Suspend your disbelief, get over yourself, and enjoy this game!
If Eden and Atari had given us absolutely no sense of what Alone In The Dark (2008) was going to be, it would have been the greatest surprise hit of 2008. These days developers are being hoist on their own petard (aka: blow'd up) by their own desire to promote the work they're doing for a return on the enormous budgets involved. It's practically as though the ratio of hype-to-hands on enjoyment involves a penalty: the "but you pwomised us!!!" mentality. It's a problem, but it's not up to us consumers to solve it or be nice, it's the frakking marketing department's problem to not sell us a bridge while only giving the developers time to build a hammock.
What's wrong with Alone In The Dark? Let's break it down into the common complaints:
Swearing - non-issue. GTA4 and Big Lebowski are far "worse". I'm swearing more than the characters do while immersing myself into this world. It's freaky.
Clipping - yes, this is a lack of playtesting time. Getting stuck in the geometry or behind a one-way barricade and having to reload your game is not acceptable.
Control - if you bother to look at the 360 instruction manual, you'll see that there are *4* pages devoted to controls. This is not a GameCube game or a dual-joystick shooter. But complexity is not a bad thing, and I feel the variety of things you can do is more interesting and less frustrating than the limits seen in the original Resident Evil. I'm really interested to see how it plays on the Wii.
I think most people expected Resident Evil 4 1/2, and that's not where Eden's at. It took Capcom 10 years to get there. I think AITD is more on par with RE3, and I really believe they have refreshed AITD and the survival genre overall with solid modern innovations.
And now, what be rumblin' right (the innovations):
Fire - Hell yes. AITD does for fire what Bioshock did for water. The only thing where the fire animations fall short is in the lighter flame. Lighters don't look like that.
Combat - Fire Bullets FTW. I find it terribly ironic that hell beasts would be only vulnerable to fire, but whatevs. Being a gun-toting grenadier that also chops people's limbs off with medieval armaments is something more games should crib.
Inventory - real time & physically limited inventories are aces in my book. Carnby doesn't have Adventurer's Pants, he's a Unabomber.
The music's great. The graphics are jim dandy, though I wish Carnby looked more like the guy on the box art (younger); but bad hair and plastic skin isn't anything new in a video game. (Less hair budget, more fire budget. Okay.)
Finally the cinematic element: the chapter navigation is genius. There are many many reasons not to skip ahead, but presenting that option to be accessible and varied is absolutely the right choice, especially in this genre. This turns the notion of difficulty into challenge, and lets the player decide what the best outcome and the best method to achieve that is.