Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Entrant 2014


"Dark Descent took you on a steady journey into an ocean of madness. A Machine for Pigs will hold your head underwater until you're about to drown and then bring you back up for air, again and again." PC Gamer

Wealthy industrialist Oswald Mandus awakes in his bed, wracked with fever and haunted by dreams of a dark and hellish engine. Tortured by visions of a disastrous expedition to Mexico, broken on the failing dreams of an industrial utopia, wracked with guilt and tropical disease, he wakes into a nightmare. The house is silent, the ground beneath him shaking at the will of some infernal machine: all he knows is that his children are in grave peril, and it is up to him to save them.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs pushes gaming horror into a new direction, trading in jump-scares and gore for an intensely psychological descent into the darkest reaches of the human psyche. It has already established itself as an innovative and powerful title that extends The Chinese Room's reputation as masters of atmosphere and narrative. Polygon described it as "a terrifying journey into madness, industrialisation and the darkest secrets of the soul"; Rock, Paper, Shotgun called it "tense, and disturbing… a marvelous, revolting, disturbing sequel to Dark Descent." and Edge warned, "It will test your nerves to breaking point."

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs sees The Chinese Room mature from indie start-up to established UK studio. Uncompromising in their vision, unapologetically innovative in approach, the studio have once again produced a work of haunting beauty.

Unashamedly literary, immersed in the language, music and art of Victoriana and lush with both period detail and the stunningly realised architecture of The Machine and the protagonist's insanity, the world of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is core to the player's experience. This is driven by world-class audio design and a hugely praised soundtrack by renowned game composer Jessica Curry, who fuses beauty and terror into a macabre mix of industrial noise and orchestral splendor. The audio design of the game has been praised by critics across the board as one of the stand-out works of game audio this year: technically outstanding, hugely imaginative and with a scope and breadth that puts other titles to shame.

Stripped-back mechanics focus all of the player's attention on immersion and emotion, offering the most complex, nuanced and intimate portrayal of fear and madness since Silent Hill 2.