Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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If you've heard of the Amnesia games before, then you've probably also heard that they're scary. I've certainly come across several claims that they are the "scariest games of all time" and even a few people have suggested that the games are too scary to complete. The success of the first game in the series, Frictional Games' 2011 Amnesia: Dark Descent, was contingent on its terrifying nature; its cat and mouse chases featuring in a hundred Let's Plays and streams, where grown adults hid in corners, faced the wall and whispered to themselves repeatedly that "everything is going to be OK".

Amnesia Collection announced for PlayStation 4

Poo-yourself-it's-scary survival horror series Amnesia is headed to PlayStation 4 via a new console port.

The collection, imaginatively-named The Amnesia Collection, will arrive for download on 22nd November.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent, expansion Amnesia: Justine and sequel Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs are all included in the package. Fresh pants are not.

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There's a reasonable argument to be made that Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the most influential games of this decade. Like Minecraft and Dark Souls, the ideas and systems explored in Frictional's masterclass in terror have crept out into other areas of the games industry, like a virus seeking out fresh hosts.

Video: SOMA PC gameplay and impressions - It's Amnesia in space, or is it?

SOMA looks like an interesting beast. Billing it as a spiritual successor to the Amnesia series, Fractional Games has taken a bold step away from straight-laced survival horror and toward science-fiction, as the Philip K. Dick quote emblazoned across the game's website can attest.

It's all very intriguing but, given that I am a coward and have not even slightly played the preview build we were sent, I have now run out of things to say about SOMA while sounding even remotely clued up. Ian's given the first third of the game a proper going over, however, so he's poised and ready to tell you all about it in the video below.

Be ye warned: while Ian's taken every effort to avoid spoilers in his preview, he does go so far as to describe a few enemy types and give away a tiny bit about the game's setting. If you'd rather go in completely cold with SOMA, you might want to click away. Perhaps you'd rather watch a charming dog walk around a shop?

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Amnesia has earned over 10 times what it cost to make

Frictional working on a new first-person horror game for 2014.

Pants-ruining first-person horror-adventure Amnesia: The Dark Descent may have come out two years ago, but sales have shockingly increased since 21 months ago with the cumulative total coming to roughly a million units, developer Frictional Games has announced.

Humble Indie Bundle 5 breaks records

Latest pack raises $5.1 million from 600,000 downloads.

The fifth Humble Indie Bundle has proven to be the most successful release in the series to date, organisers have announced.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs announced for PC

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs announced for PC

Dear Esther developer working on horror sequel.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, a follow-up to the supremely scary 2010 PC survival horror, launches later this year, Frictional Games has announced.

As detailed on Joystiq, the game takes place in the same universe as the original but features an entirely new cast of characters.

Set in 1889, it follows "wealthy industrialist" Oswald Mandus who has just returned from an ill-fated trip to Mexico which ended in tragedy. He's picked up a fever and is haunted by visions of a mysterious machine.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent follow-up teased

Frictional's survival horror heading to China?

Acclaimed PC survival horror Amnesia: The Dark Descent could be getting a sequel, judging by a new teaser site posted by developer Frictional Games.

Amnesia scares up 200,000 sales

Amnesia scares up 200,000 sales

"Incredible" tally proves PC exclusives work.

PC survival horror Amnesia: The Dark Descent has been purchased 200,000 times in the four months since launch - well above its creators' initial estimates.

A post on Frictional Games' blog read, "Summarising all sales since release actually puts us in a state that we never imagined being in.

"When counting all online sales as well as the Russian retail copies, we have now sold almost 200,000 units! This is a tremendous amount and more than we ever thought we would. Our 'dream estimates' before release was something around 100k, and to be able to double that feels insane.

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What Makes Horror Games Scary?

Why we fear the fake.

You'll probably never happen across a person raving about a survival horror game by saying how hyperactive their amygdala was, and how their rostral anterior cingulate cortex was powerless to dampen the emotional stimuli.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Thanks for the memories.

Boy does Amnesia nail running away. It nails running away like Mirror's Edge nailed running away, which is a bit of a damning indictment of the latter game, since it was about a sexy free-runner leaping and rolling through the rooftops of a futuristic cityscape, while Amnesia is about a mentally unstable man fumbling doors open and squatting in cupboards. Then again, Mirror's Edge also gave you the option of fighting instead of running. Amnesia doesn't, which is one of the bigger reasons why it's the scariest game I've played in years.

Amnesia's also unusual for a horror game, which as a genre tends to put horror first, panic second, creepiness third and the actual game fourth. With Amnesia, you're also getting an engaging first-person adventure game that could have stood by itself had developer Frictional Games chosen to go that way.

Amnesia's plot alone is intriguing enough. Waking up on the stone floor of some ancient castle with no memory whatsoever except their character's own name ('Daniel'), the player's first discovery is an oddly brief letter from Daniel to Daniel, telling him to descend into the castle's basement and kill a man named Alexander. As you explore the castle further the plot thickens eagerly and ominously, with diaries, rooms and panicked notations all providing scraps of a much larger and more unpleasant picture.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent

It's crunch time.

I think a mark of quality in a game is whether you can return to a room you've previously been in, and know you were there earlier by the destruction you wrought. Amnesia, the new first-person adventure from Penumbra developers Frictional, does not paint rooms in the blood of your enemies, but rather in strewn desk drawers, boxes and broken glass.