Is Amnesia heading east?

"And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last, slouches towards..." erm, Lanzhou?

Wanton purveyors of blood-curdling terror Frictional Games have today drawn back the merciful veil of cosmic ignorance to reveal, a website about their next game. The game in question being a new Amnesia title…and that’s all anyone knows so far. All that’s on the site so far is the stark Amnesia logo superimposed on a blurry picture with the tagline “something is emerging.” If you lean back far enough and squint it looks a bit like a Grey alien eating a sausage, or Gonzo from The Muppets after a terrible industrial accident involving a gallon of acid and his face. Clicking on the picture takes you to a Google Map of China, dashing my hopes of a Jim Henson horror adventure while at the same time giving me an idea as what we might expect.

Fun fact time: China is home to the necropolis of Quin Shi Huang, first Emperor of China, who was so obsessed with attaining immortality he once sent a thousand people away on boats to find some 1,000 year-old wizard he’d heard about. He also ordered any books that weren’t about astrology, agriculture, medicine, divination, or the history of his own empire to be burned so his scholars could focus their attention of finding a way to make him live forever. Anyone claiming to have magical powers was put to death since the Emperor figured a minor inconvenience like that wouldn’t keep them down for long if they the real deal. He was a bit like the James Randi of his time, if James Randi was utterly mental. The necropolis itself is where the world-famous Terracotta Warriors were discovered in 1974 and is so huge it allegedly took 700,000 conscripts around 36 years to build. To this day has never been fully explored.

What has all that got to do with Amnesia? Probably nothing, but don’t say I never teach you anything. Speculation’s is all we’ve got to go on for the time being so I might as well chuck my half-baked theory out there. For all we know it could be a Chinese localisation of Amnesia: The Dark Descent although that doesn’t really warrant a teaser image and cryptic tagline. If this is actually a proper follow-up set in the far east then it raises all sorts of questions. Will it still be a period piece? Is it going to be an expansion to Amnesia or a full sequel? Will it make me whimper like a dog lashed by squamous undulating tentacles? Let the wild, lunatic theories begin!

In case you didn’t know, I loved the original Amnesia. I loved it because it so effectively scared the ever-living shit out of me I could only play it for 45 minutes before putting it down, panting and shaking like a sick dog. It took me 6 months before I plucked up the courage to finish it, and I’m a hardened veteran of games like Silent Hill and System Shock 2. I love any game that gets under your skin and sinks its hooks into the primal Fight-or-Flight part of your brain and Amnesia did it very well. Perhaps too well: I still cant bring myself to replay it, nor sit down and properly play the Justine DLC released for it in April of last year. Neither of which will stop me grabbing this new one when it comes out and subjecting myself to it at night with headphones on, because I’m some sort of masochist apparently.

Matt McDermott

About Matt McDermott

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