Review: Alone in the Dark


Posted on March 19, 2024 by fncwill

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7/10

Summary

Alone in the Dark, despite its aspirations, falls short of delivering a cohesive and captivating experience. The disjointed narrative, coupled with lackluster gameplay mechanics, detracts from what could have been a triumphant return to form. While it may offer moments of enjoyment, it ultimately fails to recapture the essence of its predecessors, leaving fans yearning for the chilling embrace of true horror. As the credits roll, it becomes apparent that Alone in the Dark, for all its ambition, remains but a shadow of its former self, a tantalizing glimpse into what could have been.

Developer – Pieces Interactive

Publisher – THQ Nordic

Platforms –  PS5, Xbox Series S|X,PC (Reviewed)

Review copy given by Publisher

NOTE:

Some of the game’s themes imply self-harm, such as suicide and depression, but are not shown explicitly.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of Self-harm or Suicide, In Canada, you can reach out to Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or visit kidshelpphone.ca. For assistance in the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255, or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org , aswell as you can Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor from the Crisis Text Line. We’d also like to thank Safe in Our World for being supportive of our work in Gaming and Helping support Mental Health Awareness through Gaming.

🎵🎵 There is a house in New Orleans 🎵🎵

After a long hiatus spanning over three decades, the eagerly awaited return to the eerie depths of Derceto has finally arrived. Alone in the Dark beckons players back to the desolate confines of the Louisiana mansion, resurrecting the chilling atmosphere of its predecessor. However, despite drawing inspiration from the original, this latest installment diverges significantly, distancing itself from being a mere remake or remaster.

Venturing into the game, players are thrust into the intertwining narratives of Emily Hartwood, portrayed with haunting grace by the talented Jodie Comer, and the determined private investigator Edward Carnby, brought to life by the gravelly tones of David Harbour. Their quest: to unravel the enigma shrouding the disappearance of Emily’s uncle, Jeremy Hartwood, within the foreboding walls of Derceto, a sprawling mansion-cum-psychiatric asylum teeming with enigmatic inhabitants. Set against the backdrop of the Roaring Twenties, the game pays homage to the macabre tales of H.P. Lovecraft, immersing players in a realm where reality blurs and the supernatural reigns supreme.

The heart of the game beats with the pulsating rhythm of an amulet, a mystical artifact that serves as the conduit to unearthly realms and forgotten memories. Through its arcane powers, players are whisked away to distant locales, the threads of the narrative woven together by cryptic notes scattered throughout. Yet, the story’s tapestry is marred by inconsistencies and unresolved threads, leaving players adrift in a sea of unanswered questions and unfulfilled promises. The puzzle mechanics, though present, lack the finesse one would expect, often succumbing to simplicity and predictability, robbing players of the satisfaction of overcoming genuine challenges.

The game’s puzzle mechanics suggest that the story and gameplay were not the most well-planned out. Some elements seem like they were meant to be puzzles or obstacles, but they are easily overcome by placing them together. For example, a switch needed to fix a fuse box is right next to it, or the key needed to progress is in the same room as the obstacle it clears. The voice acting when it comes to puzzle solving is also very generic and simple, with a “That’s it” and non-excited tone. This can make the game feel unrewarding, as the player’s achievements are met with a lackluster response from the characters after solving a puzzle.

The combat system in Alone in the Dark is also lackluster and unengaging. One of the main issues is that the combat mechanics feel tacked on and not fully developed. The game’s focus on exploration and puzzle-solving is clear, but the combat encounters often feel like an afterthought. While the shooting mechanics are decent, the movement feels sluggish and slow.

When it comes to monsters and horror, The disconnected nature of the game’s elements results in a lack of impactful horror. Monsters, when they do emerge from the shadows, lack the impact necessary to evoke genuine terror, their appearances feeling more like contrived jump scares than calculated crescendos of fear. The disjointed structure of the game further compounds this issue, undermining the potential for sustained tension and immersion. There is a major absence of the game’s ability to build tension and create a sense of fear or danger. The game relies too heavily on sudden, jarring jump cuts to move between worlds, which can be startling but do not effectively build a sense of suspense. Rather than creating a sense of anticipation and unease, the game’s structure feels disjointed, with separate sections that do not flow smoothly into one another. This disrupts the player’s immersion and prevents the game from delivering a truly frightening experience.

Alone in the Dark, despite its aspirations, falls short of delivering a cohesive and captivating experience. The disjointed narrative, coupled with lackluster gameplay mechanics, detracts from what could have been a triumphant return to form. While it may offer moments of enjoyment, it ultimately fails to recapture the essence of its predecessors, leaving fans yearning for the chilling embrace of true horror. As the credits roll, it becomes apparent that Alone in the Dark, for all its ambition, remains but a shadow of its former self, a tantalizing glimpse into what could have been.

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