Amnesia: the Dark Descent is the creepiest game I have ever played - and could be considered one of the top horror experiences of all-time. What is particularly amazing about the game is that it creates its horror more from atmosphere than anything else (even 'instructing' players upon starting the game on how to get the most out of the experience) and scares without relying on excessive violence or gore. EA's Dead Space 2 has a lot of scary moments, but despite bombarding players with a host of disturbing images it cannot instill players with the sense of dread that every second inside Brennenburg Castle does.
It is a game people who enjoy being scared must check out, and a new deal between Frictional Games and THQ may help to give the game further exposure. While the game has been available for quite some time as a digital download from services like Steam, it is now getting its first release at physical retail where its $20 price tag will hopefully not immediately relegate it to the bargain software section. Though it shows some rough edges at times, Amnesia is a remarkably polished experience from a small independent studio - and one that writes its own proprietary engine, to boot.
Despite earning a host of accolades and recommendations from blogs and enthusiast gaming sites alike, Frictional has only managed to shift about 200,000 copies so far. This is more than enough for the studio to make money on the title, but this release will hopefully help the game achieve a wider audience.
If THQ or Frictional ever release public numbers about the retail copy's success, it will be an interesting case in the ongoing study of digital versus physical retail in PC gaming. At the same time, in coming out February 22nd, it is competing against high-profile releases like Bulletstorm and Killzone 3, but there is nothing on the market which is quite like playing Amnesia.
The box art is arguably not the greatest design, but don't let that fool you: Amnesia is a game that shouldn't be missed.