Amnesia sunk its thrilling themes deep into our psyche years ago. 13 years later, it still holds a trademark for video games that challenge the deepest parts to your anxiety and paranoia. Amnesia: The Bunker may have given the series a modern twist, but does the new game hold up to its authentic sense of psychological horror? We look at popular reviews to find out what The Bunker gets right and where it falters.
Amnesia: The Bunker is played through the perspective of a French soldier who is injured in battle. He awakens to discover the exits damaged and practically all of his comrades-in-arms murdered by something lurking in the darkness in this World War I bunker in 1916.
Amnesia: The Bunker reviews
Wccftech – 9
GGRecon – 9
IGN – 8
Gamespot – 8
Noisy Pixel – 8
Try Hard Guides – 8
Eurogamer – 4/5
Gamesradar+ – 4/5
Pushsquare – 7
Shacknews – 6
Metacritic – 78
Opencritic – 76
Out tomorrow on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox (Day 1 Game Pass). pic.twitter.com/gLRXcZvQQR
— Okami Games (@Okami13_) June 5, 2023
“Gut-churning horror and moody, bleak storytelling”: IGN
IGN carefully highlights the gameplay elements that make Amnesia: The Bunker so special. According to their review, the game takes a refreshing page out of Alien: Isolation’s book and features a single, constant threat. It is the ‘Stalker’ that lives behind the walls and above the ceiling of your concrete prison, unlike most enemies in other Amnesia games that are scripted to patrol a specific area in a specific way. Running, pulling the trigger on a hand-cranked torch, firing off a weapon, or any other loud noise will draw it.
Amnesia: The Bunker is a smaller, more self-contained episode in the groundbreaking horror franchise that has some chilling, new tricks up its sleeve.
— IGN (@IGN) June 5, 2023
A sense of purpose and urgency accompanies every expedition into the bunker’s remote areas. It is symbolized by a pocket watch that you may sync to the quantity of fuel left to know how much time you have before lights out. It can occasionally take a minute or two for the Stalker to stop patrolling and return to the tunnels, so if you decide to hide every time it’s nearby, you’ll be wasting valuable time and resources. This is unquestionably The Bunker’s most potent new tactic for making players relive the first Amnesia’s effects.
A first playthrough took the reviewers roughly eight hours according to Steam’s calculations, but only about five according to the in-game clock, which undoubtedly has something to do with how frequently they tabbed out to watch amusing animal videos to relieve their stress.
The behavior of the monster, locker codes, and the location of several important things are all semi-random in The Bunker. This is meant to keep things interesting if you choose to replay the game.
“Amnesia: The Bunker is proof that Frictional has still got it”: GameSpot
GameSpot compares Amnesia’s first game to The Bunker, considering the fresher outlook on horror storytelling. Based on their playthrough, the new game is significantly less predictable and even has changeable parts that alter depending on how you play it. Compared to previous Frictional games, this makes it more replayable, and it works pretty well in that regard. With each fresh game, key items can be discovered in new locations. For instance, a wrench for making shortcuts, a lighter for lighting torches, and dog tags that disclose locker codes.
The game’s monster, which persistently prowls throughout the bunker largely unscripted, is the game’s focal point. The changeable aspects are an intriguing new twist, but they are also merely an accompaniment to it. This makes every encounter far scarier because The Stalker usually stays concealed until you’ve done anything wrong.
In this approach, the monster acts as an enforcer to make sure you’re performing at your best, which in the bunker entails numerous distinct things. The generator, which lights the numerous hallways and wings you’ll open and explore, should always function. Avoid running through the hallways or, at the very least, immediately after doing so to minimize noise.
Even if you happen to know where the next crucial quest item is, such as a key or a specific note, you may occasionally need to make runs outside the safe room. This helps you gather a few more canisters of petrol due to the game’s restricted inventory space. The monster is free to roam once the fuel runs out, but it often only emerges when you’ve made too much noise when the lights are on. Theoretically, you could complete the game in the dark using only your hand-cranked torch, but good luck to those that attempt it. It is a savage, never-ending, ravenous beast.
The game’s outstanding audio design is the thread that connects everything. Amnesia: The Bunker is the go-to play-it-with-headphones experience in such a desolate and eerie setting. Each step is followed by an echo that makes one feel betrayed. On occasion, the monster may be breathing on the opposite side of a wall as you carefully move past a pack of rats and pray they won’t bite you. The turn-of-the-century walls echo when the torch is turned on, which may be enough to alert the beast if it is around. Even if you aren’t paying attention to its fairly light tale aspects, you will still be drawn into its world because everything is so evocative.
“Amnesia: The Bunker corrects the missteps of its predecessors and adds in a sense of invention”: Eurogamer
Eurogamer admires the game’s setting, reflecting on what makes it so memorable. According to them, Amnesia: The Bunker excels at making the titular location feel like both your prison as well as haven. You will find yourself boomeranging back to the places you are familiar with in its cramped, dark, and depressing halls. However, you will do so with a surge of adrenaline and a sense of sad appreciation. But as you tiptoe around, picking up the correct keys to unlock its secrets, its small, enclosed world will slowly begin to open up.
Amnesia: The Bunker corrects the missteps of its predecessors and adds in a sense of invention, creating a truly unsettling adventure.
Our review: https://t.co/1x0Gwv1gJx
— Eurogamer (@eurogamer) June 5, 2023
The game will feel familiar to anyone who has played any of the series’ predecessors. However, there have been a few minor changes made to the game’s typical structure since we last played through Rebirth, such as the replacement of the customary stack of matches with a wind-up torch.
Amnesia: The Bunker has a wonderfully sinister premise. Yes, it is frightening in the unique way that causes you to gasp for air because, up until that point, you were unaware that you had been holding it. There are several scenes and locations that will make you feel wonderfully uneasy no matter how many times you have to play through them. Like any horror game, you can get a little numb to the Big Bad who appears at random to rip your face off.
Because of this, The Bunker is such a thrill. Even though it’s dangerous, it’s exhilarating to see your daring experiments and creativity rewarded in such intriguing ways. The environmental puzzles you come across typically have many solutions. As well as randomly generated codes, object locations, and traps, each playthrough ought to be interesting and different.
“Just as terrifying as any bleak sci-fi tale the developer has conjured up to date”: GamesRadar+
GamesRadar+ acknowledges how the creators of Amnesia have done justice to the horror genre. Based on their review for Amnesia: The Bunker, Frictional Games shook up its terror playbook. The scripted narrative events and linear tales that the studio almost perfected in Soma and Amnesia: Rebirth are no longer present. Instead, what we have here is a four-hour deadly game of cat and mouse in which the mouse is a shell-shocked French soldier from World War One and the cat is a furious nightmare-fuel beast.
You’re continuously in a life-or-death situation in The Bunker. When you awaken after the trench part and there is no one nearby, you find that your comrades have abandoned you. You were locked in the cramped bunker with a mysterious beast while they escaped to the surface. The sole character in this story is your soldier; thus all of Frictional’s typical great storytelling is done through diary entries, notes, and old pictures. This is yet another significant difference.
— GamesRadar+ (@GamesRadar) June 5, 2023
The Bunker unfolds sort of like a big puzzle. You are informed that you must have dynamite and a detonator handle in order to escape. However, the detonator handle is secured behind a door that requires a passcode that is only available from the communications broadcast room and that can only be accessed with a unique key located elsewhere. Due to the game’s brief length, you must frequently go back to locations and saunter back and forth to gather essential goods for moving further in The Bunker.
For the developer, Amnesia: The Bunker represents a significant change in strategy. Despite some compromises, it succeeds. The player is fully disarmed by the horrors that follow the trench opener, and feverishly foraging for resources while keeping the electricity on is suitably horrific.
The Good and the Bad: What does the game deliver?
- Excellent chills and scares
- Unique and compelling opening segment
- The Generator mechanic is superb.
- Level layouts are annoying
- Repetition often takes away the ‘horror’ of things.