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Alone in the Dark (2008)

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Alone in the Dark
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"I don't have your good game! And FUCK YOU anyway!" - Edward Carnby
Protagonist(s): Edward Carnby
Genre(s): Survival horror
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
Wii
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Release: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360
EU: June 20, 2008
NA: June 23, 2008
AU: June 26, 2008

PlayStation 3
EU: November 14, 2008
NA: November 18, 2008
AU: November 20, 2008
Engine: Twilight 2 (PC/PS3/X360)
RenderWare (PS2/Wii)
Developer(s): Eden Games (PC/PS3/X360)
Hydravision Entertainment (PS2/Wii)
Publisher(s): Atari, Inc.
Country: France
Series: Alone in the Dark
Predecessor: Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
Successor: Alone in the Dark: Illumination


Alone in the Dark is the fifth installment of the survival horror video game series of the same name. A reboot of the series developed by Eden Games and published by Atari, Inc.. It was originally released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii, and Xbox 360 in June 2008, and an enhanced PlayStation 3 version subtitled Inferno was released in November of the same year.

Plot

Edward Carnby, a paranormal investigator recovered from an exorcism by a group of occultists, must investigate shadowy cospiracies that surround Central Park in in a New York City wrecked by offworld fissues.

Bad Qualities

NOTE: Some of the issues have been fixed in the PlayStation 3 version.

  1. Bad and convoluted plot.
  2. Cheesy and unfitting dialogue, especially from the protagonist Edward Carnby. Two lines are notable for becoming infamous: "I don't have your stone! And fuck you anyway!" and "I'm the lightbringer! I'm the fucking universe!".
  3. The item combining mechanic is confusing and frustrating (items have to be combined in a very specific order).
  4. Several bugs and glitches, especially in the PS2/Wii version. There is also a game breaking glitch in the taxi mission where the world doesn't render during a jump, causing you to fail and die.
  5. The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions suffer from downgraded visuals, and more framerate issues.
  6. The driving sequences are terrible due to how badly the vehicles control. This is ironic, as the previous game Eden Games worked on (Test Drive Unlimited) had vehicles that controlled far better than this.
  7. Poor collision detection and physics.
  8. Switching from first to third person perspectives becomes tedious and tiresome.
  9. Boring and repetitive combat.
  10. Health is shown via wounds on the character, however they look terrible, seeming more like patches of injured skin pasted on his clothes. Not to mention this does a bad job of relaying how much health the player has.
  11. The presentation of a television show on DVD was poorly implemented and breaks up the pacing more than anything, as there is no natural story arc whatsoever.
  12. Very limited and restricted item storage.
  13. Some puzzles feel uninspired and "boggy".
  14. Melee combat can only be handled in third-person, while guns can only be used in first-person.
  15. Central Park can be explored in an open world fashion, but it is meaningless as there is nothing to find in it.
  16. Near the end of the game, the player is tasked with burning various "evil roots" in order to progress. This part is little more than padding, and it's also the only reason for Central Park to have open world exploration. Driving sections aside, this is the worst part of the game.

Good Qualities

  1. Good soundtrack.
  2. Voice acting is alright, especially from James McCaffrey, who also the voice actor of Max Payne.
  3. Some of the puzzles can be entertaining.
  4. The graphics are decent and can be very atmospheric at times.
  5. The use of fire in this game is great, as it is a driving motif for some puzzles, and some enemies aren't completely killed until they're burned. It also helps that it looks really good.
  6. The PlayStation 3 version is a massive improvement over the original game that ultimately turns into a decent game, which fixes several issues such as the bad driving, clunky inventory, poor controls, and adds a new story sequence.

Reception

Alone in the Dark received mixed from critics, but mixed to negative reviews from players. It is also ranked on many "worst horror games" lists. However, it was a success, selling 1.2 million copies.

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