Amnesia: The Bunker is a Return to Form

A must play for immersive sim and horror fans

As someone who loves horror games, I have unfortunately never played the Amnesia games, that is, until now. Amnesia: The Bunker by Frictional Games was a decent introduction to the franchise and has definitely piqued my interest in playing the other games in the series.

In Amnesia: The Bunker, players take control of Henri Clement, a French soldier in the trenches of World War I who finds himself waking up in the infirmary after mysterious events leave him unconscious. Upon his awakening, players learn that his comrades have either abandoned him or met a gruesome end at the hands of The Stalker, a grotesque beast that haunts Henri as he attempts to gather resources to escape the bunker or else suffer the same fate of his fallen comrades.

The Bunker presents a rather open world and non-linear story for players to explore the bunker early on in the game. Armed with a dynamo flashlight, you’ll need to explore the bunker to collect fuel for the generator to light up the bunker (which keeps The Stalker slightly at bay), to uncover what happened down there, and to find a way to escape.

Amnesia: The Bunker

With this game being quite open to explore, you are constantly searching for resources and backtracking to open new paths while playing an intense game of cat and mouse. There is no distinct patrol route for the monster, much like that of the Xenomorph in Alien Isolation; however, the AI of The Stalker is not nearly as smart. When trying to evade or hide from it, I found it fairly easy to avoid detection. While there is not much at all you can do to fight back against the monster, there are some cool mechanics in the game that allow you to slow it down.

As far as the gameplay goes, the mechanics are reasonably easy to get used to and allow for some unique moments. You have simple movement controls that allow you to crouch, lean from side to side, and to sprint. In addition you can easily pick up, examine and even combine items to help you in your exploration and escape. The game even encourages you to try different combinations and techniques to sole puzzles, and if you think it could work, chances are it will. While, of course, this was not always the case (i.e needing a wrench to take off vent covers,) it did allow for some freedom and creativity for the player.

The story of Amnesia: The Bunker is largely told through the notes and journals that Henri uncovers during his escape, and while this does seem very much like a self contained story, I have heard there are small pieces here and there that longtime fans of the other games will appreciate!

Amnesia: The Bunker is a survival horror game that leaves players running from a monster that stalks your every move in this war torn bunker. It’s scares are ever present as there is no distinct pattern or way of knowing when the monster will attack. The easy to use mechanics allows for some decent and creative gameplay to further the story along. Amnesia: The Bunker is a scary introduction for newcomers to the Amnesia series like myself, but it is a decent thrill for fans of the franchise. It was a good start to my venture into the world of Amnesia, but I may have to wait before I’m ready to take another dark descent into this world of nightmares.

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