The next chapter in Lovecraftian horror arrives this September
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the follow-up to the horrifying Amnesia: The Dark Descent, will be slithering its way to a September 10th release date. The porcine machination, via PC Gamer, will be releasing on both Steam and GOG for interested parties for $20, but if you decide to take the plunge early, you can pick it up for 20% off the price, relishing in some expertly-paced horror for only $15.99.
Gordon Freeman is a coward. Or at least, he is when I play him. It's those damn poison headcrabs. As soon as they start hissing – shrouded in darkness, probably fresh off the assembly line from some Nightmare Factory – I turn into an orange-and-black blur and beeline for the nearest corner to cry in. When Alyx is around, I push her into the poison headcrab's Terror Lair and hide until she makes the bad things that can kill me in two hits go away. Meanwhile, in real life, I lean away from the screen until my spine feels like it's recently been on the receiving end of a Mortal Kombat Fatality. If you haven't gotten the picture yet, I really, really don't like poison headcrabs.
I love, however, that they exist. Half-Life 2's enemies in general are some of the most memorable I've ever encountered. In fact, I haven't experienced such a visceral reaction to any game enemy since.
I love shooting things in the face. Monsters, aliens, mice, men – all are equal in the eyes of my trigger finger, which itches with such fervor that I should probably have a doctor look at it. But – even in the ammo-casing-coated world of videogames – there's a time and place for violence. (And no, smartasses in the audience, it's not “always.” Always isn't even a place.) More and more, I've noticed recent games tripping over their own feet because they choose to reign with unfaltering bloodlust instead of reining it in. In some games, it's but a speck-sized sticking point. Others, though, choose to live by the sword, only to fall flat on their faces and die by it in the most gruesome fashion imaginable.
Evidence A: Deus Ex. For the most part, it's an amazing game, but bring up its boss fights and watch as a room full of fawning admirers turns into a torch-flashing, keyboard-smashing angry mob. And why not? The game's bosses are horribly designed strategic dead ends that eat headshots and excrete pure, unfiltered sadness. To me, though, the biggest problem is that you have to fight them at all.
Fear is subjective. What scares ones person might not scare another. For instance, in the last week I watched both Dead Snow and The Host, but the most terrifying thing I saw was an episode of Dirty Jobs in which Mike Rowe crawls through a tunnel swarming with cockroaches. The movies have faded from memory, but those damn roaches haunt my dreams.
Some classic horror movies aren’t even scary. Dawn of the Dead, for instance, is not scary. The original version of The Haunting, on the other hand, is terrifying. Horror, as a genre, encompasses a wide palette of emotions, from disgust to fear to unease, and two recent games show just how many chords it can strike.
In this world where the ancient art of the PC-exclusive may as well be a dinosaur baking in the shadow of its very own meteor, it's always nice to see someone find massive success on our beloved platform. This time, though, it's more than just chest-thumping, because Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional Interactive thinks it's time for developers in general to reconsider their stance on PC game development.
“With these figures at hand, we must confess that it gives us new confidence for the PC,” the developer wrote on its official blog while announcing that Amnesia's nearly broken 200,000 in sales. “The sales that we have had (and are having) are more than enough to motivate developing a game with the PC as the main (and even only) platform.”
“Based on what we have seen, the online PC market is just getting bigger and bigger, and we are convinced we are far from the end of this growth. We think that other developers that consider making their game exclusive to a console might want to think again.”
The frighteningly talented horror developer made sure to add, however, that its level of success isn't quite the norm... yet. Frictional then continued: “The market does continue to grow though, and it might not be long before these kinds of numbers are considered perfectly normal.”
What's not perfectly normal, however, is how much you'll wet yourself while playing Amnesia. Seriously, it's that scary. If you've been feeling a little too courageous and capable lately, start up Amnesia, turn off the lights, and melt into a crying child. It's ok; we won't tell. As long as you promise to hold us the whole time.