Written by  :  MAT (146553)
Written on  :  Apr 26, 2002
Rating  :  1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by MAT


Only one with the name Alfred in this game is some drunken bird.

The Good

I can't quite think of anything that I actually liked in this game. No, I'm not calling it bad, just saying I can't think of things I liked. Okay, there actually was a nice piano melody when you're searching through the rooms for some clues. That's about it.

Actually, there's something else. This game is actually much much longer once you start playing it than you may anticipate. So longevity-wise it can be considered okay, especially since it's set on the same place which radiates variety as you play.

The Bad

Well, the game comes on two compact discs and after long installation, you still need to insert first CD every time you start the game, and then insert the second one in exact CD-ROM device if you have more than just one. Not only that, but the sole fact that everything seems to be read from the CD is quite annoying, background locations, animations and such. Why the heck is then installation over 400MBs I ask you?

Navigation and interface is really intolerable. I preferred much better those LucasArts' adventures that had all the options and inventory on the same screen, than this one. Combining two object from your inventory, or trying to make certain action can sometimes really be a pain in the....

And then there's a fact that you can actually stuck in the game if you don't end up being lucky or know exactly what to do... I think. Well, never tried not to take that blue slide, but I bet if you don't collect it at that gambling machine and yet you spend all the coins, you may as well reload your previous position.

I don't like how all that is executed to made the impression it's somehow similar to Hitchcock's movies. And those cutscenes from his movies, aka flashes that your character has as a sort of psychic powers he has, are really bearing no influence on the game's plot whatsoever. They're not even connected. Sometimes, I think, even the ideas that sound great are actually not. This idea to make a game using movie clips is not only not good, but also lousy executed, as if they rushed to push this game on the market. I mean, when you make a game that uses live actors and movies clips made especially for a certain game, that's great, but when you use parts from the movie... uh-nah, imagine playing some James Bond game with constant 5secs flashed from James Bond movies. Of course that couldn't be good.

The Bottom Line

Some people just don't know a thing when buying a certain game, and I was one of them. Only because it's 3rd-person perspective adventure genre (my favorite), I thought I'll like this game and there couldn't be anyone that could tell me different. Well, after getting it, I was left on the point of ballance, meaning I was contantly finding certain parts of a game interesting and well done, and then would get a slap on my face by another part which disliking it to the limit. Anyway, after finishing the game, I'm not sure I'd do differently than when I was buying it.

Not to go to deep into story or anything (which is already described under upper topics), I'll say what really marks this game (not as a state of art or something like that, but just marks it as... well, every thing is marked by something, hehe, the general stuff, ya know). First thing is that it's supposedly have something in common with Alfred Hitchcock or at least his movies. Well, that's one way looking, it's made an adventure with a suspenseful atmosphere in 3D pre-rendered background images where you control your character identically to that you controlled in "Alone in the Dark" game, which means arrows for walking, shift for running and another key for jumping (or jumping while running). However, only literal connection to Hitchcock are so-falsely-stated-on-the-box-cover-or-any-other-commercial loads and loads of cutscenes taken from his movies, while in reality there are maybe up to some fifty of them, but each of them no longer than 5 secs (with exception to some that are even 10 seconds long). So why did they say it's half-an-hour (or even one hour) or cutscenes taken from the movies, beats me. Aside to that, only intro animation is pre-rendered to look like an animation, the rest looks good since it's pre-rendered, but characters are typical polygonal with textures.

The story in general puts you in a role of Joseph Shamley, a private eye who had been asked to investigate why is everybody gone, and who killed who. However, this much more likely resembles to some stupid (no offense, but I just couldn't force myself to like AH's movies, maybe one or two, but this game is even better than those movies, which makes it go more into badness and becoming worst) movies than some typical PI story like with great Chris Jones (who we all know from "Tex Murphy" game series) or Humphrey Boggart (who we know as Samuel Spade or some other detective).

Overall score sorted by the rateable parts could be like this:
  • STORY - Slightly good, but not that interesting for non AH fan. Basically, lots of corpses, investigation, running around and all that. Maybe the idea was nice, but its execution has serious array of flaws.
  • MUSIC - There are just a few songs throughout the entire game, so no matter it may be good sometimes, its repeating becomes dull.
  • GRAPHIC - Background pre-rendered images may appear as real photographs, but sometimes it may seem like in two colors made background as if it's not a part of the game. Characters doesn't look good when you see them up-close, but items and stuff look nicely modelled.
  • SPEECH - Well, that part will at start sound terrible as if there is serious lack of synchronization and as if characters pause while talking for sentence is composed of two wave files, but once you get used, it won't bother that much.
  • INTERFACE - At first you'll think it's very nice that you get a note (in a way of an icon) whenever you can do something, but afterwards, you'll realize it's much worse, especially if you wanna try and combine certain items from your inventory, or use them somewhere.
  • CHARACTERS - They all appeared as quite interesting, but you'll have to play far too long to even get to know those three or four that appear throughout the entire game. It would've been nice to meet those other characters that were a part of the film crew which you'll only find as dead.

    Bottomline, if I didn't get this game, I probably would get it, as to why, that I dunno, because it's not something I'm proud of having. It's definitely not something I would recommend. Being amazed by "Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare" game, I though french company will make it equal to the quality, or at least not buggy. Well, what can I say, I was wrong. "AITD4" is by far better than this one.