Amnesia: The Bunker is horrifically good (pic: Frictional Games)
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A good scare
Nice review of World Of Horror, GC. I felt blasé about watching the trailer, despite the warning, and you weren’t joking, that was pretty freaky stuff. Can’t believe it was made in MS Paint. I definitely agree that indie gaming is where most of the best horror games are to be found. I love Resident Evil but it’s very rarely scary nowadays. Resident Evil 4 wasn’t at all and Village only in that one bit (you know the bit!).
Whatever you think of Alan Wake 2 I don’t see anyone is claiming that it’s particularly scary, so I guess that means that the best big budget horror game this year is the Dead Space remake, but I never really like the original and so haven’t played it.
Instead, my recommendation would be Amnesia: The Bunker. It came out earlier this year and while GC gave it a good review I haven’t seen it mentioned much by anyone else. It’s easily the best Amnesia game since the first one but it’s also just a great survival horror game in general, with this monster that’s scared of light stalking you and you have to keep a careful eye on the time and how long generators and such are going to last, while you’re out exploring.
It reminded me a lot of Alien Isolation but with more variety and more things to do, so if you want to get scared tonight I suggest giving it a go. It’s only £15 at the moment, on the PlayStation Store, and worth every penny.
I’m starting to see why new horror games aren’t scary. They’ve nothing to rip from, at least film-wise. Alien, Dawn Of The Dead, and The Thing were all massive inspiration to game makers. What have we got these days? Paranormal Activity, Hereditary, or utter dirge like M3GAN.
It’s just so barren out there. We’ve had no new monsters in 20 years. Freddie’s past it, Aliens are a shadow of their former selves, and I’ll even say zombies have lost a lot of their appeal for me.
We desperately need a new enemy to hate/fight and be afraid of.
GC: Although there are good modern horror movies they don’t tend to be creature features, which is a shame. We actually touch on some of what you’re talking about in our RoboCop: Rogue City review.
Pros and cons
Shout out to Alan Wake 2’s quality and performance modes, they work just as you’d hope on console. The quality mode looks stunning and is locked at 30fps. The performance mode looks less stunning but still good and is a locked at 60 fps.
Counter to my usual preference I’ve gone with quality mode, because it really is a stunning looking game. But It’s left me more convinced than ever though, that I will go PC next gen, as I want quality 60fps settings and am happy to pony up to get it.
As for my initial impressions of the game after only four hours, fiddly and slow seems a fair comment from your review. I’m playing on hard and just beat the first boss. It wasn’t that hard, but I did die a few times getting used to the laggy feeling mechanics and would describe it as five very irritating minutes of gaming.
But the vibe and setting is a pleasure to inhabit and that’s what got me intrigued. Just talking to a couple of characters at the start in a cafe and it all feels very naturalistic. Other aspects of Remedy’s style of storytelling I find intrigue and grate in equal measure.
It’s not immediately grabbed me in the way Control did but, overall, so far it’s felt unique enough I’m looking forward to diving back in.
GC: We hated that boss. However, the background in that area, with the foliage flailing about in the wind and rain, is some of the best stuff in the game.
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The nominations are…
After finishing Alan Wake 2 yesterday I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. The best game I’ve played since The Last Of Us Part 2 released. Everything was brilliant. Gameplay, Visuals, Art Direction, Voice Acting.
Now the wait for photo mode and New Game+ to be added soon. I might even travel back to Bright Falls before then. An amazing achievement from Remedy. In my opinion, their best game by a long way.
GC: We like how you capitalised all those, as if they’re awards.
Wait and see
I’ve put in 10 hours on Alan Wake over the weekend and I’ve absolutely loved the experience. It seems every now and then I just want a big showy spectacle on my next gen console. There are so many technical and artistic flourishes that I can’t help but marvel at the screen.
I was also genuinely scared when controlling Saga in the forest and getting attacked by wolves and such.
Now I have load of weapons and I’m a pro at dodging, so the horror has dissipated.
I think, going forward, I’m going to agree with your review more and more as I can’t imagine things changing up much.
But I hope to be proven wrong as I feel there is enough substance to go with the overwhelming amount of style.
Switch 3 revealed
Interesting story on the Nintendo dual screen console patent. But Michael B. was right, these things wouldn’t be made public if it was revealing the new console.
I remember a Nintendo patent from around 2016 (pre-Switch reveal), showing a console cloud network that became more powerful the more players that used it. And then a story even earlier of Nintendo apparently working with Sharp Electronics on some kind of flexible screens that can fold. Neither of those have come to fruition yet, though exciting to think of the possibilities.
It must be an absolute hoot working in Nintendo R&D, designing whatever your imagination can dream up, even if it never becomes a reality.
(Friend code: SW-0066-5918-0407 – add me for some online Mario Kart or Super Mario Bros. Wonder)
Really enjoying Assassin’s Creed Mirage. Having played most of the other games in the series it’s great to have a more condensed game that I’ll complete for once.
Knowing how short it is I subscribed to the Unisoft subscription service for €18 and turned off recurring monthly charges. Even if it’s the only game I play on the subscription it’s a bargain.
The PlayStation 5 is outselling the Xbox by 9 to 1 in France? That is crazy. I never really thought about whether individual European countries had very difference preferences I guess because, like you said, that sort of information is rarely mentioned. I think I vaguely knew that Germany was really big on PC and Europe in general doesn’t like Xbox but that was about it.
I really don’t see how Microsoft claws back from a 10% market share, because clearly Starfield didn’t make a difference and I can’t really see Fable going down all that well in France. It seems to me the future for Xbox has to be mobile and streaming because they’ve lost the console war and even where they sell best, like the US and UK they’re still well behind Sony.
Personally I think they’re just going to tread water until they can legally make Call Of Duty an exclusive, but by that time you’ll just be able to stream it straight onto your TV or phone and they can completely bypass Sony and its ecosystem. What they do in the meantime I don’t know but I get the feeling that nobody in France cares.
So who’s going to bet on Super Mario Bros. Wonder being the Christmas number one? It’d be one of the rare times that it’s not Call Of Duty or FIFA/EA Sports FC.
I had no idea that Five Nights At Freddy’s was still big, I thought that was a flash in the pan from five years ago. Hilarious that 95% of the audience was under 35 though, I guess no adults wanted to see it at all.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Danse, who asks what franchise or genre have you changed your opinion on over time?
Not every game or concept can grab you straight away, but are there any that grew on you over time? Similarly, is there any that you used to enjoy but have now grown tired of?
What caused the change and did it happen suddenly, with just one game or experience, or gradually over the time, following multiple sequels and similar games? Is there anything in the future that you think could change your mind again?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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The Tuesday letters page wonders how Xbox will attempt to win over Europe, as one reader bets on Super Mario Wonder being the Christmas number one.