Amnesia: The Bunker review

by on June 5, 2023
Release Date

June 6, 2023


The Amnesia series has always been a firm favourite of mine. Horror games can be lazy and filled with tropes that often disappoint when there’s a reliance on jump scares or predictable set pieces, however, that’s something Frictional Games has never had a problem with. The reason The Dark Descent and Rebirth were so good boils down to the intricately crafted world and how immersed you feel in them, for better or for worse. The fear comes from the intensity of the unknown and the unpredictability, and that’s something Amnesia: The Bunker has in spades.

You play as a French soldier called Henri Clément during WWI who, after evading German fire, winds up on his own in a bunker plunged into darkness. After attempting to find your bearings, you realise you’re not alone. A nightmarish creature is stalking you, and when you first start to become aware of his presence, things go from bad to worse. As much as I hate this level of tension, I’m also enamoured by it. I struggled with Alien: Isolation for the same reason, except this time, you have less help on your side. There’s no handheld monitor, only your wits, and take it from me, they’ll end up being cut to shreds.

The first time I heard the growls of the beast through the crumbling walls, I felt my heart stop in my chest. I stopped dead in my tracks and tried to pinpoint whereabouts the sounds were coming from, but just like that, they fell silent. I had a crappy little dynamo flashlight that made a lot of noise every time it needed winding up, a revolver with a single bullet, and little else. You feel helpless, even when you start to gather other resources like flares and grenades, and that anxiety and fear is down to the exceptionally built moment-to-moment action.

Amnesia: The Bunker Review Torch

You’re supposed to struggle at first. You’re supposed to feel like you haven’t got a chance of surviving. Every idea you have is either going to work or fail miserably, but the more you play and the more you experiment with particular outcomes, you start to gain a bit of confidence that everything is going to be alright. Of course, that confidence is dashed when the roars of the monster get so close and you run frantically back to the light, the safe space, or anywhere to get away from those horrifying noises. The first time I got caught, I audibly shouted myriad curse words at my screen, followed by pausing and stepping away for a while.

Amnesia: The Bunker is petrifying in the best possible way. Why did I continue to play when I knew that I could die at any moment? Why put myself through it again and again? Simply put, it’s incredibly smart. Despite it being rather dark at times, it pushes you to improvise, utilising the environment around you and the tools at your disposal. The freakish entity isn’t a fan of the light, and there’s a generator that can be re-fuelled with gasoline, and you have a stopwatch that syncs with the generator to tell you how much time you have left.

Amnesia: The Bunker Revolver

If you stray to far from the generator and the lights go out, there’s more of a chance you’re going to get caught. Using your flashlight is going to attract its attention if it’s relatively close, so is opening cupboards and doors, pulling cranks or running, and there’s little you can do to slow it down. You’re not entirely helpless, as the revolver can scare it off with a well-placed shot, but bullets are few and far between. You can use the fuel to pour onto the ground, then light it up to place a temporary barricade of fire, or place explosive barrels at certain spots that can then be blown up, and lead it towards wired explosives.

If for some reason you get injured, an untreated wound can cause you to lose blood, leaving a nice trail for the beast to follow. However, this can be used to your advantage if you’re happy to play with fire. I did it by mistake, but by bleeding all over the floor, I led it straight towards a barrel, and when turning around I was able to shoot it and send the monster fleeing. You have to use your initiative wherever you find yourself underground. While there are multiple options for you to escape, that sense of dread is always there, and it might be too much for some. I had to step away multiple times because I couldn’t cope with the anxious exploration, but it’s this fear that made me want to keep playing.

Amnesia: The Bunker Mine

While exploring and searching through desks, cabinets, and other areas, you’ll start to piece together a narrative of what’s going on in Amnesia: The Bunker. It provides some background to the experiments being performed underground and to the various soldiers that have been a part of it, and while I found it interesting, the real story is the one you create for yourself. You learn about Henri, but it is how you play, the choices you make, and the encounters with the beast that will end up giving you the memorable moments of your own personal tale. There are rooms that require codes to get into, other sections of the bunker that will let you find new ways to survive, and countless documents and letters that sometimes offer clues.

Amnesia: The Bunker is not for the faint of heart. You’re always on edge and never truly safe, but it gives you multiple ways to escape being mauled by the beast and find a way out, all while setting the scene through various photos and documents. No items remain in the same place, meaning you can’t go back to an area and expect to find that item you need on a second attempt, and the claustrophobic nature of the gameplay is always ready to mess with your head. Frictional Games has set a new standard for horror games while pushing the boundaries of the Amnesia series to a whole new level.


Fantastic environmental design
Inventive survival
Horror is its purest form


Might be too scary for some
Too dark at times

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Amnesia: The Bunker is a heart stopping horror that constantly leaves you in fear, but it's all the better for it.