That last play session was bad: I mean, I was pretty much cowering in the virtual corner the whole time. But today, I’m feeling confident. I’m feeling brave. So I go onto Steam and I click the logo. And the title screen comes up and the music kicks in…
Okay, maybe I am not feeling confident at all.
That is usually my thought process every time I boot up the latest game in the Amnesia franchise. It is a really rather brutal video game, that taps into a psychological unease inside all of us. No, not that all string music is really scary, the unease that being alone in the dark, being forced to go ahead into unimaginable things is a nightmare.
In A Machine For Pigs, you are Oswald Mandus, a man suffering from amnesia who wakes up in his mansion to find that his children are gone. As he (and you) traverse the mansion, there are flashes of the two boys running through the halls. But that’s all they are: flashes. You are alone, apart from some stuffed animals and questionable decor. When Mandus gets a mysterious phone call from creepy stock horror guy (as I call him), he realises that maybe the only way to save his children is to venture deep into the heart of his own factory where his own personal demons await. And the pig monsters of course.
A Machine For Pigs has that great (and at the same time, horrible) feeling of journeying to the centre of the Earth. As you get deeper and deeper into the game and the mystery, you realise the longer it will take to get back to reality. As the narrative progresses, Mandus finds that there are far worse things down in the dark than pig monsters. Once Amnesia has it’s hold on you, it compels you to step forward, simply by giving you no other choice. You will always keep coming back to it, even if it’s the last thing you want to do.
So, after the latest play session, I decided to compile a list of ways to recover from the Amnesia. Because after entering that world, you need to treat yourself to the simple pleasures of reality. This is ‘Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs – 5 Ways To Recover From A Play Session.’
5. Go Outside In The Sun
Now by this time, it should be coming up to daytime. That beautiful time where even pig monsters skulk back into their pig-shaped hideaways and go to bed. So why not seize the chance and go out in the sunshine? Feel the rays on your skin and forget about ever playing that horrible nasty game.
A trip to the beach, a walk in the country, a swim in a lake. Anything is possible, if only because you are not Mandus and you don’t have to deal with the stuff he has going around his head.
Clarification: No matter how sprawling the openworld might be, loading up GTA V does not count as “going outside.”
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This article was first posted on September 26, 2013