It has been done many times before, and you're probably thinking: "Not another newcomer giving his opinion on the game *sigh*", but I somehow felt that I should give some feedback on one of the greatest Indie games I've ever played. And I can in all honesty say, the best horror game I have ever seen.
The game itself would be a good thing to start with. I pre-purchased the game on steam. I had heard about the game a few times and after discovering it was made by the developers of Penumbra, I didn't hesitate and purchased it right away. After all, Penumbra was (and still is) a brilliant game that could get me playing for hours and hours; always on the tip of my chair and with the regular doses of hyperventilation.
Compared to Penumbra, as probably most of you will agree with me, Amnesia is quite different in a few ways. What I noticed first was obviously the insanity; I didn't really know what to think of it at first. There is no combat in the game, you must survive by hiding; but how can you hide when your sanity drops in darkness and in sight of enemies?
Very quickly though, I got used to the system and after a short while it felt only natural. After all, I was nearly just as scared as the protagonist while playing; I could imagine how I also would react if this were real.
So far, I haven't completed the game yet. Remarkable, eh? I always kept it for those few perfect and select moments. Being alone, obviously playing at night in complete darkness and with my headset on. Taking my time, not rushing through the levels (with the exception of being chased..). Since then, university has started again, minimizing the time I can game. Every now and then, I will launch the game, play some more, end it after a while and go to bed, thinking of how great and fearsome it was.
Once I finished the game, I plan on using the mod tools. Modding is something that has always interested me and Amnesia is definitely no exception.
There are a few things that make Amnesia such a favourable game for me. Most of those are related to the game itself:
The lack of combat is something I absolutely love. I've tried many mods/addons/games where you find yourself in a similar role and it usually starts out nicely. You have to hide, run, puzzle your way through the levels, until you find weapons. Finding weapons is something that always killed the experience for me.
Secondly, the game experience is excellent. The way you play, how the world is built up, it's extremely immersing and polished.
Many more reasons can be summed up here: The brilliant story-telling, the unknowing at first, slowly discovering why you are there,..
Apart from the game, I'm a person who finds the development team of great importance and it influences how I look at the game.
Just today, I started reading the dev blog, and discovered Amnesia was made by 5 men. Having this in mind, I can only respect the game more and enjoy playing Amnesia to a greater extent.
Lastly, in a combination of game and dev. team, I highly appreciate how they implement new factors, unseen (or so I think, my knowledge of games goes back to a certain date in my youth) in any other game made so far. The insanity is my prime example here.
This gives me great trust in what else Frictional Games can, and probably will, do in the future.
Moving on from the game, after reading the blog post(s) on piracy, I hope FG will never deal with certain forms of anti-piracy protection. I believe we all know what this can do in extreme forms (like EA and ubisoft).
In honesty, I can say that I've pirated games before. Although trying to keep it to a minimum, I don't make such a big deal out of it. I regard them as 'demos'. If I like them, I will buy them; especially when they have multiplayer.
That is a problem for Singleplayer-only games without a high replay value like Amnesia, you would say?
Yes, true.. But I make exceptions for "Indie" games. I don't pirate those. Ever. Reading how you made this game with less than minimal wages, hoping to earn something after release has only strengthened my beliefs that we should support indie developers.
Now, to end this rather long and probably useless post, a question regarding development:
Is Frictional Games open to new developers, by any chance? People who don't mind getting payed less, working extra hard,..?
I still have a few more years of studying to go, but, opposed to many people in my class, it has always been my dream to work in a smaller company on lower budget games.
So far my post on Amnesia and the team. Long and useless, but if it somehow gave someone a bit of a good impression, it has served its role.