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Poll: What would you rate AMFP out of 10?
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AMFP Member Review Thread
Cuyir Offline
Senior Member

Posts: 522
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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

It's good to know that i'm not the only spanish speaker here Big Grin


Why would you even attempt to put yourself through that? Hasn't this forum been enough?
(This post was last modified: 09-25-2013, 02:22 PM by Cuyir.)
09-25-2013, 02:21 PM
AdamD Offline

Posts: 131
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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

(09-25-2013, 04:38 AM)Kreekakon Wrote: Please try, and keep your posts in English so that most of us won't have to go, and learn 3+ languages D:

Well, that's exactly what I was telling him; to speak in English. I answered him in Spanish because I don't know if he can talk English too.

"Dreaming is easy. Waking up is hard..."
09-25-2013, 04:32 PM
Dikiyoba Offline
Junior Member

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

So I'm not entirely sure why I wrote this hugemassive review, and have now registered to post it. Eh. Enjoy, I guess.

I played A Machine for Pigs twice. I was pretty disappointed by it. It was better than Dear Esther (though this is not hard), but a lot worse than The Dark Descent and Penumbra: Overture (the other Frictional Games titles I’ve played). I appreciated the graphics, the sounds, and the atmosphere, but disliked the gameplay and the story. Plus, I ran across multiple bugs. There are a couple of good moments, but overall it’s not worth playing. 5/10

Spoiler below!
I have a laptop that is a couple of years old now, and A Machine for Pigs ran pretty well on it. The maps took a fairly long time to load, but once they were loaded the game ran smoothly on medium graphics. I could have had it on high graphics (and did for about half of my first playthrough), had I been willing to put up with the occasional moments of slowdown and lag. I did not encounter any bugs as far as the engine and performance went.

The game is too dark (or has too many filters on it), even with the lantern (which spends half its time flickering due to pigmen anyway). The darkness worked for The Dark Descent, where it tied into the interface and main themes. Here, it’s just a hindrance. I spent far too long wandering in circles in the piston room. Some of the motifs—the paintings, the pig heads—are overdone. (I really like the idea of the pig heads, but they’re too common.) The heart loading screen is pretty, but too obvious. I would have liked to see a pig diagram with all the cuts labeled, or something else directly related to a slaughterhouse. The human models I wasn’t too impressed with. The twins were okay. The naked men were silly (they worked in Amnesia, but not here). The body parts looked more like plastic or rubber than flesh. There was a clothed man in a top hat, but he was barely used. On the other hand, the individual zone loading screens and entire factory map were good, as was the pigmen models (not scary, but cool), and animations (the animations were a bit short, but what can you do?). I just wish I had been able to get a better look at some of the animations, since they were usually hidden behind doors or fences. The graininess that appeared whenever I got injured was irritating; it’s hard enough to see with the darkness and red mist without adding more difficulty to it. Overall, the graphics were fine: not as pretty as Dear Esther, and just a hair below The Dark Descent.

Sounds and Music
Overall, the sounds and music are very good. A few sounds or music sequences were either too loud (the organ music in the church) or too soft (a lot of the atmospheric voices), but that’s a minor quibble. The terror meter music wasn’t scary the way The Dark Descent’s terror meter was, but it was distinctive and obvious enough to know something was after you. I loved the end credits song. The voice acting was good, one of the only things improved upon from The Dark Descent. It was realistic, and the only reason I felt any empathy for Oswald, the Professor, and the machine.

The interface is tolerable, but not great. The controls are as they were in The Dark Descent (and indeed Penumbra: Overture), and while they work, movement is not quite as smooth as it could be. The fact that I could barely jump sucked, which I don’t remember happening in The Dark Descent. Plus, this game doesn’t really need leaning. I was really excited about not needing oil for my lantern, and neutral about the lack of inventory. I didn’t really miss it, but it might have made for better puzzles or a less linear game, plus I missed not being able to heal. Also, carrying the coal for the furnaces in the piston room was tedious. The slowed movement whenever a voiceover or event happened was highly annoying, especially whenever I had to replay zones due to bugs. So, too, was the painfully slow movement on ladders. I soon resorted to just jumping down whenever I could. The fact that only a few items are intractable is unfortunate. It makes puzzles very obvious, ruins immersion, and I missed being able to goof around with all those objects. I would be happy with fewer features if the remaining features were really streamlined, but since they weren’t, the interface for A Machine for Pigs is definitely a step backwards.

Every encounter with the monsters is so controlled and scripted that it’s hard to judge the AI. The monsters didn’t do anything too silly (like break down the door and immediately leave, like the brute in the morgue in The Dark Descent), but they didn’t do anything impressive either. The engineer pigs in the engine room stopped and stood still while I hung out on the ladder. The wretch guarding the machinery in the coolant area didn’t notice that I was on the ledge above him. The tesla pigs were moderately impressive, and the one in the orgone towers gave me the only real scare of the game. The AI definitely could have been used a lot better.

Bugs and Glitches
There are way too many glitches and bugs. I ended up playing a lot of zones twice because of them (thank goodness for autosave, at least.) The sconce [candlestick] in the church got stuck in a wrong wall. I got killed by a pigman and respawned on the wrong side of a locked door on the centrifuge map. I got stuck in a hole and couldn’t jump out. I also glitched through the map and fell through the world, though fortunately the game designers had taken that into account and I died and respawned without losing any progress.

Spoiler below!
A Machine for Pigs has a nice, easy difficulty level. Some may find it too easy. The puzzles are intuitive and simple, with plenty of hints to guide you to the correct solution. There are few relatively few chase sequences and monster encounters, but there’s also no real option besides running to deal with them.

Scare factor
A Machine for Pigs is not nearly as terrifying as its predecessor. In fact, it’s barely frightening at all. There is a lot of blood and death, a lot of psychological horror, a few jump scares, and some mild chase sequences. None of the chase sequences are as intense as the ones in The Dark Descent or even Penumbra: Overture. A big disappointment.

The atmosphere wasn’t nearly as tense and scary as in The Dark Descent (although it ended up being creepier on a second playthrough). However, it was still good. I love all the details. The signs, posters, and symbols. The way the architecture changes between buildings. The pigs buried in the graveyard. The references tucked here and there. The trucks (I love those trucks)! The twitching frog in the centrifuge room! The location and time period feels authentic, especially in the notes, in a way that The Dark Descent did not convey.

I don’t really have much to say about the maps. They worked. They were very, very linear. I like that we got to go outside, and see more than just one building complex. I’m not sure the maps we got were the best ones for the game, though. We see a whole lot of the machinery, but very little of the butchery and processing components. It got a bit dull after a while. I don’t know what better levels would be, though. Probably more Aztec and jungle imagery, possibly some weirder, more alien architecture at the heart of the machine, and the horrors of 1899 and the upcoming century (so that we see the sick and starving in the streets and poorhouses, the insane being treated like animals in Bedlam, and glimpses of wars).

Spoiler below!
There are some good moments and potential in A Machine for Pigs, but it’s wasted. Very little is ever explained. The story is told in the most boring way possible, though notes. Show, don’t tell! Every element of the plot that happens during the game proper—Mandus has amnesia, Mandus looks for his children, Mandus is betrayed by the mysterious figure who claims to be helping him, Mandus attempts to stop mysterious figure, Mandus sacrifices himself—is predictable. (It’s even worse when you consider that Mandus sabotaged the machine in the first place, fixes it, and then sabotages it again. Really?) There is a backstory, but the details and chronology of it is never properly laid out (to make matters worse, the date of at least one note is mislabeled). There are lots of references and symbolism, but without an understandable backstory, they’re pointless.

Oswald’s love for his sons and his urge to kill everyone is cliché and unexplained. His initial decision to sabotage the machine and the subsequent amnesia is left unexplored. The only interesting moment is when he kills his sons so they don’t experience the horrors of WWI. I know there’s supposed to be some sort of split personality thing going on, but since it was was only hinted at and never explored, it hardly counts as character development. The machine’s personality is mysterious, but that’s fine, since it’s a god or whatever. The pigmen go from being childlike to killing and raping with no explanation.

Some of the dialogue (spoken or in notes) really, really works (especially in the latter half of the game), while some of it feels like it is trying too hard and falls flat or comes off silly. The central metaphors are… well, ham-fisted is about the only way to describe their use. The lack of voice acting for the notes really hurts. The journal entries were too brief to be of much value to the story.

I think there’s some randomization of dialogue, so that you don’t get quite the same lines every time you play the game. I got lines the second time through I didn’t remember in the first and didn’t get lines I remember from the first time around. Maybe I’m just remembering it, though. I know the loading screen blurbs are random. This idea sounds good in theory, but in practice it adds nothing to the game. Yeah, it adds to replayability, but the story struggles enough with coherence before adding randomization in.

This is where A Machine for Pigs truly falls flat on its face. To tell a good story in a video game means making use of the player. Give them meaningful choices. Force them to participate. The Dark Descent did this. The player could occasionally choose the order in which the player did things. The player could choose the ending (even if the endings weren’t particularly good.) The player was forced to inject Daniel with the dead man’s blood and sacrifice the prisoner (seriously, clicking on the dagger and then the prisoner was far more horrifying than anything that happened in A Machine for Pigs). In A Machine for Pigs, there are barely any choices. The only thing the player is forced to do is push the button that activates the probes that stab into Mandus’ heart (which is one of the better moments of the game). Otherwise, the player is basically passive. It was a movie broken up by a short story. Heck, most of the interactive storybooks I played as a child had more interactivity than A Machine for Pigs did.
09-26-2013, 12:03 AM
raptorhunter6 Offline
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Finally got around to play it...

I know there are threads for this but I wanted to make its own post. After a few hectic weeks of trying to build and assemble my new PC I finally got around to play A Machine for Pigs on Friday night. I have finally been able to voice my thoughts after letting everything sink in. For those that do not wish to read a wall of text, my summarized review was that I highly enjoyed it and I do not think it deserved the bad reviews it got from other people, or at least in my opinion.

Full review. I do not play much varied video games, mainly just the Monster Hunter series but that is it. A year or two back I found out about Amnesia/Penumbra games and fell in love. Although Amnesia and Penumbra had opposite environments and settings I loved the horror and fear they were able to capture within the game. That said I was waiting excitedly upon hearing about AAMFP's announcement. I was disappointed that Frictional Games wasn't actually developing the game but I chose to reserve judgement and wait for the worst (or the best). I must say the wait for the game was nearly unbearable, having to fix errors in shipping for parts I needed to build my PC and all that but I got around to it and was able to boot it up Friday night.

My initial reactions were a bit of confusion and general curiosity, mainly because I had chosen to read as little as possible about the actual game. I decided to check the game mechanics for a bit and noticed that they REALLY toned down the interactivity with objects. This might be old news to everyone but I took it as a bit of a shock at how drastic that part of the gameplay was altered. Doors were even un-clickable and rather part of the actual background textures. Those were the only downsides of the game mechanics that I found.

Now. The story, I have to say, was outstanding in its own way. It was much more vivid and detailed in a sense to me than ATDD's story was. I actually wanted to read the Journal mementos because they had this nice feel that helped connect with the character or at least much more than in ATDD in my opinion. It was indeed pretty interesting finding out about Oswald Mandus' past and his mistakes and I felt "The Machine's" role was a bit of a surprise. It actually reminded me a lot of Red from Penumbra Overture and Clarence from Penumbra Black Plague with how they guided the main character yet never established contact with the player (or in Clarence's case, friendly contact). I also thoroughly enjoyed the twist in the story when the Wretches and other manpigs are released on the streets of London and it turns into apocalyptic in a sense. The main drawback, to me, was how Mandus had to go into the Machine, escape, then go back again just to serve the story's purpose. It made it seem repetitive in a way but that wasn't that big of an issue since every level was different (and gorgeous). I loved that it left bits and pieces unexplained. To me a great work of fiction or art is something that is left open for interpretation so that it captivates the general audience better.

Level design was gorgeous. Mandus's mansion was specially well designed and had a very creepy vibe. It definitely had a late-1800's/early 1900's design so that helped with the immersion and the hollow walls with secret rooms kept everything interesting and refreshing. I especially liked how everything was connected and how it made it feel like you were in an actual mansion or building that had multiple ways of accessing an area rather than a linear level where it is either go forward or go back. The outside world, although shown by bits per scene in the game was very beautiful. I really liked the Church design, as it was always my favorite place since the trailers first showed it and its ending design made me love it. I agree the blue mist made it difficult to see things so maybe that could have been removed or improved. Other than that and the fact that we were not allowed to interact with closets, chests, and doors throughout the game, the level design was pretty solid and well made.

The puzzles were pretty basic. Not much to say in respect to that but that they pretty much toned down the puzzles since ATDD. The change is understandable though with the removal of inventory and all. The only puzzle I had a particularly hard time on was the locked gate whose padlock we had to open by burning it with the weird liquid in the canister but that was because I had no idea the canister changed. Other than that, the puzzles were toned down immensely but I understand why they had to do it.

Finally the scares. The scares, I admit were toned down a lot since ATDD so unfortunately that was the main part about it that happened to be fixed. I realized that what made it scary for me was not knowing what would turn the corner or when a pig would just be standing right there, aside from the light flickering. I admit it started a bit cliche at the beginning with the children running around but being able to interact in the game with that made it an enjoyable experience. I especially liked seeing the pig inside the cage-bed and then returning and seeing that it had escaped. Definitely upped the "aware" and creepiness factor. Other than that the scares were enjoyable even if they were toned down, although I wish they had kept it consistent.

The music, finally. I can't find the correct word for it but it was one of the best things I've heard in a video game yet, or an indie game at the very least.

In general I really enjoyed the game and feel that TCR and Frictional Games did not deserve the negative reviews it got. Regardless, as a game it was very beautiful yet haunting and I would give it 8-9/10.
09-26-2013, 12:10 AM
Streetboat Offline
Posting Freak

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Rainbow  can we stop

srsly, guys.

there are two people in this forum right now.

1) those who feel like AMFP was meant to be a game with elements of gameplay almost exactly like TDD. They expected monster chases and frights and gore. They feel entitled due to "false advertising" (or perhaps their own personal hype machine?)

2) those who realize that AMFP was made by a different company, with their own take on an amnesia-style story. It is a game based on subtlety, tension, and horrifying ideas (read: ideas, NOT images or visuals). We liked it for what it gave us and we moved on.

these two kinds of people will NEVER see eye to eye, and I am so tired of hearing the first camp bitch and whine that they were "lied to", and of hearing the second camp say over and over "you just don't get it, maybe you should play outlast or TDD instead"

different strokes for different folks, aye? identify yourself with a camp and move on with your life. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE, i wanna read about other stuff in this forum for a change HeartHeartHeart

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09-26-2013, 02:08 AM
Mastersarge Offline
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RE: can we stop

1. Anyone who has played TDD didn't play it because of the monster chases, frights (if by frights you mean Jumpscares, and if you did mean that then you should get your eyes checked) and gore. Speaking of gore, the gore factor in AMFP was disturbingly high enough. It's not about a game being exactly like TDD but a game that ADDS features and elements to improve the game. Not stripping the features.

2. TDD was based on subtlety, tension and horrifying ideas. This is just an excuse to say why A Machine for Pigs is a just sequel to TDD. It's not. THe images and visuals there are obvious enough if you played up till LONDON and afterwards.

Buuuuut the two sides you are referring to is pro AMFP and Anti AMFP. Specifically.

Hey, how ya doing?
09-26-2013, 02:17 AM
Cuyir Offline
Senior Member

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RE: can we stop

It'll stop (hopefully) when FG announces their next game.

But while I agree, calling attention to it in a thread is a bit ill fated lol.
09-26-2013, 02:18 AM
Fortigurn Offline

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RE: can we stop

(09-26-2013, 02:08 AM)Streetboat Wrote: srsly, guys.

there are two people in this forum right now.

Actually there's a far broader range of views, which is what makes the discussion interesting.
09-26-2013, 02:34 AM
Paddy™ Offline
Posting Freak

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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

Posts #375 & #376 have been merged from separate threads.

Please put your reviews here. It's understandable to hope your review won't get buried but it's not fair on everyone else who chose to post their review in the correct thread.
09-26-2013, 07:06 AM
Diango12 Offline

Posts: 65
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RE: AMFP Member Review Thread

Some really loud people here with post purchase bias. The gaming industry's epidemic of zealous fan boys who continue to impede critical reception of bad content. Some are sycophants, others just suffer full on stockholm syndrome.

Marketing a game as something its not by calling it another IP and releasing footage and media that is not representative of the final product will always be false marketing no matter how many times you dingbats claim it isn't.

AMFP was a good game in my opinion. It tries to be too clever most of the time for my taste, but that might work for other people. The problem isn't the game itself but how it was presented pre release.
(This post was last modified: 09-26-2013, 07:26 PM by Diango12.)
09-26-2013, 07:23 PM

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