In case you missed out on it earlier this year, you should really play Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Frictional Games built on the foundation it laid during its work on the Penumbra series to deliver a title that doesn't rely on shock scares or cheap, gross-out imagery to frighten. It's the genuine article -- a consistently unsettling game world that never lets up and only becomes stranger as time goes on; a title very much worthy of the designation "survival horror."
Right from the beginning as the protagonist Daniel, the game tosses you into the unknown, forcing you to flee from hellish, unseen forces on your way to uncovering whatever secrets lie buried at the bottom of Castle Brennenburg. Many games of this kind give you a weapon to ward off enemies. Some shambling thing might stumble around the corner, but it's not a big deal because you can just blast its legs off and step on its face. That's not at all the case here. If an enemy creeps into view, you have to hide. You're not a fighter, but a desperate victim clawing and scraping in a pit of fiendish circumstance and uncertainty. I can definitely see how some gamers will not want something like this, but when a developer gets something so right, it's at least worth a look.
And hey, it's also been nominated for IGN's PC game of the year, right alongside StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Civilization V, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Mass Effect 2.
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