Amnesia: The Bunker

released on Jun 06, 2023

Amnesia: The Bunker is a first-person horror game set in a desolate WW1 Bunker. Face the oppressing terrors stalking the dark corridors. Search for and use the tools and weapons at your disposal, while keeping the lights on at all costs. Overcome fear, persevere, and make your way out alive.

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Amnesia has practically become a sub-genre of survival horror unto itself, its tropes consisting of the Lovecraftian entities that stalk in the shadows, a trapped, defenceless protagonist and also having the worst light sources known to man. The third entry in the iconic franchise, entitled Rebirth, was a demonstration of formula’s flexibility within a complete change of scenery, some of which taking place in broad daylight. The Bunker still manages to bring plenty of new features to the table whilst remaining, undoubtedly, an Amnesia game.
This one, set during WWI, follows a French soldier, Henri Clément, trapped in the titular bunker filled with corpses of fellow soldiers and a lurking Beast responsible for said corpses. Much of the horror comes from stumbling around in the dark looking for key items that will help you escape, while the Beast pursues you from inside the walls. As with the other games, several aspects add to the stress: there’s no sanity meter when you’re plunged into darkness, but once the generator runs out of fuel and the lights go out, it’s only a matter of time before the monster comes after you; likewise there’s no scarcity of light sources like before, but your shitty wind-up torch is noisy and puts you at risk. Generally, sound is put to effective use and is key to survival, especially in how the directional sound of the monster can indicate where it might pop up next.
The semi-open world of the bunker demands that the player explores each area at a time, returning with new supplies as frequently as possible and really considering ventures out of the safe room. It’s satisfying when a well-planned trip rewards you with game changing items - such as a wrench or bolt cutters - that allow you to venture further into areas previously unreachable. Similarly, there’s nothing more wonderful than coming up with your own unique solutions to navigating the environment - not every locked door needs a key.
I would say these new mechanics make The Bunker the most fun Amnesia game to play, although the unrelenting persistence of the Beast, whilst scary and stressful at first, can sometimes just be annoying - think the Xenomorph from Alien Isolation. The addition of weapons is indeed exciting but quickly becomes futile (or at least when only used to fend off the creature). The running back and forth to escape the monster helps to pad out what is probably way too short of a game. And the notion of replaying it all with randomised key-item locations doesn’t seem that appealing, especially considering the lack of variation in the ending(s). Still, it’s a hell of a first playthrough!
Small gripes aside, The Bunker is still one of the strongest horror titles of the year thus far. If it proves anything, it’s that Amnesia still holds a firm place in the genre, and I hope Frictional Games continue explore new and exciting ground with it.

This review contains spoilers

Mr. Beast chases a FRENCHMAN around an OLD WW1 BUNKER?! (gone wrong)

Some idiot typed "Amnesia" into the title instead of "Penumbra". I hope they got fired for that blunder.
Exceptionally solid horror experience. Gives you pretty much the exact amount of resources you need - not overly generous, but not stingy either. The main monster is really well designed, being always near you, but unless it's dark or you make a lot of noise (which you may have to out of necessity) it won't be actively hunting you through the game.
Gripes: It was shockingly slow to load such a small area, and yet still had an extra second to switch between areas. Whenever this happened the monster seemed to teleport to a new location on the map. Lastly, the final encounter with the monster was outright awful - it just didn't mesh with the rest of the experience.

THIS... was a lot better than Rebirth, the horror and difficulty is amped up to the max, the puzzles are great and it is the first Amnesia game to feature guns, they did a great job implementing those. Hoping, to come back later and Platinum this game.

This review contains spoilers

- 7.5 hours played
Amnesia The Bunker was the first Amnesia game I have completed. Only ever heard great things about the series, the original mainly. I wanted to get into the games but I just kinda bounced off the first game when I played it. It looked and felt very antiquated. A product of its time and I couldn’t get past that. But I always wanted to play an Amnesia game. Rebirth came along and I downloaded it yet I never pressed X to start it. So time went on and then this bad boy came out.
The setting instantly appealed to me. Having the player traverse a dark, lonely and claustrophobic WW1 bunker underground. It’s fantastic. You spent the entire game trying to escape the bunker but the whole time you’re never sure which horror is worse. Is it the Monster who lives in the walls, emerging to chase you down and end your life? Or is it the atrocities taking place outside the bunker, war time acts of extreme violence and careless loss of life to a hail of bullets? You always feel you’re trying desperately to escape hell only to end up clawing your way above ground into the hell above.
I love games where it’s awfully one sided and all you can do is run and deter the monster. Alien Isolation is one of my all time favourites and this game is a new favourite of mine. Whilst you’re navigating the bunker, certain key items will be locked behind road blocks. You may spend time traversing an area and find what you’re looking for, but realise that item is in a locked room and the only way to enter is through the vent. But the vent is locked with screws so now you need to find the tool to remove the screws. So off you go, looking in every nook and cranny for what you need. The game randomises these locations on repeat playthroughs for increased replayability. Whilst you’re searching for these items, the monster is searching for you. It’s a hulking beast of a creature that lives in the walls. Its rat hole exits can be seen everywhere and can even be blocked if you grab and pull an heavy enough box infront of them. The monster can’t be killed (Until the very end ;D) so you have to sneak and run. Use light sources and a very limited supply of bullets to scare it away. The tension this creates is utterly engrossing and terrifying.
The monster doesn’t like light. It can still attack you in the light but when the bunker is lit up, the monster won’t come out as often. If you sprint around making loads of noise he will emerge to slap you around so it’s still important to be weary even when the bunker is fully lit but it does give you some breathing room. The lights are run by a generator and that’s run off fuel. Fuel is found around the bunker and it runs out. You link a stopwatch to the generator and it can be brought up during gameplay to see how much time is left before the genny runs out and you’re plunged back into darkness. It was an awful feeling being deep into the bunker when the lights kicked out and I could hear the monster emerge from its den 😬
Everything in the game is tangible. You can pick it all up, move it about. Throw items to break doors. Pick up and use bricks to break padlocks. The bunker has a rat problem and any damage you take will cause you to bleed. The rats will then follow the blood, follow you giving you something else to worry about. It’s because of these systems that this has been one of the most immersive games I have had the joy of playing recently. If you can think of a way to do something, the game will go to pretty far lengths to make it possible. You can’t do everything ever but it’s impressive what solutions it caters for. Overall a fantastic little game and a great 7 hours spent gaming.

fantastic first hour build up but lost interest once the monster got loose after the first encounter. not a fan of horror games with "stalker" enemies that dont actually have a system for stalking or hunting you and just rubberband to wherever you are no matter what.