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Spoiler My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.
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Damascus Rose Offline
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Brick My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

I didn't post this in the review thread because this isn't a review.

I spent a lot of time playing this game. My playthrough was easily more than twice the average, exceeding 10 hours (not counting the endless hours I spent trying to fix technical issues). I spent a lot of time immersing myself, exploring (looking at every pixel really, twice), reading every word of every note, so I think my experience was what the developers intended. Although there were some things I missed out on by going too slow, for example I never saw the monster until the part under the church and after watching some videos I find out that there were some glimpses of him before that. I would like to share my thoughts on this game as Amnesia:TDD is an absolutely huge game for me and I've been eagerly awaiting this game since I first heard about it over a year ago.

I thought this game was good, in general. I enjoyed it for the most part and felt it was a decent follow up to TDD. However, when I finished the game and all was said and done I had the feeling that this game was too much of a wasted opportunity. Let me explain why. This isn't going to be a huge rant on me bashing the game or praising it, I'm going to share exactly how I feel about it and why.

I'm going to try my best to organize my thoughts in an understandable format. I'm not the best at writing though and it might get a bit confusing but bear with me.

Story:
After finishing the game and reflecting on the story, I think it was very good. But I had a lot of conflict on the way it was told and I felt that it could've been done so much better. The phone calls were a neat addition I think and the flashbacks were fine (not incredible for the storytelling as half the time I didn't know what they were about but they were good to have). The recordings were cool too, the voice actors were incredibly talented and perfect for the parts. I just think that the game relied far too much on cryptic notes. For most of the game I didn't know what was going on with the story from reading these notes, and still after finishing the game I am confused about the story. This was different from TDD because TDD had those voiced diaries which were very clear and good at telling the story. I wish AMFP had these so that the story was clear rather than having to guess from a bunch of notes. If the recordings/telephone were meant to replace this they didn't do a very good job because they were confusing. A lot of the storytelling was very impressive though, especially past the point of the burning london levels, which were fucking awesome by the way. Really surprised and impressed by that part. This game had some of the most powerful moments I've experienced in a game. The two times where the kids stood together with blood leaking out of their mouths as they reach into their chests and hand you their hearts was really powerful. It sent shivers down my spine both times and creeped me the hell out. I'm not sure I can find words to describe how I really felt during those parts. Finding out later that you sacrificed them on an altar was heart-wrenching. And the ending, not much has to be said about that. It was just damn good. The downside though is that all this good stuff happens after the game just randomly decides to go full dear esther mode and drags you through an hour of random hallways with a bunch of dialogue. (I think there was a lot of dialogue but I can't remember.)

So in conclusion, a lot of the storytelling was very good but inconsistent. The only really good story telling happened at the end of the game, I felt like they saved too much info for that ending stretch and could've told more of the story earlier. Everything up until that was really confusing and blurry. There were some neat additions (telephone, recordings) which I very much enjoyed. It shouldn't have used cryptic notes for most of the storytelling, and it should have had more storytelling with the gameplay/setting. I feel like I'd have to play this game through a few more times and dissect every note to be able to fully understand it.

Gameplay:
Ok, let's be honest here. They did not need to remove so much of the gameplay that was core to TDD. I do understand why they got rid of it (at least I think I do, from what I've heard/read.) More gameplay elements/puzzles gets in the way of narrative, immersion etc. But I feel that this removed gameplay took away a lot of what made Amnesia good, without enough positive results to justify it.

I'll start off with the lantern. I believe this was the least significant change; the lantern never running out of power. I think this change was made up by the lantern lighting up less of an area and adding some new interesting lantern mechanic, which was the flickering light whenever the screen is near a monster. I thought that flickering light was a neat addition and added some fear. While the removal of oil did get rid of the fear of running out of oil and having to walk around with no light, it did eliminate the annoyance of everything about the oil. The whole oil thing could be frustrating, searching for it everywhere instead of being immersed (this could happen to people but I don't think it affected me much in the first game), and having to run around in the dark if you run out. However I thought the oil was fun in the first game. Overall I think this is more positive than negative, but I'm not 100% on this. If someone else could share their thoughts that'd be great.

Then there's the sanity. I do believe that this change was the right one and probably the best change they made gameplay wise. The removal of sanity gets rid of all the flawed/annoying things that come with it, for example the annoying sanity decreasing sound, the annoyance of the way the insane character moves, the fainting. All those things could get very annoying. While the sanity mechanic did work in TDD and add a lot to the game, I think it was too flawed to add it in the second one and it's good to remove it. Especially since they somewhat replaced the sanity effects with sickness effects that were scripted. Give me your thoughts on this one too please, I'd like to hear some different opinions.

Now I'll talk about the biggest change, the removal of the inventory and most interaction, and the change to the puzzles. I feel that the way this was done was awful and seemed really unpolished. When I first played this game I didn't mind not having the interaction much, not nearly as much as other people. It wasn't until I played the game for a longer time that I really noticed how bad of a change this was. I understand why this change happened I think. They wanted to remove the inventory because it takes you out of the game, so they had all the puzzles be with things you pick up. But that created problems because you don't know if what you can pick up is a puzzle piece or not, and also I read somewhere that they chose to do this also because items don't look good glowing blue in your hand. I say that this change was not worth it at all. As I played through the game, the most frustrating thing was seeing all these things I used to be able to interact with and not being able to do anything at all with them. But, there were some random things that you were able to interact with and this made no sense. Why am I able to interact with random fuses and candles but I can't interact with anything else that isn't a chair? This just made no sense at all and really took me out of the immersion. The interaction was good for immersion, it made you feel like you were in the world, there was no reason to take it out. It also removes a lot of the fun and replaces it with absolutely nothing. It would have been better if getting rid of this interaction let you focus more on the narrative/setting but those aren't prominent enough to make this decision a good change at all.

Let's talk about the puzzles. Frankly these puzzles were just pathetic, they completely lacked any challenge or thought at all. All they consist of was finding something, picking it up and putting it somewhere and maybe pressing a button or finding a hidden lever. Comeon guys, we have a game set in a massive machine. There are so many opportunities for good puzzles and this is all they create. I understand that puzzles take away from your immersion but their solution just comes across as incredibly lazy. The solution to the whole problem of gameplay mechanics taking you out of the narritive/immersion or whatever cannot be solved by simply omitting all of the gameplay mechanics. This is a problem that gets solved by good design, not by saying "we focus on story so fuck it, were just gonna remove all of the gameplay elements and all of our players will focus on story! I mean it worked with dear esther it'll work with this, right??? RIGHT???" This is pretty harsh but that's what it seems like to me. I'm proud the chinese room make story focus games that do things no other games are willing to do, but I think this is just an example of going to far on the other side of the spectrum. Lack of gameplay does not = immersion. And I did not feel the narrative made up for this at all, it's just picking up notes and occasionally hearing a recording.


Anyway that's it for this update. I still have thoughts on setting/atmosphere/scares that I would like to share. Will update later.

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(This post was last modified: 09-25-2013 01:57 AM by Damascus Rose.)
09-21-2013 02:00 AM
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cantremember Offline
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Post: #2
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

Hmm funny. I also went quite slow and for some reason missed many monster sightings in the beginning that I only saw on my second run.

Spoiler below!

- I didn't notice the pigman sleeping in the caged bed
- I didn't see him run out the room and through the hallway because I stopped moving when the light flickered
- I didn't notice the pigman on the conveyor belt near the graveyard
- I didn't see the man run in london fighting scene, and the one looking out a window (still didn't check them out, just heard about them)
-

09-21-2013 10:29 AM
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Googolplex Offline
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Post: #3
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

Hah, another one who spent 10 hours for the game.Smile
09-21-2013 02:17 PM
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Mechavomit Offline
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Post: #4
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

I agree with you on about the story. I really wanted to like it. Frankly, I didn't give a damn about the removed mechanics, I knew that for me the story can make up for them. But it was so weird and confusing. I struggled with the language, I struggled with the way Mandus speaks about his kids. It seemed too forced, I can't even explain why.
And the story itself just drags and drags and nothing is developing... I was ready to love it, I was supposed to love it because the "dad saving his kids" tropes are literally my favorite. Maybe I'm just that dumb, but I think the story (or the way it was told) required more polishing.
09-21-2013 02:32 PM
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Damascus Rose Offline
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Post: #5
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

(09-21-2013 02:32 PM)Mechavomit Wrote:  I agree with you on about the story. I really wanted to like it. Frankly, I didn't give a damn about the removed mechanics, I knew that for me the story can make up for them. But it was so weird and confusing. I struggled with the language, I struggled with the way Mandus speaks about his kids. It seemed too forced, I can't even explain why.
And the story itself just drags and drags and nothing is developing... I was ready to love it, I was supposed to love it because the "dad saving his kids" tropes are literally my favorite. Maybe I'm just that dumb, but I think the story (or the way it was told) required more polishing.

Yes, it did seem forced. Especially the whole 'saboteur' thing, that was really forced.

I'm going to update my post later today with my thoughts on the rest of the game

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09-21-2013 08:01 PM
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TexDangerfield Offline
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Post: #6
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

One thing I always in the game was: if the pigs were servants of the machine, then why were they attacking you before you fix it?
09-23-2013 04:23 AM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #7
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

(09-23-2013 04:23 AM)TexDangerfield Wrote:  One thing I always in the game was: if the pigs were servants of the machine, then why were they attacking you before you fix it?

Blind instinct? Recognition?
09-23-2013 04:30 AM
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TexDangerfield Offline
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Post: #8
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

(09-23-2013 04:30 AM)Alardem Wrote:  
(09-23-2013 04:23 AM)TexDangerfield Wrote:  One thing I always in the game was: if the pigs were servants of the machine, then why were they attacking you before you fix it?

Blind instinct? Recognition?


But it's clear they know how to follow orders when the machine sends them into London.


Of course assuming you don't die in the game it could go like:

Engineer: "Okay piggies, when you see Mandus I just want you to chase him, and if you get close, give him a little tickle"
09-23-2013 04:34 AM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #9
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

(09-23-2013 04:34 AM)TexDangerfield Wrote:  
(09-23-2013 04:30 AM)Alardem Wrote:  
(09-23-2013 04:23 AM)TexDangerfield Wrote:  One thing I always in the game was: if the pigs were servants of the machine, then why were they attacking you before you fix it?

Blind instinct? Recognition?


But it's clear they know how to follow orders when the machine sends them into London.


Of course assuming you don't die in the game it could go like:

Engineer: "Okay piggies, when you see Mandus I just want you to chase him, and if you get close, give him a little tickle"

The Machine was effectively neutralized when it was sabotaged - Dark Mandus could communicate with the protagonist (as they shared souls), but from what I recall you only hear him screaming on the loudspeakers to the Pigs after activating the Reactor. The Pig-Men guarding the Machine wouldn't have known that Mandus was unknowingly helping them.

I still think that, as with Justine and her Suitors, the Man-Pigs recognize Mandus as responsible for their current condition and therefore worth a little revenge.
(This post was last modified: 09-23-2013 04:40 AM by Alardem.)
09-23-2013 04:39 AM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #10
RE: My thoughts, expectations, reactions of Amnesia.

I love how there's some asshat rating every thread that remotely deals with AMFP in a positive way with 1 star round here. Goes to show that we've acquired some matured and brilliant new members with the release of AMFP.

Also, good review DR, I do agree with most of the points you made, interested to see your thoughts on the other parts of the game.

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09-23-2013 06:59 AM
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