood out above all with its great gameplay, tension and terrifying atmosphere, and it’s narrative similar to SOMA. Without a doubt, Frictional Games wanted to give their best in gameplay and the narrative.
This time we found ourselves in the desert of Algeria back in the 1930s. We play as Tasi Trianon, the sole survivor of a plane crash who wakes up alone and having lost her memory, so from the first minutes, we will have to find out what happened, surviving in harsh conditions while gradually collecting small pieces of the narrative puzzle, such as texts and objects, that will trigger some flashbacks so we can put the pieces together to understand. This time we have a much heavier story than in the first Amnesia, although without ever giving up the terrifying gameplay. The darkness once again plays a fundamental role, and we will have to constantly pick up matches that we must use and wisely manage the gas lantern to see our surroundings and guide ourselves through the dark places. The light also helps our character keep her sanity up, so she doesn’t blackout from pure fear, which was brought back from the first Amnesia and that works sensational, which forces us to stay crouched in the dark or very close to a threat, and it definitely gives the chills.
During the game, we will encounter entities that we cannot face directly, we always have to hide and flee, and in the first half of the game, these entities are very similar to those you would hear in a ghost story; they’re invisible and will make you sweat cold. Later in the game, these entities become more visual compared to its first half, and the scare level goes up with it.At the start of the adventure, we have a great mix of exploration, narrative and puzzles – not too complex, but increasingly rare to see – that make it a very entertaining game. Although it does not reinvent the wheel in such an overexploited genre, its creators demonstrate their talent and how well they handle these types of adventures, with a very well measured difficulty and scenarios, which makes you always want to continue playing a little more to see what is around the corner, everything perfectly dosed.
There are a couple of moments in which the game opens up quite a bit, with wide scenarios to explore with various objectives that can be solved in a different order, and that is where it seems to us that Amnesia: Rebirth shines the most when it exploits its simple gameplay mechanics and puts the focus is exploration, darkness and puzzles, just like the fist title. But then, the last part of the game becomes much more linear. As we advance in the adventure, the narrative takes more prominence and gets better in its last hours. Hence, the story is very elaborate, interesting and chilling, with some pretty good ideas. But compared to Soma, it’s not as good, but this doesn’t mean the story is terrible. It has a pretty solid story, and a narrative accompanies that.
The narrative took all the good from the first Amnesia and brought it in a remarkable adventure, one of the best horror experiences that a fan could imagine. In the sound section, the game is also excellent, although graphically very limited. Yet, the small group of developers still manage to create a very haunting atmosphere, especially by making great use of light and darkness, that has a fundamental role in the gameplay. In terms of sound, it also complies, notably, even with its terrifying sound effects, being one of those titles in which it is especially recommended to play with headphones to immerse yourself in the experience fully.
The developers take the best of the first Amnesia and offer a story as elaborately as SOMA’s, something that works reasonably well and overall, the game proposes an excellent experience. Frictional games most definitely worked its magic and created an amazing horror-adventure and released it right before Halloween and must be enjoyed by the fans of the first title and all the gamers who like the horror genre.
We prepared this review with a digital review code for the PS4 Pro version of the title provided by Evolve PR.