Horror can be a difficult thing to get right. Fear is incredibly subjective, which is why so many games go the easy route of startling instead of scaring. The Amnesia series as a whole managed to avoid falling into that trap for the most part. While it may not be scary to you, depending on what really frightens you, it at least does a good job of understanding that startling someone isn’t the same as scaring them. Well, now Amnesia: Collection makes its way to the Nintendo Switch. So, you can choose to be scared in public where strangers can mock and judge you.
Amnesia Collection brings together three great games from the series and bundles them together. First of all is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The quality of the game is already well known to many, but it is also a fair few years old now. While the graphics are near a decade old now, they do suit the Switch’s handheld mode well. The monsters now do look more silly than threatening the core of the gameplay is still solid and does its job. The graphics are never so bad that you can’t tell what something is, and realistically 2010 was around the point that 3D graphics hit a decent baseline, even in indie products.
Amnesia: Collection | A Modern Classic
As far as ports go it’s as close to the original version as it gets. At no point throughout my playthrough did I ever feel like I was playing something significantly different from the PC original. Beyond the intentional graphical issues, I don’t remember a single hitch or frame drop. Controlling Amnesia is much the same, with the pulling and pushing controls mapped to the right analog stick. While this did occasionally cause the camera to flail wildly when using switches, the issue was a minor inconvenience at worst, only really coming up in safe spaces.
Amnesia: Justine performs exactly the same as the first game in the collection did. This should hardly be surprising since they’re basically the same game. Justine is effectively just a super short add-on campaign for the original game which is an even more harrowing version of Portal. Lasting only an hour makes it feel a little like a throwaway title, to be honest. While it may have served well enough as promotion for Portal 2 back when it was released, it’s hard to recommend over the other two more complete offerings available. If you insist on playing it just be aware that it still has no saving options.
Amnesia: Collection | Graphical Problems
The final game in the pack, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, is the only game in the series not developed by Frictional Games. Instead, the game was designed by The Chinese Room, creators of Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. Perhaps unsurprisingly A Machine For Pigs had a decent chunk of its gameplay removed. There is no health or sanity meters, and also no inventory. This means that most of the puzzles are as basic as possible. Still, it has more gameplay than most other The Chinese Room games. You actually have to hide from enemies and there are puzzles to solve instead of simple story segments to experience.
What is surprising about A Machine For Pigs is that it has the only real issues of the entire port. The graphics look as good as they did in the original, but they keep glitching out constantly. As you look around a room, texture flash white as you turn or a hallway ends in negative space. Its quite jarring and honestly breaks the immersion a fair bit. Luckily, the graphics are where the problems end. Using the same engine as the first two games means that it controls the same and has the same physics. The main differences are in the design of the environments, and the overly linear nature of the gameplay.
Amnesia: Collection | Final Thoughts
Overall, Amnesia Collection is a great port for the Nintendo Switch. While there are some issues with the graphics in Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, the rest of the bundle seems to operate almost exactly as it did back when the games were first released. The controls are mapped well to the Switch controller. Best of all the port managed to avoid adding any token motion controls. The games’ ability to scare might be subjective, but their quality should be apparent. They work well both on the go and tied down to a TV. If you missed the series the first time around then the Nintendo Switch version is a great port to try.
TechRaptor covered Amnesia Collection on Nintendo Switch with a copy supplied by the publisher.