Halloween month has kicked off in appropriate fashion with the first proper look at gameplay from Amnesia: Rebirth. The Amnesia: The Dark Descent sequel from developer Frictional Games transports us to the Algerian desert for a horror game that’s as gloomy as we’ve come to expect.
The five minute trailer has lead character Tasi Trianon work through a variety of scenarios. First, she’s exploring an indoor area that’s looking a bit wrecked from some form of struggle, what looks like remnants of shed skin or entrails hanging from the walls. Suddenly, in typical Amnesia fashion, a growling creature emerges, and she has to quickly escape, frantically looking for unlocked doors.
Then, we move outside, where she pokes through an abandoned tank, before we return inside to see more of the progressive puzzle-solving. Like in Amnesia, and Frictional’s SOMA from 2015, the bulk of your time will be spent moving objects around, reading signs, and gradually moving from place-to-place. The monster isn’t the only threat, however, with booby-traps everywhere, making every room a perilous venture. A previous trailer revealed a number of landscapes that we’ll be sneaking around, so this is definitely just a snippet.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, creative director Thomas Grip runs down two distinct systems that stand out for Rebirth. In contrast to Amnesia’s tinderboxes for lighting, this time around it’s matches, for more historical accuracy, and some fresh scares. “A match might go out at the wrong moment – just when you hear menacing footsteps approaching,” he writes. “This also allows us to simulate, without using scripted events, the player lighting a match only to stand face to face with some sort of horrible creature. A moment straight out of a Poe story, but all built by dynamic gameplay.”
Likewise, Rebirth is a survival game in the truest sense, because Trianon’s searching for information on a mysterious illness, and her condition worsens when she’s stuck in the darkness. “Tasi’s worsening condition is something that unfolds over time. In order to make sure it hits home we weave in some core narrative motivation into it,” Grip says. “I am afraid I cannot go into what this part of the story is, as it is something we want to keep secret until release. But it is something we hope to be just as impactful as the mind swapping was in SOMA, if not more so.”