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Alone in the Dark 2 (DOS)

79
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Terry Callahan (67)
Written on  :  Feb 05, 2014
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

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Summary

Great game, but doesn't compare with the original

The Good

The game is a worthy, but very different, sequel to Alone in the Dark 1, the game that started the whole survival horror genre (and to this day, still remains one of the best).

The games features former Private Investigator now turned Paranormal Investigator Edward Carnby,who's friend has been killed trying to rescue a young girl, and now you have to try again to save her while at the same time taking down the cursed gang of pirates that have haunted the area.

The detail to the story and the characters and setting present are incredible. The designers put a tremendous amount of effort into the detail found in the various documents in the game that flesh out the world and the story so well. The enemies don't feel like random people to take out, but that they're there for a reason, and have a lot of detail behind them. Their motives, their methods, and who they are are told at great length, and there's never a dull moment in the texts you'd read.

The game has also quite a bit of action, and (SPOILERS) being able to play as Grace Saunders, the little girl in need of rescue, is a very nice touch.

It is also a very different game from the previous one. Edward is no longer some naive, cynical guy who laughs at magic and ghosts, but understands they're real. Although this takes the horror aspect out of the game, it does make you feel like you're playing a more no nonsense tough guy who's determined to succeed, or die trying.

The Bad

The combat in the game was fairly awkward. Although to be fair, the first game didn't have it that great either. I still found it almost like a glitch that, if you were up close and personal with a gun-armed enemy, he couldn't shoot you and the bullets just went past you harmlessly.

Beyond that, while I enjoyed the action and the story. The game itself had too little of the horror aspect. The first game had one of the most eerie atmospheres of any horror game, and it still holds up all this time. I still get shudders when playing it at night. Although I understand that the exact same thing simply could not be repeated again (due to the fact that in the first game, the protagonist had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and the set up was pretty terrifying. After that experience, Edward would not react that way ever again to any supernatural experience), the developers could have at least TRIED to create some kind of eerie or horror aspect to it.

Quite simply put, compared to the original, this game isn't scary at all. The enemies in the game don't feel like the damned souls they're made out to be, but just a bunch of gangsters that could have been simple bootleggers. Fighting them makes you feel more like a vigilante than a paranormal investigator.

The Bottom Line

I would describe this game as being a great sequel to a great game. If they found the original one a bit too over the top with the horror, this one takes the horror and replaces it with action. It's one of the earliest games to use a tommy gun as a regular weapon, and who doesn't want to mow down ghost pirates with a tommy!