Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

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FeatureThe doors close on The Chinese Room - for now

"We're done with walking simulators."

Just under a year after the launch of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, a "walking simulator" about dealing with loss in Shropshire in 1984, it won three BAFTAs. For its developer The Chinese Room, it seemed things couldn't get any better. Fans anxiously awaited the studio's next big project. They're still waiting.

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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The Chinese Room teases isometric RPG Total Dark

Tabletop inspired RPG coming to PC.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs developer The Chinese Room has revealed that its next game will be an isometric RPG called Total Dark. That's a far cry from its previous work that's all more or less fallen under the dreadful "walking simulator" moniker.

FeatureThe Chinese Room: A look behind Britain's boldest studio

"Never so sure our rapture to create..."

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture's co-director Jessica Curry is not your typical video game developer. Having a background as a film composer is one detail that sets her apart from the pack, but what's probably more important is that she's co-directed three successful commercial games without being a gamer herself. How did this happen?

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: A Machine for Pigs doesn't make a whole lot of sense and that's fine. I don't think it's meant to when even its creator admits that he has "two or three fairly contradictory interpretations of what might be going on at the end of Pigs at the same time". Pigs, as I'll call it for short, hangs its remarkable artistic achievements (Dan Pinchbeck's flowery, rotten prose; Jessica Curry's screeching, shrapnel bomb of a score; Sindre Grønvoll's's Grand Guignol labyrinthine environments) around the most threadbare of plots. Instead of focusing on a pat little tale, it creates an atmosphere of dread so potent that the conventional criteria of what we look for in a game - things like puzzles, plot, win/lose conditions - are thrown completely out the window in favour of an abstract, wondrous experience that hits notes other games simply don't. That it's so hard to grasp only adds to its charm.

How the Amnesia sequel's sausage was made

FeatureHow the Amnesia sequel's sausage was made

Jeffrey goes in-depth with A Machine For Pigs' scribe Dan Pinchbeck.

You may not know Dan Pinchbeck by name, but chances are you've heard of some of his games. The British indie developer made waves in the industry a few years back with his experimental Half-Life 2 mod, Dear Esther - a project Pinchbeck and his company The Chinese Room remade as a standalone release last year - and more recently he headed development on the divisive Amnesia sequel A Machine For Pigs. The Chinese Room's games are often characterised by their arcane prose, abstract storytelling, and an almost complete lack of conventional game mechanics.

It would be easy to imagine Pinchbeck as a snooty artiste. Instead, it may surprise you to learn than Pinchbeck is an extraordinarily approachable, modest man who put 170 hours into Just Cause 2 and argues that Doom is an under-appreciated gem of video game storytelling.

Speaking to Pinchbeck over Skype, it's impossible to bring up A Machine For Pigs without first discussing its most criticised aspect: it's simply not as scary as its predecessor, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Why's that the case? Many of Pigs' harshest critics have attributed this to The Chinese Room nixing the first game's sanity mechanic that caused your character's vision to get blurry and imaginary cockroaches to crawl over your face and make skittering, crunching sounds in the back of your skull when gazing upon an enemy or staying in the dark for too long.

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Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs review

There's one story I always tell about the first Amnesia. The most memorable monster I encountered in it was one that didn't exist. At all.

The game's atmosphere was so overpowering, its rules so murky, that in a well-lit pump room I became convinced that an invisible monster was in there with me. This hall was meant to be a break from the game's nauseating tension, and I was flattening myself against walls, jumping at every dripping pipe, solving the puzzle and then running as fast as possible away from absolutely nothing.

I'm sad to say I didn't invent any monsters in Amnesia's indirect sequel, A Machine for Pigs - co-developed by Dear Esther studio The Chinese Room - and the devil's in the details. Or rather, he isn't, this time around.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent is perhaps the most genuinely creeply horror game of recent years. "It's a brave experiment in the genre... and stops at nothing to make you truly, deeply uncomfortable. And after a hard day at school or the office, isn't that all we really want?" wrote Quintin in our review.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs dated next month

Pre-orders are 20 per cent off.

The much anticipated first-person horror sequel Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs may have missed its Halloween 2012 deadline by the better part of a year, but we'll finally be able to get our grubby mitts on it come 10th September when thechineseroom and Frictional's sequel launches on PC, Mac and Linux.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs delayed until late summer

Frictional is hiring for "a new, currently super secret, horror game."

Highly anticipated horror sequel Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs has been delayed yet again. Originally set for Halloween last year, it was pushed back to Q2 2013 and now it's being pushed back until late summer-ish.

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs gets a spooky Halloween trailer

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs gets a spooky Halloween trailer

Dev asks fans to submit their screams for the soundtrack.

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs - the highly anticipated sequel to Amnesia: The Dark Descent - has pulled back the curtain on its mysterious machinations ever so much with a new trailer.

Dear Esther developer thechineseroom is handling the sequel while the developer of The Dark Descent, Frictional Games, is staying on board to oversee production.

Based on the trailer, the environments may be slightly more lavish than those of its predecessor, but it still looks every bit as terrifying - if not more so. Lighting is still kept to a minimum and carrying a lantern still looks just as much a hindrance as a help when it illuminates you in its dreary environments filled with echoes of screams, squeals, and screeches.

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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.

Amnesia dev: Sequel will make you afraid to turn on your PC

Amnesia dev: Sequel will make you afraid to turn on your PC

Frictional warns concerned fan to expect the worst.

Forthcoming PC horror sequel Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs will make you fearful of going anywhere near a desktop computer ever again, original developer Frictional Games has pledged.

In response to an email from a fan, named Gustav, concerned that the follow-up to the 2010 pant-spoiler will turn down the scares, Frictional boss Thomas Grip promised the game will haunt gamers' nightmares.

"One should not pay too much attention to rumors," read Grip's reply, as posted on Reddit.

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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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