Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is a first person adventure horror game. It is the spiritual successor to the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You play as Oswald Mandus, a wealthy industrialist in the year 1899, who experiences strange visions and hears voices after a disastrous trip to Mexico.
Pro Mysterious and engaging story
The game opens with the protagonist Oswald Mandus, a wealthy industrialist, waking up in his mansion after a long sickness. Awoken by the voices of his two children calling out for him, Mandus sets out to find them. As the story begins, we quickly learn that he was in Mexico where a great tragedy struck and this is when he first fell ill.
The story then progresses from there, often veering into strange and surreal themes where you may question what is real and what is not. It is told in such a way that information is slowly reaveled over time through monologues, memories, and in-game notes. The story is great at teasing its biggest mysteries and conveying a strong desire to push forward and learn more.
Pro Fantastic level design
Often times featuring strange architecture, flickering lights, twisting and turning passages, and dark hallways, the overall level design is fantastic. Although most levels are rather linear, the attention to detail is immense. The Victorian-era mansion looks its part, the workshops and factories look like bustling industrial centers, and the more surreal areas really inspire a sense of wonder with their strange machinery. A lot of care went into molding a terrifying, yet realistic environment and the visually appealing levels are easily one of the game's biggest high points.
Pro Scary sound design creates a true horror atmosphere
The audio design is excellent and scary, featuring plenty of disembodied voices, footsteps in dark hallways, and things scratching or pounding on doors. Hearing things thud and bump in the dark when you're trying to sneak around unseen creates a lot of scares, especially when you hear something right next to you scurry past. The consistent use of strange noises and ambient sound is brilliant, used in all the right places, and creates a truly frightening atmosphere.
Pro Very tense gameplay
Sneaking through dark levels and avoiding the prowling entities that lurk within creates some truly terrifying moments. There is no combat in this game, so fighting back isn't an option. As a result, carefully avoiding monsters, hiding from them, or even running away if the opportunity presents itself creates some very tense gameplay where you'll always be on a high alert. You never know when you're going to round a corner or open a door and come face to face with a monstrosity.
Con No inventory results in easy and cumbersome puzzles
There is no inventory system at all, so whenever you need to use an object to complete a puzzle, you must manually carry it around the level and use it where needed. Not only is this highly inconvenient, but due to this limitation, puzzles are often extremely easy as they only involve one object. For the rare puzzle that involves several items, you will need to carry them one by one.
Con There never seems like there's any urgency
The original Amnesia had an insanity system where you couldn't be in the dark too long, and had you scavenging for tinderboxes and lantern oil to stay sane. There was always the constant urgency of finding a light source. A Machine for Pigs completely removed this mechanic and, as a result, much of the tension of the original game is gone. You can take your time and casually stroll through dark areas without a care in the world.
Con Very linear
The first few levels are nice and somewhat open, as they allow for a little exploration, but then things start to feel extremely linear. The latter levels are extremely linear point A to point B affairs. There is a bit of sidetracking at times if you're going for all the collectibles, but there's rarely ever any need to stray off the path the game sets out for you.