I got to write a review of the new Amnesia game from The Chinese Room for Games.On.Net. And I loved the game. Until it stopped being that game, and dragged out way, way too long, and got just kind of silly.
Anyway, read the review. I’m going to use this to elaborate further, outside of the review format, and without having to worry about spoilers. Hence:
Reaching the reactor really felt like the end of the game to me. You had the emotional catharsis of seeing the pig creatures in their cells, and after that I couldn’t fear them, only pity them. Seeing them hide from you in their misery, how could you feel anything but pity? By the time you get to the reactor, you feel like you’re going to save them, your children, even if it means dying for the sin of creating them. It feels like the end.
Only the game doesn’t end there. You and the pig creatures get pushed up to the surface, where they rampage, and you wander around a bit in their wake. Then you go back down again. And from that point I really lost track of what the point of it all was. And then the Tesla Manpig shows up, looking like something out of Wolfenstein. It just seems silly, not to mention at odds with the rest of the game’s aesthetic.
I was already getting a bit fed up with the game by this point, and this thing pushed me over the edge. I just couldn’t care any more, and I just wanted the game to be done already. By the time I got the game’s actual conclusion, it felt like it had long overstayed its welcome.
The other thing that annoyed me was how much the game came to rely on journal entries and found texts to tell the story by the end. Having to stop and read journal entries really killed any remaining sense of pacing or tension.
When I reached the final climb up the pyramid-shaped whatever, to the machine that did something, I don’t know what, I really had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or why. It really had become just about pressing ‘W’ to walk forward and get to the end of the game already.
I so desperately wanted to love this game. But the pacing just killed it for me.