Amnesia: The Bunker Review – It follows

Reviewed July 4, 2023 on PS4


Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X|S


June 6, 2023


Frictional Games


Frictional Games

Few horror games have garnered a reputation like the Amnesia series. Now spanning four separate games, the series is an anthology of experiences that draw on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Amnesia: The Bunker is the latest from the IP and it’s a fascinating turn indeed. Set during World War 1, you play as French soldier, Henri Clément, who after a very close call with death, awakens in the sick room of a Bunker that’s been torn apart. 

Amnesia admittedly has a cult following for its frightening narratives that take players to all manner of eerie locations. There are puzzles to solve as well as other mechanics such as sanity and stealth that add to the atmosphere. 

Amnesia: The Bunker carries the torch from Amnesia: Rebirth which marked the return of the series after a hiatus when Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs was released. After almost 10 years, Rebirth was indeed a rebirth for the series and The Bunker continues that legacy with ease. Like the previous entry, The Bunker feels very in line with modern horror games. Fans of Outlast, Alien Isolation, the later Resident Evil games, and other story horror games like Soma will really feel at home in the world presented. The game leans in to really beef up the scary elements which transports the player inwards with immersion in these rich environments. 

The story told in The Bunker does well to position the player as French soldier, Henri. Waking up in the bunker feels disorientating. Information is sparse and as we search for answers, the true horrors of the bunker are revealed. After the discovery of the beast, the officers posted in the bunker fled but not before caving in the one entrance leaving all those inside at the mercy of the beast. This becomes the game’s main struggle – escaping the bunker while also being hunted.

It’s clear that in the time Henri has been out from his wounds the beast has been very busy hunting the other soldiers still left in the bunker. In your first encounter with another survivor, you’re asked to finish him before the beast returns, but in a cruel twist of fate, you end up watching the beast drag the soldier into the darkness. This really heightens the stakes and the threat of the beast who is relentless in its pursuit of any living thing trapped in the bunker. The player also has to manage fuel and ammo as resources dwindle, though bullets do little but distract the beast for a short while. The only way to escape the bunker is to blow the exit out with explosives, but doing so is not nearly as easy as it appears.

As someone who’s only seen playthroughs of the other Amnesia games in the past, I found diving into a fresh one quite interesting. I had high hopes but this one didn’t quite hit them. Much of the game feels as though it’s building to some realisation that never comes. It hinges on you navigating around the bunker as the beast skulks about but there feels like there might be another element missing here. I’ll note that another Amnesia title used sanity as a mechanic. While I’m not suggesting The Bunker could have benefited from this exact mechanic, there was room for something else like this.

Henri, for much of the game, is walking through the bunker with his motorized torch and later a watch that allows him to time how long he can leave the lights on outside of the central area with the generator. Unfortunately, the timing angle here really wasn’t as engaging as it was meant to be. Often I found myself pumping the generator full of fuel and then going as fast as I can to the next objective. Eventually, the lights would go out, but that would be a later problem. This timer really is a buy-in mechanic that didn’t feel as valuable as it was meant to.

The Bunker wants you to feel immersed in the game but in some ways it comes across as forced. Exploring the bunker location is interesting as there are a lot of rooms and lore floating about such as letters from the other bunker residents that have either met their ends or escaped prior to Henri waking up. As you explore, the bunker does feel quite confined but this makes every passageway and door even more exciting because one doesn’t know what they’ll find around the corner.

The Amnesia series does also like to randomise the locations of supplies and lock codes to further prevent the player from just reading a guide on the internet. While this does add to the challenge, after finishing a playthrough, I wasn’t all that motivated to replay again, but thankfully a save scum worked in allowing me to try other things in the final section. I don’t see this as being a game you’ll replay, but more of a game you’ll pick up when you’ve forgotten its tricks.

Where I find The Bunker gets tricky is in the controls. Walking around and interacting with objects is straightforward enough, but other interactions like filling the generator with fuel, reloading the gun one bullet at a time, and also knowing which items in the game are breakable all leave you feeling somewhat stressed for the sake of progress.

While it’s honest to the experience of the other Amnesia games, it’s baffling still that the controls can at times be so unforgiving. Navigating the bunker becomes much more tricky when you come across one-off controls that lack that modern feel. While one could see this as further immersion, I found the uncomfortable button interactions took away from how you played the game and pulled you out of this world Amnesia tries so hard to keep you in.

“Amnesia: The Bunker is the perfect backdrop for a game of cat and mouse.”

Amnesia: The Bunker is the perfect backdrop for a game of cat and mouse. The beast antagonist quickly fills this location with terror, with any sighting down the long hallways enough to send the player scuttling away as it draws closer. It would’ve been interesting to see the game use this more, as it is stealth-orientated. Having more interactions that draw the beast into the player to really up the stakes could only benefit the experience. 

The game’s endings lacked that defining satisfaction after enduring a survival game such as this. Without spoiling anything, the final moments can be tackled in multiple ways with different results, though it’s not without its faults. The final ending, while true to the roots of Amnesia, leaves more questions than answers. It feels as though each ending lacks any satisfaction for the player as the ultimate fate of the game is really out of your hands.

The Bunker’s refusal to allow more player agency in the story leads to it feeling like quite an on-rails narrative towards the end.

Amnesia: The Bunker packs in all the scares of its lineage and leans into modern survival game tropes. I would’ve liked to see this one rely more on controls and interactive moments that allow the player to feel like they have more agency over the game, including its story. At the end of the day, if you’re here to be spooked, you’ll have fun, but don’t expect to be replaying this one until the next series installment.




  • The beast as a sole antagonist feels at home in the game space
  • Bunker setting is superb
  • Playable as a standalone experience
  • Feels on brand for the series


  • Controls lack modernisation
  • Endings aren't that satisfying
  • Lacks replayability

At its core, Amnesia: The Bunker is a monster of the week horror game that dips into the Amnesia lore pool but still feels more than accessible to someone who hasn’t played or watched the games before. While the controls are rigid, the game shines in its use of atmosphere and survival elements which many will find enjoyable. The Bunker will have you running for your life in a deadly game of cat and mouse, even if the ending feels a little lacklustre.