A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Amnesia: Rebirth is a horror adventure game available for PlayStation 4, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux based computers. The game's the latest chapter in the Amnesia series of games and spinoffs, and a direct sequel to the original Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Players wake up stranded in the Algerian desert with no memory of what led them there. They must not only try to uncover clues to their predicament, but also survive being hunted by terrifying creatures out for their blood. There are plenty of scenes of graphic violence, including large amounts of blood and gore shown onscreen. There's some nudity in the game, usually in the form of corpses, and the dialogue also makes frequent use of profanity.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
AMNESIA: REBIRTH is the next fear-inducing chapter in the Amnesia survival horror franchise. Waking up among the wreckage of an airplane in the Algerian desert, Tasi Trianon has no memory of what happened or how she wound up here. Scared and alone, she's driven by instinct to survive. Trying to piece together her lost memories, Tasi's world quickly begins to unravel as she discovers signs of ancient ruins and supernatural threats. Navigating through the shadows and hunted by bloodthirsty ghouls, she must learn to control her fear or risk losing control of herself and her sanity. As the truth of her missing memories come to light, will Tasi be able to escape the horrors that are haunting her every action? Or will the terror consume her, leaving her paralyzed in the darkness and consigned to a fate even worse than death?
Is it any good?
Contrary to its title, games in this series are very hard to forget, since it tapped into its audience's fears on an almost primal level. Now, after a couple of spinoffs, the series is back in full, frightening glory with Amnesia: Rebirth. Set well after the events of the first game, Rebirth is exactly what a sequel should be. It takes the key elements of the original and improves on them in almost every way. From the opening moments, Rebirth feels bigger in scope and more emotionally charged. The Algerian desert setting offers up a variety of environments. While the signature claustrophobic corridors and dark shadows are ever present, there are also moments of bright, open areas with vibrant colors. The game has a new attention to detail that pulls the player deeper into the experience. For example, it's almost mesmerizing to watch as a matchstick slowly burns its way down to Tasi's fingertips, watching the wood curl and the light of the flame flicker its last gasps of life.
Rebirth brings back the sanity element of the original game, though more appropriately calling it "fear." As Tasi's forced to move through dark shadows, stumble across scattered corpses and other visceral scenes of violence, or hide from the bloodthirsty ghouls hunting her, her level of fear rises. Players see this expressed when her vision begins to blur and lose focus, and she begins to hear strange noises scratching in her head. Without careful moderation, Tasi's fear can take over, causing her to panic and even fly into a rage, injuring herself or even causing her death. There are a few ways to ease these fears, including one that dives deep into spoiler territory, but reminds players that Tasi is fighting for more than her own survival. The way the game handles the struggle to cope with paralyzing fear and still overcome obstacles is fantastic. It's also a key part of the storytelling, which keeps players' interests as the plot as Tasi's past comes to light along with her connection to the ancient evil that stalks her. Amnesia: Rebirth is inviting, but it's an invitation that should come with a warning. Because what lies ahead is horror on both a psychological and visceral scale that's sure to fuel nightmares.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about facing fears. What are some things that scare you and what are some ways to cope with those fears? How can a certain level of fear help or even entertain us? And what are ways that overwhelming fear can hurt?
Why is it sometimes fun to be scared? How much is too much in terms of frightening imagery when it comes to younger audiences?
- Platforms: Linux, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Frictional Games
- Release date: October 20, 2020
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Violence, Nudity, Strong Language
- Last updated: October 21, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.