Developer Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent is considered one of the godfathers of the unarmed, jump-scare laden, first-person survival horror genre.
It paved the way for blockbuster video games such as Outlast, Alien: Isolation, Layers of fear, and the ever so terrifying Silent Hills Playable Teaser (P.T).
With the slew of horror games that have come and gone within the past 10 years, Frictional Games is now looking to breathe new life into the franchise with Amnesia: Rebirth, using their experience developing SOMA as a compass.
Frictional Games may have popularized the jump-scare horror genre with Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but that was definitely not their intention—actually, it was quite the opposite. They never wanted their games to be remembered for cheap thrills.
Grip also wanted to make it clear that The Dark Descent’s underlying theme was meant to revolve around “Human evil.” Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, that narrative was overshadowed by monster chase sequences.
The Swedish developers sought to instill players with a deeper idea of horror and dread that would remain a part of them, even after they stepped away from the game.
Thomas Grip—Frictional Games’ creative director—mentioned during an interview that with Amnesia: Rebirth they aren’t looking to develop a “Let’s Play” type of title.
For those who are unaware, “Let’s Play” (also known as LP) is a kind of video documentation—where a gamer records their playthrough of a video game, along with narration and a view of the player’s face.
What the developers want is another shot at creating a title that induces a creeping sense of fear and apprehension that relentlessly develops as the game unfolds.
Frictional Games executive producer and creative lead Fredrik Olsson chimed in by talking about how the upcoming horror title would have the most diverse environments of any of the projects they’ve worked on so far.
While an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia is still something the developers want to convey throughout the game, they’re also looking to contrast it with an endless expanse, which—in the case of Amnesia: Rebirth—is the desert.
The goal is to establish an “unnerving sense of dread that fluctuates but continues to steadily build,” explained Grip.
While Amnesia: Rebirth won’t be a direct sequel to The Dark Descent, both games will occur in the same universe. This means that gamers won’t have to play through the previous entries in the series to enjoy Rebirth, though fans of the franchise are likely to discover some fascinating connections.
Amnesia: Rebirth is slated for release in autumn 2020 for PlayStation 4 and PC. Although the developers don’t have immediate plans for a next-generation console release, they remain open to the idea of porting the games in the future.
Image courtesy of Frictional Games/Twitter
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