Alone in the Dark is a third person and first person action-adventure survival horror game from developer Eden Games and Atari. The game comes from the heralded Alone in the Dark franchise, but moves the age-old story to present day New York, while retaining the same protagonist. The PS2 and Wii versions are a different game featuring the same plot and cinematic sequences, developed by Hydravision Entertainment.
Alone in the Dark features several different gameplay styles, each offering their own unique contribution to the game. While the game is mainly played in the 3rd person, which is used for exploration and when using melee objects, the shooting aspect of the game is done completely in the first person. There are also several puzzles in the game which need to be solved in order to progress, some of which are based on the in-game physics and many of which require logic and a great deal of trial and error.
Although most of Alone in the Dark is a straight forward action adventure title, a large part of the game, which takes place in Central Park, is a free roaming open world experience. The player is free to move around in the park and accomplish the objectives in whatever order the player sees fit. There are several dozen cars in the Central Park area which the player may choose to drive around in. Doing so minimizes travel time and provides more opportunities to explore the parts of Central Park. Some objectives can only be reached with the use of a vehicle.
Although there are many opportunities to use a vehicle there are only four basic models of cars that reappear throughout the park: Taxi Cab, Police Cruiser, and two civilian model cars. There are other vehicles in the game but only appear when they are specific to a mission objective. Each vehicle has different items in the glove box for Carnby to collect and use to complete his objectives.
Alone in the Dark features a unique inventory system, which is tied to Carnby's jacket pockets. On the left side, he is able to hold necessities like tape, a lighter, a knife, bandages, ammo and flashlight batteries. On the right side, he has space to hold bottles, that could contain several things like gasoline or alcohol, medical spray, mosquito repellent, anti-rust spray and glow sticks/flares. Carnby keeps his trusty pistol and flashlight strapped to his chest through out the game. The inventory system also allows for the combination of several items. Almost every combination one could imagine is possible in the game. For example the player can combine a rag with a alcohol bottle to create a convenient Molotov Cocktail or combine the lighter and mosquito repellent to create a small and portable flamethrower.
A key element of the game is the ability to use fire as a weapon or as a problem solving element. The player is capable of putting wooden objects like chairs or tables up against a flame to create a portable torch or a weapon to use against demons. Fire is capable of spreading from room to room, and is able to engulf almost every flammable object in the game. The enemies of Alone in the Dark can only be completely be destroyed by using fire, so using fire becomes an essential aspect of the game.
There is also a persistent damage system which is shown on Carnby's character model. The player will notice open wounds on Carnby as well as blood trails and droplets coming from him as he walks. The player must use the medical spray to heal minor wounds and bandage up those which are heavily bleeding. Some enemies in the game are attracted to blood so it is wise to bind all wounds as quickly as possible.
Like the previous Alone in the Dark games, AitD stars Edward Carnby, the main character in the original game, as he searches for clues and answers to explain the paranormal activity occurring in Central Park and the surrounding area of Manhattan. Carnby wakes up with no memory of who he is and finds himself as the prisoner of the game's main antagonist Crowley. A museum curator named Theophile Paddington who knows the deepest secrets of the park is also held prisoner. After hell literally breaks loose in Manhattan and Carnby just narrowly escapes his death, he and Theophile get help from an art dealer named Sarah Flores, who becomes Carnby's closest ally throughout the game.
The story is played out like a Television series with several chapters called episodes and a cliff-hanger ending at the end of each episode to encourage the player to jump in to the next chapter. Each chapter is broken down into smaller chunks called sequences. One has the ability to skip sequences or entire chapters just like in a DVD menu if they encounter a difficult or frustrating part of the game or if they want to play only a specific sequence.
Episode 1 - Wake Up
- Sequence : Don't Look Down!
Episode 2 - Questions
- Sequence : Unexpected Meeting
- Sequence : Reception Hall
- Sequence : Do I Know You?
Episode 3 - Painful Answers
- Sequence : Down the Fissure
- Sequence : Stitches and Truth
Episode 4 - Fight Back and Loss
- Sequence : Ride to the Museum
- Sequence : The Kidnapping
- Sequence : Fight the Living Scar
Episode 5 - Not Alone Anymore
- Sequence : Bring Her Back
- Sequence : Museum's Visitors
- Sequence : One Step From the Truth
Episode 6 - The Truth
- Sequence : An Ancient Path
- Sequence : Light From the Sky
Episode 7 - The Path of Light
- Sequence : Subway Station
- Sequence : Reach the Old Castle
- Sequence : The Eye of Central Park
Episode 8 - The Light Bringer
- Sequence : The Final Gate
The original score for the game was composed by Olivier Derivière.
|Track No.||Title||Running Time|
|01||Prelude to an End||01.33|
|08||Who Am I?||02.25|
|10||Crying New York||02.36|
|13||Killing the Fissure||03.47|
|14||No More Humans||04.39|
|17||The Light Carrier Test||05.51|
|18||Shto Li (a Cappella)||02.20|
|19||The Final Gate||05.08|
|21||An End for a Prelude||04.10|
|22||A Solo In the Park||03.05|
PC System Requirements
- Operating System: Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista
- CPU: 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or Athlon 64 2800
- Video Card: NVidia GeForce 7600 or ATI Radeon X1650 or better
- RAM: 1GB
- Disk Space: 8.5GB
Xbox 360 Game Installation
- Alone in the Dark requires 6.5GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.
Inferno: The PlayStation 3 version
In November 2008 (Just several months after the XBOX360 version), Atari released Alone In The Dark: Inferno for the PlayStation 3. It addresses a number of gameplay issues in the previous versions, and a lot of the additions were patched into the Xbox version, such as:
- Enhanced Camera Control: Players can now rotate the camera 360 Degrees all around the character without having to go to first-person view. The animation on the first-person view is also a lot better than before where the camera doesn't feel like it's sliding anymore.
- Simplified Movement: Edward can now walk and run by simply using the left analog stick without having to hold a button.
- Easy Enemy Takedown: When attacking enemies, they will be knocked unconscious for a longer period of time.
- Better Inventory Screen: The game will now pause when entering the inventory screen. Selecting an item is much better now without having to hold the analog stick in a certain direction. Item combination can now go both ways.
- Batteries Not Included: The flashlight now has unlimited battery life.
- Improved Car Sequence: The controlling of the car has been improved with added suspension and better steering.
- Better Episode 2: The earthquake that follows you at the end of Episode 2 (Sequence: 59th Street) is much slower now. Sara also is also helpful by telling you which direction to go to. A checkpoint is included in the middle of this sequence.
- Root Dilemma: Finding and burning roots is one of the most important parts in Alone In The Dark but the game doesn't explain very well in the XBOX360 version and you will only learn it at the end. For the PlayStation 3 version, a new tutorial is added at the end of Episode 3 that teaches you how to burn roots.
A patch was expected to come to the Xbox 360 version of the game, giving it most of the Inferno changes but it never arrived.