Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Review - Squeals and Fury

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Nurb:
When the devs said they got rid of tinder boxes and oil because "people didn't use them". I knew it was going to be a disappointment. They don't even know players were rationing them out of fear.

They have no clue what made Descent a great game.

Haha, my little brother gobbled those up like popcorn when he was playing, so naturally he ran out during the

Made my day that did. He had to play the entire thing in pitch black, lamenting over how he should have thought of the future while grunts chewed his virtual backside off.

OT: Well. This is a shame, but then again I've got several mods from the original that I've yet to play, so I suppose I've got my 'sequel' anyway.

From what I play of the game thus far, I really couldn't agree less with the review. I would really recommend most readers here to actually play the game and make up your mind about it, rather than letting this review discourage you.

I simply can't agree with the review. Even though it's a solid one and well written, it simply suffers from X-Com syndrome.

Simply put, people expected more of the same, they were handed something differently and then they go on to crucify the game simply because it doesn't fit to what they expected.

And mind you, this comes from someone who simply hated X-Com:EU ,but I wouldn't discourage anyone to avoid it simply because "it's not as good as what I expected". I would just propose it to a different audience.

TomWiley:
From what I play of the game thus far, I really couldn't agree less with the review. I would really recommend most readers here to actually play the game and make up your mind about it, rather than letting this review discourage you.

I'll second this, this review seems to have an axe to grind for some reason. I've been playing the past two hours - taking regular breaks to look at pictures of kittens - and it is freaking terrifying.

The lack of resource management now... I don't think it is a bad thing, I'll be honest that finding oil and tinder boxes made me feel safer in DD, whereas now with my unlimited lantern (which I actually need to see with - AMFP is much darker than DD) I am scared to light up the darkness for what I may find.

Why are people complaining about he sanity mechanic from the first one? I LOVED that shit. Hiding in the corner in the dark (but not too long!)turning around to see the monster, your heart jumps, you turn back around into the corner... He's right behind me, I know he is! But I can't stay hidden in the dark.... Gotta go.. AAHHHH!

haha. This happened to me many times.

Werewolfkid:
I just finished the game and I can tell you that it wasn't all that scary, but it did make up for that by being one of the most disturbing and tragic stories ever told by a video game.

Yeah...that's great. For Dear Esther 2.

If thechineseroom wanted to tell another pretentious story, they should have done it to their own project rather than piggy-backing onto Frictional's most promising title.

I'm sure the game is decent, but with how much of the original game's engine is recycled here, you'd think they would have looked for more things to put in rather than consistently taking things out.

The moral is that trimming too much fat just ruins the bacon.

BarrelsOfDouche:

If thechineseroom wanted to tell another pretentious story, they should have done it to their own project rather than piggy-backing onto Frictional's most promising title.

This.

A Machine For Pigs is everything bad about the ChineseRoom's development style and worse.

Aposthebest:
Simply put, people expected more of the same, they were handed something differently and then they go on to crucify the game simply because it doesn't fit to what they expected.

And mind you, this comes from someone who simply hated X-Com:EU ,but I wouldn't discourage anyone to avoid it simply because "it's not as good as what I expected". I would just propose it to a different audience.

We're crucifying it because it's a poor imitation of a great game. This title wants to be The Dark Descent so goddamn badly, you can see it everywhere you look. It wants to immerse you in this terrifying environment full of morbid imagery and scare you with its enemies. But it doesn't - it falls flat on its face in literally every regard. It just simply cannot evoke the same feeling we got years ago, not because the genre is dried up and no longer scary, but because the people at the helm simply do not know what they are doing. If you need any evidence of that, take a look at the plethora of jump scares the game throws at you in a desperate attempt to evoke some kind of reaction. It's laughable, pathetic, and undermines the predecessor in every way (which was a game that didn't need to use jump scares to send you in search of new undies.)

People laud The Chinese Room for their writing capabilities, but here, it's ham-handed and doesn't convey the same oomph of the diaries found in Castle Brennenburg, despite being twice as long and trying to sound twice as intelligent. It tries to be "deep" and compelling, but like Dear Esther, it's superficial depth that "sounds cool," until you take a magnifying glass to it and see what trite it really is. Give me the story of some lowly servants locked in the cellar to starve to death over a pretentious soapbox monologue about how God is a pig and yadda yadda yadda, wake me when it's over.

Lovely Mixture:

BarrelsOfDouche:

If thechineseroom wanted to tell another pretentious story, they should have done it to their own project rather than piggy-backing onto Frictional's most promising title.

This.

A Machine For Pigs is everything bad about the ChineseRoom's development style and worse.

Ultimately it's not terrible but it just bothers me that so much of their idea for the game conflicts with what made the original awesome. I can't call it awful, but just disappointing...and not what was promised.

The production time for this title was tremendous...and now I think we know why. For what it is, it could have gone much worse...but I'd imagine that when thechineseroom came back to frictional with their early builds, frictional decided to postpone release in order to make it suck less.

Hazy:

People laud The Chinese Room for their writing capabilities, but here, it's ham-handed and doesn't convey the same oomph of the diaries found in Castle Brennenburg, despite being twice as long and trying to sound twice as intelligent. It tries to be "deep" and compelling, but like Dear Esther, it's superficial depth that "sounds cool," until you take a magnifying glass to it and see what trite it really is. Give me the story of some lowly servants locked in the cellar to starve to death over a pretentious soapbox monologue about how God is a pig and yadda yadda yadda, wake me when it's over.

I, as a person whose orientations and opinions regarding life and society can be summarized to anything starting with an a-, I was equally, if not more,intrigued by the story line they were going for.

They are different stories and have different focuses. DD was focused more on the protagonist and the morality of his actions alone, whereas in MfP they went for a broader look into society and how it's evolving and the morality of allowing such a society to exist.

In any case, what did people expect anyway? Yet another orb being dug out? Yet another castle? More red goo on the walls? Now if that wouldn't be original...

It's not an "immitation". In fact, it ain't a direct sequel to begin with, since the stories aren't connected with each other in the slightest.

Could they have done a better work? Well, the answer to that is always yes. But comparing it to the awfulness of Dear Esther...now people are just getting a bit too dramatic. At least the studio has shown signs of improvement. They could have chosen a better monster though, because "Duke used to be cool".

And lastly, people need to stop bashing on the game about removing oil,etc, when the Justine DLC showed that you don't need any of them to have the game going. Frictional Games themselves removed those, yet I don't remember anyone going nuts over that.

I don't know what game you all were playing that I wasn't. The one I played was pretty great. To balance out all the negativity, here's some of the things I thought AMFP did not only well, but BETTER than TDD:

Fewer dumb adventure game puzzles
Less predictable enemy appearances (no more "grab the key, hear the growl")
Incredible ambient sound design
A clear sense of progression, instead of just one interchangeable hub after the last
100% less old-man penis

It's not perfect, of course. I'll agree it was too reliant on jump-scares, and that the philosophical musings were, while not wholly unwelcome, somewhat overemphasized. Honestly though, my biggest complaint is that it's too uniformly dark. You get inured to the darkness after a while, and at that point it just makes the environment seem less detailed, since you can't see it. Even the "lit" areas are dim at best.

I still enjoyed every minute of it, even the ones where I was wishing it would be over so I wouldn't have to worry about that snuffling noise right behind me leave me alone aaaaaaaaah

Ahem.

It's a good, solid horror game and I recommend it completely.

Man. I'm really surprised by this. I really like what the Chinese Room did with Dear Esther, and I had high hopes for this. I'll still play it though.

I have no interest in the game either way, but I do find it rather funny that so much hate is being heaped on TheChineseRoom. As much as may feel that they ruined the sort of experience provided in DD, they didn't steal the IP at gunpoint to make their own game with it. Frictional went to them to have them do the heavy lifting. At any point during the development, Frictional could have taken over if they really wanted to. If anyone deserves blame here, it's Frictional for choosing TCR to make the game clearly knowing the sort of game that they had previously made.

I really, REALLY have to take issue with this review and I strongly disagree with the criteria used by the author. I just beat Amnesia: AMFP a few hours ago and it's an experience I won't soon forget. A Machine For Pigs is a very different kind of game from the Dark Descent and the horror is more psychological than it is jump scares or loss of sanity. I really can't explain too much more without giving away the whole story but it's the kind of game you really need to play through all the way to the end before you can really judge it fairly and it's obvious that Andy Chalk did not before hammering out his "review" and making up thoughts about the ending from whole cloth.

I'll be honest, if you liked Dear Esther, you'll probably like this one.

Now, as for Outlast. It sucks, but that's a subject for another thread.

BarrelsOfDouche:

Ultimately it's not terrible but it just bothers me that so much of their idea for the game conflicts with what made the original awesome. I can't call it awful, but just disappointing...and not what was promised.

The production time for this title was tremendous...and now I think we know why. For what it is, it could have gone much worse...but I'd imagine that when thechineseroom came back to frictional with their early builds, frictional decided to postpone release in order to make it suck less.

I set my expectations low when chineseroom's name was dropped. I set them lower than low. It's terrible, so many re-used puzzles, puzzles that a toddler could solve, awful enemy animations, reskinned enemies. It just reaks of laziness.

Torque2100:
I really can't explain too much more without giving away the whole story but it's the kind of game you really need to play through all the way to the end before you can really judge it fairly and it's obvious that Andy Chalk did not before hammering out his "review" and making up thoughts about the ending from whole cloth.

I don't have a problem with people who disagree with my reviews, but this is just flat-out wrong. I played all the way to the end, played through the final sequence several times to ensure that I wasn't missing anything, and if you have the answers to some very fundamental questions about what exactly happened, I'd love to hear them. Don't spoil anyone, of course, but I'm mightily intrigued by your offer of an explanation.

I'll be honest, if you liked Dear Esther, you'll probably like this one.

That's not particularly relevant if you're expecting an Amnesia-style horror experience.

Aposthebest:

Hazy:

People laud The Chinese Room for their writing capabilities, but here, it's ham-handed and doesn't convey the same oomph of the diaries found in Castle Brennenburg, despite being twice as long and trying to sound twice as intelligent. It tries to be "deep" and compelling, but like Dear Esther, it's superficial depth that "sounds cool," until you take a magnifying glass to it and see what trite it really is. Give me the story of some lowly servants locked in the cellar to starve to death over a pretentious soapbox monologue about how God is a pig and yadda yadda yadda, wake me when it's over.

They are different stories and have different focuses. DD was focused more on the protagonist and the morality of his actions alone, whereas in MfP they went for a broader look into society and how it's evolving and the morality of allowing such a society to exist.

In any case, what did people expect anyway? Yet another orb being dug out? Yet another castle? More red goo on the walls? Now if that wouldn't be original..

Actually, I was down for anything in terms of story, since very little was said about it. Maybe if they made reference to the Orb in the back story, that'd be cool, but no, I was expecting a completely separate storyline.

It's not an "immitation". In fact, it ain't a direct sequel to begin with, since the stories aren't connected with each other in the slightest.

Could they have done a better work? Well, the answer to that is always yes. But comparing it to the awfulness of Dear Esther...now people are just getting a bit too dramatic. At least the studio has shown signs of improvement. They could have chosen a better monster though, because "Duke used to be cool".

No, you're right, they aren't direct sequels (despite the namesake,) they're not even spiritual successors - one is desperately trying to fill in the shoes of the other, despite having none of the charisma. I like to think of it like this: TDD was naturally great, it was organically how a horror game is supposed to operate, but I feel like AMFP is a game that's trying to be good. They focused on writing a stellar story, but this isn't Dear Esther - they need to provide gameplay - sharp puzzles, imposing monster encounters, and great levels to stay up to snuff. On most of these accounts, they've failed, and it really goes to show just how difficult it is to make a good survival horror title.

Well, they did improve. Instead of being a hold W to win simulator, now it's a hold W to win and pull lever simulator. No, but being serious, it isn't as bad as Dear Esther, but that's like saying getting hit in the balls is better than getting hit in the balls and robbed - neither outcomes are very preferable, and as much as I dislike to, comparing it to TCR's previous work is sadly the only way to convey this game's lack of overall variety. Sexbad put it best when he said that, between the monster encounters, the rest of the game is just "dead air."

And lastly, people need to stop bashing on the game about removing oil,etc, when the Justine DLC showed that you don't need any of them to have the game going. Frictional Games themselves removed those, yet I don't remember anyone going nuts over that.

Maybe it's because Justine was a free, short DLC? I've got no idea, but removing the inventory system and sanity meters were detrimental the game as a whole, see:

Andy Chalk:

rolandoftheeld:
Am I alone in this? Does anyone else still value tension and atmosphere over rubber-masked men going "Boo?"

Tension can only be maintained for so long without some kind of payoff. That's one of the reasons the sanity mechanic in TDD was so effective despite being such an obvious and sometimes awkward contrivance: The simple act of witnessing the horror around you carried a price. If that's not present, and the monsters you encounter are largely unfrightening and ineffective, and the game world is mostly empty and makes very little sense, what's left to drive that tension? Sooner or later, walking through foreboding corridors and reading about strange, grotesque things afoot starts to lose its zip if there's not something more to back it up.


I really recommend everyone checks this out. He hits the nail on the head.

I appreciate the weigh-in from at least one person who liked Dear Esther and AMFP. I liked Dear Esther, and I want to encourage more developers to aspire to a literary quality in gaming, even though it's very hard to do well. I was thrilled that the wobblyvision "sanity meter" was going away, because it always seemed to me like a distracting gameplay gimmick that didn't match any kind of reality.

You know... instead of the screen going blurry for "insanity", why not just lose control of the character?

You don't see bugs in front of your eyes when you're terrified and overwhelmed, you freeze or you flee. Just temporarily have the mouse and keyboard controls be "fought" by a simulated fight or flight response when you spend too much time looking at scary things. It doesn't seem like it would be too much work to give your character a temporary bout of idiotic NPC syndrome. It's like an escort quest where you can avoid the escorting if you play the game well!

It would make even more sense if the protagonist were a young person in a bad situation. Amnesia: Limbo, if you will.

Andy Chalk:

Torque2100:
I really can't explain too much more without giving away the whole story but it's the kind of game you really need to play through all the way to the end before you can really judge it fairly and it's obvious that Andy Chalk did not before hammering out his "review" and making up thoughts about the ending from whole cloth.

I don't have a problem with people who disagree with my reviews, but this is just flat-out wrong. I played all the way to the end, played through the final sequence several times to ensure that I wasn't missing anything, and if you have the answers to some very fundamental questions about what exactly happened, I'd love to hear them. Don't spoil anyone, of course, but I'm mightily intrigued by your offer of an explanation.

Well, maybe I was wrong that you didn't actually play the game but your review does read remarkably like a summary of a movie by someone who slept through half of it. I'm going to have to spoiler this explanation but here it goes.

[quote="Andy Chalk" post="6.827917.20140248"] That's not particularly relevant if you're expecting an Amnesia-style horror experience.[/spoiler]

More relevant than you might think. Amnesia: The Dark Descent uses a lot of the same storyline conventions that Dear Esther did. There are a great many unanswered questions at the end of TDD as well. The "Good" ending of TDD is especially open to interpretation. It's the same with Dear Esther, there's a lot of overlap.

As for your complaints about the puzzles, Amnesia: The Dark Descent's puzzles are just as simplistic as A Machine For Pig's. The intent is not to create brain-melting puzzles that will keep you occupied for hours, but to create simple tasks that advance the story and make sense in context without creating major gameplay obstacles. The lead designer said as much in his blog.

So many of your other complaints really just don't pass the smell test for me. They smack of suddenly deciding to take issue with things that other games get free pass for. Like taking issue with the Phonographs in AMFP while ignoring the issue when it has come up in other games, like Bioshock Infinite. I mean those things were huge, how does Booker carry so many of them? Why does everyone in Columbia seem to have recordings from the same half-dozen people laying around their homes? See, I can over-analyze things to!

All in all, I really take issue with your review. To me it just seems like you weren't paying attention for half the game or that you were just biased. Many of the "unanswered questions" you cite were given answers in the source material and you either ignored them or you didn't care.

Oh well. If anything, this will give us a bunch of new stuff to play with in custom stories I reckon.

Torque2100:
A Machine For Pigs is a very different kind of game from the Dark Descent and the horror is more psychological than it is jump scares or loss of sanity.

I really disagree pretty heavily with this. Ultimately, TDD and AMFP method's of building tension are quite similar...but I don't think the pay-off is nearly as frightening here. Sitting and staring at a pig-man (which I found looked quite ridiculous) just isn't as terrifying as being forced to turn away from the grunt breathing down your neck because of sanity loss...you never knew if it was going to come up and chomp on you anyways.

But the real disappointment here isn't really that, in my honest opinion...it's just how bare bones the game feels in comparison to it's predecessor. Remember all the well voiced speeches and notes Daniel came across as he re-constructed his memory? There's practically none of that here, and most everything you pick up is just long winded writing with no voice or character...all written, no matter by who, in the same sort of style.

In TDD, you could pick up or move practically everything, but there's little of that here, either. As bad as the puzzles in TDD were, they are far worse here. Most of them are entirely lever driven, and that's definitely not something that reminded me of 'Dear Esther' for better or for worse.

With how many of the assets that were recycled from TDD's engine, it just seems to me that thechineseroom cut too much fat from the bacon.

I'll be honest, if you liked Dear Esther, you'll probably like this one.

What if I liked TDD, and wasn't really wanting to play something like Dear Esther? Why not have Thechineseroom make 'Dear Esther 2' rather than piggybacking on Frictional's success?

At least 'Dear Esther' had it's own identity, whereas while AMFP is still good, it seems halfway stuck between Dear Esther's pretentiousness and "bad lever puzzle hell."

This could be the worst news this year; I was really looking forward to this game... Hope I'll find some satisfaction in it, but I was really hoping for Amnesia, just with more ressources...

Finished it. Really enjoyed it, though, it's not perfect.

It's more faithful to the first game then some give it credit for, but it is also its own thing. If you're a fan of the first Amnesia game, it's certainly worth a look.

Now that I actually played it, I'm more disappointed than I thought I would be!

They took out everything that had added a sense of dread; running out of fuel, losing lights, good environmental music, health/sanity, enemies that are actually scarey...

It's a bad linear funhouse with just a bunch of loud noises, and the blue haze/fog makes everything look awful and washed out (found a way to disable it and it looks so much better), the unlimited light blinks whenever you're about to see an enemy so theres no surprise, the puzzles are extremely small and easy because you can't pick up anything except chairs and puzzle items.

The monsters... the monsters are just pig-men, and that's not a spoiler, it's in the damn trailer, and they are not scary. Because you can't move or lift anything, there is no "fleeing and hiding", which is another aspect of Descent that made it so horrifying, no baracading yourself in a room, no long sprints for your life... just.. "wait for the pig to go this way and then run around a corner" That's it! The environments are way too small for a proper monster-chase. They don't sound threatening at all when you're near them just some "SNORT SNORT, SHUFFLE SHUFFLE". No soundtrack like Descent gave their monsters.

It was in the 3rd Area I found monsters to be more annoying than terrifying and only got in the way of the story, I found myself frustrated with dealing with them because I just wanted to get to the next narration... not a good thing for a horror game.

By this point I ignored all the loud banging and sound because nothing was threatening, it was just invasive like the sounds from modern movie trailers and most of the assets looked like they were used from Descent, making me wonder why this took so long to make!

I'd probably be downright mad if I made a bigger monetary investment than I did. It's nothing but a watered down guided tour with annoying stops

rolandoftheeld:
To everyone complaining that the lack of sanity makes it not scary, I'll remind you that Penumbra had no sanity penalty for sitting in the dark, and it was still tense as hell.

Penumbra and TDD (and AMFP will be too, I'm sure) are all Lovecraft-inspired stories, and Lovecraft is all about confusion, revulsion, and fear of the unknown. It's not about being chased by a creepy monster or a psycho with a chainsaw, it's about the notion that there are forces at work that you can't even hope to name, much less understand. It's about being in an environment that is oppressive and terrifying and revolting, without even needing another living being in it.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else still value tension and atmosphere over rubber-masked men going "Boo?"

Sadly, there is no tension and atmosphere. Since every time the game insists on being 'scary', you clearly walk onto a trigger to a script, the screen gets shaky, a noise plays, something happens. The game practically grabs your hand and forces you to look at something. That just isn't scary to me. Once the game starts insisting I look at things, and points at them "Look at this! See? Scary!" I am taken out of it completely. Insanity meter meant nothing, but its the little touches. You should have things to mess with me, but don't draw a big to do about them. Also, you can't die in Machine for Pigs, ever. So there is not tension because you are never going to die because the enemies aren't scary, don't provoke panic, and are just plain dumb.
Also, you can easily get stuck on geometry and have to start the game over or use no clip. No one mentions that one.

Ah well, disappoints happen. I was very wary of the title once I heard the Dear Esther crew were working on it but I thought Frictional Games would have enough involvement to set it right. I was wrong.

Aposthebest:
I simply can't agree with the review. Even though it's a solid one and well written, it simply suffers from X-Com syndrome.

Simply put, people expected more of the same, they were handed something differently and then they go on to crucify the game simply because it doesn't fit to what they expected.

This is just not true and requires an almost deliberate misreading of the review. The review claims that Amnesia was a good horror game. It cites the sanity mechanics as part of the reason why Amnesia was a good horror game. It claims the sequel is not a good horror game. It notes that the sequel is intended to be a horror game, which means it fails at its goal. It cites the lack of the sanity mechanics of its predecessor as one reason why it is not a good horror game.

You are perfectly entitled to have expectations for a game that is marketed as being part of a given genre and as being a sequel to, and therefore a reiteration of, a previous game. They are literally charging you cash money in exchange for the fulfillment of that expectation.

Claiming that "failed expectations" was a problem here is simply sophistry, and worse, it is sophistry that is a go-to method of dismissing criticism on the internet.

Also: note that criticizing truthful criticism is, in fact, a negative thing. It is tiresome to hear people complaining about "all the negativity" as they, in fact, create negativity. Meta-complaints saying we shouldn't say things you don't like are, by definition, negative.

Who the hell thought it was a good idea to add an infinite light and remove the scare mechanic? What made moments when the monster walked close by even more scary in the first Amnesia was seeeing your character freak out and realising that he may not be able to run away, but is instead scared and rooted to the spot. Really dumb design decision imo.

Captcha: mad hatter ... damn right, captcha

Clive Howlitzer:
Also, you can't die in Machine for Pigs, ever.

Not true. I died once, and in another instance of Pigs doing something better than Descent, it forced me to replay the encounter. In Descent, if you died, you respawned pretty much on the spot, with full health and sanity, but the enemy that killed you was gone. That was my absolute number one complaint about Descent. As soon as I realized that death not only carried no penalty but was actually beneficial, enemies lost a lot of their punch. Not so in Pigs.

Torque2100:
Well, maybe I was wrong that you didn't actually play the game but your review does read remarkably like a summary of a movie by someone who slept through half of it. I'm going to have to spoiler this explanation but here it goes.

Interesting! Based largely on some pretty big assumptions and it still leaves questions unanswered, but I like what you've come up with.

The trouble with your conclusions is that they rely on information that's either well-hidden, extremely vague or just not there at all. Dark Descent botched the ending but at least it pulled everything together into a proper conclusion as the end approached; Machine For Pigs just wanders around with flowery prose and imagery that leads nowhere. If a game is going to rely on a creepy, convoluted story for its punch, then it needs to tell that story in a coherent manner, and this one does not. And even if it did, it fails to generate anything near the terror that Dark Descent did; Uru: Ages Beyond Myst is a great game, but I'd be pretty pissed if I bought it as a sequel to Quake.

keserak:

This is just not true and requires an almost deliberate misreading of the review. The review claims that Amnesia was a good horror game. It cites the sanity mechanics as part of the reason why Amnesia was a good horror game. It claims the sequel is not a good horror game. It notes that the sequel is intended to be a horror game, which means it fails at its goal. It cites the lack of the sanity mechanics of its predecessor as one reason why it is not a good horror game.

You are perfectly entitled to have expectations for a game that is marketed as being part of a given genre and as being a sequel to, and therefore a reiteration of, a previous game. They are literally charging you cash money in exchange for the fulfillment of that expectation.

Claiming that "failed expectations" was a problem here is simply sophistry, and worse, it is sophistry that is a go-to method of dismissing criticism on the internet.

Also: note that criticizing truthful criticism is, in fact, a negative thing. It is tiresome to hear people complaining about "all the negativity" as they, in fact, create negativity. Meta-complaints saying we shouldn't say things you don't like are, by definition, negative.

Noone said that you can't have expectations, it's part of being a free consumer on a free market. But saying that you expected more on this product is like going to McDonalds and complaining why their super-cheap, super-small hamburger is too small and not that tasty.

But the game cost 15 bucks/euros, what did people expected for that price anyway? A triple A game? It's cheaper than the original. I'm quite certain that's enough a hint to show that someone should be expecting less from it when it comes to content and work being done into it.

Look, I'll blame the producer when the producer is wrong and the consumer when the consumer is wrong. Setting the standards too high was the consumer's fault, not the producer's. Failing to deliver on some levels is the producer's fault. But hey, at least they didn't charge 50-60 freaking dollars for it, neither did they advertise that they would bring everything hardcore amnesia fans wanted.

In short, they don't deserve to be crucified over consumers having false expectations. Most people have played Dear Esther and are aware of the artistic orientations of the developer. It's silly to say that someone would expect something different because "Amnesia".

Seriously, this approach to games is the reason why the industry has stagnated to bringing out generic sequels to everything. Any change is simply sacrificed in the altar of nostalgia.

Aposthebest:
In short, they don't deserve to be crucified over consumers having false expectations. Most people have played Dear Esther and are aware of the artistic orientations of the developer. It's silly to say that someone would expect something different because "Amnesia".

I don't think it's fair to say that I (or anyone, really) have "crucified" AAMFP. 3/5 is actually not a bad score, you know; it's average, middle-of-the-road, not spectacular, but it doesn't signify a "bad" game - just one that misses on a lot of key points.

Here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/7149-What-Our-Review-Scores-Mean

I'm not a fan of review scores, FWIW, but this isn't something we have a choice about.

Andy Chalk:

Aposthebest:
In short, they don't deserve to be crucified over consumers having false expectations. Most people have played Dear Esther and are aware of the artistic orientations of the developer. It's silly to say that someone would expect something different because "Amnesia".

I don't think it's fair to say that I (or anyone, really) have "crucified" AAMFP. 3/5 is actually not a bad score, you know; it's average, middle-of-the-road, not spectacular, but it doesn't signify a "bad" game - just one that misses on a lot of key points.

Here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/7149-What-Our-Review-Scores-Mean

I'm not a fan of review scores, FWIW, but this isn't something we have a choice about.

I don't look at scores either and I'm not aiming at you alone, nor personally. I'm more focused on the exaggerated replies and reactions over game and over what the review is saying.

My initial reply was aimed at the review, my later ones are aimed towards the users. Excuse me if that is not clear enough with my form of writing.

I just think that the reactions over The Chinese Room are a bit hypocritical when publishers like 2K, Ubisoft,EA and Sega are ruining franchise after franchise,releasing games full of bugs and/or terrible AI, giving false promises and charging full price on top of that,in a time where salaries are getting lower and lower around the globe, yet they go away with it.

I'll still probably be getting this. Honestly, when it came to pulse-pounding thrills, I didn't get a whole lot from TDD either. People talk about how predictable the pacing in AMFP was, but I always felt that TDD was similarly easy to anticipate. I liked TDD because it was a creepy, atmospheric adventure game set in a lovecraftian mythos, and from what I hear AMFP does that part decently enough.

And as one of those "pretentious twats" who liked Dear Esther, the criticisms of the storytelling style sound like they're more about taste then quality, at least to me. Though I can see why TCR's storytelling style, at least if Esther is anything to go by, won't do it for everyone.

And even so, regardless of the quality of the game itself I do kind of like the basic idea behind the development; handing off a series to different developers to make their own installments, each of whom puts their personal spin on it while keeping a shared theme/atmosphere. Kind of like episodes of the twilight zone, I suppose.

A Machine for Pigs starts out on a high note, with plenty of atmosphere and dread. But it never pays off. Compared to its predecessor, AMP is severely lacking. There's no inventory or resources to manage, the puzzles (if you can call them that) are brief, and the monsters rarely show their faces.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent works so well because it makes full use of your helplessness. When a monster shows up you have to run and hide, and it creates some very tense moments. There were chase scenes where you're running down a corridor slamming doors behind you to stall a pursuing monster, moments where you had to drop what you were doing and seal yourself inside a closet to avoid the arrival of a sudden enemy, and times when you furiously spun the mouse trying to turn a crank to open a door before the monster breathing down your neck got within swiping distance. There were puzzles that required careful thought and clever use of the environment.

All of that is gone from A Machine for Pigs. I never had to backtrack, never had to think twice about what I was doing, and I rarely felt threatened by the monsters. It seemed that as long as I kept pushing the forward key, I'd make it to the end of the game eventually. I found myself more and more disappointed as opportunities for scares were wasted.

The story also doesn't compare to the original. It's much shorter, and less involved. It failed to properly hook me as I deduced most of it early on, making it predictable. The story makes a few attempts to make sudden revelations, but these feel more like tacked on exposition to fill in the few plot holes that the story didn't address until the end of the game, when it's too late to reveal it naturally through journal entries and flashbacks. The antagonist's motivations are also confusing, you understand his mad reason for doing what he's doing, but the way he goes about it with supervillain-esque speeches that makes him feel less threatening and more like he's trying to convince himself that he isn't making huge leaps in flawed logic.

Ultimately though, A Machine for Pigs is boring, the cardinal sin of any video game, but especially one that has made a reputation for creating so much delightful fear and panic in its players.

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