I'm very much not looking forward to Amnesia: The Bunker, the upcoming horror game from Frictional. I will play it, to be clear, but I won't enjoy it: The Amnesia games are pretty much the most "I don't need this shit" things I've ever played. But they're also kind of irresistible. It's weird.
The Bunker's big twist is that unlike previous games in the series, which are very linear, handcrafted experiences, it takes place in a "semi-open world" with sandbox-style survival-horror gameplay. That's a real departure, even though the basics are essentially unchanged, as you can see in the video: It's dark, your flashlight sucks, and some hideous supernatural horror is hunting you down.
I had doubts that it could work, but staff writer Morgan Park, who also has a sensible attitude about the Amnesia games ("wondering why I'd signed up to be unhappy" is perhaps the perfect summation of the Amnesia experience) took it for a test run in March and came away largely optimistic.
"This is not Amnesia trying to be Resident Evil; this is Amnesia inching toward the player agency and emergent gameplay of a full-blown immersive sim," he wrote. "My demo was a lot of fun, even if it ended in disaster."
This new video features 10 minutes of uncut gameplay, and showcases a lot of little details: The way your hand serves as an indicator of your overall health, for instance, and how the pocketwatch can be used to track the running time of the generator that keeps the lights on and the monster at bay. The survival horror vibe really lands too, even though it's just a trailer: You're trapped in the bunker with the monster, so flight isn't an option—all you can do is try to stay alive.
We'll find out soon whether that holds up over the course of the full game: Amnesia: The Bunker comes to Steam on May 23.