donít play it
The game that
started the survival horror gaming genre and ignited the Resident
Evil phenomena has returned to the 21st century with Alone in the
Dark returning to the world of gaming.
With releases on both the PC
and PS3, this will review will focus on the XBox 360 version and has
the gamer playing as Edward Carnby who is caught between the "real"
world and that of the world of the "supernatural" which will lead him
on a journey that will not only uncover the "dark" secret of Central Park
but change the
world as he knows it.
To compound the situation,
Carnby does not know
who he is when he awakes and when he his armed captor is killed by a
mysterious force, it's up to the gamer to ensure that our forgetful
hero makes it to the end. That is where the game begins in this
almost TV/DVD video game experience.
The gameplay is also
based on real-world conspiracies and spiritual philosophies that
truly draws the viewer into this amazing universe of life versus
death. In its essence, Alone if the Dark is survival horror
adventure game that has the player embarking on a variety of
missions and sub quests while fighting a hoard of strange enemies,
both natural and supernatural.
The control system
is well mapped on the XBox 360 controller, however is a little
glitchy at times, especially when the action starts heating up and
is at times unreliable, especially the inventory system. On a
positive, the control system is innovative enough for the novice gamer
who can start playing it
immediately, however they will need to be patient. Although
you can play the game in either a third person mode or a first
person mode, it is easier to control Carnby in third person.
player will be exploring vast and sometimes complex gaming
in Alone in the Dark, which is quite enjoyable as
you attempt to solve puzzles and the like. The game also contains a
rather interesting inventory system that also allows you to combine
items together and makes for some interesting and varied gameplay
which will make you think.
Unlike the Resident
Evil series where you cannot proceed through a locked door without a
key, the developers make use of real-world scenarios that means if
you have the "means" of opening the door with either a gun or
sledgehammer, you can just do that.
There has been some criticisms
with the game that if a level is too hard, you can actually skip
that chapter, however this is due to the developers trying to make
this game an almost "TV" like experience that has been brought to
DVD. Mixed thoughts but actually quite innovative.
aspect to the genre is that our hero can also drive various vehicles
in the game and works quite well with both the game engine and the
storyline. The title does seem reminiscent of I am Legend in some
aspects as you battle a variety of foes, some possessed and some
otherworldly. The combat system is quite straightforward and whether
you're using a baseball bat or gun, both have their pros and cons.
Graphically, the title is pure eye candy on the XBox 360 with
realistic gaming environments thanks to Edenís proprietary Twilight
Technology that borders closely on the real-world and the gaming
world. The characters are well animated and move with a human like
grace and sometimes otherworldly grace as they interact with not
only the environment but also with other characters.
At certain points in
the game, the cinematography is quite outstanding and at other times
it is like watching a TV series. With that said, there are some
parts of the graphics engine which is a little buggy such as popups
and slowdowns plus a sometimes truly annoying camera engine which
does hamper the gameplay at times.
In conclusion, some
of the harsh reviews of Alone in the Dark are a little unjustified
as the developers have tried to think outside the box and they have
succeeded in certain aspects. It would
have been nice if some more quality testing was performed on the
game as it does feel a little rush in terms of control, however
persistence does pay off in Alone in the Dark and if you can bypass
this, the game is quite enjoyable.