Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs Articles RSS Feed | Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Amnesia: Rebirth Coming to PC and PS4 This Fall Fri, 06 Mar 2020 11:51:00 -0500 Ty Arthur

Frictional Games kept their fans in suspense with some seriously cryptic trainers, but the lead up is finally over. They've just confirmed the classic horror title Amnesia: Rebirth is officially slated for an autumn 2020 Steam and PS4 release.

10 years on from the release of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Rebirth will focus on Tasi Trianon's travels through the Algerian desert on a journey of desolation and despair, exploring the limits of human resilience. Frictional had this to say:

Retracing Tasi’s journey and pulling together the fragments of a shattered past will be the only chance to survive the pitiless horror that threatens to devour you. Time is against you. Still, you must continue, step by step, knowing that if you fail you will lose everything.

Check out the announcement trailer above. You can also throw this upcoming Frictional game on your Steam wishlist while waiting on the official Amnesia: Rebirth release date. 

Frictional's last major release was the sci-fi horror tale SOMA, which revolved heavily around the notion of whether choices really matter and questioned what it really means to be human.

Did you correctly guess the return of Amnesia with the latest batch of creepy live-action videos, or were you expecting something else?

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on Amnesia: Rebirth in the coming weeks!

Frictional Releases More Creepy Teasers for Its Upcoming Horror Game Thu, 05 Mar 2020 12:56:54 -0500 Ty Arthur

Frictional Games is at it again, teasing an upcoming new horror game with four brief video clips as part of an augmented reality experience.

If you missed the first two, you can check out Box 52, Tape 16 and  Box 7, Reel 2, Partial Success over here first to see the tone and themes that kicked off the ARG puzzle hunt earlier this year.

Those clips previously showed off some odd rocks, followed by a black screen with screams. In this latest batch, things are a bit clearer; a group of spelunkers is shown uncovering some disturbing things deep underground.

Box 12, Recent Acquisitions, shown below, shows a spelunker reading a barely-legible letter. Thankfully, Frictional's included a description: 

Recovered 12/5/2018, via source S576a. Salzburg, site TBD. Document retrieval failed, investigation commissioned.

There is an itching behind my eyes. As if a beetle burrows there, in the folds of my brain, boring its way in, mandibles tearing at grey matter. As if a gnarled finger has been pushed into my skull, a broken fingernail working into my thoughts. I want to reach in with a needle to scratch it. Or perhaps a piece of wire. Through the tear-duct, threading through the lacrimal canal.

Thread-like black worms swim in my eyes. When I think about them they are agitated and start to thrash around. They know I am scared. And it makes them worse.

If I hold myself still. If I easy my mind, if I empty my head and try not to be afraid of... Then the itching fades to the tickling of a feather. I've tried filling myself with the notes of a song, or the colours of a beautiful picture, but it doesn't work.

Only emptiness gives me any

I wish I had my gun.

Then there's Box 17, Card 9, where some people in a cave or mine shaft find something very, very unpleasant. As with the other videos, there's also an accompanying description: 

Recovered 12/2/2013 via source S118. Manila envelope marked "Ivry - Edouard et Thérèse" in blue ink.

A third video is titled Box 11, Recent Acquisitions. It's a clip that's a bit more cryptic, just showing someone listening to humming and singing on a radio:

Recovered 3/3/2017, website acquisition. Private workshop, Saint-Denis, Paris. Cover note: "Qu'avec cette vieille radio et qu'en cet endroit précis." (Translation: "Only with that old radio and only in this precise location.")

The Box 12, Recent Acquisitions (Card 3) features a twisted stick figure totem and a ring, which the guy in the video should most definitely not put on his finger:

Recovered 13/7/2018, via source S576a. Algeciras, worksite, ex-warehouse - prev. owners Ortiz Marin (until 2004), GPDS (1997-2004), Estrella del Sur (1973-1995), Sterling Shipping Company (1942?-1973).

The fourth clip is Box 11, Recent Acquisitions (Card 15), shows someone reaching a destination with a compass that goes wild and may indicate we are nearing the end of this rabbit hole (maybe?):

Recovered 12/2/2016, website acquisition. Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. Recovery team dispatched, could not locate site or anomaly.

What do you think is coming next from Frictional Games, and what do you make of the more recent date in the final video clip?

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for official news on the next horror title from the developers of Amnesia, Penumbra, and SOMA

Amnesia Collection Free on Humble Bundle until January 27 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 13:42:40 -0500 SinOfApathy

Humble Bundle, an online retailer with a focus on charity, currently has the Amnesia Collection available for free on their site. The pack includes Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its sequel, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Amnesia is a classic horror game that has you exploring dark and creepy areas and solving puzzles whilst hiding from the terrifying monsters that roam the corridors. The first title features a unique sanity system which will have the player experience hallucinations after witnessing unsettling events. It also includes community-made custom maps, which increase the replay value of the game.

The deal is only available temporarily and will end on January 27 at 1 p.m. EST. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent free on Steam; until 9/16 at 10 AM Pacific Tue, 15 Sep 2015 19:54:37 -0400 Courtney Gamache

The "Overwhelmingly Positive" horror-survival-adventure game developed by Frictional games called, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a free addition to your Steam library until September 16th at 10 AM Pacific. The reasoning behind the free game is a large Frictional Games Sale that is taking place until September 18th. Complete list of games on Sale

Among the Frictional Games Sale are five complete games that are on sale for up to 80% off, including upcoming game release, SOMA. Below is the full list:

Is it worth getting Amnesia: The Dark Descent?

In this first person survival horror game, the goal is to not only survive but also escape with your (Daniel's) wits in-tact. This difficult task is posed upon the gamer by questioning every move that you make; from standing in the light of your lantern to walking in the abyss of darkness. Find out how far the human mind can stretch in a game where insanity is a large possibility from the trials that an eerie castle possesses, along with the inhabitants that are inside. 

So of course the game is worth it. Not only is Amnesia: The Dark Descent competely free and entirely yours once you "purchase" the free game; but you can play it at your leisure and take the needed breaks that the intense game requires. Do you plan on adding the free game to your library? Have you played Amnesia: The Dark Descent before? Share your thoughts below on the horror-survival-adventure game.

Top 5 horror game developers Sun, 06 Sep 2015 06:16:58 -0400 Review Yobo

It's a dark and rainy evening, there are a handful of people on the couch, a pizza on the table, and a great horror game on the big screen - that recipe spells one heck of a good night for anyone fond of scary games.

But what are the best horror games, and who are their makers? It can be difficult make your way through the minefield that is the market of modern horrors and find the true gems. But I'm here to help by putting forward my favorite developers and their best franchises.

These will not be games that operate solely on cheap jump scares. This list contains games that use more elaborate terror and deliver an intriguing and satisfying storyline.

5. Grasshopper Manufacture


This Japanese icon shows the Western players what they're missing. They're responsible for a series that has made top horror lists around the globe - Fatal Frame. This game takes you to some really dark and unsettling places, then makes you watch the approaching monstrosities as it snaps your anxious nerves - one frame at a time.

Grasshopper started with the PS2 game Killer7, but later ventured to make various games, including a game inspired by Franz Kafka - Shadows of The Damned. While they never made any games for the PC platform, they certainly make our list of top horror game developers, due to unique storyline ideas and level designs that make your skin crawl.

4. Visceral Games

I can't make a list of horror game developers if I don't mention the makers of Dead Space. Dead Space is a sci-fi shooter that will challenge your senses with a butt-load of dark atmosphere, intense in-game scenes, and goring monsters.

3. Red Barrels

Red Barrels is responsible for Outlast. This game takes you through the dark hallways of a mental care facility, where horrifying experiments have taken place. The terrifying level designs and stealth/run-for-your-life scenes make this game a prime choice for anyone looking to enjoy their weekend hiding under a bed.

2. Monolith Productions

If you have played F.E.A.R. already, you don't need an explanation for this entry. But Monolith Productions has worked on many more excellent games. They started out with a classic, for crying out loud. In 1997, they made Blood - Doom's creepy and disturbing cousin, if you can imagine such a thing. It was a hit - a bloody marvelous game.

They went on to make many other games, including an Aliens vs. Predators sequel. However, to me, the next piece of gold they struck was the F.E.A.R. series.

F.E.A.R. combines a fast-paced shooter with a horrifying exploration and puzzle game experience. However, the real reason people soil their living room leather while playing this game is a terrifying little girl named Alma. She is the protagonist of the series - a possessed child with supernatural powers and an ingenious evil character that will make you lose your breath a couple of times throughout the game.

The essence of F.E.A.R.'s excellence is this - it manages to be puzzling without being boring, and on top of that it manages to instantaneously switch the player from being the ultimate gun blasting hero to a trouser-soiling toddler, desperately looking for ESCape.

1. Frictional Games


This development team has been striking horror gold ever since they launched the Penumbra series. Their second brilliant idea was Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Its excellence was eye-watering and spawned a whole new series of games that Frictional Games is still working on today. All of their newest games are certainly well worth your time and will provide you with outstanding horror sensations.

But now let's briefly look back on our personal favorite, one of Frictional Games' originals - the Penumbra series. The first Penumbra was a knee-shaking puzzle game, where you get tormented by a crazy guy named Red. On top of that, some mutated rottweilers chase you through the dark tunnels of a secret underground base.

The second game enhanced your struggle by adding some disease-riddled scientists that haunt you with flashlight beams, while your character develops schizophrenia. It had fantastic level design, in-game scenes, and a thought-provoking and mysterious ending.


The third Penumbra game went away from the horror genre and focused primarily on physics puzzles and atmospheric level design. It was a kind of a letdown, but Frictional Games more than made up for it by putting you in the shoes of Daniel and setting you loose in the bewilderingly beautiful and horrendous chambers of Amnesia: The Dark Decent.

Frictional Games finishes off our list of five favorite developers. If you are looking for awesome horror games, this is where a majority of the magic happens.

Of course, there are other great developers not mentioned here, comment below with your suggestions and they will be sure to receive future praise. We hope you enjoy these games!

10 Scary Games for Your October (Halloween is Coming) Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:58:50 -0400 Kate Reynolds




If you're wondering what makes F.E.A.R so scary (other than the ridiculous amount of time the devs must have put in to make an acronym that spelled out "fear") it's a creepy little girl called Alma. 


Other games may scare you with jump tactics, but F.E.A.R  hits the psychological horror hard simply by its choice of main antagonist. Basically, if you thought Samara from The Ring was scary, imagine having to go up against her in a video game. 


Doom 3


The Doom series may have helped pioneer first-person shooter games, but Doom 3 did its fare share to contribute to the horror genre. It holds a special place in my heart as the first game that made me loose sleep at night. 


However, since you have a large weapon arsenal and occasionally meet friendly NPCs, this is a tamer game than others on the list. It will give you some thrills, while also allowing you to conquer them explosively. My kind of horror game.  


Slender: The Eight Pages


I could find a scarier screenshot of Slender, but I'll leave that for you to experience when you try out this free indie game for yourself. You can download it for free here, and attempt to find all eight Slender reports for yourself.


Helpful hint: You really do not want to see the Slender man's "face" up close.  


Condemned: Criminal Origins


There's something to be said for a game that can get in your head. Condemned: Criminal Origins manages to do this in a big way by having lifeless mannequins seemingly follow your through one level, amping up the tension without even attacking you. 


But really....don't blink. 


Dead Space 3


The best scary games makes it increasingly difficult to kill your nightmarish foes. In the Dead Space series, the only way to kill the horrendous Necromorphs is by slicing their limbs off one by one. Sure, you could shoot them, but that ultimately wastes ammo (which is scarce) and isn't nearly as effective. 


Secondly, the game is set IN SPACE. This means that there is literally no way out besides killing all of your foes or committing suicide via airlock. The latter option will seem more and more enticing as the slow music builds to a terrifying crescendo and the necromorphs overwhelm you. Happy hunting!


Resident Evil: 4


It's almost blasphemous to label one Resident Evil game as scarier than the rest, and yet Resident Evil: 4 truly revitalized the series with new mechanics, better graphics and as always, scary monsters. 


One of the roughest changes made in this game is that you can't move and shoot simultaneously. Standing your ground can be just as dangerous as running away, and you only have seconds to decide your best option. Good luck with that!




What makes a first-person survival game truly horrific? When you're 100% unable to fight back. I'm not asking for a gun, but even Gordon Freeman got a wrench. 


In Outlast, developed by Red Barrells, you must navigate your way through a psychiatric hospital filled with homicidal patients with only a notebook and a video camera. This has solidified my opinion that seekers of found footage belong in psychiatric institutions, but I wouldn't wish the inmates of Mount Massive Asylum on anyone. 


Five Nights at Freddy's


There is something truly terrifying about large malformed animatronic animal dolls. Five Nights at Freddy's capitalizes on these to offer a simplistic survival horror game that builds your fear an paranoia through the use of security cameras and other gameplay mechanics. 


Bottom line? I had to lock up my teddy bear in my closet for a week after just watching this Let's Play video. Even if you've been numbed by years of survival horror games, this indie gem brings something new to the genre and is sure to delight and fright in equal measures. 


Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs


I once decided it was a bright idea to buy and play Amnesia: A Dark Descent. I lasted about 30 minutes until I locked myself in my room with all my flashlights, lamps, and household items that could be used as weapons. 


Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs was even worse for me. The pigs are truly horrifying and disgusting, and I was never able to lead Oswald Mandus far enough into the game to learn what "The Machine" was. Those stout of heart may be able to complete the game, but not without questioning their dedication to this seat-jumping game. 


Silent Hills: P.T.


Created by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, Silent Hills: P.T. is an interactive teaser for the upcoming Silent Hills survival horror game. The teaser may only have you walking repeatedly down corridors, but it's enough to get several killer screenshots of Mary from GameSpot screaming her head off.


If you think in any way that perhaps Mary's gender had to do with her scarability, check out this video entitled "Silent Hill: P.T. 'Scared Black Man' Walkthrough". You will be scared, and you will love it. 

Indie Revives the Horror Genre: Our Addiction to Fear Wed, 08 Jan 2014 07:45:41 -0500 Brandon Morgan

Since the dawn of time, man has had an odd addiction to fear. The darkness has scared many children, and adults, and yet that doesn’t stop anyone from exploring it; discovering what really creeps around in the shadows when our eyes can’t tell us what is there. We love stories of monsters, zombies, the apocalypse, and Japanese ghost children standing at the foot of our bed. This addiction may seem unreasonable, and completely insane to some, and yet there is a deep part of all of us that craves that feeling deep inside. To be scared to our very soul, our lives hanging in the balance, or at least our virtual lives.

The survival horror genre has seen a massive influx of new titles, especially from indie developers who have no fear of going forward with something new.

Games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender: The Arrival have returned that deep pit within ourselves, the fear of what is lurking about every corner.

In recent years the survival horror genre, and horror in general, has taken a more action-oriented approach. This has allowed for a larger consumer base, sure, but it has alienated the true fans of the genre: the ones hoping to run out of ammo in a pitch-black asylum, those praying something is out there waiting for them to make a wrong move.

Instead, we come face to face with crates full of Ak-47s and MP5s with all the ammo we could possible carry. Health packs are plentiful, and our trigger fingers are tensed and ready to unload the clip.

No. Just no.

We want more horror, true horror. The last time I went into a Resident Evil game and was truly scared of playing alone in the dark was the days of the Underground Files titles. Since then, the series has gone downhill, with the exception of Resident Evil 4. Guns and teammates have become the norm; when you have someone by your side it isn’t as scary being alone in the dark. You know someone has your back, you know they are armed and ready for the beasts hunting you. They are your fluffy, pink cushions, blocking your fear from rising forth.

But survival horror doesn’t need to be completely a solitary affair.

Games like Damned, which is on Steam Early Access, prove that you can be afraid even with a team of other players at your side. The monster works to separate you from your group and pick you off one by one. The fear of never knowing where that creature will pop up to take you out keeps players coming back for more. Without a weapon, no one can protect you from what is hiding in the dark. Survival horror at its best.

But single-player is a major focus in survival horror. I purchased each Amnesia game at launch and Outlast upon its release. These three titles have allowed me to regain my faith in the survival horror genre as a whole. Never have I been as scared to continue playing a title as when I first loaded up Outlast on launch night. I closed the curtains, shut off all lights, and locked the door to stop interruptions. I nearly pissed myself playing it, but I kept going.

I was addicted to that feeling of fear, I wanted more. I wanted those insane asylum patients to capture me and rip me to shreds.
The next-gen consoles are bringing about a whole new era in the survival horror genre on their own.

We are seeing the likes of The Evil Within, Daylight, and the port of Outlast, which is worth playing through once more. All of these games have one focus to them: they rely on horror. The Evil Within is the only one to feature any type of weapon, and even then, running and hiding will be your strongest allies. Ammo is rare and the enemies won’t stop chopping you to little pieces because you aim a 9mm pistol at their chest.

Daylight in particular looks to bring a feature to the genre that more really should: procedural (randomized) generation. This may be my favorite term in the gaming industry. This means the game will be different each time you play it; the environments change and shift, allowing a high level of replayability. More often than not, survival horror games tend to have a linear story, so being able to play through for the scares more than once is brilliant. That addiction to fear will come hand in hand with Daylight.

With these new titles we may just see the survival horror genres revival. At worse, developers will attempt some new ideas in the genre and mess up--we can skip over those games. The good ones will shine through and scare us outright. I'm prepared to turn off the lights this year and play through each survival horror game of 2014. Why? I'm addicted to fear.

A big thanks to Katy for showing me the above video. It is an interesting watch.

Steam Halloween Sale Tue, 29 Oct 2013 14:27:15 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Steam is famously known for their holiday sales, and this Halloween is no different. In honor of the scary holiday season, Steam is putting many frightfully thrilling games on sale from 10%-85%. Best time to grab your Halloween game now, and enjoy it on Hallow's Eve. The sale will only run until November 1st.

Featured Games on Sale

Among the games on sale are some very popular titles that will make any Halloween party or hangout more thrilling. Enjoy the sales, cause you might not come across ones these good until December.

  • Alice: Madness Returns - 75% off - $4.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Resident Evil 6 / Biohazard 6 - 66% off - $13.59 (normally $39.99)
  • Resident Evil 6 Complete Pack - 66% off - $16.99 (normally $49.99)
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent - 75% off - $4.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - 30% off - $13.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Darksiders - 80% off - $3.99 (normally $19.99)
  • The Walking Dead - 75% off - $6.24 (normally $24.99)
  • The Sims 3: Supernatural - 60% off - $7.99 (normally $19.99)
  • Borderlands: Game of the Year - 75% off - $7.49 (normally $29.99)
  • Borderlands Game of the Year Four Pack - 75% off - $22.49 (normally $89.97)

There are more games available on sale, but the above are the featured ones and most popular among the huge list that can be found here. I hope everyone takes advantage of this wonderful Halloween Sale, and has a spooky Halloween filled with candy and fright.

'Damned' a Horror Game - Early Access on Steam Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:50:38 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Many people have raved about how badly Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs was set up, and now there's a new horror game to tickle your taste buds or wear out your vocal cords. This game would be called Damned. You can expect some bugs in the early access edition, but this game will freak anyone out, and just in time for Halloween!

Why will this game wear out my vocal cords?

A major reason this game will make you scream in horror is the fact it's multi-player and co-op. You'll be able to play online with up to 5 people each game. This means there will be 4 survivors and 1 monster. Much different from how Amnesia is set up, and I find the multi-player capabilities to be a bit more scary. After all, NPCs and AIs are only so good. The scenery will be changing as you're trapped in haunted locations such as hotels and hospitals.

Another horror-ish feature about the game is the fact your camera doesn't really change. It's as if you're holding a flash-light and you can only seen in the vision of the light as you're moving around.

How is it being a survivor?

As a survivor your main job is to find a way out, and to help your friends get out as well. As a team building game, you'll be looking around and opening objects to hopefully find helper objects, such as keys. This game will put you on the edge of your seat as you hear ghostly sounds and swear you saw that figure in the darkness. Don't lose your mind too much as you avoid a monster that's out there to kill your friends and yourself. Each monster will change, and they will have different haunting styles.

Damned mimics the Amnesia style in the fact the player won't be able to hurt the monster. If the monster finds you good luck, you better run away and hide. As the game is randomized, the setting and objects will change each time. Something you swore was in the hospital might not be there when the setting returns to the hospital.

What about being the monster?

Being the monster sounds like the most fun in my opinion. You'll be facing up against a team of four survivors and your job is to freak them out. You need to also attack them when available, but they're also afraid of you. Being a different monster each time will test your abilities, and I bet you'll find the one that fits you perfectly. The only question is how you're going to hunt and kill the survivors.

Here's an example of the co-op abilities of Damned. WARNING: SCARY

9heads Game Studio definitely pushed out a wonderful looking horror game that will scare the socks off anyone that plays. I for sure won't be playing this one alone! The only question for you guys is, will you be trying it out? Leave me a comment with your opinion!

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is a Disappointment [Updated] Thu, 26 Sep 2013 14:33:59 -0400 Katy Hollingsworth

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs released earlier this month to the hype of many The Dark Descent fans. The Chinese Room, known for their 'interactive storytelling' in games took over development of this "sequel" and claimed that it was a true journey "into madness, industrialisation and the darkest secrets of the soul."

It's not.

I'll admit, this sequel focuses on a more subtle form of horror, and I can appreciate that the jump scares are few--it's a much more creepy, mind-screw kind of thriller, and I enjoy them. I'm not criticizing A Machine for Pigs on its scare factor, or its story.

Contrary to The Chinese Room's opinion, mechanics are a vital factor in this series. The fact that AMFP completely lacks them is the deal breaker.

The fans of The Dark Descent are fans because of the mechanics used in combination with the story. We're a loyal bunch who are critical of A Machine for Pigs because, in my opinion, it didn't deliver on its promise. 

TDD was known for its open world feeling, where you could explore just about any room and pick up objects and manipulate them. You had an inventory, you had a health meter, and you had a mentality meter.

AMFP has none of these things, and feels like a dumbed-down version of what we know. Am I upset because it's different? No. I'm upset because it claimed to be one thing, when actually, it's a linear hand-hold through a 'horror' game. It's an interactive storybook. Let's be honest.

For those of you who haven't played, the pressure of being at the whim and mercy of tinder boxes was a monumental aspect of the environment. Staying in darkness too long meant that Daniel would go insane--seeing monsters had the same effect. Your lantern wasn't electric and didn't last forever. It would dim or even go out all together. 

Mechanics made TDD

These 'mechanics... duh!' made the story that fans drooled over. The pressure and anxiety of knowing that darkness, and whatever was lurking in it, was just seconds away gave you sweaty palms and made you dread to rush, though the sense of urgency was almost overwhelming. You were struck with a difficult choice that lasted for hours. TDD is definitely not a short game, and it never tapers off or becomes less terrifying.

The ability to move almost every object in the game, to go into almost every room and explore added to this sense of large, terrifyingly dangerous space. You're in this giant castle, and there is very little linear help. You're guided by hints found through clues, notes, and trails of blood. That's about it.

In AMFP, you can't open any door that you're not supposed to go through. This, to me, felt lazy. You can't pick up any objects that aren't directly related to your task. Another lazy mistake. Your lamp lasts forever, you have no idea what state the protagonist is in mentally, and there is no indicator of fear other than occasional blurry vision or hallucination. You're lead by the nose through puzzles, which just aren't difficult.

It is what it is... but don't call it something else.

Tomb Raider was an exceptional game that I adore. Through very cinematic cut scenes and quicktime events, you're lead through this gruesome journey with Lara and you watch her develop as a character.

The key word here is watch. AMFP isn't a game you play--it's a game you watch.

Tomb Raider is enjoyable because we knew what it was going in. It didn't claim to be the successor of a game that is made of gameplay and almost endless options.

The fact that Jessica Curry, director and composer of AMFP said...

"Why was that a problem? Well…it just was because, games, y’know, should have, like, mechanics. Duh!"

...In her blog post responding to criticism shows that she shouldn't have touched anything related to one of the most critically acclaimed horror games with a ten foot pole.

Her comment is pretentious, self-righteous and shows ignorance and arrogance in the face of comments from the series' fans. Storytelling is a vital part of a game, yes, but in a series that is already established and known for one key aspect (mechanics... duh)... to rip it out, strip the game to the bare bones and then slap fans in the face is asking for failure.

A Machine For Pigs received a 72/100 on Metacritic from 47 reviewers.

This is like a walking simulator, not a horror game. -- targz on Metacritic

The Dark Descent received an 85/100 from 44 reviewers. 

It would have been better if it was just an indie game called Machine for pigs. -- Joso2304 on Metacritic

I was disappointed and underwhelmed within the first hour. I feel comfortable telling Jessica Curry to get over herself and become a little more familiar with humility.

I'll give The Chinese Room credit for storytelling, since that's what they're good at, but as far as AMFP as a game?

I think I'll just go replay TDD.

Updated Review (3/5/14):

This update is long overdue, but given my lack of... well, interest in the title once I finished it, I never got around to completing this review. 

  • Graphically, AMFP is decent. It's definitely not next-gen beautiful, but it wasn't made for next-gen. Things ran smoothly, the visuals were pretty well made, and the controls were fairly fluid. It was a bit confusing to switch from keyboard to controller mid-game, so I would recommend starting with one and sticking with it. This was nothing to write home about, but it wasn't terrible.
  • Story-wise, The Chinese Room is known for their writing. And bravo to them for it--the story, like the graphics, was decent and I found it entertaining enough. The idea of the protagonist's struggle with his own psychological issues and physically with the machine was an interest thing to watch. I did actually enjoy the story, for the most part.
  • Overall, the game... was alright. My beef with it still stands. The mechanics were lacking, the puzzles were fairly simple, and more often than not I was running straight into pig demons without so much as a flinch--actually, some of them even bugged out and would stand right underneath me without actually attacking me. It felt linear, and I was painfully aware of it. I didn't feel any rushing sense of dread, I didn't feel challenged... it felt like I was reading a pop-up book, almost. I still believe it is deserving of the three stars I gave it. It was an alright experience, but it wasn't immersive and honestly, a few days after I finished it, I (obviously) forgot all about it.
5 Games For Halloween You Know You Must Play Wed, 25 Sep 2013 12:53:08 -0400 Jamie K


Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut


A cult classic, Deadly Premonition put the weird in horror. In the game you play as an FBI detective who is on a murder case in the town of Greenvale. You have a particular affinity with coffee. You talk to yourself occasionally, and refer to this invisible person as 'Zach'. 


Deadly Premonition isn't just about a horror game full of odd, quirky people. It's a town that is fully interactive, and open-world. Even the time is kept here. You can get paid for work you do, and when you run out of gas, you're gonna need it. 


It may not be as physically dark of a location setting as other horror games, but it will still leave your heart pumping. 


#4 Dead Space 3 


To change things up a bit, I've added the actual trailer to this one, and we've taken things into outer space. There is only so much scary-ness you can find on one planet, after all. 


Set on planet Tau Volantis, you follow along with protagonists Isaac Clarke and John Carver who face a lot of challenges, including at times having to keep track of oxygen levels. Reanimated bodies controlled by Aliens slightly reminds me of Mass Effect, but that's probably the fan girl in me. The unique location setting of this game allows for not only antagonists to challenge and scare players, but the environment to play an active factor as well.


#3 Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs and Amnesia: The Dark Descent


OK, so this one isn't the real trailer, either. I figure, you're going to scare your own pants off soon enough so you might as well have a few laughs beforehand... while you still can. This video is funny enough with the thumbnail still of a spiked-collar pig, but seeing a grown man scream every few seconds is pretty hilarious, too. 


Amnesia isn't new on the horror game scene, so by now you may be pretty familiar with it. I cheated and put both games here, because well, why not?


For Amnesia: The Dark Descent you play Daniel, who slowly but surely unravels the mystery of the abandoned castle he wakes up in. Not knowing how or where he is, the game play starts of slow and builds into a terrifying climax.


Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs has you play wealthy Oswald Mandus, who awakes into--you'll never guess--an empty abandoned household! However, you will also have the added pressure of having to save Oswald's children. 


#2 Anna - Extended Edition


This YouTube video is almost entertainment enough for a Halloween night. The game itself, although again drudging up the familiar abandoned building scene, certainly adds some unique concepts to it. 


The building you find 'Anna' in actually exists in real life, as you will see if you watch the trailer above. It's in Italy, which is where the indie developers come from. Anna actually responds to your behavior in the game, thus adjusting your scares to what you do in response to things. Your actions also determined which of the 8 total endings you will see.


Anna has a graphical art taste that I particularly like, and I think this gives it a different feel than other horror games. The Extended edition features basically "more" and "improved" of everything that made up the original version.


#1 Outlast


Because if Hell created a game, it would be this. Besides having heard certain other GameSkinny team members make noises and exclamations of horror while playing this game, Outlast takes on high quality graphics, the abandoned haunted-house horror genre, and a touch of reality to give you an experience that, if you believe Joystiq, is "...the perfect nightmare."


The story-line is set in Mount Massive Asylum. All the inhabitants and setting of the game are inspired by real life. Just in case you needed the extra holy-shit-this-just-got-real factor. You play journalist Miles Upshur, who breaks in to discover the Asylum's secrets, but gets more than he bargained for.


Yes, Halloween is upon us soon. With it comes the promise of dark cold nights, and eerie unnatural sounds that echo in the rooms around you; the whisper of your unconscious playing on your fears. Shadows flickering from jack-o-lanterns. Lonely evenings with no friend in sight to tell you it's just your imagination.


So, basically, the perfect time of year to play some creepy horror games, and scare the shit out of yourself.


In the spirit of helping you on your path to mental insanity, I've compiled a list of the 5 top games you should be playing as Halloween draws near. These games are so good, so scary, you probably don't even need me to tell you. Still, just in case you've been spending too much time in a white room somewhere, here they are.

Makers of Dear Esther and Amnesia: Machine for Pigs Speak Out About "Anti-Games" Reputation Sun, 22 Sep 2013 23:43:33 -0400 Stephanie Tang

Two years ago, indie game developer The Chinese Room (originally thechineseroom) released a free Source engine mod in June 2008. It was remade in 2009 and 2011 for commercial release in February 2012 and called Dear Esther. The game was a step away from traditional video game conventions, with little player interaction required aside from movement. Told in fragments of epistolary narrative, the player explores an unnamed, abandoned island in the Hebrides.

The title was a divisive one, and had players (such YouTuber TotalBiscuit) calling it out for pretentiousness and "not a game" while others considered it "a masterpiece."

Fast-forward to today, when The Chinese Room has just finished releasing Amnesia: Machine For Pigs, their newest game published by the original developer of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Frictional Games. And in spite of working on a completely different title to Dear Esther... they haven't really seemed to have changed their style much. 

The Chinese Room's director and composer, Jessica Curry, has a few things to say about the different kind of video game they're trying to create:

"We’re often asked at The Chinese Room whether we’re anti-games, or whether we’re trying to deliberately subvert the medium. ...

This question rests on the idea that games are purely driven by mechanics and goals, and this seems laughably outdated as a concept. Why do we feel the need to classify and name and label before we can enjoy something? Do I need to know whether or not Bach sits in the classical canon before I can appreciate his incredible music? For me, the key is whether it’s an engaging experience (or not)."

In some ways, she does have a point. There is room in video gaming to be different, and while Dear Esther had its detractors, it most certainly garnered plenty of praise, launching The Chinese Room as a studio in its own right.

At the same time, she also appears to be missing the points being made by reviewers. 

"We have been accused of trying to destroy the very foundation of gaming and I oscillate between feeling hugely amused and utterly depressed by these claims. A Machine For Pigs was criticised for its removal of mechanics but very little thought was given to the question of whether or why this made it a less successful experience. The writing, music, sound, levels of immersion and psychological depth were all praised to the hilt but then in lots of the reviews we were heavily penalised for the removal of the mechanics that featured in the original game. Why was that a problem? Well…it just was because, games, y’know, should have, like, mechanics. Duh!"

Being different is not a crime, and making a different game is not one either. At the same time, no, the answer is not "because, games, y'know, should have, like, mechanics." That simplifies the criticism that they receive, and dismisses it at the same time.

What The Chinese Room did for Dear Esther worked. It was something new, it was something different, and it was something entirely its own. No one has a problem with the existence of interactive fiction, whether they take issue with calling it a video game or not.

The problem is that The Chinese Room took a long-beloved game, with game mechanics and a large core of fans, and then ripped the playability out of it in order to make a sequel. While I was never a fan of the The Dark Descent myself, while I was playing I was in charge, I could make choices, I could participate and explore. In Machine for Pigs, you watch. You walk through the corridor, you listen, you walk more. 

This is not exactly the Amnesia you know.

I take no issue with The Chinese Room making the type of games that they do. I think that they make masterful work with sound and imagery, and as can be seen from Machine for Pigs, they know exactly how to keep you on edge and layer on the psychological terror. I would be happy to see more from them, and I'm sure that I will see more from them.

But what I do not like to see is their interactive fiction marketed out as the same kind of video game as The Dark Descent, and then watch the studio cry foul when people call them out for what it's not.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, Not the Amnesia You Remember Wed, 18 Sep 2013 17:11:13 -0400 Wokendreamer

Amnesia: The Dark Descent revolutionized the horror genre in video games.  It had intense atmosphere and a helpless protagonist, mysterious enemies and horrifying scenery.  The story was both disturbing and empowering, focusing on themes of justifiable sin and personal redemption, as well as more Lovecraftian ideas of the unknown and its horror.

As a fan of the first game, I had been looking forward to A Machine for Pigs since long before it was actually announced.  With that understanding, I kept my expectations as low as I could going in.  I had read several spoiler-free reviews of the game beforehand, so was aware of some of the common complaints with the game.

Given that knowledge, I was actually quite impressed with the game... before being greatly disappointed.  I mentally separate the game into three parts, so it is only appropriate to review it accordingly.

The Hopeful Start

The game starts with a few disjointed, dream-like images of a dark machine running, a caged bed, and a child's voice.  The player is then set free to explore a sprawling mansion with a decidedly linear path to progress.  There are a lot of locked doors, but it is not functionally different from The Dark Descent's general lack of doors in its early stages.

Quite a nice spread ya got there, Mandus.

There are two major mechanical differences between this game and its predecessor.  First, there are no tinderboxes.  There are some electric lights the player can turn on, but they are effectively meaningless, and the player's lamp will never run out.  Second is the total lack of the previous game's sanity mechanic, which I will discuss in more depth later.

A Machine for Pigs very quickly shows its roots, creating a creepy, foreboding atmosphere with shadows to jump at and exquisite use of sound and light.  Searching for fuses to power the switches to proceed, vague and misshapen creatures shambling about just out of sight, voices and memories coming up as new areas are discovered...  For a while, it actually feels similar to the first Amnesia game.

I spent this first section fairly spooked, wondering if perhaps I was giving the reviews I had read a bit too much credit.

The Questionable Middle

The second section of the game, in my eyes, begins the first time the player encounters a real enemy.  These creatures are disturbing to encounter, at first, but the removal of the sanity mechanic makes its absence extremely clear with these beasts.  Much of progressing past the pigs involves hiding in pitch dark and waiting for them to shamble past on their fairly unpredictable patrol routes, and this would not be possible if being in the dark would kill the player over time.

Being able to sit in the dark without dying is acceptable.  The problem is the player is also able to watch the pigs.  Keeping the pigs in sight means they lose much of the mystery the monsters had in the first game.  They cease to be disturbing once the play has seen enough of them, and shortly after the player's first encounter with one the game goes through an area where you cannot help but see a great many of them up-close from complete safety.

They look reasonably disturbing regardless, but not really any different from most horror enemies.  This segment of the game simply becomes a stealth game, with few real horror elements.

The Messy Finish

Eventually the machine returns to full working order and the veritable shit hits the fan.  This is where the story the game sacrificed so much to focus on comes to light, and it was the part of the game which left me most disappointed.

Not your standard video game factory.

Many have spoken out about how disturbing the tale is, and it does address some very heavy concepts.  Mankind, war, suffering, and the lengths people will go to do what they think is right are all things addressed, and A Machine for Pigs does so with several extremely dramatic scenes.  The first problem with this is that the actual story is still delivered primarily through scattered notes, making it entirely possible to get through the game and miss some very important plot points.

Speaking of plot...

Without giving away anything, the plot was ultimately fairly forgettable.  Yes, it deals with some serious issues, but it still ultimately comes down to a man trying to salvage his own shattered psyche to find redemption for sins of the past.  The name of the game itself hints at some of the more disturbing ideas involved, but the same sort of disturbing ideas can be encountered by reading most of the literature from the actual turn of the century.

The Unpleasant Conclusion

In the end, I did enjoy playing through A Machine for Pigs.  It would be decent as a standalone horror title, though not great by any stretch.  Unfortunately it was not a standalone title, leaving it a legacy to live up to that it simply did not even approach.  I am glad I played the game, but it is almost entirely forgettable in the light of its predecessor.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs Available Today Tue, 10 Sep 2013 10:52:59 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Today is the day all Amnesia: The Dark Descent fans have been waiting for. We have a game with the same grotesque horror feeling made by the same developers, who are also famous for Dear Esther. We'll be able to expect the same scary thrilling game we've come accustomed to with The Dark Descent, only A Machine for Pigs might have a twist upon it.

Spoilers ahead, beware!

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is centered around an industrialist named Oswald Mandus. He ventured just a bit too far in a Mexico expedition and returned home a bit more disturbed than when he left. Lucky enough, he recovers from the nightmares hes plagued with, unable to remember how much time has passed. Upon his recovery and slumber, he hears a machine below him come to life.

How similar is this to The Dark Descent?

This game is definitely very similar to our beloved horror, The Dark Descent. The darkness and light will equally become your enemy while you're guided with a lantern... again. As always, you won't have any weapons except your wits upon you, while traveling alone hoping to survive. The enemies are similar in the aspect that you can't harm them, and that they look a bit deranged like in the first game.

Where can I play the game?

Today, you're able to purchase Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs through many online stores including Steam, GOG, GamersGate, Gamefly, Desura, and the Mac Game Store. The game runs at $19.99 like The Dark Descent.

Only time will tell if this game can measure up to the horror games we're used to from Frictional Games.

War of the Horror Games: Outlast VS Amnesia Thu, 29 Aug 2013 16:45:35 -0400 Reilly C.

Anyone else ready for some more survival horror games coming over the horizon?

Well get ready for the beginning of September because two awesome horror games are coming out on the 4th and then 10th.

Let's get the obvious one out of the way and talk a little about Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

We all know Amnesia: Dark Decent mostly for every human with a YouTube channel doing a let's play of it.  It was a well made survival horror game from the makers of the Penumbra series which showed in the gameplay.  In fact, that was the reason I got psyched for that game in the first place.  If you have never played any of the Penumbra games and you love Amnesia, GO PLAY THEM.

That aside, not a WHOLE ton is known about the story of this game then the brief description on their site.  This seems pretty close to what the first game did with you, the character and player, not understanding the situation you are in and piecing together things as you go.  Of course it is going to have some interesting twists and turns in the story but what I really want to see is the environments and settings that this game will be taking place in, just like the one pictured below.

Running through ankle-deep blood and gore down a metal tunnel projecting my every move and gasp in all directions as my pursuer closes the distance squealing with an unbridled joy.  Ah, what horrors await me...

Next is Outlast which is coming out a week before A Machine for Pigs.  This one we know more about.

You play Miles Upshur who is a video journalist who is out for a story and finds himself in the Colorado mountain's breaking into an old asylum.  This asylum is no ordinary place though.  With a history of having some of the most mentally unstable people and doctors that were former Nazi's, some odd experiments happened here and now you are stuck there with the left overs...

Spooky right?  Not exactly a riveting or original tale but it tells the tale it needs to justify some amazing looking fast paced gameplay with some awesome camera effects. Hopefully this will come out polished and based upon the Red Barrels crew's resumes, I think it is in good hands.

We will see who provides the scarier experience soon with both coming out this upcoming month with Outlast on Sept. 4th and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs on Sept. 10th.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs Gets Release Date! Fri, 16 Aug 2013 15:52:24 -0400 Miranda Kirk

The highly anticipated Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the followup to Frictional Games’ original Amnesia: The Dark Descent, finally has an official launch date. After a few set backs and delays the team at The Chinese Room have set the release date for September 10. 

Also pre-orders just opened up on Steam with a 20 percent discount from the $19.99 price that will be set at launch--meaning you can grab it now for $15. The game is being developed for PC, Mac and Linux so all can indulge in this game.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent was a game that prompted many players to put up what seemed like an unlimited amount of Let’s Play videos. The game was so scary some people would rather just watch than play for themselves. If Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is anything like its predecessor I’m sure people will be lining up to watch their friends get the life scared out of them.

 Let’s all hope that the game will be worth the wait. I think considering two amazing teams collaborated on this one (The Chinese Room being the developer and Frictional Games producing); we will all be in for a good scare.

So if you are daring enough to play through yet another horrifying experience, pre-order today!

Tell me what you think about indie developers and their many delays! Do you think people are going to be hesitant about buying the game because of the push backs, or do you think allowing these developers time just makes the game better once it finally releases? Does consistency matter?

Time For Another Case of Amnesia Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:49:03 -0400 Sinh Taylor

Back in 2010 a little known studio by the name of Frictional Games released a game that would forever change the "survival horror" genre, Amnesia: The Dark Decent. The PC game (also later available on Mac OS X and Linux via Steam) was released as an independent download and recieved critical aclaim, eventually receiving the title "scariest game ever made" by fans. Late that year, the DLC pack, Amnesia: Justine, was released. At the 2011 Independent Games Festival, Amnesia won awards for "Excellence in Audio" and "Technical Excellence" as well as the "Direct2Drive Vision Award," which came with a $10,000 cash price.

In early 2012, the studio released one of the most creative bits of viral marketing to date. They updated thier website, simply called "Next Frictional Game," to feature a heavily distorted and blurred image above the "Amnesia" logo. Across the bottom were simply the words, "Something is emerging...." Clicking the blurred images would take the user to a Google map simply labeled "China." Later the image lead to "Boreray" until finally leading to the specific "502 2nd Avenue Seattle, WA, USA." This was bit of an easter egg for fans. Even moreso, opening the site's source code led fans to a computer-like console complete with a count down and runable command lines. Once the countdown expired, the website reads "A Machine For Pigs coming fall two thousand twelve."

Fast forward to June of 2012 and a mysterious video pops up on the Frictional Games YouTube channel. The "teaser trailer" was for the previously known "gameB" it showed some scenes from the game, ending with the player hiding under the stairs.

In October 2012, on Halloween, a second trailer was posted on the YouTube page. This reveiled the use of a latern as well as the voice of the main character. This trailer ended with the main character cornered in the game's pig slaughterhouse by an unseen beast.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is set to release Summer 2013

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs to Release Late 2013 Wed, 03 Jul 2013 11:11:15 -0400 Katy Hollingsworth

I recently wrote a review for the original Amnesia: The Dark Descent, in which I talked about a lot of the gameplay mechanics and story elements that made the game worth playing.

Amnesia: Justine, a DLC released in late 2010, featured many of the same puzzle-solving aspects without so much adventure. One big perk that drew so many to the title was the ability to create custom stories that could be loaded in to the game.

We've heard rumors and whispers about the development of a sequel since late 2011, and after many delays, we may finally be receiving a release date in late summer to early fall--Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs may hit Steam Halloween of this year, or this holiday season.

Developer thechineseroom has confirmed some definite changes to the gameplay. thechineseroom boasts that some of the original mechanics from Dark Descent have been removed in order to give veteran players a new experience when playing. However, core mechanics will remain so that those same veterans can re-experience the quirks they enjoyed.

As an indirect sequel, the storyline will obviously be very different and will take place in a parallel universe. Industrialist Oswald Mandus falls victim to illness sixty years after The Dark Descent, and has a dream about a dark machine--months later, having been unconscious, Mandus awakens to the roar of that very same machine.

Confirmed Changes:
  • Level design has expanded and outdoor environments will be introduced
  • Enemy behavior is now unpredictable with improved AI
  • Inventory has been completely removed

Those who follow the Amnesia franchise can check back for an official release date.