If you like puzzles and eerie deserts, but not darkness and horrifying ghouls, Swedish studio Frictional has a new version of its game Amnesia: Rebirth for you. A less stressful “Adventure Mode” is being added to Rebirth today via GOG, Steam, and the Epic Store. The game’s PlayStation version will get Adventure Mode in the coming weeks.
Amnesia: Rebirth, released last year, is a strong sequel to the notoriously scary Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Adventure Mode removes encounters with Rebirth’s numerous monsters, as well as special effects that damaged its protagonist Tasi’s mental state. It also adds light to the game’s spookier levels, so players won’t have to ration matches or face the darkness. And Frictional says it’s adding bonus puzzles to Adventure Mode, so while you might spend less time sneaking and hiding, you’ll theoretically have more classic adventure game mechanics to make up for it.
As Amnesia: Rebirth creative lead Fredrik Olsson describes it, “the game still has its very serious theme and sometimes unnerving ambience, but the new mode feels a lot more like an Indiana Jones type of adventure in places where it would otherwise be more of a horror experience.”
Frictional added a similar “safe mode” for ‘Soma’
Adventure Mode is comparable to the Safe Mode that Frictional added to its 2015 horror game Soma. But Safe Mode was a relatively simple mod that stopped monsters from attacking players, broadening the appeal of a world where failure could be seriously frustrating. Games like Hades and Celeste have adopted similar systems, giving a boost to players who want to enjoy the standard game at a lower difficulty level.
Adventure Mode sounds like a broader aesthetic change to a game that already helped players progress if they “died,” albeit at a subtle narrative cost. It’s aimed at making the overall atmosphere more approachable, or as Frictional puts it, removing “anxiety-inducing and very distressing elements present in the original game.” It sounds a little more like Assassin’s Creed Origins’ educational mode, which swapped combat for a museum-style tour — although Frictional is still keeping players focused on Rebirth’s original narrative.
Frictional expressed ambivalence about giving Rebirth a “safe mode” before launch, telling Vice that removing monsters “wouldn’t make story-wise sense.” Adventure Mode may get around that issue by tweaking the game’s entire world — not just the parts that can kill you.