Amnesia Collection (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 22.11.2016

Review for Amnesia Collection on PlayStation 4

Frictional Games is no stranger to horror. The developer's entire portfolio is made up entirely of horror titles, such as the Penumbra series and the recent Soma. Before the latter game, there was Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which scared the life out of famous Let's Players, rocketing the series to cult status. After an impressive expansion called Amnesia: Justine and a team-up with The Chinese Room resulting in Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the series has finally hit consoles with Amnesia Collection on PlayStation 4. Are console gamers prepared for the horror that awaits them?

The games in Amnesia Collection are an interesting assortment, with the crown jewel being Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which is by the far the real reason why anyone would make the plunge and download this compilation. The Dark Descent is very freaky, and shows that Frictional Games really knows what it's doing. There is an unprecedented amount of restraint when it comes to the monster that is always rarely shown, and the few glimpses that are given are utterly chilling. The Dark Descent is also one of those games that does an excellent job at simulating insanity thanks to some mind-boggling effects that subtly twist and warp the world from the main point of view. Justine, for the most part, carries on the same traditions as the previous title, but is basically more of the same, except less interesting. Both games have limited resources and rely on light to maintain sanity, and use an inventory system that isn't that much different from old-school Resident Evil titles.

As the title of Amnesia Collection implies, the lack of memory plays a big role in all these games. Many notes discovered are actually written by the protagonist, which can have different meanings depending on the ending earned. It's like Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem meets Christopher Nolan's Memento in some ways, and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle for A Machine for Pigs. The atmosphere in all of these titles is very bleak and even depressing in some cases. Even the best endings earned are not much better consolation prizes considering the worst-case scenarios. All this gloominess and horrible atmosphere is absolutely core to the game, since the gameplay is pretty spartan. Aside from sneaking and puzzle solving, don't expect much else to do in A Machine for Pigs. Even at the boot-up screen, the team at Frictional Games makes a strange statement about how these games are not meant to be "played traditionally." These are games that are all about atmosphere and the narrative.

Screenshot for Amnesia Collection on PlayStation 4

In all three titles, there will be lots of sulking around decrepit structures, scrounging for clues, key items or some consumables. However, A Machine for Pigs is distinctly a much more simplified kind of game compared to the rest of the entries in this collection. It is easily the weakest in this package, with so many of the features seen in the past games removed, as well as a complete lack of subtly. Very early on, A Machine for Pigs establishes itself without having any build-up, as well as having very comical looking monster designs that just feel so out of place in this collection.

The Dark Descent and Justine are also pretty lengthy survival horror games, but A Machine for Pigs is really short, which only emphasises just how lacking in content it actually is. The other games had multiple endings, larger environments and better AI for the stalkers, too. The marriage of The Chinese Room and Frictional Games luckily ended in divorce, because A Machine for Pigs is full of so much missed opportunity and is such a wasted good idea.

Amnesia Collection runs really well on PlayStation 4, for the most part. The Dark Descent and Justine perform beautifully, and since A Machine for Pigs is the runt of the Frictional Games' litter, it had to be the one that is the most inconsistent. Frictional Games is clearly more proud of the titles that had no influence by The Chinese Room. If there is one annoying aspect about Amnesia Collection it is that it lacks an option to leave a game and to play a different one. Utterly repulsed by the dumbed down gameplay of A Machine for Pigs and wish to replay The Dark Descent? Better exit out of the entire application and reboot it. This is such a basic feature that was figured out on remasters appearing on the PlayStation 3, so why are developers still unable to implement such an action in the options menu? Annoying lack of options aside, Amnesia Collection does show its age a bit with its sparse level designs and low budget, but they are still really good looking.

Screenshot for Amnesia Collection on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Amnesia Collection is $30 and comes with two great survival horror games and one mediocre, short walking simulator. This is a pretty great compilation if only because The Dark Descent is one of the scariest games around these days, and is probably worth it alone for the asking price. A Machine for Pigs may be pretty horrible and disappointing, but come for The Dark Descent and bring a change of clean trousers.

Developer

Frictional Games

Publisher

Frictional Games

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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