What do the following all have in common: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, SOMA, and Amnesia: Rebirth? Aside from being great first-person horror titles, they were all made by Frictional Games. Great studio if you ask me, and as you have likely guessed from the title, they recently announced Amnesia: The Bunker, a nonlinear experience set during the first World War. Oh boy.
So, Amnesia: The Bunker. World War I. Yup, already terrified, and all I’ve experienced is the trailer and a handful of screenshots. Terrified and excited, because in spite of its age, Amnesia: The Dark Descent remains one of the greatest video games in the horror genre, far as I’m concerned. Sure, there have been excellent titles following that one, but you know how it is – comparisons tend to be based on the original. Or some such.
That said, it seems we can expect a rather different ride once we step into the shoes of the French soldier Henri Clément, armed with only a single bullet in his gun and a noisy dynamo flashlight. Is Henri ready to face the ever-present threat that reacts to even slight movements and barely audible sounds? Unlikely, but something – or someone – happened to everyone else, and it’s up to him to find out what… or die trying.
Where have all the officers gone? What diabolical nightmare lurks underneath this hellscape? Unravel the mysteries of the Bunker and get to know the nooks and crannies of this cruel sandbox to up your odds of survival.
Now, one might think that the nonlinearity of the open world would prove beneficial to our protagonist, but I somehow doubt it. No matter what, no matter how crafty the player is with whatever resources they can scavenge, something tells me the unknown presence is always going to have the advantage. Time is not on his side.
Like in past Frictional Games titles, Amnesia: The Bunker features a system that allows players tactile and physics-based interactions with the world, and in this case, that’s very likely going to play into the fact that there’s more than one way to overcome obstacles/solve puzzles. Which is an undeniably nice change from how scripted and paint-by-numbers a lot of horror games tend to be, even in 2022, and even if ones crafted by AAA studios with a million-dollar budget. Fingers crossed Amnesia: The Bunker will be able to show them all how it’s done (again), come next spring.