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Poll: What would you rate AMFP out of 10?
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1-2
6.99%
20 6.99%
3-4
10.14%
29 10.14%
5-6
22.38%
64 22.38%
7-8
33.57%
96 33.57%
9-10
26.92%
77 26.92%
Total 286 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Thread Rating:
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AMFP Member Review Thread
Tomato Cat Offline
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Posts: 287
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Joined: Sep 2012
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#41
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-10-2013, 11:58 PM)Alex Ros Wrote:
(09-10-2013, 10:48 PM)Istrebitel Wrote: ...You cannot really remove features from a game when you make a sequel and get away with it... This is a sad problem, but even if the game would be better without it, you cannot remove features in sequels...

Really? Who said so? Problem? Why a developer can't do something? Isn't the word "independent" means that developer is free to experiment with their products? There's no responsibility to deliver a customers what he waits for.

Of course they can remove features on a whim. It's their game. But you can't be upset if some people are displeased with it. Especially if it was a defining feature of its predecessor.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 12:18 AM by Tomato Cat.)
09-11-2013, 12:18 AM
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Alardem Offline
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#42
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-11-2013, 12:03 AM)atticman Wrote: Just registered after lurking for a year or so, mainly because I want to put my thoughts out there as a horror fan, writer, and follower of Frictional.

5/10

Summary:

The game as a whole seemed to be neutered in order to cram a story down your throat. If you want a true spiritual successor to The Dark Descent, check out The Great Work custom story. It's everything that A Machine for Pigs is missing.


Full Review/Rant:
Spoiler below!

I remember firing up The Dark Descent for the first time and being pleasantly surprised at the subtlety of the entire experience. I was filled with a genuine sense of dread immediately that didn't let up, and prompted me to play the game in multiple sittings. I was overjoyed with playing a game that actually executed horror effectively: the atmosphere was excellent, the gameplay mechanics and physics were pristine, and overall... it scared the hell out of me.

I played The Dark Descent a few more times since its release, and was beyond excited to find out about A Machine for Pigs: the setting looked incredible- who doesn't love the Machine Age, especially coupled with the “hole in the world like a great black pit” aspect of Dickinsian London? All in all, all of the trailers made the game look like exactly what I would want from a sequel to the Dark Descent: deviation from the formula, but in the best way possible- to tread new ground.

So, I waited- delay after delay, (played Penumbra for the first time in the interim to get my horror fix), and then actually fired up some of the custom stories available for The Dark Descent. This actually raised my expectations.

“My God, look at what can be done with this engine. The sky is the limits, and if a small team of (I mean this in the most glowing, positive way possible) amateur game developers can shell out an experience as holistically excellent as “The Great Work”, then a team of developers contracted by Frictional, already baptized by the fire of the industry could really trim the fat off of the original, improve the gameplay, and really make a product that shines.”

So, after nearly a year of waiting (and a restless night and 5am EST wakeup to fire up the Machine), I started Machine for Pigs expecting it to meet, if not exceed my every expectation.

And it did... for a while. The opening was paced extremely well, and there was certainly more than enough intrigue to keep me going through the first few areas. Seeing the pig creature behind the painting and then running down the hall (not to mention the other brief glimpses), set me on edge, and the first encounter with the beast was so abrupt, that I about jumped out of my skin before running and hiding, marveling at how horrifying its silhouette looked as it stalked through the darkness. The atmosphere lent itself to a sense of impending doom, and I became utterly engrossed- and you know what? The changes that were made to the formula, I actually loved.

I didn't miss the fully interactive environment (tossing wine bottles and brooms always seemed like more of a novelty to me), or the sanity meter, or the constant hunting for light sources, or the incessant need to hoard items, or even the free-roaming nature of the experience. The claustrophobic environment had me cringe to venture down corridors, and the never-ending-lantern was properly extinguished when needed, and only made me fear more what was around each corner, as I was blatantly walking around as a glowing target for the monstrosities (once again, the first monster encounter scared me senseless for the very reason that I rounded a corner and walked right into it, a mistake that I refused to make again).

I thought the voice recordings and journal entries were excellently written, and continued to add to the intrigue, the sound design really set the tone, and made my skin crawl... but then something occurred to me- at a certain point in the game, just about the time I had succeeded in draining the flood, I realized that the monster encounters were less threatening than I had expected, and it seemed like many of them were scripted events that posed no threat to me, and the stealth elements of The Dark Descent were thrown out the door. I began to get angry at the game simply because I had waited this long for a sequel, paid the price of admission for an “Amnesia” game, and was instead being subjected to what was looking increasingly like a “bait-and-switch”, eschewing the mechanics and style of Amnesia so an overly ambitious writer (whose writing is impeccable) to craft an allegory about Marxism and the downfalls of society. This feeling of being cheated only compounded as the game went on, culminating in an inexplicable ending that left me with an empty feeling inside.

Now let's unpack that last paragraph a bit, because this is the reason that I scored Machine for Pigs so low.

You paid your money to get an Amnesia experience.
You have The Dark Descent, the good custom stories, Justine, and the first two Penumbra games available to set the standard, furthering expectations.
You know what the engine is capable of.
The game drops its horror charade after the first few areas and becomes a scripted carnival haunted house with the rest of its scares stemming from allusion (via the text), and what are little more than the animatronic pirates from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride redressed as Piggsy from the first Manhunt.

Guys, I have to ask: what happened?

I understand that The Dark Descent is a tough act to follow, but it was the same engine (and I'll be damned if I didn't see plenty of assets from The Dark Descent rehashed by the end), the same universe (I enjoyed the nods to the original), and the same franchise! Why was this game neutered so much for the sake of the story? I loved not having an inventory, I loved the mechanics, I could even get behind the engine being trimmed down to prevent the exploitation made possible by the physics in TDD, because the game was good, it was treading new ground, it was scary- and then it became a book club.

I enjoy Upton Sinclair as much as the next guy, I thought the story was great, but it's a game- an AMNESIA game for that matter- and is therefore meant to be played. And that is my biggest complaint with AMFP: it sacrificed basic gameplay and horror in order to deliver its story, when the story could have been a part of a larger environment with more scares, less linearity, and frankly, a longer play time. I ended up sprinting through the last leg of the game because I expected all of the doors to be locked and there to be only one path forward (I still tried to explore, which was the main element that I loved about the beginning of the game, only to find that my expectations were justified), and I expected the enemies to pose little to no threat.

The London-massacre was the last part of the game that I took the time to really explore, but I was disappointed to have pigs running by me to rape the townsfolk, but pay no attention to me, the guy they've been hunting the entire game (coincidentally, this is the point that I gave up on AMFP living up to TDD). The Big Daddy pigs were a nice touch, but I didn't even get injured by them, I ran right past them after hiding for a moment.

Overall, especially given the lack of custom story support, I'm not interested in firing up AMFP again. I'll wait for TDD patch supporting the AMFP assets to come out so I can play TDD in the world of AMFP. I'm hoping, likely in vain, that some modder will employ the gameplay mechanics of AMFP, but do a better job on the horror.

So, is it a bad game? Not at all, it's just not what I paid for. I was expecting a visceral horror experience, I was totally sold on the game, and I was willing to suspend all disbelief. But the second that I realized that AMFP was an over-glorified haunted house attraction with no bite? The horror was gone, replaced with a grudging stroll (and finally sprint) through the duration just to get some matter of closure, because I certainly wasn't going to get the horror that I paid for.


I hate to bring this up, but the games are contemporaries, and I only found out about Outlast through a Frictional post so, here it goes: Outlast (and it's a flawed game as well that left me feeling empty by the end) was a better game all around, and delivered the scares more than AMFP. I will gladly play Outlast again, and hopefully still have a similar reaction to it. I cannot say the same for AMFP.

Frictional, I love you guys, and I think this project would have been better served with you at the helm. I sincerely doubt that I will pick up anything that The Chinese Room touches again though, because it seems like, in a rare occurrence that makes me take a step back and question myself as a writer, a storyteller, and an artist, that they have placed an overwhelming emphasis on story without focusing on aesthetics, atmosphere, and the heart and soul of the experience and franchise. Usually my gripes with a narrative would be poor character development and story in the face of excellence elsewhere, but it's the opposite here.

For fear of repeating myself again, I'm going to end the review here. I'll check out whatever Frictional's got cooked up next, but AMFP wasn't worth the wait. In fact, I would have preferred waiting another year if it meant the experience that I signed on for.


Just my two cents...

That long-winded review doesn't at all justify a 5/10.
09-11-2013, 12:41 AM
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Alex Ros Offline
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#43
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-11-2013, 12:18 AM)Tomato Cat Wrote: ...But you can't be upset if some people are displeased with it...
I am not upset ))) I am just laughing at those "displeased" crowds )))))) If they cannot enjoy innovations and experiments, then I presume they are half-people ))) Isn't it a lot more interesting to achieve experience, then fucking game? To play or not to play? I vote for immersion, the less I play, the more I am immersed into imagery world. Presumably, that's why I am absolutely satisfied by Dear Esther. And I am a lot more satisfied with a Machine for Pigs, because the story itself is a LOT MORE intriguing, chilling and frightening. And what is more important unlike Dear Ester it's interactive and that interactiveness is injected into gameplay and plot intrigue. Interactive David Lynch or Hitchcock.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 12:49 AM by Alex Ros.)
09-11-2013, 12:47 AM
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The Raining Brains Offline
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#44
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

The most frustrating thing about this game is that it failed to take advantage of it's own potential.
I absolutely fell in love with the first couple of hours of the game. The atmosphere. The music. The slow pacing. The first couple of monster encounters were terrifying. Those animalistic growls echoing down the corridors as the lights flickered. Something darting across my peripheral vision. It all seemed so promising. But the fear was short-lived...

About halfway through I found myself almost craving scares. Which really shouldn't happen. I'm supposed to dread the nightmarish things that lurk around each corner. Instead I felt a slight sense of desperation for the game's prior terror to repeat itself, but it never did. It built up wonderfully...and then sort of deflated. It seduced me with it's atmosphere but never quite hit the high note. "We just proved we can scare you shitless...but that's all you're getting." It seems they were so adamant in their determination to tell a story that they made completely unnecessary cuts in fear of anything that might potentially detract from it. But I really don't see how a slightly heavier dose of dangerous encounters could have done any harm.

Nevertheless, it was still a fantastic game even if it fell just a little short of what it could have been. It's difficult not to appreciate it for the brilliantly immersive piece of storytelling that it was...and for that I'd give it 8.5/10.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 01:11 AM by The Raining Brains.)
09-11-2013, 12:54 AM
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atticman Offline
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#45
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-11-2013, 12:41 AM)Alardem Wrote:
(09-11-2013, 12:03 AM)atticman Wrote: Just registered after lurking for a year or so, mainly because I want to put my thoughts out there as a horror fan, writer, and follower of Frictional.

5/10

Summary:

The game as a whole seemed to be neutered in order to cram a story down your throat. If you want a true spiritual successor to The Dark Descent, check out The Great Work custom story. It's everything that A Machine for Pigs is missing.


Full Review/Rant:
Spoiler below!

I remember firing up The Dark Descent for the first time and being pleasantly surprised at the subtlety of the entire experience. I was filled with a genuine sense of dread immediately that didn't let up, and prompted me to play the game in multiple sittings. I was overjoyed with playing a game that actually executed horror effectively: the atmosphere was excellent, the gameplay mechanics and physics were pristine, and overall... it scared the hell out of me.

I played The Dark Descent a few more times since its release, and was beyond excited to find out about A Machine for Pigs: the setting looked incredible- who doesn't love the Machine Age, especially coupled with the “hole in the world like a great black pit” aspect of Dickinsian London? All in all, all of the trailers made the game look like exactly what I would want from a sequel to the Dark Descent: deviation from the formula, but in the best way possible- to tread new ground.

So, I waited- delay after delay, (played Penumbra for the first time in the interim to get my horror fix), and then actually fired up some of the custom stories available for The Dark Descent. This actually raised my expectations.

“My God, look at what can be done with this engine. The sky is the limits, and if a small team of (I mean this in the most glowing, positive way possible) amateur game developers can shell out an experience as holistically excellent as “The Great Work”, then a team of developers contracted by Frictional, already baptized by the fire of the industry could really trim the fat off of the original, improve the gameplay, and really make a product that shines.”

So, after nearly a year of waiting (and a restless night and 5am EST wakeup to fire up the Machine), I started Machine for Pigs expecting it to meet, if not exceed my every expectation.

And it did... for a while. The opening was paced extremely well, and there was certainly more than enough intrigue to keep me going through the first few areas. Seeing the pig creature behind the painting and then running down the hall (not to mention the other brief glimpses), set me on edge, and the first encounter with the beast was so abrupt, that I about jumped out of my skin before running and hiding, marveling at how horrifying its silhouette looked as it stalked through the darkness. The atmosphere lent itself to a sense of impending doom, and I became utterly engrossed- and you know what? The changes that were made to the formula, I actually loved.

I didn't miss the fully interactive environment (tossing wine bottles and brooms always seemed like more of a novelty to me), or the sanity meter, or the constant hunting for light sources, or the incessant need to hoard items, or even the free-roaming nature of the experience. The claustrophobic environment had me cringe to venture down corridors, and the never-ending-lantern was properly extinguished when needed, and only made me fear more what was around each corner, as I was blatantly walking around as a glowing target for the monstrosities (once again, the first monster encounter scared me senseless for the very reason that I rounded a corner and walked right into it, a mistake that I refused to make again).

I thought the voice recordings and journal entries were excellently written, and continued to add to the intrigue, the sound design really set the tone, and made my skin crawl... but then something occurred to me- at a certain point in the game, just about the time I had succeeded in draining the flood, I realized that the monster encounters were less threatening than I had expected, and it seemed like many of them were scripted events that posed no threat to me, and the stealth elements of The Dark Descent were thrown out the door. I began to get angry at the game simply because I had waited this long for a sequel, paid the price of admission for an “Amnesia” game, and was instead being subjected to what was looking increasingly like a “bait-and-switch”, eschewing the mechanics and style of Amnesia so an overly ambitious writer (whose writing is impeccable) to craft an allegory about Marxism and the downfalls of society. This feeling of being cheated only compounded as the game went on, culminating in an inexplicable ending that left me with an empty feeling inside.

Now let's unpack that last paragraph a bit, because this is the reason that I scored Machine for Pigs so low.

You paid your money to get an Amnesia experience.
You have The Dark Descent, the good custom stories, Justine, and the first two Penumbra games available to set the standard, furthering expectations.
You know what the engine is capable of.
The game drops its horror charade after the first few areas and becomes a scripted carnival haunted house with the rest of its scares stemming from allusion (via the text), and what are little more than the animatronic pirates from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride redressed as Piggsy from the first Manhunt.

Guys, I have to ask: what happened?

I understand that The Dark Descent is a tough act to follow, but it was the same engine (and I'll be damned if I didn't see plenty of assets from The Dark Descent rehashed by the end), the same universe (I enjoyed the nods to the original), and the same franchise! Why was this game neutered so much for the sake of the story? I loved not having an inventory, I loved the mechanics, I could even get behind the engine being trimmed down to prevent the exploitation made possible by the physics in TDD, because the game was good, it was treading new ground, it was scary- and then it became a book club.

I enjoy Upton Sinclair as much as the next guy, I thought the story was great, but it's a game- an AMNESIA game for that matter- and is therefore meant to be played. And that is my biggest complaint with AMFP: it sacrificed basic gameplay and horror in order to deliver its story, when the story could have been a part of a larger environment with more scares, less linearity, and frankly, a longer play time. I ended up sprinting through the last leg of the game because I expected all of the doors to be locked and there to be only one path forward (I still tried to explore, which was the main element that I loved about the beginning of the game, only to find that my expectations were justified), and I expected the enemies to pose little to no threat.

The London-massacre was the last part of the game that I took the time to really explore, but I was disappointed to have pigs running by me to rape the townsfolk, but pay no attention to me, the guy they've been hunting the entire game (coincidentally, this is the point that I gave up on AMFP living up to TDD). The Big Daddy pigs were a nice touch, but I didn't even get injured by them, I ran right past them after hiding for a moment.

Overall, especially given the lack of custom story support, I'm not interested in firing up AMFP again. I'll wait for TDD patch supporting the AMFP assets to come out so I can play TDD in the world of AMFP. I'm hoping, likely in vain, that some modder will employ the gameplay mechanics of AMFP, but do a better job on the horror.

So, is it a bad game? Not at all, it's just not what I paid for. I was expecting a visceral horror experience, I was totally sold on the game, and I was willing to suspend all disbelief. But the second that I realized that AMFP was an over-glorified haunted house attraction with no bite? The horror was gone, replaced with a grudging stroll (and finally sprint) through the duration just to get some matter of closure, because I certainly wasn't going to get the horror that I paid for.


I hate to bring this up, but the games are contemporaries, and I only found out about Outlast through a Frictional post so, here it goes: Outlast (and it's a flawed game as well that left me feeling empty by the end) was a better game all around, and delivered the scares more than AMFP. I will gladly play Outlast again, and hopefully still have a similar reaction to it. I cannot say the same for AMFP.

Frictional, I love you guys, and I think this project would have been better served with you at the helm. I sincerely doubt that I will pick up anything that The Chinese Room touches again though, because it seems like, in a rare occurrence that makes me take a step back and question myself as a writer, a storyteller, and an artist, that they have placed an overwhelming emphasis on story without focusing on aesthetics, atmosphere, and the heart and soul of the experience and franchise. Usually my gripes with a narrative would be poor character development and story in the face of excellence elsewhere, but it's the opposite here.

For fear of repeating myself again, I'm going to end the review here. I'll check out whatever Frictional's got cooked up next, but AMFP wasn't worth the wait. In fact, I would have preferred waiting another year if it meant the experience that I signed on for.


Just my two cents...

That long-winded review doesn't at all justify a 5/10.

Well, I stated my premise, provided context and backing for it, and even included a summary for the TL;DR crowd as well as the caveat of it being a "rant". If you read through the entire review and don't agree... meh.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 12:55 AM by atticman.)
09-11-2013, 12:55 AM
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GOAT Offline
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Posts: 24
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#46
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

this game is pretty much terrible and I am saying that after I beat it in 5 hours. The monster doesnt look scary nor is it a worthy successor. I would give it a 4/10
09-11-2013, 01:03 AM
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Klarden Offline
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#47
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

As a short intro - I expected the backlash about the game before it was even conceived. The Dark Descent was turned into some mythical thing, some idol, some unachieable amazing perfect thing by many people and even it started getting some heavy backlash and "oh, it's not that good", "oh, it's not scary" people. With the fact, that the new semi-sequel is being made by a different company, that there are changes in it - not surprising people are over-reacting at all. But here are two things - 1. TDD is really good, fantastic, but far from a perfect amazing thing people seemed to make-believe for some reason. 2. Machine for Pigs exists solely because The Chinese Room had this idea and Frictional loved it, moreover, judging by the amazing blog posts about story-driven games Frictional do from time to time, I feel that if they'd do Machine for Pigs themselves, it would be pretty much the same game and Chinese Room just happened to be on the same wave. With that out of the way, about AAMFP in particular.

It's really-really-really good. In many ways it continues the evolution of the story-driven horror adventure that Frictional started with Amnesia and does things even smoother, better paced and more intuitive. It meant losing the most gamey elements with it - the inventory, the tinderboxes, the sanity and health meters. But they never felt truly important or necessary in Amnesia, not in the same way they did in Penumbra: Overture. Now, Overture was more of a survival horror game and aspects of resource management were highly important. In Amnesia, sanity was, pretty much, pointless (as it did nothing if it ran out), and all the other inventory mechanics were tied with sanity anyway, so they felt pointless as well. They are gone and good riddance, I say.

What was lacking, though, and I understand the reasons (them being pacing and level design) is the stealth element. It was really exciting to hide and wait in TDD, as it was in Pigs, when you were given an opportunity. But it was given at a less often rate. I'd say, at a rate, which made you less worried about your life, which made the game less tense from this perspective. It cranked up the unease and tension with wonderful writing and locations, but still, I felt that stealth could've recieved at least a teeny tiny bit more of attention.

And with that mentioned, the game burned pretty slow in the beginning. Again, I understand why and I loved it post-factum as it became clear from which heights you go to which lows, but for the first hour or two I did feel... not dissapointed, but surprised by how easy (in terms of feel and atmosphere) those opening hours were.

Other than these two, the game was absolutely brilliant. Amazing story, where while the "main twist" was easy to predict, it really wasn't actually the main point and which left this truly unique feel of sadness and hope, digust and victory and made you think about real life events and society one extra time than you might usually do. Which is a tell for a good story. Same goes with music and sound design - great work. It's underscored and silent when it needs to be, it's loud and oppressive when it needs to be. Great use of orchestral music - a rarity not just for indie games, but for many AAA games, which, while using the orchestras, just go for some "generic cinematic music" instead of creating something truly unique and unforgettable. Oh and as samueljustice00 reminded in another thread - credits, both in text and audio presentation, are just perfect.

To be honest, I'd like to see more cooperative efforts between The Chinese Room and Frictional games. Im hoping, the development (while obviously not void of stress) was good for both studios and they'd be interested to join hands together again some other time. Maybe working on more Korsakovia-like concepts, which seem to be interesting for both studios (but better than it was, hehe). Thank you, The Chinese Room and thank you Frictional for this amazing gameSmile.
09-11-2013, 02:08 AM
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Derxor Offline
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Joined: May 2013
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#48
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

Scince I don't think anyone will give a fuck about my review, I'll keep it simple.
The monster was scary (ish) at first. Then, I felt sorry for it, then when the alternative monster came out (the fat one), it seemed kind of goofy. Personaly the entire game was like a giant roller coaster full of thrills and excitement. But the thing is, if you wanted horror, you are gonna get it 50%; If you wanted thrills, you won't be dissapointed at all.
I gave 9-10 because I came with these 2 parts:
1. After putting the coal in the 3 machines (that weren't burning) and activating the machine. (Keep in note that this is the first time you actually see the machine in action and this just felt eargasmic)
2. London outbreak ofc. Wasn't scary, but it was just awesome as f**k.
Nice game TCR, rich yet? xD. Can't wait untill what the new "secret project" is all about or maybe it's just a rumor, can anyone give me solid proof that this is real?

Edit: Also, I give 9/10 and not 10 because of the "final boss" electrical pig thing, like...wtf

My youtube channel where I do some guitar covers.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC84Ttln...muSOA0bFHA
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 02:15 AM by Derxor.)
09-11-2013, 02:12 AM
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MadDoggyca Offline
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Posts: 36
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Joined: Dec 2010
Reputation: 2
#49
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

I gave it a poor 4 (soo much for being a epic title)

The only thing this game had going for it was environment and Sound/music/effects

The lack of gameplay was the most hurtful thing this game brought to the table. Hardly any interaction with the environment. No inventory (which made solving the puzzles way to easy. No effects on the fear factor. The monsters were hardly a issue, not hard or even effective to get the player involved (biggest issue I had with the monsters was the lack of 1 hit kills) gave the impression who cares about hiding and just run right through them..

the lack of disturbing images/scenery/story line was a huge bummer... I was hoping for more gross stuff (Ie bodies mangled, rip apart) kind of like the torcher chamber in TDD.

I did the entire game in 4 hours. The 3 other games FG before this took roughly 9 hour a peace. that being said there very first game took about 17 hours since it was a 2 parts... but man was that fantastic in both story telling and shitting your self factor

Story/Horror games have to be a decent amount of time to be engaging. 4 hours is not decent amount of time... (Too the Moon) was longer then this...

Hell Hate Plus I dumped 10 hours into it and that is straight up story only (with no game play what so evey) and I felt more into (story wise) then I did with this title

I have to agree with other people it felt like run around find paper, pull lever, finish game.

can some one explain to me why there is even Lean left/right in this game when there was no reason to peek around corners?
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 02:28 AM by MadDoggyca.)
09-11-2013, 02:18 AM
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gremstein Offline
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#50
RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

So... I just finished the game. I'm going to conduct this as a comparison to the Dark Descent, seeing as this is basically a sequel, carries the Amnesia name, and is the one we all got into so much that we wanted to play the sequel.

If you are going to comment on this post, I will state that I have not read anyone elses review before posting mine, as I wanted to present mine without it being colored by other people's opinions.

Story - Compared to the first game, I feel like the way the story was unfolded to the player was as a little better done, and in fact even more demented and F'ed up than the first game. It took me awhile in dark descent to figure out wtf was going on, but in machine for pigs, I felt like it pieced together at a good pace. And I think we can all agree that torturing people is bad, but killing your own kids is downright sick. So points for upping the "oh that's wrong" nature of the game.

I also actually kind of liked the way they tied in the events of the first game, without doing it just to do it.

Graphics - Having seen trailers, I knew there would be some reused textures/models, and really it didn't bother me, in fact I kind of like it. There were enough new models/textures mixed with the old ones that gave me a pleasant feel of "okay this is the same world, but there is still plenty of new aspects to it." I do wish there could have been a little more light, which I know is kind of counter to what the experience is supposed to be, but I just wanted to see more of the world around me.

Sound - This, in my opinion, was the best part of the game, and showed the biggest improvement over the dark descent, and I liked the sound in the first game alot. Playing it with a decent set of headphones, from the very first part of the game walking around the house, I thought the sound was amazing. It had a really nice depth to it, it sounded like you were really walking around a big house with wood floors, and I also thought the ticking clock in the main room was a nice touch.

I also liked how when I opened the door to the outside, the sound would change to reflect that, and you heard the noises you might actually hear on a dark creepy night outside, and then when you shut the door, it all went quiet again. Spot on.

Gameplay - This is where it fell short for me.... My very first instinct when I started playing was to interact with everything I could find, to immerse myself in the experience.... only to find all I could do was pick up chairs, open the few desk drawers I saw, and open a few select doors. That was a huge disappointment for me, as my favorite thing about the first game was how immersive the environment was. I loved being able to pick up any random object lying around, it made the world feel more real, gave it a kinetic feeling to me. In a machine for pigs, I didn't feel like I could connect with the environment around me. It was all just background. I did, however, like the fact that they did away with the insanity mechanic. Nobody goes insane by sitting in the dark for a few minutes. As for the infinite lantern and the lack of an inventory.... meh, kind of lame, but not so much so that it ruined the experience for me.

To expand upon this, when it came to picking up objects, all I could do was pick up chairs normally. Other than that, the only time I was able to pick anything up was if it was a progress specific item. That made the puzzles a little too easy for me, because I could walk into a new environment, and even without knowing what the use for it was, if I could pick it up, it must be the thing I need to progress.

I also felt the game was too linear. I didn't feel like I had much to explore, and there was only a few times I recall having a real choice as to which way to go first. It probably won't bother some people, but I prefer a more open ended exploration experience.

I'm on the fence with the monsters... at first the encounters felt pretty legit, there was plenty of dark spaces to hide in, but close enough to them that I still felt threatened. In a few other cases though.. I felt like they were just cheap, particularly the one on the way out of the cold storage area. I felt like I had no real opportunity to do anything to get away from that one, and it promptly gave me my only death of the game. overall though, I guess it wasn't too bad... despite being able to avoid the electric armored ones later on fairly easily, they still felt pretty menacing.

Lastly, the game just felt like it came up short. I remember playing custom stories for dark descent that felt longer. I didn't play hardcore nonstop either, I played fairly casually. This game also doesn't really seem to have much replay value, because I tried to explore every inch I could find, so I don't feel like I missed much, if anything at all.

Final Thoughts - Overall the game wasn't horrible.. but I feel like I could have spent that 16 bucks on something more productive. For me personally, removing the majority of the interaction/exploration was a huge letdown. I do still feel that the other aspects of the game were solid though, so I wouldn't call it a bad game, just one that, for me personally, didn't live up to it's predecessor.

Final score for me would be 5/10
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 03:17 AM by gremstein.)
09-11-2013, 03:06 AM
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