Amnesia helped pave the way for some of the greatest games ever made.
Alien Isolation. The Evil Within. SOMA. Outlast. To name but a few.
But somehow it’s eluded console gamers despite achieving critical acclaim across the board. Until now.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Amnesia: Justine, and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs come bundled together in a new collection just announced last month for Playstation 4 and it’s a welcome sight. Maybe the original hasn’t aged as well as other six year old games, maybe there’s not been a great deal done to change the game’s architecture and aesthetic, but these games were part of a significant shift in the industry.
The Amnesia games are exploration titles filled with puzzles and jump scares, all played from a first person perspective. You’ll need to find hidden levers, collect messages, combine items, and stay in the light. The last is crucially important as the Amnesia games are the darkest you’ll ever play. 90% of the time you’ll just be able to make out faint outlines in the playspace, looking for textures and environments a bit lighter than the rest, using those to help guide you along the right path.
You can do that, or find Tinderboxes which can light unlit candles or the lantern which can be carried around to illuminate the surrounding environment. The problem with the lantern is that you’ll need to keep replacing it with oil containers scattered all over as it constantly keeps running out.
The key thing to remember about the Amnesia games is that while they’re all set within the same universe, they’re all very different and focused on different sets of characters. The first game sees you take on the role of a man named Daniel, but you’ll also get to play as a woman named Justine, as well as the Mandus family.
Each game also does things quite differently. The original was developed by Frictional as a last-ditch effort to save them from bankruptcy. Justine was built as an expansion for the game and a tie-in for a Steam project. A Machine for Pigs meanwhile, was developed by The Chinese Room, then published by Frictional.
The Amnesia Collection hasn’t undergone a rejuvination in visuals, nor has it been tweaked massively from the available versions on PC. What we do have is Trophy Support, as well as full pad customisation, and developer commentary. Though you will need to be mindful of spoilers if you have the commentary on as the developers aren’t shy in telling you how to solve certain puzzles, or the direction of the ongoing story.
It all runs very smoothly though. Amnesia Dark Descent and Justine are at a very stable 60fps, with the more polished A Machine for Pigs settling for around 30fps. There doesn’t seem to be any PS4 Pro support included, nor any HDR upgrades, but the game still looks pretty great all the same, particularly the effective lighting.
Unfortunately, the menu system for the Collection is poorly executed, providing no backdoor from one game to the next. Instead, you have to force close the game and reopen in order to play another. A really clunky, ineffecient way to produce something, and really does give off the indication that the package as a whole has been rushed out of the door. Fortunately, the games themselves are filled with unmatched ambience, and make up for any UI shortcomings.
Some might also bemoan a £30 pricetag for three relatively old games, but each one is a memorable experience that will last with you.
Ultimately, this collection is a nice homage to some of the most important games in history and despite a fiercely competitive market and issues aside, there’s plenty of reasons to dive in or re-experience Amnesia all over again.
+ Great games
+ Memorable experiences
+ All the trophies
– Menus force you to close game to open another
– Price may be an issue for some
– Developer commentary does get drowned out by in-game sounds
Amnesia: The Collection
8 out of 10
Platform review on :- PS4