Friday, 3 September 2010

Try a Little Bit of Amnesia - Demo

Frictional Games have released a demo for their soon-to-be-scarring-us-witless Amnesia. In keeping with their ongoing development blog-thoughts, they have also blogged about the demo's design and theory.

The demo consists of two levels from different points in the game. The first is the opening level and starts in medias res, which is all kind of the point - of course somehow you got to where you are, but you don't remember how. Nice little trick to make the player as clueless as their character and so make them one in the same. This level is all about defining the setting and building atmosphere, while teaching the importance of light and sanity. I finished this level a gibbering wreck (and in the game!)

The demo then jumps forwards a couple of hours to show off its puzzle and oh-god-please-don't-kill-me mechanics. I think it manages to strike a balance of being just lethal enough to invoke fear but not so lethal as to be punishing and repetitive. I died three times just trying to cross three-or-so rooms and each time learned a new important fact about how to deal with/avoid the dangers. This is pretty abrupt but the learning curve should be much smoother in the full game.

Keep an eye out for a review of Amnesia in the coming weeks. Download the demo now (torrent available).

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