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Poll: What would you rate AMFP out of 10?
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20 6.99%
29 10.14%
64 22.38%
96 33.57%
77 26.92%
Total 286 vote(s) 100%
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AMFP Member Review Thread
Bucic Offline

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-10-2013, 01:34 PM)Najtnub Wrote: Ok so the posts in this thread do not reflect the review score members of this forum is giving the game it seems. Check the results of the poll, 40-50% of the reviews give the game 9-10. I guess unsatisfied customers are louder and more keen on getting their opinion out there. I'll get time to play some AMFP later this evening and will be sure to post my thoughts right after.
I agree. It starts to become a parade of irreformable 'give me inventory' bricks.

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09-10-2013, 09:20 PM
Retomathic Offline

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

ok so far I am with the first monster encounter and even with the requirements my pc run it which i am very happy about so that already gives a 10/10
09-10-2013, 09:25 PM
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Mehis Offline

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

The game was brilliant. I actually had a chance to play this game in the dark and alone, it was amazing.

First half of the game was just what I wanted. The monster encounter was pushed really far and that gave more room for your head to fill the blanks. The mansion and some semi-outside parts were really scary.

I must say, after 2/3 of the game everything seems to fall flat. Pigs got really goofy and won't really create any reaction (Apart from the last puzzles you get). The game just gave up on built up horror and just throws everything at your face. I really disliked that.

And... the ending. Well, we don't talk about the ending because it's so great. Wink

09-10-2013, 09:35 PM
Istrebitel Offline
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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

I haven't seen the ending yet, but I believe I have almost completed the game, so I'm going to make my "member review" on it.

First of all, let's mention what's good, shall we?

1. The monster no longer have a music attached to them.

Finally, there is no way to know wether there is a monster out there hunting for you, or there isn't. You don't get hinted "okay, Mr. Face spawned, time to get in cover" - and thus you naturally can get surprised by the monster or literally run into it (which was the most frightening experience for me in the game, but I won't tell you where and under what conditions does it happen, so you can experience it fresh youself).

2. The monster no longer despawns or "goes away" if you hide from him for some time.

Again, the big flaw of TDD is gone - now, you cannot just sit it out until the music is over, you have to actually go there and face the monster (like, advance through area it's patrolling). Which, granted the game is much darker now and soundwork is much more impressive, will be quite a thrill (or not - read below subjective flaw #2).

3. The music is better (some parts really freak you out) and soundwork is awesome (often the game just turns you inside out with its cues, or make it so noisy with all the machinery sound that you get quite ganged upon by the monster)

4. The game forces you to get quite close and personal with the monsters and even have a look at them, and there are moments when you know you'll be forced to go into where there's like several of them and they'll be after you and murder you horribly... TDD, honestly, didn't ever had you go face the monster, since you always could have just hidden, and the monster always appeared alone and at random scripted locations (I mean, random to the player who doesn't know those locations beforehead) so you had no real knowledge when you're going to face him. Turns out, knowing you will for sure meet the monster at some point can be more frightening than "jumpscare" of opening the door to find him right behind it.

5. Aside from that, everything you'd expect from Amnesia title is here (except the inventory and the sanity system, I guess, but that's quite advertised so you should know about that).

Unfortunately, the game has some questionable subjective flaws, and some quite objective flaws too.

Subjective flaws:

1. You cannot really remove features from a game when you make a sequel and get away with it. Well unless you're some big developer who is trying to cash in on a franchise people love, and you call it "Streamlining the game for broader audience" but even then the core audience will call you out on your BS and call your streamlining out as what it really is - "dumbing down", "evisceration" and so on and so forth. But I digress.

This is a sad problem, but even if the game would be better without it, you cannot remove features in sequels. It is quite simple as to why, really - those who got used to the feature or like it will miss it and thus feel the sequel is incomplete without it, while those who didn't really enjoy the feature won't be disappointed by it still being there, because they got used to having to bear with it while playing the original and won't really mind having to deal with it again in the sequel. So letting a feature stay is always a win-win situation.

I agree that a horror game without an inventory would be better than the one with. For example, I really felt vulnerable carrying some valueable quest items - what if a monster would pop and I'd have to run away, I could drop the item and then it would be hard to find it again? Also, all such abstractions such as "Endless bags" inventory which houses a head, three dozen tinderboxes, some clunky items and aboout 10 bottles of differet medicine are... quite immersion breaking, as is healing wounds while monster is pouding on you in order to last until you get to touch the door, as in the children's game where you're safe from "IT" if you touch something, and so on. And therefore, if you'd ask me which would be better for a horror game - with inventory or without, I'd say "without".

However, when you're doing a sequel, you just can't do it! It would be much better if original game had no inventory whatsoever - then, it would be no problem that Machine for Pigs would have none too. But since the original had it, Machine for Pigs will feel incomplete without it for many customers.

Inventory is not the thing I personally miss, however, but it was not the only thing removed. What I personally miss is the reliance on light and going crazy in the darkness, and also limited latern fuel, and these "features" are something I really miss every now and again. It feels strange being able to comfortably sit in the darkness, observing the mosnter, waiting for it to pass by you at a distance of less than a meter, and be perfectly safe from it noticing you because you naturally FREAK THE FUCK OUT! So yeah, I miss parts of sainity systems. But I see how others would miss inventory, or being unable to look at the monster without going mad, or picking up every single item, and so on.

2. The way your latern works when you point it at the monster is a very questionable design decision. I hope this isn't considered spoiler btw? Anyways, for whatever reason, when you look in the general monster direction with your latern out, it will flicker. Therefore, in all scenarios except tight corridors, having your latern out is THE best way to be safe against the monster. Since it will react to the monster even if the monster is behind an obstacle, like a crate, you will know that the monster is there about 2 or 3 seconds before it shows up in your view (and gets a chance to spot you for lighting him up). So you can always put the latern away and hide and wait for him to pass by.

3. Monsters still despawn on death. Yeah I know they're against trial and error and think that after you've experienced scare once, it won't scare but annoy you, but at the same time it makes bump-rushing monsters and just dying THE tactic to beat the game, because this will despawn them and make it safe for you. Worst kind of this despawning happens when....
Spoiler below!
...you fall into the water with Kaerniks and if they kill you not only they despawn (and stop blurbing and splashing at random), but you are also magically teleported to the top of the ladder you had to grasp from the water.

4. The calling telephones are annoying as hell. Not only they kinda break the game flow for me in a bad way, but they also provide a clear "safe spots" that the game designer promised out will not exist. I guess they make sense, story-wise (you'll get it somewhere during the game) but still... I dunno. I just don't like them. But what's worse,...

5. Safe spots! Due to the game design (inside the machine), you very often find yourself in the spots where you will be absolutely safe from monsters, no matter how much the game tries to convince you otherwise. This is because of the obvious limitations of pathfinding and size of the monster - like, if you have to crawl to get around the place, going through thin areas between chunks of machinery, you know for sure that a monster would not be able to follow you there. Same if you're close to a ladder or have to use ladders. When you find a telephone you know it's going to be safe too. So yeah, unfortunately, quite a lot of those, even if there are less areas that have "peaceful" mood like those hubs in Amnesia (but even those do exist, and they practically scream "safe spot after intense monster scene").

6. The trailer was showing too much! Like, showing the secret bathroom door and the pig on the church altar really ruined those for me. Like, you come into bathroom and say to yourself "okay I knew it for almost a year, there's a secret door here". Or you come into church and creepy music start playing and you know "all right they'll try to surprise me with a pig on the altar now".

7. Repetitive paintings really get to you. Seeings this creepy stuff once is very interesting, but when you see it for like 10th time, it just screams "low budget". Same goes for every table in the house having same layout of bottles in its right door - at least in amnesia you had like skulls rolling out of there, or canisters hidden there... not to forget the awesome part where skull falls out and wrecks your sanity and then you see alexander face turn into a Creeper! That was sure awesome! Nope, not happening in the Pigs since it has no sainity system Sad

8. Why aren't notes voiced? Really?....

9. The way the game conveys the "state of the mind" of the player's character is through adding notes to his "journal", which are like the notes you pick up but you seem to be writing them "on the go". I honestly don't get this sort of plot device. This makes me stop and read stuff every time the icon pops up on my screen in order to understand what is in my character's head. Thing is, in TDD, what was in my (player's) head WAS what was in my character's head. I felt as Daniel, I felt all that he felt and I thought what he thought. I felt puzzled and curiuous as to why he drank the mixture, as he did. I felt disgusted to learn the truth, as he did. I felt terrified, as he did. I felt the need to stop Alexander and help Agrippa, as he did. And so on. There was no need for notes to tell me so. The fact that now there is this need, means to me that some other way of conveying this have... failed? Or was deemed unworty? I dunno....

But then, evey one of those could be ignored and considered subjective. Like, someone might not care that paintings are repetitive or tables have same bottle layouts inside them, or consider latern flicker a good idea, or argue with me on terms of telephones. However, this game unfortunatley suffers from several objective flaws of the game, ones you cannot really argue are not flaws or are irrelevant, because this is something the game just has no excuse for.

So, on to objective flaws of this game:

1. Has anyone ever playtested this game like it's supposed to be played - in absolutely dark room? I guess not. Because, why on earth does this game has the damned bright logo and loading screens? My eyes constantly get strained by the loading screen, and I can't really just shut them and sit it out, because I want to read the loading screen text too (it is as important as in TDD). Really, I get it that you may want to fade screen to white once in a while (at least that doesn't happen with flashbacks anymore - Good Lord!).... but why the intro? Why every loading screen? The whole game is very dark, yet when you transition through doors, you get this flash... only to then see the darkness again. There was no harm if loading screens would be darker, so the decision to make them so brigh seems just.... stupid?

2. Has anyone of the beta testers actually tried poiting the player's sight downwards with latern out? Doesn't it look ridiculous that latern still points forward relative to the ground, but the light is displayed downwards? I mean, could you add the model of player's other hand to hold the latern, if you want the player to be able to illuminate the floor, or make the light point where the latern is pointing, if you wanted it to reallistically hang on the handle?

3. Why oh why is the distance fog still gray? I mean, if you sit in pitch black and stare at a room that is in your viewing distance, you'll see a darkness, however if you start to backpedal, eventually the room will start going outside your viewing distance and start being replaced by a fog... which is not black, but brighter! This creates the stupid effect of black things fading into or out of gray, allowing you to effectively see in the dark perfectly on the edge of your viewing distance. Is it so freaking hard to make your viewdistance fog ptch black? This issue pagued TDD, and it persists in MfP, which is very unfortunate and unexplainable.

4. And then, there are bugs and technical issues. You can't really blame the developers for the game not working under certian conditions, but then I must say, overall, this game IS very buggy, for a not really complex game it is. I mean, when your grand strategy simulator with thousands of people fighting at the same time bugs out (Rome II: Total War), it's not good, but it's kinda understandable. When your huge open world RPG with complex AI that tries to simulate a life of every npc, hundreds of thousands of quests and other complex stuff has bugs (TES: Skyrim), it's not good, but it's again kinda understandable. But when it's a simple linear single player game which has only several moving entities in the world except the player, and quite limited scope of the levels, a good Q&A and proper testing would have prevented this... quite a nasty bugfest.

For example, game won't work unless you unplug most of your your controllers... WUT? Game will crash randomly (usually on high graphics settings)! Now I have to constantly save&quit to not lose progress, which is, guess what, not good for immersion. For some people, game freees before every jumpscare or flashback, because for some strange reasons, dialogue isn't precached but actually played from the disk in real time. WHY? But there's more, if the disk is busy for any reason, it HANGS THE WHOLE GAME until it's ready to play... I mean, is this a joke? "Parallelism? Never heard of it!" or something? Also, Vsync is not working, gamma slider is not working... And a lot of people have the game just crash at all times for all sorts of reasons.

Okay, enough of bad stuff, conclusion time!

You think if I listed so many flaws I'm going to say the game is bad, or it sucks?


It's great. It's still doing its job, and it's still a very different and unique approach to horror rather than, say, Outlast (which is cool in its own way I suppose, but not my cup of tea). If you want to be scared, stressed, thrilled, or immerse yourself in a dark, disgusting story - then play it and you will. However, the game has it's flaws and any potential customer should know about them before he buys it. And only buy it if he can live with them.

I hope the bugs will be fixed in reasonable time period, and maybe even some of the issues with gray distance fog too... And then again, there's nothing like Amnesia. There just isn't. Outlast is different, and every other "horror" game is different, and honestly, tries to ride the hype train started originally by Amnesia and it's youtube phenomenon. So you can't really miss THE thing that started it all, you cannot really miss Amnesia, can you?

Not going to give it a score, because IMHO scores are meaningless...
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2013, 10:54 PM by Istrebitel.)
09-10-2013, 10:48 PM
Derxor Offline

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

Oh god... my first incounter!!! Great adrenaline rush!!!
Spoiler below!

I go down from the church (i feel proud of myself because i did the candle thing at the first try Big Grin ) and I hear the damn foot steps....and then, he stands up and starts chasing me.... woah, got out alive. Well, im gonna keep playing. Cya

Tell me if it gets scarier or not

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09-10-2013, 11:01 PM
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Cladriah Offline
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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-10-2013, 07:00 PM)Streetboat Wrote: I'm noticing that almost all of these reviews are from people who just joined-

I'm guessing that people who have been here longer are actually playing the game and enjoying it rather than sitting here whining. Wink
I have played both games, also justine. I just never had a reason to post on the forums.
09-10-2013, 11:04 PM
ExpectedIdentifier Offline

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-10-2013, 10:48 PM)Istrebitel Wrote: //Wall of text

Did you ever think that maybe the bugs are isolated incidents or related to your system? I haven't experienced any whatsoever apart from the occasional freezing before events (which I will admit isn't great). You only usually see the bad feedback as well as complaints about technical issues online Big Grin I'm sure the game runs just fine for most people so they don't say anything.

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09-10-2013, 11:19 PM
Alex Ros Offline
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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(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.

Sad problem? What sad problem? It's a customer sad problem if one gets not something he wants to. For example to make it clear, it's my own problem if I am expecting to get Thief game series resurrection in a way I imagine that resurrection, but finally would get something that I didn't dreamed of. It will be only my personal "sad problem". Isn't it?

P.S. Don't get me wrong, Istrebitel, I am not trolling personally you or trying to attack. No. Please, do not think so. I am trying to say something that I believe is important to everyone who might read a thread. So nope, I am not attacking you, don't get me wrong. Maybe I am wrong! )))
09-10-2013, 11:58 PM
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atticman Offline
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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

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.



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...
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013, 12:05 AM by atticman.)
09-11-2013, 12:03 AM
Nyarlathotep Offline

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

I loved just how different from the first it was. Definitely more of a storytelling experience. The legitimate threats fewer - but were much less predictable for me. I found it to be terrifying and disturbing.

I'm still thinking about the story and think I need to play it through again to comprehend it, I was kind of tired during the final half of the game.

I can see why the opinions on this game are so polarized. But am glad that it's at least getting equal amounts of praise for those who aren't as sold on it. I loved the experience despite a few nitpicks. I think this game will probably grow on people over time. I just felt like there were lot more small and subtle details to it.
09-11-2013, 12:13 AM

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