Zero Punctuation: Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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"OH PISSING BLIMEY! THERE'S JAM COMING OUT OF THE WALLS!"

That line (and this whole review) was solid gold!

Nice, funny review, and it actually made me start up the damn thing. Amnesia has been sitting and waiting on my harddrive since release, just never got round to it. Until now.

Played for an hour. Now I'm scared. I damn well love it, but I'm scared. Horror games is a funny thing.

N1ceDreamz:
"OH PISSING BLIMEY THERE'S JAM COMING OUT OF THE WALLS!"
You never fail to please Yahtzee.

I need to somehow get this as my phone's ringtone. I merrily slapped my knee at this point.

I think this episode has given me my favorite ZP quote ever. "Oh pissing blimey, there's jam coming out of the walls!" Not to mention it's nice to see indie developers getting their due praise/beatings.

N1ceDreamz:
"OH PISSING BLIMEY THERE'S JAM COMING OUT OF THE WALLS!"
You never fail to please Yahtzee.

Amen brother, amen - I always enjoy Yahtzee's reviews, but this is the first time I have actually fallen off my chair with laughter in QUITE a long time!

So glad he did this game. I got Overture when it came out and it scared me so bad in the first ten minutes that I never could continue the game. It still sits in its box in my closet. However, I finally played Black Plague, Requiem, and now Amnesia and I truly believe Frictional Games is on the forefront of creating immersion in a video game. The shorter game time and relatively easy difficulty (the only real challenge is summoning your courage) allows for a unique, incredibly immersive experience.

Go try the demo.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Penumbra series (and Amnesia, the demo of which I played recently). See, I love good horror, built up with good atmosphere, and these games deliver that in spades. There were plenty of times that I spent a while curled up in a corner not really wanting to go on, not because I'd glimpsed some unholy horror or eldritch abomination, but because there was a flickering light at the end of the hallway. It's not easy for a game to get that deep into my psyche, so I give all due "props" there.

However, one thing I cannot stand in games is interface screws that make the game artificially difficult. In Penumbra, there was the main character's tendency to have panic attacks if you looked at an enemy while it was within thirty feet of you while you were crouch-hiding (which made planning your way around their patrols difficult, since the combat mechanic made sure that, much like an army without profanity, you couldn't fight your way out of a piss-soaked paper bag); in Amnesia, there's the "darkness makes you crazy, and crazy makes your vision look like your eyeballs froze over" bit. They're both annoying, arbitrary limitations that reduce immersion and detract from the atmosphere rather than add to it. They're why I never finished the first Penumbra game or the Amnesia demo and why I very likely won't buy the full version of Amnesia.

And no, I didn't like it in Dark Corners of the Earth either, but then at least you could sometimes shoot or run away from what was making your vision all swirly like you'd had one too many Irish Car Bombs... before the next three you had.

"I guess I'll just run around and- woah, what was that thing I just glimpsed running down a hallway? I don't know, but it looked cross about something, so I think I'll go down this other hallway instead."
"Oh, it's blocked. Guess I'll turn around and- WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?! AAAAAHHHH RUNRUNRUN I'M SORRY I DIDN'T MEAN TO MESS YOUR CHAIRS UP- OH PISSING BLIMEY THERE'S JAM COMING OUT OF THE WALLS!!!"

Had me in fucking stiches. And what you ahd to say about the game is pretty close on the money, too. One of the best reviews in recent momory - excellent work.

I liked this review, but I can't help but feel it was more addressing what most horror games this generation are doing wrong than a review of the game itself. It was really only talking about the stress caused by the monsters before anything else. The fear in the game doesn't come from those abominations alone but also from the environment itself. Sure, actually encountering one of them is stressful enough, but it was really the torture chambers later on and even the ambient sound effects that contributed most to the increase in the moisture level of my pants. I just find it strange he, a big fan of this genre, would talk about the monsters and little else in regards to the atmosphere. It's good that he brought attention to the game, though.

haha cool! I've wanted a good horror game for quite a while now. Maybe I'll look into this one

Anyone who had issues via an ATI card, there is a patch out that fixes the X series cards.

Also Don't put on SSAO its murder for your system no matter who you are.

I bought this game and so should you. it's 8-10 hours of gameplay and it owns hard.

DBlack:
I cant even find Amnesia at any E.B. games store!

Your whole argument is basically "if a game sells less than a million copies, it sucks and no one cares about it"

Throw yourself off a cliff, troll.

heh, nothings better than pissing of those adolescent 13 years because OMG what r b tis gmae, wer teh fuk is HALO yatzee, wers ma HALOOOOOO??? [yeah went a little overboard right there...]

Anyway, pretty decent review, although not as good as your review of Mafia 2, which was hilarious.

Nice review. I've been wanting to get this for a long time but my pc is in the shop and Cyberpower is to stupid to send it back. And another good example of horror #2 is when you are near the end of STALKER Call of Prpyat and all you hear is a baby crying but you never find it. That scared me so much because you're stuck in this pitch blackroom where you could be eaten alive any second.

Yeah I watched a trailer of this game and it looked pretty good. The Penumbra games were balls to the wall scary. The first one didn't really have melee combat it really just had "you can damage shit with the physics engine" combat.

Great review like always.
Yes I played the demo and was on the fence about getting this game, now I may be buying it soon; along with diapers.

Hah, horror games. For some reason I never find them scary. But when I play a game that is just an action game but it has an overdone horror section somehow that always gets me. Same with movies. =\

Liking the recent reviews, getting away from the dick jokes every three lines. Not that they are bad, but just consider them like the monsters in a horror game; the less we see/hear them the greater they will impact.

Pretty much, excellent game. Now if those guys from the Chinese Room that made the half life 2 mods , Dear esther and Korsakovia joined these guys, they are amazing writers. It would be legendary.

DBlack:
It all makes sence now! The reason your not reviewing any good games is because your trying to piss off the majority of YOUR fan base by not reviewing any of their favorite games. Who the hell wants to know anything about some piss-ant game nobody cares about? I cant even find Amnesia at any E.B. games store!

The majority? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you're the only one on this thread that I've seen who is pissed off. Everyone else thought it was an excellent review of an excellent game. I hardly think you alone are important enough to be considered the majority of Yahtzee's fanbase.

If you're pissed off that he didn't review your favorite game, I suggest you broaden your horizons and try some of Frictional's work for yourself. You can get both Penumbra and Amnesia off Steam, or from penumbragame.com and amnesiagame.com. They're only about $20 USD each, or you can get the demos free. The reason you can't find it at EB is because it's an indie company, and hasn't yet had a chance to explode into a cash whore corporation.

I used to acctualy care what you thought about games but now I've realized you only review games (or dont review certain games) just to get some shock value, in order to attract attention. Even that guy who does Escape to the Movies reviews things while there still relavent. Because what good is a review of a game that nobody has, and no body cares about.

I don't know where you get that idea. This is, from what I remember, the first indie game he's actually reviewed, and I personally saw that as a nice change of pace. And considering Amnesia came out only three weeks ago, I think it definitely qualifies as `still relevant'.

And, `a game that nobody cares about'? Well, I care about it. Yahtzee obviously cares about it enough to review it. Seven pages and counting of posters to this thread care about it. 1,727 people and counting who shared this video on Facebook care about it. Even more of us care about it. And that's just the very small number of gamers who frequent the Escapist. Just because you wanted him to review something else doesn't necessarily mean that nobody cares about the game he reviewed instead.

So with your poor choices in mind I think you should not review any games that sell over 1 million copies this fall. That way every game that people want you to rip on can get throughly ignored with no favorites.

I'm pretty sure he gets enough support that he doesn't give a shit about what his viewers want to see ripped on. I expect he chooses his reviews based on the games he personally wants to play and review. Anyway, he didn't ignore anything, he just postponed Reach for a week. Even if he hadn't, he'd get to it eventually, with people like you shoving it up his ass. I mean, he finally did Brawl out of viewer pressure.

And yes I'm still upset about how you didnt eat Starcraft 2 alive for being a predictable piece of shit, that only sold because of the name. WHOA Ticus was a trator!? That would have been a supprise if it didnt show it at the begining of the game!

I think it's interesting how, earlier in your comment, you proclaim that indie games like this one aren't worth reviewing because apparently the fact that nobody knows about them makes them shit, and you'd rather he reviewed a game that you already know is shit, for the sole reason that it's the opposite of an indie game. I think I sense a little hypocrisy there, yes?

Anyway.

tthor:
hell, i still haven't finished the game, after being severely creeped out by a certain room...

Haha, yeah, I know exactly which room you mean. And that was fucking creepy as hell. If you ever finish Overture, definitely play Black Plague, it's much better, much scarier, and the psychological horror aspect (which isn't present at all in Overture) comes fairly close to rivaling the original Silent Hill games. Which is not something I say flippantly.

That transcribing about his first 5 minutes wasn't just fun to watch, it was quite useful too, in finding out what the atmosphere is like. Sure hope we'll see more 'first 5 mins' impressions in the future.

...and less spiders, dammit!

Wow yay your reviewing Halo: Reach.... didn't you do that like 3 years ago? It was called Halo 3 then, but it's practically the same fucking game since the original Halo. Least you could've fucking did was reviewed SC2 instead of Gaylo: Reach Around.

Sweet! Finally a game that succeeds at scaring you? Hells yes! Maybe I'm old but remember when nobody had a F$%^#^& clue what resident evil was? Remember when Eternal Darkness told you your gamecube memory card was corrupted, and all your files were deleted, only to flash back to the game as if saying 'gotcha!' Ahhh....good games....hope we see more!

Sovvolf:
Ba'h this computer would probably blow up before running such a game which is a big shame as I've heard from quite a lot of people that it's a recommend. Being a indie developed ga,e, I'm doubting it's going to have a full release on both the consoles and the P.C so I'm missing out on this one it would seem.

There's a demo. Go test it.

Snakepiper:
Wow yay your reviewing Halo: Reach.... didn't you do that like 3 years ago? It was called Halo 3 then, but it's practically the same fucking game since the original Halo. Least you could've fucking did was reviewed SC2 instead of Gaylo: Reach Around.

You aren't a true fan, as you clearly don't read his articles.

Mausenheimmer:
Food for thought: Frictional Games is concerned about their financial future based on the sales of this game (check it out: http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/2010/09/one-week-after-release-of-amnesia.html). It'll be interesting to see if Yahtzee is able to galvanize his fanbase into saving the game.

I just came to say pretty much this same thing. I really hope this review helps with the sales. It's not like Frictional will have to close shop (worst comes to worst they're not really in financial trouble, and they're just too passionate to give up), but it would be really sad if they decided to forfeit horror in favor of a more profitable genre. They're just too f'ing good at this, and there's simply no one that can stand up to them these days. Horror needs them desperately.

A couple things that haven't been mentioned yet:

- The entire Amnesia team consisted of five people. I mean, seriously, gaming industry, what the fuck? FIVE PEOPLE! The best horror game since the first Silent Hill has been made by a developing team that could fit comfortably on a couch!

- These guys post quite regularly at their blog (http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/), and they have some really, really interesting ideas on game design.

DBlack:
It all makes sence now! The reason your not reviewing any good games is because your trying to piss off the majority of YOUR fan base by not reviewing any of their favorite games. Who the hell wants to know anything about some piss-ant game nobody cares about? I cant even find Amnesia at any E.B. games store!

I used to acctualy care what you thought about games but now I've realized you only review games (or dont review certain games) just to get some shock value, in order to attract attention. Even that guy who does Escape to the Movies reviews things while there still relavent. Because what good is a review of a game that nobody has, and no body cares about.

So with your poor choices in mind I think you should not review any games that sell over 1 million copies this fall. That way every game that people want you to rip on can get throughly ignored with no favorites.

And yes I'm still upset about how you didnt eat Starcraft 2 alive for being a predictable piece of shit, that only sold because of the name. WHOA Ticus was a trator!? That would have been a supprise if it didnt show it at the begining of the game!

1. I love how you're arrogant yet ignorant enough to think that A. nobody cares about this game, and B. it's clearly irrelevant because it's not in a box.

2. In reference to above, I care about this game. I've been tracking it since April or May.

3. "Not reviewing good games"? He LIKED this one! What more do you want!? "Oh, but I don't like it!" Um, you just said you've never played it, never heard about it, and probably don't know anything about it, thus you don't know if you like it or not.

4. He said he's going to go through Halo Reach, but he's delaying it to "bait fanboys". Reading your response, it doesn't even matter if you like Halo or not, he baited you anyways. And he is satisfied with his catch.

5. He gave us a couple weeks notice that he would NOT review Starcraft because he DOESN'T LIKE RTS games, yet people are surprised. Pay attention.

Out of interest, what do you consider to be "good" games? Considering how he's covered his bases pretty well in the past, I can't help but wonder why you're so butthurt now.

Schadenfreude:

Mausenheimmer:
Food for thought: Frictional Games is concerned about their financial future based on the sales of this game (check it out: http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/2010/09/one-week-after-release-of-amnesia.html). It'll be interesting to see if Yahtzee is able to galvanize his fanbase into saving the game.

I just came to say pretty much this same thing. I really hope this review helps with the sales. It's not like Frictional will have to close shop (worst comes to worst they're not really in financial trouble, and they're just too passionate to give up), but it would be really sad if they decided to forfeit horror in favor of a more profitable genre. They're just too f'ing good at this, and there's simply no one that can stand up to them these days. Horror needs them desperately.

A couple things that haven't been mentioned yet:

- The entire Amnesia team consisted of five people. I mean, seriously, gaming industry, what the fuck? FIVE PEOPLE! The best horror game since the first Silent Hill has been made by a developing team that could fit comfortably on a couch!

- These guys post quite regularly at their blog (http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/), and they have some really, really interesting ideas on game design.

...FIVE PEOPLE?!?!?!

I'm freaking awed.

Sadly though, I know exactly why it's not selling as well as hoped: I want to support them very badly, and really want the game, but right now I'm too freaked out to even download the demo. I'll probably only be able to lay money down when drunk (and I don't drink). Quite frankly, they're too good at their job.

yoyo13rom:

BlueInkAlchemist:
A horror game that doesn't rely on you being disgusted by a clearly-visible monster that's been seen in half a dozen previous iterations? Unpossible.

An actual recommendation from Yahtzee is a rare thing and probably not given lightly. Glad to see he isn't the only one who actually understands the "less is more" mentality. It shows in his writing.

Would you mind explaining me the "less is more" mentality?
I think it refers to less as in less monsters, and less on screen scares that equal more class psychological horror, but I want to be certain I got it right.

You've basically got it right, but less is more applies to works and genres outside of horror. In terms of films, the original Alien is a great example, as we see very little of the xenomorph. Likewise, while the original Predator isn't quite as scary, you still don't see a lot of the hulking hunter until the last bit of the movie. I can hunt up more salient examples if you like.

Dfskelleton:
Can I have some help here? I'm tring to decide if I want Penumbra: Overture or Amnesia. Nto only because I'm wondering which is scarier, but because I'm wondering which one has lower system requirements. I have a really crappy PC, so let me play this out: Portal works, Doom 3 doesn't. The Penumbra tech demo (which I loved) works fine, but i wonder if there's an engine difference. If not, I just need to decide what I feel like. Price is no big deal, 2 dollars difference, whatever, but I'd prefer whichever is scarier. I've longed for a horror game (that I haven't already played, Silent Hill) that truly scares me. Silent Hill freaked me out a bit, while I'm laughing at F.E.A.R, DOOM 3, Dead Space, and Resident Evil 4, saying "Wait, that's supposed to scare me?"(although those games are still good, just not scary.) I've heard Penumbra is really scary, though, but Yahtzees reaction has me split. I need help!

As far as engines, they are different, and Amnesia has more requirements.

The game is a different story:

Amnesia
- Way more immersive
- more depraved
- large story that you only get glimpses of

Penumbra
- story much more fleshed out and filled in
- longer
- gets right to the action

I don't know which would be more interesting now.

Also:

BlueInkAlchemist:
You've basically got it right, but less is more applies to works and genres outside of horror. In terms of films, the original Alien is a great example, as we see very little of the xenomorph. Likewise, while the original Predator isn't quite as scary, you still don't see a lot of the hulking hunter until the last bit of the movie. I can hunt up more salient examples if you like.

Here. Let me get some examples for you. (warning: TVTropes)

I picked this game up right around its release, and instantly thought it would be one Yahtzee would enjoy at least somewhat. Glad to see I was not wrong.

lacktheknack:

DBlack:
It all makes sence now! The reason your not reviewing any good games is because your trying to piss off the majority of YOUR fan base by not reviewing any of their favorite games. Who the hell wants to know anything about some piss-ant game nobody cares about? I cant even find Amnesia at any E.B. games store!

I used to acctualy care what you thought about games but now I've realized you only review games (or dont review certain games) just to get some shock value, in order to attract attention. Even that guy who does Escape to the Movies reviews things while there still relavent. Because what good is a review of a game that nobody has, and no body cares about.

So with your poor choices in mind I think you should not review any games that sell over 1 million copies this fall. That way every game that people want you to rip on can get throughly ignored with no favorites.

And yes I'm still upset about how you didnt eat Starcraft 2 alive for being a predictable piece of shit, that only sold because of the name. WHOA Ticus was a trator!? That would have been a supprise if it didnt show it at the begining of the game!

1. I love how you're arrogant yet ignorant enough to think that A. nobody cares about this game, and B. it's clearly irrelevant because it's not in a box.

2. In reference to above, I care about this game. I've been tracking it since April or May.

3. "Not reviewing good games"? He LIKED this one! What more do you want!? "Oh, but I don't like it!" Um, you just said you've never played it, never heard about it, and probably don't know anything about it, thus you don't know if you like it or not.

4. He said he's going to go through Halo Reach, but he's delaying it to "bait fanboys". Reading your response, it doesn't even matter if you like Halo or not, he baited you anyways. And he is satisfied with his catch.

5. He gave us a couple weeks notice that he would NOT review Starcraft because he DOESN'T LIKE RTS games, yet people are surprised. Pay attention.

Out of interest, what do you consider to be "good" games? Considering how he's covered his bases pretty well in the past, I can't help but wonder why you're so butthurt now.

A good game? Hell thats easy! One I can play with my friends. The more the merrier. Playing a game alone can be entertaining, but playing it with others can be way more fun because you not only have the entertainment the game gives but also the BS that come along with a bunch of crazy basturds trying to co-operate.

I dont give a damn how good or bad a game is because if its bad you can laugh about how shity it is with others, and if its good then you just have a good time.

What about you? what makes a good game in your opinion? (other then something yatzee has pre-approved for you)

Reminds me of the feeling I got playing the original Myst game--the empty landscape with the very intense background music gave it an almost horror feel. Morpheus (1998) by now defunct Piranha Interactive Publishing is another example of a game that had that horror atmosphere without having any horror "action". Even Cyberflix's "Titanic: Adventure Out of Time" does a better "horrorisk" atmosphere than most modern horror games.

It seems that games that aren't in the action horror genre get the horror atmosphere right even if by total accident while many that in the actual genre are too eager to show the horror they have so wonderful rendered that the whole horror element is lost and it becomes a standard kill fest.

Ahh... validation feels nice.

Seriously though, I'm glad he reviewed this game. A team of five guys, plus several contractors, managed to make a game that is several orders of magnitude better then most of the stuff produced by the big studios with million dollar budgets. They really deserve some exposure. Hopefully this will give their sales a bit of a boost.

Also, I find it highly amusing that while every other reviewer on the planet is lining up to give Reach a handjob, Yahtzee goes and reviews a relatively unknown (but far superior) game.

Watched the review, bought the game 10 minutes later, installed, played for an hour, decided to stay outside in the day light for as long as i could. desperately looking for a shotgun and a flashlight for when night comes...

this game is a very nice change of pace. I haven't felt that level of fear for a long time.

I laughed at the part about jam coming out of the walls.

It surprises me that a game named after one of the stupidest plot twists in literature actually sounds worthwhile.

Classy as always Yahtzee

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