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Alone in the Dark (Windows)

66
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3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  POMAH (34990)
Written on  :  Feb 26, 2009
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars

10 out of 14 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Burn, m.f., burn!!!

The Good

First of all, I should say that I liked the original game released in far 1992. Secondly, I've launched this game in February, 2009, when a half of year has passed since the game's release. Before the first launch, I hoped that the game was good enough, but some doubts visited me due to a large amount of reviews in the Internet written by some disappointed players. During the game and after the game finish I've realized that my hopes were proved and it was another proof that we should trust our own opinions mostly. And I guess that game protagonist, Edward Carnby, thought about something similar in the game ending.

Since the very beginning of the game I had some difficulties to control the character in 3rd-person view. There is no mouse support and player may move him with the keys (or gamepad) only. But when I've mastered such controls, I saw that they are very well designed. Controls in 1st-person view are ordinary, mouse support exists, and I've used it in most parts of combat sequences, while shooting the monsters.

The most enjoyable part in combats/fights lies exactly in the way of opponent's elimination. Some nervous players may fail to master the way to be the best in Central Park, but I suggest to think always and to act in cold blood. To kill the monster, you should set him/her/it on fire. But variety of the ways of how you may achieve this is truly unveils the source of player's imagination. Distant throwers are best executed with Molotov's Cocktails winded with adhesive tape, while walking zombies or cocoon sources are best shot with a bullets poured with whiskey or oil, and Root Trees are mostly eliminated with lighter and any spray. In any way, hints on weapon combinations are appearing while the game is reloaded after casual death, and they allow you to find the ways appropriate for you.

The mission to eliminate all Evil Roots in Central Park is also enjoyable. Some of them are very difficult to reach, so you should think, but all of them may be eliminated. I've reached 100% of paranormal vision, but sadly it does not help my protagonist much (and it is BAD).

The music, atmosphere, and plot are very successful. Plot untwists very fast, and you will not be bored in any part of the game. You are always do something, and this something is often new in the game. Puzzles during the last minutes of the game are also challenging, but they do not stop you much from reaching the ending(s).

The Bad

The graphics are very bad sometimes. I'm saying about some kind of smoke, shadows, darkness, and other effects. It seems that some textures are out-of-date, or palette was inverted, or something else. And it is orange-color oriented that is absolutely unclear for "real world".

The next bad part is a Driving Simulation. Physics in this simulation does not reach the modern level, but I've enjoyed to drive anyway.

Unreal savegames are also makes some kind of game-cheating. When you will eliminate the Root and will be killed occasionally, you'll reborn with all your weapons and state, but Root will be kept eliminated. It helps sometimes to pass difficult places (it is GOOD), but challenge is lowered.

Another bad situation is ability to play the game only by one player per PC. All next launches of the game will overwrite the current progress. And if you've played too much and occasionally started the new game and agreed with message appeared, just forget about your own progress in the game. Maybe due to this fact, the chapters were divided in checkpoints allowing you to start them from main menu in any order, or maybe it was made for replayability. Who knows...

And the last bad part - it is the endings. I may agree that it is a present fashion to make BAD endings. It concerns F.E.A.R., Prince of Persia 2008, Dead Space (in some way), The Witcher, Lost: Via Domus (decadent) and the others, but endings here are absolutely unclear. Two of them allows Lucifer to enter the world. Such event leads to very bad consequences if you'll kill Sarah, and slightly better than previous ones if you don't kill her. The reasonable question appears. What are you fighting in the game for? Or maybe other endings exist? However, I did not find any alternative endings.

The Bottom Line

I've liked the game much and especially its style. Such style reminds me the original Alone in the Dark. It was short, multiple ways were possible, and it was very atmospheric. This game is near the original, but it is only near... I think that such game has achieved much more and I'm waiting for the sequel. Some flaws in the game exist, but overall it is a very good solid non-stop action, where you should use your brain to kill monsters and desire to reach the end. Truly worth playing.