Amnesia The bunker is locked with it review

Amnesia: The bunker is locked with it. review

Played on PC

Frictional Games once popularized games that focused on slow-paced exploration of locations with a minimum of active mechanics. There are “walking simulators” among the common people. Wander through dark places, be afraid of shadows and use your mouse to move rare interactive objects. But that wasn’t always the case. There were decent puzzles in the Penumbra series, and you could even fend off monsters with improvised items in the very first game in the series. This felt extremely crooked, but increased the tactility of the virtual world. In this respect, the new Amnesia: The Bunker is close to the developers’ debut, but adapted to years of experience.

Hundred ways to survive

    Don't get used to the open sky

Don’t get used to the open sky

The first few minutes are extremely untypical for frictional games. We slip into the role of Henri Clement, a French soldier in the First World War. In the middle of the night battle, we make our way through the trenches. The sky is ripped apart by explosions and machine gun fire. You even have to shoot at enemy soldiers. Then – calm. And now we are already in the night watch and come across a wounded comrade. We try to help him, but come under enemy fire. Explosion. Darkness.

Henri wakes up in a hospital bed. I have no idea how long he’d been unconscious. It seems that there is not a soul left in the bunker, but this impression is deceptive. Literally a few minutes later we come across a wounded colleague. And after a few moments he dies in the mouth of a terrible monster. All we can do is run headfirst to the well-defended administration building and lock all the doors. The only place that can by far be called safe.

The bunker will be Henri’s whole world for the next few hours. The only way out is blown up and littered. To get out, you’ll need to clear the way with some sticks of dynamite. The note tells you which side to look for the bomb and the handle for the detonator, and after that the authors release the player on a completely independent journey. Explore the bunker, memorize the layout and learn the rules of survival.

    Don't forget to look down

Don’t forget to look down

The first and most important thing to remember is that the living being does not like light. Always follow the light. The power supply comes from a generator in the basement of the administration, which has to be constantly supplied with fuel. Gasoline cans are scattered in different rooms, and with a full tank the car drives about fifteen minutes. That’s enough for the next research trip, but you have to constantly return to the generator. There is also a single lamp for saving progress. Luckily, the rescue room is right in the middle of the bunker.

Limited resources are the basis for building a game cycle: we look at the map, decide which wing to go to, note the time before we plunge into complete darkness, throw supplies and tools in a small duffel bag and make ourselves on the way into the unknown. Just make sure you come back before the generator goes down. The hero doesn’t panic or psychosis from groping in the dark, but wandering through total darkness is mediocre fun.

    Don't forget to check your watch

Don’t forget to check your watch

On the way to the goal, Anri will encounter many obstacles, but each of them can always be overcome in different ways. Mixing traditional survival horror with immersive simulation elements, Amnesia: The Bunker consists of interconnected systems. For example, most wooden objects can be destroyed with a grenade. The lock on the door is destroyed by a shot. And the terrible creature is sensitive to loud sounds, and even the light will not stop them from wondering who is making noise in their possessions. Fortunately, Henri is not completely defenseless. The monster can be driven away with a few successful hits. Only there are very few cartridges, and the last one could be spent on the lock …

The obvious solution to a problem isn’t always the best – it’s always worth thinking about and looking around for. Somewhere there is a hidden hole, in another place you can build an improvised staircase from boxes and barrels – the game world is interactive and tactile, following the Frictional tradition. The ability to grab and throw anything that isn’t pinned to the ground helps a lot when playing cat and mouse with a monster.

With a terrible inhabitant of the bunker with whom you have to constantly fight. Even in a well-lit room, you can often hear an awkward neighbor somewhere behind the wall. Many of them have holes in them that allow the creature to move quickly between rooms, and even grab Anri and pull it there if you walk past such a hideout. Over time you will understand when you can relax and what signs will indicate the proximity of the monster. Learning the rules and understanding how to use them to your advantage is one of the most important mechanics.

    Do not abandon a person to fate, even an enemy

Do not leave a person to fate – not even an enemy

As you explore the nooks and crannies of the bunker, you’ll learn about the nightmares that played out in its gloomy corridors. The story is told through the environment and of course through notes. Not only is the game related to the Amnesia series, the action clearly takes place in the same universe. Colleagues’ letters and journals report on the ancient ruins found during the excavation of a shaft to enemy positions. About how strange finds began to affect the health of fighters and drive some insane. An attentive player will also learn the secret of the monster’s appearance. Although the narrative is clearly secondary to the process this time around, it’s still interesting to get an idea of ​​the events that took place.

During the announcement, Frictional Games spoke about the use of randomization in the new project. I even feared that the developers would experiment with “bagels”. Luckily, the world of The Bunker is almost entirely handcrafted. Only some of the traps and codes on the tokens that Anri finds among the remains of his colleagues are left to chance. With their help, you can open boxes with personal belongings of the deceased.

Some provide useful resources, while others provide tools you can use to open up previously inaccessible avenues or add new ways to solve problems. And I deliberately limit myself to a general description, because the lion’s share of interest lies in experimenting with game mechanics yourself. One of the game’s clues is, “If you think you can do something, you might not.”

    Don't try to scare the creature with a torch.  Checked - does not work.  But it works great on rats

Don’t try to scare the creature with a torch. Checked – does not work. But it works great on rats

* * *

In one of the episodes of the last part of the series, Amnesia: Rebirth, the heroine ended up in a military fortress in the desert. Reviews praised the location more often than other aspects of the game, which apparently didn’t go unnoticed by the developers. Frictional Games developed the idea into a full-fledged project, adding a few spoonfuls to Alien: Isolation. And I didn’t guess.


  • the bunker acts as an atmospheric and well thought-out game world as a full-fledged hero;
  • skillfully interwoven game mechanics that allow you to experiment in solving problems;
  • tense cat and mouse with a monster.


  • The ending is understandable but wrinkled – I would have liked a more lengthy epilogue.


The studio’s own engine produces a beautiful and modern image, works great with light and allows you to make the world interactive. At the same time, it is quite economical in terms of requirements.


There is almost no music in the game, nor does it need it. But the sound design is just beautiful in its ability to keep up with the horror.

single player game

A successful fusion of horror, adventure and immersive simulation.

Estimated travel time

To get out of the nightmare bunker it will take five or six hours.

collective game

Not provided.

general impression

Amnesia: The Bunker is something of a return to the studio’s roots, at a time when well-designed gameplay was an integral part of the overall experience.

Rating: 9.0/10

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About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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