Horror, Cthulhiana and great fun
The Alone in the Dark games are some of my favourite games from the early to mid-nineties. Carnby was sort of a hero for me, and I've spent hours and hours playing the games...more than once. The first game was, as I recall, one of the first (if not the first) Infogrames games to take advantage of the Cthulhu license. Yes, the game is in fact set in the universe of H.P. Lovecraft, where ancient horrors once ruled the world and man lives in blissful ignorance of the truth.
The game doesn't reveal much about the Cthulhu mythos though, choosing instead to be more of a haunted house story. The interface is similar to that of the more recent Resident Evil games, as are the graphics. The camera angles are what you can expect from a horror game - creepy and suggestive. If you play this at night with headphones and all the lights turned out, don't be surprised if you feel more than a little edgy. Another high point of the game is the sound (not to mention the music). I'm not sure if there's a disk version of the game, but if there is, it must be vastly inferior to the CD version, which has CD audio not only for music, but also for the incredible speech in the game (which you only hear when reading books/letters).
The game may be a bit too hard for some. I don't believe there are any difficulty settings, so if you're looking for a straight adventure game, Alone in the Dark is not for you.
It's also not as good as the second game :).
The Bottom Line
An excellent survival-horror game with excellent production values. Although one would expect so, it still holds up to the expectations of the modern games player ;).