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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:27 pm 
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Goomba
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:33 am
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so, i'm basically gonna give my thoughts on the game, and i'll try to leave out any sort of spoiler that i can. this is also gonna be pretty long, sorry about that.

so, the original amnesia scared the fuck out of me, and i've been playing survival horror games since i was in middle school so i do consider myself a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to the genre. there definitely were things that bugged me about the original amnesia; the tinderboxes to me were pretty useless unless i found myself completely drained of lantern oil, and even when used they only gave you about 3 feet of light around the source you used it on. the insanity meeter, while it was pretty cool, got very annoying after a while (especially if you were trying to hide from a monster in the dark). with that aside, the creature design on the monsters were chilling, and i often found myself getting goosebumps during an encounter, along with having to literally take a break and walk away from my computer after being chased or advancing to a different area of the castle. while the ending was a little lackluster, it made sense and it felt fucking GOOD to take alexander down. like... really good.

and now we have amnesia: a machine for pigs. this is the first OFFICIAL amnesia sequel (there are a ton of custom stories you can download for the original), and while i did enjoyed the game, it left me a little disappointed in certain areas.

MFP was developed by the chinese room (who are probably most known for "dear esther", a game which i hear is very good but have yet to play), and touched up/published by frictional games. with that in mind, the changes made in MFP make a lot of sense and i really enjoyed it. they ditched the sanity meter entirely (although you do lose your shit throughout the game), there's no more inventory system, and you dont have to worry about your lantern. some people might bash this but i felt like it served the purpose for you to fully immerse yourself into the story, which can get a little confusing but overall did manage to come full circle... slightly. i do still have some questions regarding the machine itself and what exactly the purpose for it is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
(notes you find in the game do suggest they were using certain chemicals to try to reanimate the dead, with lose connections to the orb introduced in the dark descent. the only conclusion i've come to is that they were using it to produce the monsters)
. going back into the positives is the atmosphere the game presented, which was victorian london with perhaps a bit of steam punk thrown in. the graphics are beautiful and i do feel disappointed that i wasn't able to take full advantage of them (i played this on my macbook, which reminded me that i need to look into building a gaming pc sometime soon). it's a vast change up from TDD, and for me at least, it was welcome. the segments where you're out on the streets in london are both refreshing and slightly unnerving, and while it does take away from the isolation aspect TDD was built upon, it did something new which was nice.

i do also have to mention the sound, which is fantastic. there's few music cues in the game, and instead of it being when the monsters show up, you're instead warned by lights (including your lantern) flickering. i thought this was brilliant and made things much more creepy. its a prime example of less is more, and simply letting the sound of the environment echo through your headphones immerses you into the world that much more.

moving on to the negatives now, and this is what really brought down the game for me. TDD was infamous for being extremely interactive; see a box on the ground? pick it up and throw it. book? pick it up. scull? throw that shit. MFP has very few interactive objects, and while it's not a HUGE deal it did feel a bit limiting.

next is the fact that this game is extremely linear, as opposed to TDD where nearly every room could be entered and explored. the hand holding in this game is akin to that of someone sitting behind you yelling "GO THAT WAY! NOW DOWN THIS HALL, GO THROUGH THAT DOOR!". it's not overly fun and takes some of the fear away. there was never a point in the game where i felt lost or unsure about where i might be going, which was one of the things that TDD did very well in my opinion (there were several times playing TDD where i flat out had no idea where or what i had to do to advance to the next area, which resulted in me exploring which in the end led to me being scared and feeling a strong sense of accomplishment when i finally was able to solve a puzzle and advance in the game).

next up is the puzzles. there aren't too many, and most of which a third grader could solve in a matter of minutes. pull a lever here, push a switch there, that's pretty much the extent of it. while it showed some promise in the very beginning of the game, its pretty much thrown to the wayside in order to put more focus on the story.

and then there's the monsters... which look more like a joke than an actual threat. the monsters in TDD looked so threatening that it would send you running into any direction in order to hide and possibly soil yourself. there was also a great variety for monsters in TDD, especially towards the end. they knew that after a while of seeing the same thing over and over it might get dull, and they made sure to throw something new and horrifying at you to keep you on the edge of your seat.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
there are only 3 monsters throughout MFP; the manpigs, a modified version of the manpigs that are all jacked up on electricity (and only show up twice), and the water monster which has a very brief return. while that was a nice nod to the original, it lacked the intensity it once had, and the segment was over and done with in a very short period of time. in one segment of MFP you walk past cells where the manpigs are being held, which really took away any sort of fear towards them (once you get a good look at what's running in the dark it becomes less scary). for a monster that honestly doesnt feel too threatening to begin with, this segment pretty much killed it for me.
dont get me wrong, there ARE scary moments in the game. they're just a bit too few and far between.

finally, the game felt short. it might have something to do with the sheer linearity of the game, but i was left wanting more.

in the end, MFP is an okay sequel. i really loved the stripped down approach to the gameplay which let me really focus on the story (something the chinese room is known for), and the atmosphere and sound were all so incredible that the immersion factor was outstanding. however, the game is too linear, there's too much handholding, and the monsters just aren't scary or threatening. if this game didnt have the amnesia title in it, i would consider it to be a much better game. unfortunately it does, which means it has to be put up against TDD, which doesnt do the game too many favors. i would still recommend it, but maybe it's best for players who have never played the original in order to get a taste of what the games are capable of. then let them play TDD and shit their pants.

i'd love to know what anyone else who played the game thought, and if anyone can clear up what the machine actually DOES. that would be awesome to know. and if you actually took the time to read all of this, you're awesome and thank you =)

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