Bigger, harder, less scary.
This sequel is the 2nd in the fabulous Alone in the Dark series.
First off the game is much, much longer than the original alone game. Based once again in and around an old mansion, this time around the environments are very diverse including a hedge maze, mansion and a pirate ship. The puzzles are for the most part very good and challenging. The music in the cd version is great and the books that you find in the game are read aloud by the supposed authors which is always highly entertaining. The story is fair but is told well through the books and cutscenes. Graphics are beautiful fluid 3d over 2d backgrounds which were amazing when released and still have a quirky charm to them.
At one point in the game you get to control Grace, the little girl who Carnby is rescuing which helps break the game up and adds a new spin on the proceedings since she can't just beat a zombie up like Carnby.
The combat has been upped tenfold in Alone 2 and this is particularly evident in the first section of the game where basically all you do is fight. Given the awkwardness of the combat, this can prove most frustrating to the uninitiated. The search function has been dropped in favour of a more simple arcade approach which I found to be a step back. Now it's simply a case of walking near an object to take it so skimming a room will likely get you everything in it. A total lack of horror also detracts from the experience. The original Alone was very creepy and had an eerie plot. The horror is all but gone here with the evil clown being the only vaguely eerie thing left.
Some of the puzzles are so obscure they are near invisible, the worst offender being the ridiculous teddy bear under the fold out bed puzzle. If you've played through it you'll know what I'm talking about.
The Bottom Line
Alone in the Dark 2 is a bigger and better game in many ways than Alone in the Dark but falls a little short in terms of atmosphere and story.