Review of Amnesia: Rebirth

I was starting to think they're going easy on us when I realized I was only halfway through the game.

Amnesia Rebirth 117

I really was starting to think “Wow, they’re holding back on the scares this time around.” Not realizing that Amnesia: Rebirth is a much longer game that its predecessors, boy was I wrong. Like the previous two games, they corner you into near-madness multiple times here as well.

Similar to Outlast 2, there was a lot more focus on chase scenes this time as opposed to just hiding. The absolute worst is when you’re running toward a door, with impending doom closing in on you, only to discover there are obstructions blocking the door, which must be moved first. I audibly shrieked several times.

Having played multitudes of horror games, a decade ago, I was on a quest to find the truly scariest game of all time. When most people talk about scary, they mean thematically scary, but not “put you into a fight or flight response” kind of scary. When I posted in a forum asking people to weigh in on this, that’s what first led me to Amnesia. At the time, I think it was the scariest game ever made, and it still holds up as one of the scariest games of all time today (I’ll be publishing that list soon).

The Amnesia series is the kind of game where you don’t have weapons though, so mainly your options are flight or freeze, although for the first time in Rebirth, you can at least struggle when a monster gets you as a sort of way to fight back, to give you a chance to escape as opposed to instant death. Speaking of death, they did something quite creative in that regard as well, where you never really “die,” you just sort of hulk out from the fear and shock, and become inhuman momentarily, pass out, and wake up again nearby (something like checkpoints).

This game also might be the longest and most ambitious game story-wise ever released by developer Frictional Games. In fact, it was something like 3x longer than previous Amnesia games. There was a lot more going on with the story, and the setting is a wild departure from previous games. You play as a pregnant French woman, and must look after your baby throughout the game and then ultimately save that baby after giving birth, or not; there are three possible endings.

I can’t imagine that the casual gamer could make it through a game like this. Even for those that like horror games like Resident Evil, it’s at least twice as terrifying because you don’t have machine guns and rocket launchers to protect you. You are very isolated, in the dark, trying to survive against asymmetrical monsters.

It’s hard to explain just how scary it is to try and focus while also being chased by monsters. For me, I have to sort of go inside of myself (like a turtle, only psychologically) and compartmentalize the fear I’m experiencing while focusing on my escape path and obstacles in my way. It’s like part of your brain shuts off and all focus goes to survival mode, very similar to real life I’m sure.

If you know that you’re capable of pushing yourself to the brink, I would definitely recommend it, but for those people that can’t or can only just barely make it through a haunted house, steer clear; you won’t be able to handle the intensity.

Snaps of My Journey Through the Game

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