Truly a remarkable game
The first Alone in the Dark was without a doubt a landmark achievement, (well, most games that singlehandedly invent a genre usually are). Trapped in a hounted house, you are introduced to a very simple concept that would make the cornerstone of it's gameplay: you aren't saving any princess, you aren't out to save the world, your mission is simply to survive and escape this friggin' mansion, preferably with all your limbs in place. Sound simple? Sure, now. But at the time it was a complete revolution, you actually had to think in advance what you where going to do, because the game actually had plenty of sequences that were unbeatable, and for the most part, you just had to run and hope no zombie or monster got in your way.
Enemies were a-plenty, yet weapons were scarce, and ammo was even more so, which only serves to add to the tension. Also throw in dramatic and sometimes claustrophobic camera angles straight from horror flicks, cool & realistic sfxs like creaking wood, a creepy storyline that unfolds as you try to survive, some pretty inspired puzzles and plenty of "jack-in-the-box" moments, and you have yourself the makings for the first great horror game.
And on top of that you had the first polygonal models interacting real-time with 2d backgrounds, how cool is that huh??
Could be pretty hard at times (tough never to the extent of it's sequel). And the ending, tough correct by all means in it's writing was really a letdown in the sense that after the extenuous battle you just endured throughout the game you really were looking forward to something a tad more spectacular. I don't say they should have changed it, it's perfect story-wise, but a little more glamour would have been apreciated... then again, most games from that era usually had crappy endings.
The Bottom Line
Survival/horror starts HERE. Alone in the Dark combines enough innovation, gameplay genius and sheer entertainment that years later it's still being copied and imitated. While everyone's idea of "horror gameplay" was Slaughterhouse, we Pc users got a serving of a dish most people would only see years later on the psx, and it's sweet aftertaste remains to this day.