Amnesia: Rebirth is releasing into a very different world than its predecessor, 2010’s Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Developer Frictional Games’ first Amnesia–and, to an extent, The Chinese Room’s indirect sequel, 2013’s Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs–is the most noteworthy precursor (and perhaps even inspiration for) the streaming trend that saw content creators visually reacting to survival horror games in exaggerated ways. This trend popularized first-person, jump scare-focused horror games, such as Outlast, Five Nights At Freddy’s, and the playable teaser for Silent Hills.
However, this is not the legacy that Frictional Games wanted–the studio hoped mainstream audiences would gain a more introspective interpretation from The Dark Descent, and that they’d see a game that’s deeper than just a scary experience to react to. Conveying a deeper horror experience is something the team is now attempting to do with Amnesia: Rebirth, relying on the lessons they learned from developing 2015’s SOMA. The new Amnesia will take place in a brand-new setting for the franchise and explore a different kind of horror.
“We could have just gone, ‘Oh, let’s take this let’s play thing that started with Amnesia and run with that,'” Frictional Games creative director Thomas Grip told me in an interview. “But that doesn’t feel like what we wanted to do. There are a bunch of things that we thought that people liked with [The Dark Descent] and then there’s a bunch of stuff that we felt we could do better and there’s a bunch of stuff that we learned from SOMA and we also felt like we wanted to put all of that together.”