Developer and publisher Frictional Games announced that it’s working on a new Amnesia game that looks like a fresh start for the series as well as a return to what made the original game work.
“What is Amnesia: Rebirth?” asks Thomas Grip, creative director at Frictional Games, in a PlayStation blog post. “A new protagonist, a new setting, a new story, but built on what we learned from the original game. No gimmicks. No inventing something completely new. This is Amnesia.”
The relationship between old and new seems to be a big focus of Frictional’s new game. Grip says that “in horror, repetition is a deadly sin” but notes that Frictional wants to “return to those roots” of the Amnesia franchise. At the same time, Grip writes that “simple horror isn’t enough” and that Frictional “wants to take you beyond horror and out the other side.”
Watch the announcement trailer for the game to see what Grip means:
In terms of practical information about Amnesia: Rebirth, we really don’t know much. There are a few photos in the blog that hint at what is to come, but Grip didn’t share much about the title beyond those larger goals of what Frictional hopes to accomplish with Amnesia: Rebirth. The creative director notes that Rebirth is not “going for a carnival attraction of jumpscares,” which reinforces the idea that the sequel will build upon the atmospheric dread of the original Amnesia in some way.
Frictional returning to the horror franchise that put the studio on the map is a big deal. Amnesia is not just a masterclass in a masterclass of horror game design but it’s arguably one of the most influential and greatest titles of its decade. As Frictional Games points out, Amnesia became an early example of a game that went viral on YouTube and other online outlets. It was so scary that it encouraged people to watch others play it just to see what their reactions to it would be.
While Frictional Games went on to release another horror masterpiece, the underrated SOMA, the studio handed development of the second Amnesia title, A Machine for Pigs, off to developer The Chinese Room. A Machine for Pigs was fairly well-received, but some critics noted that it traded the incredible frights of the original in for more opportunities to tell an interesting (but sometimes overbearing) story. It seems that Frictional Games is reassuring players that it plans to undo any negative associations fans who were disappointed with A Machine for Pigs may have with the Amnesia name.
We’ll find out more about Amnesia: Rebirth as it nears its release date sometime later this year.