I’ve only played an hour or so of Frictional’s horror sequel Amnesia: The Bunker, partly because 2023 is stacked with huge games, but also because I find it incredibly intense. Its ingenious combination of, player-driven objectives, self-induced time pressure and a big, nasty something that stalks you dynamically through its First World War bunker setting, makes for a dreadful experience in the truest sense of the word. It’s so unrelenting that I struggle to muster the courage to leave the game’s central safe room.
Fortunately, Frictional’s planned Hallowe’en update to the game has a solution. Of sorts. As reported by RPS, The Bunker is soon to receive a new difficulty mode called Shellshocked, introducing an array of changes designed to make the experience even more horrible. Foremost among these is how it removes the obstacles that make your safe room safe, which on the plus side means you no longer have to worry about leaving it.
This isn’t the only adjustment Shellshocked difficulty makes either. In the last month or so, the Bunker’s director Fredrik Olsson has demonstrated multiple impending new features on the website formerly known as Twitter. For example, opening your inventory in Shellshocked mode will no longer freeze time, so you’ll have to be even more careful when crafting medicinal items and Molotov cocktails. The new difficulty will also enhance the game’s randomisation of objects in the world, like resource items and hazards. You can even choose to have your trusty service revolver spawn in a random location, presuming you have nerves of steel.
Halloween Update – Feature #6There will be no time to rest in the upcoming Shell shocked mode! You snooze – you lose! 😴#amnesiathebunker pic.twitter.com/f2QmCnYpbXSeptember 14, 2023
Whether you fancy the sound of Shellshocked difficulty or not, it’s well worth checking out The Bunker regardless. As Ted pointed out in his review ” Amnesia: The Bunker is like a new beginning for this series, preserving a distinctive sense of powerlessness and foreboding while slotting that fragility into a full-on immersive sim.” Indeed, given the game’s apparent success, it was surprising to learn that Frictional is considering moving away from horror games. Then again, I’d happily play a Frictional title that was equally systems driven, but less likely to give me nightmares.