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Amnesia: Rebirth

You can’t let out a breath. The creature is only inches away. Its sole purpose - to feed off your terror. And so you crouch in the dark, trying to stop the fear rising, trying to silence what lies within you. “I know you. I know what you're capable of.” In Amnesia: Rebirth, you are Tasi Trianon, waking up deep in the desert of Algeria. Days have passed. Where have you been? What did you do? Where are the others? Retrace your journey, pull together the fragments of your shattered past; it is your only chance to survive the pitiless horror that threatens to devour you. “Do not allow yourself anger, do not allow yourself to fear.” Time is against you. Step into Tasi’s shoes and guide her through her personal terror and pain. While you struggle to make your way through a desolate landscape, you must also struggle with your own hopes, fears, and bitter regrets. And still you must continue, step by step, knowing that if you fail you will lose everything. First-person narrative horror experience Explore environments and uncover their histories. Overcome puzzles that stand in your way. Carefully manage your limited resources, both physical and mental. Encounter horrific creatures and use your wits and understanding of the world to escape them.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

I loved the dark atmosphere, simple puzzles and exploration. The story and dialogue are well done and thoughtful. I played in Adventure Mode, which lets you play at your own pace without any monsters attacking you. This made the game more accessible to me as a disabled person, since I can't think quickly enough for the regular scary mode. They also did a great job keeping me on track with hints. I never got lost or stuck on a puzzle for too long. It was engaging all the way through and gave me a sense of accomplishment.

Review from Steam

TL;DR
If Amnesia Rebirth were the only Amnesia game to exist then it would be a fine game but that's all. Not great but just fine. Having read many of the criticisms of the game it's my opinion that some are solid and others didn't reflect the experience fairly.
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A note
The current top review for this game claims to have up to 600 hours logged on Amnesia: Rebirth, given my playtime that would be equivalent to roughly 73 playthroughs. Unless you're a speedrunner that makes no sense whatsoever, the real source of their play time is mentioned being custom games and content creation. There is little if any review of the main game and their experience is not the way most people will play the game let alone the expected way to play the game. But yeah I have 600 unlogged hours on shower with your dad simulator so I'm pretty much an expert.
Anyways this isn't a review of a review so lets try and give a comprehensive review of the core aspects of the game with only 8.2 hours logged.
Setting
This is one of the most important things for a horror game to nail and luckily for Amnesia Rebirth's it ends up being it's strongest aspect. One of the coolest features is how it takes place in the same world as it's forebear The Dark Descent. Unplanned sequels often have a very hard time incorporating the established lore without retconning things or being overly "fan servicey". Rebirth manages to do this without any issue and it was really refreshing and even nostalgic to expand the lore of its universe. Similarily refreshing is the non traditional desert egyptian horror setting. Where some people may find issue is it's primary method of delivering exposition. This is going to be through loading screens and notes that are found in the world. These have a lot of detail put into them and are were worth my time to read however that may not fit some peoples preference.
Plot
Brief synopsis - a pregnant wife and her husband crash land in the desert. You playing as the wife (Tasi) wake up in the plane crash to realize that everybody has left you so you begin your journey to find your husband and piece together your memory. This is fairly intriguing although the plot has a significant problem with regards to the Amnesia motif - much of what you end up remembering is more interesting than what happens in the current plot. This could be acceptable in some cases but really the majority of events that the player experiences are really of no consequence and end up feeling contrived. This is demonstrated by multiple plot points of "and then the ground gave out and Tasi ends up further behind than she was before". Sure events like this can be alright in moderation, but here they don't advance the plot and just hold it hostage to buffer out the playthrough. This is just incredibly on the nose later in the game with the gondola that gets you incredibly close to your destination but then inexplicably malfunctions careening Tasi off further than where she intends to be. This experience just ends up being tedious like a game of snakes and no ladders.
Another significant problem is the death of Salim. This was done far too early and lacked the emotional intensity the game tried to build it up to be. There are just so many conceivably better ways such as some sort of self sacrifice or even becoming a Ghul/harvester that could have made this profound. It's like the writer(s) knew how underwhelming it was so they had a conveniently timed cave-in to get the plot moving again. Another problem I had with the story is that it is essentially a racketeer plot. The empress infecting Tasi and then promises to cure them in return for the baby is simply extortion. The issue is such that some characters try to make it seem like Tasi doomed them when in reality she is just as much a victim as they were. That forced narrative took away from the depth of the story - Tasi didn't make a difficult choice and as far as we know there wasn't even a cure for becoming a Ghul. .
Lastly, the multiple endings were all pretty good but unfortunately I can't help but feel underwhelmed because of the lackluster player controlled journey.
Gameplay
Rebirth's gameplay isn't much different from Dark Descent or Soma and ends up being a sort of in between. A surprising aspect of Rebirth is the level design. It's actually quite good. Many areas loop back together or have locked doors that get used and generally speaking the areas felt realistic to inhabit and navigate. The set pieces were well crafted and fun to look at. Unfortunately though, there are a few "walking simulator" parts that felt very boring and even like they wasted a good set piece - perhaps the oasis for example could have served a purpose. Considering the desert and pregnancy motif it's a huge missed opportunity that thirst and nutrition weren't incorporated. The puzzles weren't really exceptional and they were pretty much bog-standard for the franchise so far so it's hard to complain about that.
There was also an attempt for a resource management aspect with regards to the light and dark but it fell incredibly flat. There's so many matches and oil cannisters in the game that it undermines the whole aspect of it. There's so many that it's to the point that you will invariably end up wondering "why the hell are these matches and oil cans in here of ALL PLACES".
A dilemma the gameplay has is its reliance on Tasi to react to what is happening. It's problematic because you're playing as a character with their own established traits which throws a wrench into immersion. This problem is compounded on because for most the game it is just Tasi. Because of this she is forced to react to most of what is happening which ends up being a large burden for one character to bear (SOMA did a great job side stepping this issue with Catherine). The end result is that Tasi will often react to things in an expected manner, but just as often in other similar cases not react at all. While it is okay if Tasi's reactions don't align with the players, it's the inconsistency in application that hurt my immersion in believing Tasi is an actual character experiencing this world.
Horror
While this is a gameplay aspect, it's arguably the defining aspect of any Amnesia game so it warrants it's own section. Horror is undoubtedly a complicated genre/reaction so some people's reactions may differ from my own. For reference I will say that I've found all the Amnesia games tend to be scary for the first half but to then become more action oriented in the latter half (SOMA was an exception and managed to be keep it's horror thrill to the very end). Rebirth doesn't buck this trend and in my experience the horror was similarly front loaded. I didn't really find the final "monster" to be all that scary either but it's conceivable that somebody else might. So really I can't say that Rebirth did a bad job, I just can't say it managed to be exceptional. And funnily enough that ends up being my overall sentiment to the game.
Final Thoughts
Amnesia Rebirth was a game with solid ideas and an underwhelming execution. A lot of this let down does come in comparison to Dark Descent and SOMA but even then it ends up being a serviceable game. I think for its ~$30 price tag it's not really that worth it but for around half that it's fairly priced. Finally if Frictional can take the good parts of Rebirth and polish it up then I'm confident future Amnesia games have potential.

Review from Steam

If you look down at your character you can see her boobs.

Review from Steam

This game oh man.... where to start. Let's start with saying i 'barely recommend this' and i now understand why so many reviews were so conflicted. Some Pro & Con listing is in order now:
Pro:
- Strong middle game and actually a pretty decent end game despite what some say. Got to take what is offered even though this is not something that will be remembered.
- Good protagonist design
- Once the vitae business from earlier Amnesia games is introduced then the game really begins. It is like hitting a button. The ride really starts to pick up from there.
- Some really sick stuff with the protagonist 'condition'. Note this game is really NSFW as people passing by might be going a little 'wtf are you doing' with some of the stuff going in the screen pretty disturbing POV stuff. So i guess the old rule 'play this alone in a dark room' still stands. More so now than usual as the horror parts are brought up close.
Con:
- By far the most atrocious early game of just about anything i have played lately. Who's idea was it to attempt to shoehorn into the player visuals and audio 'explaining' the background of the protagonists? Way way too much way too early. It fails completely to make the player care at that early stage. Only much much later is there some kind of meaning to it all. I see many have quit the game at 2-3 hours and given a negative. I was so close myself too i just wanted to quit. Considering the way the protagonist was designed a much lesser approach or even a Gordon Freeman type of non-speaking protagonist would have had a bigger impact and shortened the plain bad early game.
- Walking sim early game. By the time you are suddenly forced to do puzzles it is really hard. Physics engine in the elevator puzzle is atrocious and it took way too much time to solve it considering how dead simple it was. As for the cannon puzzle it was fine but the player is just not in the 'mood' to solve it as the game has been a walking sim this far and as a result the two first puzzles in the game are the hardest. Not because of actual difficulty but because physics engine or player just not understanding that bringing a big object near a another key object will suddenly make the object 'snap' into place. Later on puzzles that are much harder are solved easily as now the player is 'in the mood' as directed by the game. It is hard to explain what i am trying to say here so i guess i'll just conclude here that 'early game has very little in common with mid to late game'. it is like two different games. And this thing cannot be just ignored. This difference is probably why so many are conflicted with the game.
5.5/10
Recommended but only barely. Get it on sales but not worth full price.

Review from Steam

I'm going to compare this to Amnesia: Dark Descent because it's my gold standard for horror. Mechanically Rebirth is leagues ahead, everything is easier to control (although panic-closing a door is still a pain), graphically it's (obviously) far superior. Story-wise, I actually enjoy Rebirth more; the story is more interesting and better told (both directly and indirectly). The puzzles are about equal in cleverness, but it seems like the Rebirth puzzles are more often "safe". It's not always the case but I remember feeling panicked trying to solve a puzzle far more often in Dark Descent. All this leads up to the fact that I feel the horror aspect was better done in Dark Descent which is really the point of the game. Rebirth surpasses it in a lot of other ways, but that's the important one for me... but it's still really good: 8/10.
Also the no-monster mode is a great idea for people that just want a creepy puzzle game without the fear of dying. It's not for me, but I appreciate it's a great idea.

Review from Steam

Another fantastic game from FrictionalGames.
Thought provoking, at times quite intense, and genuinely scary.
It is a little buggy but not game breaking in anyway. There were three floating objects in one particular room, also one object in another room wasn't linked to the chain it was dangling on correctly- it appeared disconnected if you get me.
There was one moment where the monster totally froze on me and I had to reload to correct it.
The story was very good. Immerse yourself in the game for a fun experience. Throughout the game, I kept thinking of what was happening and designing all sorts of synopsis of the game. Very thought provoking in this sense.
If you enjoy horror, suspenseful games, I highly recommend this.
If you have played previous FrictionalGames, then, Rebirth has strong SOMA vibes. To give you an idea.

Review from Steam

Curator page here--> DaRevieweD #152 <-- New review every Weekend
DISCLAIMER:
I will be making regular references to its predecessors, The Dark Descent (TDD) and Machine For Pigs (MFP) because A. how could one not!? And b. the former I hold in the highest regard and the latter, as much as I want to forget ever existed, brought some flavor to the table~
"A DELIVERY NOT WITHOUT COMPLICATIONS-”
Gist:
You are Tasi Trianon, engineering drafter and wife to Salim who are aboard the Cassandra for a gold-mining expedition in Algeria. All is going well until the aircraft malfunctions and the crew is sent plummeting a blazing mess. She comes to, alone, forgetful and staving off an unknown affliction that coarse through her veins. Can she pick up the pieces or perish in the sweltering heat~
NARRATIVE
The story could have gone straight for my heart, being a very emotionally-laden journey with robust maternal inclinations. But it also opted for and in effect had to juggle between showing a humane, relatable side and an absurd display of a fictitious, sci-fi world. Which mind you, TDD only hinted at in passing and thereby kept it foreboding to ponder upon and MFP took to expanding in its self-contained world.
In Rebirth (RBT) however, it lobs back and forth while we as the audience get lost in between, then zone out to our own creation. It was unbelievably time-consuming for it get to the point, that it had to remind you over and over why you’re even playing the game! And I couldn’t stop seeing the resemblances it now bore with The Mummy (1999), Uncharted (2007) or Prometheus (2012), the last of which is no exaggeration at all! Whereas TDD That said, I didn’t prophesize the degree of giddiness I’d have upon seeing some nostalgic connections and elements linking it to TDD~
6.5 / 10
GAMEPLAY
Fortunately, the mechanics shone and fared much better- with the fear system, precious illuminative resources making much-anticipated comebacks from their hibernation in the shadows. RBT has a few surprises of its own such as the ability to check on and calm yourself, prone and stay still, a bracelet with an amulet to direct you towards certain objectives which sound like they make things much easier but far from it. You’ll still have to be nimble, clever, frugal to brave being in the dark as succumbing to fear will turn you around… most of the time!
Problem lies more in the puzzles which are even less obvious as is the case when dealing with alien machinery. While TDD had you doing the same grunt work, you never quite know what you’d stumble into. Here, you always know where to go, but it throws curveballs and obstacles that you end up aggravated! The campaign lasts 8 or so hours, but occupied me for twice that length due to my leisure exploring. Three endings and a faux decision-making cincher will keep things worth your while~
TIPS:
1. Staying composed and alleviating fear is more forgiving now.
2. Look through every basket, container and shelf!
8 / 10
VISUALS
The graphics is nothing short of cinematic excellence but world design lends itself to a different verdict. Yes, it’s monumental in scale, the desert’s oppressive air has a way of beating you down and hallucinate mirages, not to mention when all hell breaks loose in dusky caverns and catacombs. The shadowy capillaries festering around the eyes almost like the darkness is reaching in and tainting your mind.
But when’re you jettisoned frequently to a dark fantasy-like realm, you start to see through them and it shatters the hostile atmosphere RBT made an eager entrance with. There’s a disconnect between what you spot and how you’re supposed to feel- in this case, fear I’m assuming. But luckily the Until Dawn Wendigo-ish creatures / The Descent (2005) cave denizens; who can sniff you out by the way, add some credibility to that claim~
7.5 / 10
TONE:
I never have to express concern for the sound design of an Amnesia title seeing as that’s the one staple treasured element. The score has that insistent, echoing of unidentifiable threats and reverb into an abyss much like the wall of black you stare into. But it also has that calming yet vexing spiritual penetration into your soul, or whatever is in there.
It’s simply unshakeable, the same goes for the remainder of the resounding ambiance like the beginning of every flashback or pulsating within. However, they weren’t all that dread-inducing or memorable, as effective as they were~
8 / 10
CHARACTERS
We know Amnesia characters have a certain admission of guilt to them by default. But Tasi is one I resonated with deeply despite her too gullible flaws and stubbornness. She’s like the epitome of mothers, next to my own of course! When she’s soothing a certain someone, I too was at the receiving end of it.
I wish I could say the same for the rest of the over numerous expedition crew, who are present so you don’t talk to yourself and to conveniently move the plot along. Frankly, it was akin to Alien Isolation where it’s in actuality a one-woman show but they needed to be polite and shi*! Heck even the antagonist who although gets fleshed out through notes is more sympathetic. Sadly, Tasi is not unscathed from the too chatty modernly voiced protagonist syndrome you hear nowadays~
7 / 10
HORROR
No meandering, it’s not the quality of horror I’ve come to predict from TDD. Not at all- in fact it has a triteness that sets in very early on. Similar to MFP, I was able to break away from the unsettling feeling fairly easy and sprinted more than I was supposed to…
In spite of that, it managed to embody the terror of caring and looking after an invalid while both are at the brunt of danger. That is a newfound angle of fear and it handled itself impeccably… There’s anxiety to be had in whether one, much less two would make it through the current ordeal. Every steep drop, physical and then psychological harm has with them their own repercussions. Then the already shaky consideration, doubt in yearning for a future.
8 / 10
BUGS: GRADE B-
x Lit match and others floating in mid-air
x Objects never stop rolling or clattering with environment.
x Tasi gets stuck, twitchy in surrounding, of which attempts to struggle result in her falling down and sustaining damage.
x Loading save files will have already settled objects making noise again as if reinserted back.
x Fear worsens despite staring into lamp.
NITPICKS
~ Rotating objects is frustrating.
"BUT ONE I VERY MUCH HOLD DEAR & LOVE TASI”
VERDICT: OVERALL
If you’re expecting… Rebirth as better- scarier than Dark Descent, you’re in for a major discontent. But open up and you’ll be a proud, hormonal parent as it alters everything you know about Amnesia~
7.5 / 10
I made a vow to the wonderful Unplugged! I intend to keep it, I’m forever grateful for the platform and collab