Don’t mistake Amnesia: The Dark Descent for just another YouTube-friendly horror game. Amnesia is one of the decade’s essential video games, a reimagining of the horror genre. Played from a first-person perspective, the goal isn’t to kill hordes of baddies, but simply to progress through a mysterious castle, avoid contact with monsters, and survive. Released in 2010, Amnesia inspired countless horror games, and played a crucial role in the popularization of video game streaming, where folks like PewDiePie built identities shrieking at Amnesia and its ilk.
Which is to say, it’s not a streaming-friendly horror game, it’s the streaming-friendly horror game.
And yet, for six years, Amnesia, its sequel Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, and a side project called Amnesia: Justine, have been available exclusively on PC, Mac, and Linux. A new PS4 collection will bring all three to a video game console for the first tine.
Thomas Grip, creative director of Frictional Games, wrote a recap of the events that led to Amnesia’s creation, and provides some interesting background on the two games that followed. (For example, Justine was actually a loose tie-in for Portal 2.) But Grip is modest about the game’s significance.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent was released a year after Resident Evil 5, the game that downgraded the biggest horror franchise in video games into a caffeinated action film pastiche. Since The Dark Descent, the horror genre has embraced the slow pace and vulnerable heroes established by Amnesia. Six years later, Resident Evil 7 was introduced with first-person gameplay, featuring a weaponless hero running for their life. A small indie game informed the reigning genre champ, and soon both will be playable on the same console.
The Amnesia Collection will be available on PS4 on November 22nd, 2016.