From its semi-open world approach to its lack of a sanity mechanic, Amnesia: The Bunker is shaking up the series’ tried-and-tested formula in more ways than one, and one particular way it’s doing that that’s caught the eye of many is the promise of a much more dynamic and non-linear adventure that will make each playthrough feel unique. Speaking in a recent interview with GamingBolt, the game’s creative lead Frederik Olsson provided more details on that particular aspect, and how it will manifest in the game.
According to Olsson, one of the key design principles that developer Frictional Games adopted for the development of Amnesia: The Bunker was to make it a game that players will want to revisit past their first playthrough. While a single playthrough of the game will last 4-6 hours on average, Olsson says Amnesia: The Bunker also features several elements that enable it to “avoid linearity and predictability”.
“One of the core design pillars of this game has been to make it an experience that players will want to revisit, either on their own or after seeing someone else play,” Olsson told GamingBolt. “We’ve made a conscious effort to avoid linearity and predictability, ensuring that every aspect of the game presents a certain level of challenge, no matter how many times you play it. The player should never know exactly what it will take to overcome an obstacle.
“To achieve this, we have opted for a set of mechanics that we believe to make a strong foundation for this type of experience. The generator that continuously burns fuel introduces an element of time and can instantly change your situation if it runs out. Combine this with the dynamic threat that hunts you, loud tools such as the revolver or grenades, and a noisy light source, and you have a very dynamic and unscripted setup. The gameplay is influenced heavily by the player’s actions, ensuring that each playthrough is unique.”
Beyond that, Amnesia: The Bunker will also feature randomization elements that will mix things up from playthrough to playthrough, which will entail things such as the locations of items and traps, while codes needed to solve puzzles and progress further will also be randomized.
“We recognized that we could enhance the replayability of the game even further by randomizing certain elements,” Olsson said. “The location of resources, traps, and important codes are all randomized, with even the codes themselves being randomly generated to prevent cheating.
“Together, these elements create a game that evolves differently with each playthrough, providing new and unique situations and challenges each time.”
In the same interview, Olsson also spoke with GamingBolt about how the game’s semi-open world will be structured, and how it will continue to make use of darkness and light similar to previous Amnesia games.
Amnesia: The Bunker launches on May 16 for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
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