One of the best parts of Amnesia: The Bunker doesn't even involve its gruesome new monster

Roman statue in catacombs lit by sunlight
(Image credit: Frictional Games)

I love Amnesia: The Bunker to bits. It's a stressful as hell, suspenseful, and downright terrifying game that mashes up immersive sim experimentation with classic survival horror resource management. One of my favorite parts of the game, though, didn't directly involve the monstrous creature that pursues you throughout the story. Spoilers for The Bunker from here on out.

It's pretty early on in The Bunker when you first start hearing scuttlebut about the haunted Roman catacombs underneath the titular French military installation. I didn't even need to find the later journal entries by a guy hearing whispers from unspeakable terrors down in the depths to conclude "Ah crap, I gotta go down there eventually, don't I."

There's still a fair bit of misdirection at play here, though. There's a sequence of diary entries from that soldier who's gotten a bit too cozy with the unfathomable beyond, and while trying to puzzle out The Bunker's mystery, I had him pegged as my #1 suspect for Beast-related shenanigans. Surely this guy went "Beast mode" as it were from prolonged exposure to cosmic horror!

I was disabused of that notion when I descended through a flooded shaft in the bunker's arsenal, reached the entrance to the ruins, and found a final journal entry from catacombs man, as well as his eyes. Turns out the Beast is a result of another catacombs-related mishap, and this guy independently killed some of our comrades, gouged out his own eyes, and descended into the depths packing a boomstick and a key item for completing The Bunker's main story.

The Roman tunnels make for an eerie contrast with the rest of The Bunker. While each zone of the facility has a distinct look and layout, they still share a very brown color palette and distinctly early 20th century, dieselpunk griminess. The tunnels, meanwhile, have this ambient grey-blue glow to them, courtesy of a thinning barrier with another dimension. Regal marble statues are ringed with floating blue crystals, and the Beast's ever-present grunting and scratching from the walls of the bunker is suspiciously absent.

I kept moving down the tunnels, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and then: singing. That crazed blinded soldier patrols the lowest halls, trench shotgun in tow, constantly complaining of the "black smoke" that's blotted out the sun or giving off a little ditty about how "we whirl the world." To make matters worse, the deepest tunnels are filled with an impenetrable mist, making it as hard to navigate as the bunker's pitch blackness when the generator goes off. The cherry on top is that there are things in the mist, humanoid figures close enough to touch but dissipating once you get too close, and their ponderous footfalls sound just as real as anything else in the game.

What follows is a tense cat and mouse game, trying to get the drop on the blinded soldier before he blasts you away with his shotgun while also avoiding giving away your position by firing at one of the apparitions by mistake. My nerves were shot as I made my way through the final rooms of the labyrinth, and I felt like a god damned champion when I finally put the poor bastard out of his misery. My reward? A key macguffin for escaping my prison, as well as that 12-gauge shotgun. This ain't your daddy's Amnesia.

My celebration was short-lived though. A hidden chamber in the deepest catacombs reveals the final, awful piece of The Bunker's tragedy, as well as a heartbreaking keepsake of a fallen friend. Oh and wait, crap, where am I at on time? Not a lot of fuel left in the generator after this trip, and shotgun or no you never want to get caught out in the open with the lights off in The Bunker.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.