A Machine for Pigs’ – The Tacoma Ledger

I’m going to get this out of the way: I loved “Amnesia: The Dark Descent.” The atmosphere was rich, it had a deeply engrossing plot, and I had never played any game nearly as frightening.

With that said, if you loved “Amnesia” for those reasons and only those reasons, you may want to pick up “Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs,” developed by The Chinese Room. You will undoubtedly like it and it’s only $20 on Steam. If you were also drawn to the strong puzzle elements, freedom of exploration, and constant threat of the unknown, you might still want to buy it but prepare for mild disappointment.

Before I go any further, let me just say that I liked this game a lot. I have been craving a terrifying and masterfully crafted horror gaming experience like that of the original “Amnesia” ever since I finished my play-through. This sequel delivered in that area splendidly.

“A Machine for Pigs” manages to capture that cat-and-mouse feeling quite well for the majority of the game. The plot is fiendishly confusing and at times cryptic, and it lends itself to being carefully analyzed from beginning to end. It even helps contribute to the fear factor as several plot points are completely insane and terrifying. I found the game difficult to put down throughout the experience.

As you might expect, it’s not a perfect experience, and unfortunately it isn’t quite as strong as the original in many aspects. To begin with, I was unsatisfied with how railroaded the game felt compared to its predecessor.

Environments feel smaller and more linear and backtracking is usually impossible as routes are sealed so that the only way to move is forward. The inventory screen has been completely scrapped and there are essentially no items to pick up for later use with the exception of what you can carry in your hand.

Speaking of which, you can only lift a few specific objects this time around, another downgrade from “The Dark Descent” which had no qualms with…

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