In this review we have been able to analyze Amnesia: Rebirth, the third chapter of the famous series developed by Frictional Games
Frictional Games is a development house with an incredible talent, capable of telling deep and interesting stories thanks to the actions taken by the player. Environments have always been full of objects to be analyzed, manipulated and thrown. A feature that saw its birth with Penumbra: experimental video games that still have a lot to teach today genere survival horror e walking simulator.
However it is with Amnesia: The Dark Descent that Frictional Games has secured a place on the developer Olympus. A title that not only sparked an overwhelming trend on YouTube (PewdiePie might not exist without Amnesia), but also revived the entire horror genre. It would be difficult to imagine the existence of Layers of Fears, Gone Home or even Resident Evil 7 without the work of FG. Today and in this review, we are facing another step forward thanks to the release of the new Amnesia: Rebirth, third title in the series but only the second truly internally developed.
A light at the end of the tunnel
Interaction is not the only thing that has always characterized the video games of this development house, an important issue is in fact sanity and how difficult it is for us to keep under control. The Dark Descent he explored the dark corners of the mind and the effects fear can have on the psyche. In A Machine For Pigs we are witnessing the fall into oblivion, with the gradual awakening of Mundus' memory. Rebirth tries instead to give a message of hope, however, obscured by a multitude of horrors that make it only a faint ray of light. If we also understand SOMA we are faced with a video game that wants to be the sum of all their knowledge, to create the most immersive horror experience. So let's proceed with ours review of the PC version of Amnesia: Rebirth.
The horror in full sun
We are Anastasie “Tasi” Triannon, one designer hired to document a shipment. At her side is her husband Salim and together with the rest of the team they are heading by plane to a gold quarry. However, just when the journey seems to be going well, they are hit by a strange storm and after some disturbing visions, the protagonist wakes up completely alone in the aircraft carcass.
Lost in the middle of the desert, we soon discover that we have lost our memory and we realize that the accident did not happen recently. Following the remains of what looked like a camp, we will face the scorching sun until we immerse ourselves inside some tunnels dug into the rock. By continuing to explore and touching abandoned objects, we are able to sometimes receive some visions concerning our lost companions: static images, but told through excellent dubbed dialogues that thicken an initially little supernatural mystery.
Objects that speak
As usual for Frictional Games, the environments have numerous objects to interact with, being able to rotate, push and throw. A way to blend gameplay and storytelling, with an immersion that increases with each discovery of new objects and notes to assemble the narrative puzzle. Sometimes when Rebirth breaks its linearity, you will also find yourself freely exploring small open environments in which you will have to solve puzzles (often easy to solve and requiring only a minimal search for the objects to be assembled using the game's interactive tools).
The further we go, the greater the darkness that invades the gameplay, giving us the need to find lighting tools. In full view or inside breakable objects in fact we will very often find matches, to ensure a short glimmer of light, alternatively we can use them to light more objects at a time such as torches, candles or lanterns, placed in abundance in the rooms. As the game suggests, however, you have to be careful to move, because in this way matches will go out more quickly. An effective way to keep the tension high and a way to encourage resource management.
However Amnesia also relies on suspension of disbelief, as it is not very logical to be able to light torches and lanterns without being able to carry them around. Furthermore, as we continue, it will not be long before we find a more reliable light: we will in fact be able to collect one lantern oil to illuminate the darkest corners. In terms of gameplay it does not differ too much from the same used in The Dark Descent, as little by little the fuel will run out and will have to be reloaded.
Fear of the dark
With better means of illumination Tasi will be less afraid of the dark, which otherwise will quickly drop her into one status of irrationality preceded by strange and sudden frightening visions. But it is in fear that the protagonist manages to slightly adapt to the darkness, a gameplay mechanic that simulates the adaptation of the retina and that allows you to continue to the next light source.
Simple the classic jump scare, which you will gradually get used to. However Amnesia: Rebirth is not just about scaring you, what's great at doing, is building a sense of constant anxiety and apprehension about the unknown horrors that may be lurking in the shadows. A concept reinforced by a huge variety of environments, which force the player to adapt, but whose efforts will often be rewarded with illuminated outdoor environments, as well as breaking the environmental monotony characteristic of The Dark Descent.
As soon as you get used to the light, you will again be thrown into the horror where strange creatures await you. These beings are much more agile than Grunts, make less noise and will often appear in unexpected places. The game is particularly good at making you believe you are always being watched even in the quietest moments. As mentioned earlier, Rebirth uses its fear tricks with greater caution, so don't expect a horror where creatures are omnipresent.
In this it looks a lot more like A Machine for Pigs. To avoid them, you can walk slowly and bend over, but if they notice you, you will have to flee to safety or struggle for a little hope of salvation. In desperation you will also find rooms where it is possible manually lock, or block the entrance with heavy objects.
Deadly breathtaking landscapes
An excellent job, Rebirth, also manages to do it with the design of the environments. None resemble the previous one, continuing to make progress in the game enjoyable even in the most disgusting places. A quality that does not decline, but it almost rises towards the end with greater attention to detail, not only for the structure, but also for the different polygonal models of the architectural decorations. Decidedly graphics are not in step with the times in the most technical way possible, the models are rather square, low quality textures and the game lacks certain reflection and lighting effects that could have given more depth to the places. Despite everything, we were still very satisfied with the general performance.
even the sonoro plays an important role in Amnesia Rebirth. In fact, dubbing is often present as an audio accompaniment to the many notes and written sheets and, obviously, also to the dialogues of the characters. Furthermore, the ambient sounds always manage to create an excellent atmosphere of tension, often making believe that they are not alone.
A true rebirth
Amnesia is a video game that tells many stories, each with repercussions in the gameplay. Nothing seems to be left to chance and in this way Rebirth manages to masterfully fit both how prequel, that sequel, to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The themes are multiple and well blended together, while leaving some elements of history open to vague hypotheses. Tasi is a protagonist who does not necessarily like her, she is a great talker and for this reason she will break important moments of tension, but she carries with her such an emotional weight and life experiences, which with a minimum of empathy they cannot fail to capture. The main plot revolves a lot around the female figure and its symbolisms, the topics covered are mature and well explored. We talk about the body, illness, love, family and a desperate search for hope even in the most terrible situations.
A video game that we highly recommend, but do not expect an adventure solely in the name of fear. Compared to The Dark Descent, or even A Machine for Pigs, here the horror to jump scare has been reduced to give more space to a clearer narrative, and within certain Lovecraftian limits, credible.
The game of this review, Amnesia: Rebirth, is now available for PC, PlayStation 4 and later also for Xbox One. If you want to stay up to date on video games and technology, keep following us on techigames.9 Horror masterpiece
Points in favor
- Exciting story
- Excellent storytelling and gameplay fusion
- Very varied environments
- Fearful the righteous
- Graphics not in step with the times