Review by Matzen12

Reviewed: 07/02/14

A true machine for pigs... but is that good or bad?

This game is a sequel of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which I played and fell in love with. So it goes without saying that I was waiting with bated breath for A Machine For Pigs. And then it was released, and, well...

Gameplay: 7/10
The core gameplay remains; you must traverse a mysterious factory area and avoid monsters while solving puzzles to proceed. The hint system remains, but is a LOT more cryptic. Unlike the first game, many doors are barred, leaving a much more linear experience, which detracts from the overall game to me.

The inventory has been done away with completely, as has the Sanity mechanic; therein lies my main gripe, as the Sanity mechanic contributed very positively towards Dark Descent and added a touch of realism. I assume this was implemented to prevent suspension of disbelief and help immerse the player, but it could have been done better. Any items that need to be used somewhere else still glow with a different hue, but need to be carried physically. Also, unlike its predecessor, the protagonist in this game regenerates his health over time.

The lantern in this game burns indefinitely, but illuminates a much smaller area than the lantern from the first game. It also serves as your primary monster alert; unlike in the first game, you don't get anywhere near as many auditory cues when a monster spawns. You get a short cry to alert you of its presence, but there is no change in the music, and the only way to know you're getting closer to it is by the flicker of your lantern. It's not badly done, but it could have been done better.

Story: 10/10
Wealthy industrialist Oswald Mandus wakes up in late December 1899, almost to a new century, to the sound of his children's voices. He has no recollection of his activities lately, and as he steps out of bed, a machine roars to life...

The story may be slightly difficult to understand on your first playthrough, but it's an extremely well-written story. Some parts of it may be slightly predictable, but overall the story is excellent, although I doubt that 18th century aristocrats were quite so archaic in their speech; seems more like an excuse to show off some big words to me.

Graphics and sound: 9/10
The graphics are extremely well done, a noticeable improvement of the first game. The ambience is still excellent, although the warping effects from the first game are gone due to there being no Sanity mechanic. But the detail put into the entities is simply outstanding.

The sound effects are extremely high quality, and so is the soundtrack. This game has a different composer, which is noticeable; the music is more of a soundtrack than the ambience of the first game, and maybe a touch overbearing. The voice acting is good, but not perfect.

Replay value: 0/10
The harsh truth of this game is that the replay value is negligible at best. There are no custom stories, and no randomized scares. It's a linear, interactive horror movie. That's it. Perhaps its replay value lies in replaying it once you have an understanding of the basic story in order to understand the story fully, but other than that, there is no replay value.

Final score: 6/10
While this is not a bad game by any means (I think, I'm still not that well-versed in the horror genre), it fails to live up to the hype of its predecessor. It probably would have done better as a standalone game.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (US, 09/10/13)

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