It was a bright and sunny day when I bought Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
It was a dark and stormy night when I finally launched Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
“Put on headphones,” the game whispered to me. “Play with the gamma turned down. Yeah, we know it’s one in the morning and you’re short on sleep and the lights are off and you’re all alone in a big scary house while a storm rages outside, but this is just a video game.
“You play video games all the time.
“Trust us. You’re safe. This is nothing more than a systemic arrangement of 1’s and 0’s. You can do it.”
Successfully lulled into a false sense of security, I proceeded to play one hour of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. And then I shut it off and, despite repeated attempts, never managed to play it again.
I’m not sure what to think of a game that scared me so badly that I literally never wanted to play it again for fear of soiling myself. I hunt monsters. I destroy monsters. By rote and by choice I am a weekend Space Marine, armed to teeth against the ever-present horde of the Zerg or the Orks or whatever game I’m playing. I stood toe-to-tooth against a giant, flying, saber-toothed cat with a scorpion tail and wore it’s fur as a battle bikini. I am a frickin’ superhero, and superheros aren’t afraid of some drafty corridors and uneven lighting.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent does not care what power fantasies I entertain in other video games. Amnesia cares only that I be scared out of my mind in the shortest amount of time possible in the greatest way possible.
And that is why I’m never playing it again.