Amnesia: The Dark Descent - FG_kira


Are you a Linux or a Mac user? Amnesia: The Dark Descent's Hard Mode update is now creeping onto your platforms too!

Don't know what the Hard Mode is? Here's a reminder.

It is really just as the title suggests: a mode that makes it harder to beat the game. You know, in case it wasn’t stressful enough for you.

The Hard Mode has the following features:

- Autosaves are disabled, and manual saving costs 4 tinderboxes
- Sanity dropping to zero results in death
- Less oil and tinderboxes throughout the levels
- Monsters are faster, spot the player more easily, deal more damage and stay around for longer
- There is no danger music when the monsters are near.

So in summary: the environments are harsher, the monsters more unforgiving, insanity is deadly, and death is final – unless you pay a toll.

You can pick between normal mode and Hard Mode when starting a new game of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The mode changes some fundamental elements of the game, and therefore can’t be changed halfway through.

Beating the game on Hard Mode will earn you a new trophy called Masochist. Because, you know, you pretty much have to be one to complete the mode.

The mode affects the Illuminatus achievement, which you can’t get during playing in Hard Mode as it reduces the amount of tinderboxes throughout the level.

Missed our release last week? You can also play the Hard Mode on Windows!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent - FG_kira


Need a new challenge? Well, you're in luck, because we are now introducing the Hard Mode for Amnesia: The Dark Descent!

What is the Hard Mode? It is really just as the title suggests: a mode that makes it harder to beat the game. You know, in case it wasn’t stressful enough for you.

The Hard Mode has the following features:

- Autosaves are disabled, and manual saving costs 4 tinderboxes
- Sanity dropping to zero results in death
- Less oil and tinderboxes throughout the levels
- Monsters are faster, spot the player more easily, deal more damage and stay around for longer
- There is no danger music when the monsters are near.

So in summary: the environments are harsher, the monsters more unforgiving, insanity is deadly, and death is final – unless you pay a toll.

You can pick between normal mode and Hard Mode when starting a new game of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The mode changes some fundamental elements of the game, and therefore can’t be changed halfway through.

Beating the game on Hard Mode will earn you a new trophy called Masochist. Because, you know, you pretty much have to be one to complete the mode.

The mode affects the Illuminatus achievement, which you can’t get during playing in Hard Mode as it reduces the amount of tinderboxes throughout the level.

We will be patching in the Mac and Linux versions next week.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

With the season of spooky celebrations kicking off, Amnesia: The Dark Descent has added a Hard Mode for people who wish to suffer terrible cruelty as they explore the horrible ghost house of meat monsters. The new mode, added to 2010’s first-person spooker in a patch today, makes the meatmen more murderous and starves us of comforting light so we lose our mind (and then die as we lose our loose grip on reality). So a real good time. It’s a stark contrast to the bonus mode developers Frictional Games added to their later Soma – an easy option for explorers and sightseers. This time, they want you dead.

(more…)

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Frictional Games' terrifying Amnesia: The Dark Descent is getting an official Hard Mode next week, on September 28th, almost eight years after it first released on PC.

We can can thank the recently announced Xbox One version of the Amnesia: Collection for this surprise addition. Frictional explained that that, as part of its work on the collection, it decided to "spice it up with a little treat".

As you can probably surmise, Hard Mode makes the already exhausting The Dark Descent more difficult by making a number of tweaks to the original's design. Autosaves are disabled, for instance, and you'll require four tinderboxes in order to perform a manual save.

Read more…

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Frictional Games has announced that Amnesia: The Dark Descent will be getting a "hard mode" on September 28.

In a move that's a huge contrast to the Safe Mode, introduced to Frictional's SOMA, a couple of years ago, Amnesia will now be even more challenging. According to Frictional, the new beefed up difficulty will make it "a little harder to beat the game."

The changes from the original difficulty mean autosaves will be disabled, manual saving will cost four tinderboxes, losing all sanity will result in death, and oil and tinderboxes will be more hard to come by. 

And if that's not enough to get you crying into your keyboard, monsters will be able to locate you more easily, they'll be faster when they do, and are likely to make shorter work of you as their damage has also been increased. They'll stick around for longer too, presumably to bask in your misery and/or death. Yikes.

Completing the game on Hard mode will net you a sparkly, new trophy, aptly called 'Masochist'. You'll be able to choose between 'normal' and 'hard' mode when starting a new game but will be unable to switch part-way through, so choose carefully.  

Amnesia: The Dark Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

I was jolly pleased when Frictional Games patched a ‘Safe Mode’ into Soma, letting fraidypants like me freely explore the undersea horror. Conversely, I said “Ha ha ha NOPE” aloud after Frictional announced today that they will next add a new difficulty level to Amnesia: The Dark Descent – a ‘Hard Mode’ to freak your nut out and murder you hard. No thank you! But I know some Amnesia players had wanted their minds more fragile and its ghoulies deadlier, so good for them? Agh.

(more…)

Amnesia: The Dark Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Samuel Horti)

alien isolation header

The inspiration for Alien: Isolation came from a simple thought experiment: what if somebody let a lion loose in developer Creative Assembly s office? I d get behind my desk and make sure it wouldn t see me, says the game s creative director Alistair Hope. Then, you d need to get to the fire escape. Maybe I d move desk to desk and distract it. If you are confronted by it, what do you do? What do you know about it? What do you know about what it knows about you? That felt pretty cool, and it wasn t relying on scripted events.

Most of us know the feelings of dread that accompany playing a horror game. But how do developers create those feelings from scratch? What are the tricks that developers use to scare us, and create a sense of atmosphere? How do they go from imagining a lion in a studio, or an empty bathroom, to moments that will scare the pants off us? I spoke to four of the top minds in the industry to find out. (more…)

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

The quality of Amadeus, an Amnesia mod by Swedish creator Reminiscity, becomes clear when I step into the main hall of the old house where the story takes place. It’s a beautiful, grand room, with cold moonlight pouring through stained-glass windows, glass domes in the ceiling, a velvet-carpeted stairway, and eerie oil paintings hanging on the walls. It’s probably prettier than the main game’s Brennenburg Castle, which is quite an achievement for a free mod. 

Inspired by Christopher Nolan’s wonderful The Prestige and, curiously, the work of TV mind-wizard Derren Brown, Amadeus tells the story of Cornelius Campbell, a magician trading under the name The Amazing Alduin. Cornelius’ career has come grinding to an undignified halt, and where once he was able to fill the biggest theatres, he now struggles to attract even a meagre audience. This is what tips him over the edge, sending him spiralling down a path of madness as he does whatever it takes to become popular again—even if that involves something unsavoury. Which, this being a mod for Amnesia: The Dark Descent, is a distinct possibility.

Clocking in at four-to-six hours, depending on how cautious a player you are, there’s a significant chunk of game to be found here. And it has the production values you’d usually expect from an in-house Frictional project, with surprisingly decent voice acting, bespoke animations and some stunning environmental art. Early in the game I wake up in a cell and find myself walking through an underground cave network, with waterfalls and shafts of light spilling through cracks in the rocks. It’s a really impressive space, and I’m not surprised when I learn that it took Reminiscity over three years to complete this mod. I’m sure he feels well rewarded: the game has received a parade of enthusiastic 10/10 user reviews on ModDB, and was also voted as that site’s Amnesia Mod of the Year for 2017.

Amadeus is striking in that almost every aspect of it feels professional. The pacing is magnificent, leaving a good amount of tension-building space between the scares to really make them count.

As a studio, Frictional encourages modding, and released a level editor to allow Amnesia players to create their own custom stories with relative ease. This, however, means there are a lot of mods out there and many of them are, honestly, pretty rubbish. But Amadeus is striking in that almost every aspect of it feels professional. The pacing is magnificent, leaving a good amount of tension-building space between the scares to really make them count. And that’s something that eludes even the creators of big, commercial horror games with Hollywood movie budgets. Reminiscity seems to understand the importance of restraint and subtlety. 

Although the mod does stick closely to the Amnesia formula, it also mixes things up a little—and makes some changes for the better. Some of you will disagree, but I always thought the sanity-health-lamp management side of Amnesia was a chore, and got in the way of the story. So I was glad to discover that Amadeus gets rid of the need to constantly hunt down laudanum, sanity potions, and tinderboxes, making it feel more like divisive sequel A Machine for Pigs—which it also borrows some assets from. That will turn some hardcore Amnesia fans off, but for me it gives the story and atmosphere room to breathe.

Monster mash

Amadeus does fall flat occasionally, however. Although I do appreciate the decision to create original monsters for the mod, I never found any of them that scary. A lot of the puzzles are cleverly designed—particularly the one that involves playing a tune on a piano—but the difficulty of some of the trickier ones left me frustrated rather than challenged. And there’s a general feeling of front-loading, with some of the later scenes lacking the finesse of the opening hours. But in light of everything else it does well, I’d still recommend it, flaws and all. Especially since it costs absolutely nothing to play, providing you own an up-to-date copy of Amnesia. 

Designing horror games is difficult, and for every one that nails it, there are a dozen that sink into cliche and lazy jump scares. Other mods for Amnesia shoot themselves in the foot by relying on things leaping out of the shadows, or sudden loud noises, too much. And that’s why Amadeus stands out: it knows when to hold back, teasing you, keeping the tension tight like piano wire. If you want to play for yourself, Amadeus is available on ModDB and installation is as easy as dropping a folder into your install directory and running a .bat file. Eight years later, it’s great to see Amnesia still firing modders’ imaginations.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

If you have not bought the Amnesia first-person spookers intentionally, inadvertently acquired them in an old bundle you don’t really remember buying, nor grabbed them when they were free in January good news: both Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs are free for keepsies right now on Steam. What’s changed since the last giveaway? I still have not finished either of them, I’ll tell you that much. You go lock yourselves into dungeons with terrible monsters, I’ll be just fine where I am, thanks. (more…)

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Stressful horror romp Amnesia: Dark Descent and its follow-up, A Machine for Pigs, have been in so many bundles that you might already own them without realising it, but if you don’t, then you can pick them up on Steam for free. The deal is for a limited time, but we don’t know how long that will be, so you’ll probably want to snatch them up right now. 

Both Amnesia games are free individually, but for some reason the Amnesia Collection still has the full price. Instead, you can either get them separately, or you can click on 'package info' and get taken to the free version of the collection. It’s a little bit counter-intuitive.

Occasionally I’ll fire up the game that made screaming on YouTube popular, only to be reminded that I can only stomach about 30 minutes in this brilliant but terrifying haunted house. I’ll probably finish it after every single human on the planet owns a copy. 

Once you add Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs to your Steam account, you’ll be able to keep them after the free period has ended. So go do that. 

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