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Alone in the Dark: Inferno

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Critic Reviews 72% add missing review

GameCritics.com (9.5 out of 10) (95%)

Eden Studios's take on the Alone in the Dark franchise was released on the Xbox 360 in June, 2008 after much anticipation. The developers had been quite vocal about attempting to revitalize the survival horror franchise, and also about incorporating fire and physics in significant ways. Although it's not quite clear whether that release was the result of publishers rushing a product to shelves or whether Eden genuinely felt it was ready, but it received nearly universal rejection and damningly low review scores due to a host of technical and design issues.

Mar 25th, 2009 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Gameplanet (8 out of 10) (80%)

The original Alone in the Dark was not about killing hordes of evil mutants; it was at its heart a puzzle game in a horror setting. Backed with an intriguing story and some awesome visuals, it attracted a wide and well deserved fan base for its time. This latest release: Alone in the Dark: Inferno is, believe it or not, the fifth in the series (plus one film, with another on the way) and we are happy to say it has remained true to its roots.

Jan 21st, 2009 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Worth Playing (8 out of 10) (80%)

It's rare that you'll see a game ported to another console in such a short amount of time, but yet having some big improvements made to the actual gameplay. Alone in the Dark: Inferno does exactly that, with improvements made to the camera, character movement, and overall feel of the game that help propel it from the mediocre status that it had on the Xbox 360, and make it into a really decent and engaging experience on the PS3.

Dec 16th, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Eurogamer.pt (8 out of 10) (80%)

Mesmo na anterior versão não conseguimos resistir aos bons aspectos e às inovações implementadas pela Eden Games mas as suas falhas eram graves demais para ignorar, o que prejudicou o jogo. Agora, em Alone in the Dark Inferno, a Eden Games mostrou a humildade suficiente para admitir e corrigir as falhas e oferece aos jogadores com uma Playstation 3 a versão definitiva e o jogo que deveria ter sido inicialmente, um jogo capaz de apelar a todos os fãs do género e não somente aqueles com capacidade e paciência para ultrapassar os erros que apresentava.

Nov 22nd, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

GameSpot (7.5 out of 10) (75%)

Alone in the Dark: Inferno is an ambitious game that features a lot of cool gameplay and bucks a lot of gaming conventions. Many small improvements eliminate points of frustration (enhanced AI assistance, an explosive new sequence, and a few other pacing tweaks), but it's the character movement and camera updates that really help the game hit its stride. Although it's definitely not without its stumbles, Alone in the Dark: Inferno is no longer hamstrung by the issues that plagued its predecessor, which means that PS3 owners can experience this adventure the way it was meant to be played.

Dec 5th, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Futuregamez.net (74 out of 100) (74%)

All in all Alone in the Dark: Inferno is a hard game to rate. There is no shortage of fun moments - getting through some sections unscathed, combining your weapons to make a bigger, badder weapons, or solving some of the trickier puzzles late in the game is certainly satisfying. On the other hand melee combat is tiresome thanks to the poor control scheme. Most of the other issues can be overlooked easily enough, but dying over and over because Edward simply doesn't handle well will put many people off. Overall if you like the survival horror genre and have a little bit of patience you will find a lot to like about AITD. For those with a short fuse this game is still worth playing, but maybe you'd be better off hiring before committing to purchase.

Dec 31st, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

GameFocus (7.3 out of 10) (73%)

The frustration level with the Xbox 360 version became so strong and apparent that you would have ended up quitting the game, throwing the disc through the window and move on to something else. For the Playstation 3 version of the game, Eden Studios went back and tried to optimize many of the issues we originally had with the flawed and poor Xbox 360 version. And without re-inventing the whole thing, the tweaks are present and welcomed.

Dec 16th, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (7 out of 10) (70%)

More often than not though, Eden succeeds, and once you get to grips with creating Molotov cocktails, shooting bottles in mid-air, and using aerosol cans as makeshift flamethrowers, it hardly seems to matter that shooting itself is so ineffective. This is a game where fire is your key ally, and overarching niggles aside, it's worth experiencing for all the interesting, innovative ideas it brings to a characteristically staid genre - not to mention the rich ambience and often sublime set-pieces. While it doesn't quite boast the polish or the consistent narrative intrigue of Siren: Blood Curse, its willingness to stray from genre conventions bodes well for the future.

Nov 18th, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Meristation (7 out of 10) (70%)

El control del vehículo también se ha visto mejorado. Ya no es tan inestable, lo que convierte este tipo de fases en una parte interesante del juego (sobre todo por cómo se suceden en el entorno) y no en un suplicio insalvable. A pesar de esto, sigue habiendo algunas incongruencias. El coche será capaz de estamparse con otro vehículo y seguir la marcha, pero si lo que se encuentra delante es una farola, el coche se detendrá automáticamente ante las farolas más duras de roer de este mundillo. En este apartado se han solucionado otros bugs presentes en la versión 360/PC, cómo que el vehículo saliera despedido sin motivo alguno. En el mismo sentido se han solucionado algunos errores gráficos presentes en puertas que desaparecen o muros invisibles que nos impedían avanzar. Aun así, se mantienen algunos errores como el clipping o la regeneración de objetos en algunos puntos concretos de la partida.

Mar 12th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review

4Players.de (69 out of 100) (69%)

Und Alone in the Dark birgt auch in der "erweiterten" Variante auf PlayStation 3 keine nennenswerten Überraschungen - sprich: Die Spielerfahrung gleicht der auf Xbox 360 und enttäuscht damit alle, die auf packenden Survival-Horror gewartet haben. Trotzdem hat sich die Spielmechanik etwas verbessert: Die Kamera ist weiter weg positioniert und erlaubt über den Einsatz des rechten Analogsticks endlich eine freie Rundumsicht [...]. Sind die zickigen Perspektiven damit komplett verschwunden? Nein, manchmal wechselt die Ansicht in die altbekannte Enge; es gibt nur weniger störende Momente. Außerdem lässt sich der Held zu Fuß als auch in den Vehikeln vom Auto bis zum Motorboot besser steuern, weil sich Letztere etwas schwerer anfühlen. Man kann zudem leichter durch das Inventar navigieren und es gibt eine neue Actionszene auf Schienen. Aber all das kann die großen Schwächen in der Dramaturgie nicht aus der Welt schaffen[...].

Jun 18th, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

IGN (6.8 out of 10) (68%)

Yes, Inferno still has some glitches to its name (it crashed on me twice) and the gameplay could have been further refined, but there's no question that the PS3 version is a major improvement over the originals and offers a much more enjoyable experience. Despite all it's problems, I can really see what the developers at Eden Games were going for when they set out to make Alone in the Dark, and I find many of their efforts both admirable and intriguing. If you feel like you can work through some of the remaining gameplay issues and a few plot holes, I think Inferno is an adventure game that gamers can appreciate. At the very least, you can more clearly see what the overarching vision for Alone in the Dark was while enjoying the game's super cool soundtrack.

Dec 4th, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

GameZone (5 out of 10) (50%)

Inferno for the PS3 might have fixed a few of the problems that plagued the Xbox 360 release of Alone in the Dark but, sadly, it’s not enough to make this a completely better version of the game. This is really too bad seeing as the game has a number of great ideas that could have made this a great entry in the series.

May 4th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Cheat Code Central (2.4 out of 5) (48%)

Alone in the Dark is ultimately a lesson in good intentions gone awry. Nearly all of its novel ideas misfire. What's so interesting about Inferno is the mentality that a patch was all that was needed to make a better game. The original was defined by a lackluster story, awkward controls, and merely okay gameplay – that's not a formula that needs a few tweaks, it's one that should be scrapped entirely. Nevertheless, Inferno is the definitive version of Alone in the Dark, but that's not the biggest compliment one can give.

2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Player Reviews

The innovative features does not make up for frustrating controls and the embarrassingly bad story and dialogues.

The Good
In most survival-horror games your main method of fending of the monsters are to find weapons such as pistols, shotguns, flamethrowers etc which all magically fit into your pockets. Not so in AITD: Inferno. Here, the main way of defence is not spelled firearms but.... Fire! You see, all the hellish creatures are highly sensitive to fire (funny, huh? You'd think that they, of all the nasty monsters in the universe, should be able to stand a little heat:)) and fire comes in abundance in this game, very nice-looking realistic fire at that.

Now, how do you use it against the monsters? Well, you could pick up a hatchet (or any of a number of melee weapons you'll come across) and chop down that zombie and drag it into a nearby bonfire before it wakes up again. Or you could destroy it directly with a broomstick you have set aflame. However, the real fun lies in making improvised weapons out of household items you will find in various places. For example, you can combine a bottle of booze with a cloth to make yourself a molotov cocktail which will fry the monsters nicely. Perhaps you rather prefer holding a spray-can to your lighter as a makeshift flamethrower? Or why not pour some flammable liquid on the ground and light it when an enemy steps onto the trail? Improvisation is the key to survival here and I thought it was a nice, fresh breeze to the genre and an admirable (though not flawless) attempt to move away from the somewhat stale run-and-gun convention.

Many game-designers of today seem to overlook the strength of good, engaging puzzles but AITD have managed to pull of some good ones. Most of them requires you to use the environment in clever ways to get by obstacles, for example, you may have to find a way to get a severed power-line out of water or find a heavy object to smash open a locked door. Overall, most of them aren't a no-brainer but are still perfectly logical. There was certainly, at least occasionally, a nice, old-school-adventure charm over this game.

The Bad
Sadly, there's far more things to dislike than like about this game. The biggest flaw of this game is without doubt it's story. It's an illogical and disconnected mess of cliches, such as a protagonist suffering from amnesia, an ancient stone with evil powers, a satanist sect and the knights templar. Sure, cliches can be good if they are used effectively but they certainly aren't here. The main problem , I think, is that instead of focusing on the horror-aspect, the developers saw fit to throw in a lot of elements from action-games such as driving (I will go into more detail on that later) and climbing and therefore diluting the overall atmosphere. AITD simply tries to be so many things at the same time that in the end it doesn't really do anything particularly well.

What about the dialogue? Well..... apparently, according to some other reviews, the designers tried to create a gritty, dark atmosphere. Fine and well. But seriously, do the guys at Atari really think a game will be more ”gritty” or ”dark” because the characters says fk and st in about every third sentence!? Add to this such original and well-written lines as ”Run, save yourself”, ”Bah, I'm fine, just a fleshwound” or ”who the hell am I?” and you should have a pretty god idea of what a great storyline you can expect from this game. I would like to add that normally I find it quite annoying when a game doesn't have the option of subtitles. However, in this particular case I doubt I would have been any happier of reading the dialogue in it's entire awfulness as well.

Now on to the next, miserable aspect, namely the controls. You will find out that turning and rotating the PC (Player character, if you didn't know that abbreviation) is so clumsy and imprecise in third-person view, it will be a major hazzle getting him aligned properly to first pick up a baseball-bat or branch or whatever and then struggle to try to hit the enemy and not just dead air which becomes quite a serious issue in close combat. Another thing which complicates getting up close and personal in battle is that instead of the standard ”one button-press does it all” approach to close combat, here you have to mimic real arm-movement by moving the analog stick in the direction you want Carnby to swing a melee weapon. While this sounds like a nice and quite original idea in theory, in practice it's mostly just clumsy and unnecessarily difficult to master, even if it allows for some intuitive puzzles near the end. And to top this of, Carnby ”runs” at a pace which would have been suitable for a relaxing jog in the park but certainly not for running away from badtempered zombies.

Ah, yes. About the aforementioned driving. I will contend to say that early on in the game, an entire section consists of driving through narrow streets littered with various obstacles where the slightest crack in the road can cause you to become hopelessly stuck and fall to your death as the road crumbles under you. I found this section so frustrating and unforgivingly difficult that the real horror of this game lies in thinking what the ps2-version would have been like which I have read had even worse controls than this ps3-version. (Shudders!)

The Bottom Line
Overall, Alone in the Dark: Inferno is a game that could have been something really good but unfortunately it tries to bite of far more than it can chew and falls flat. If Atari is ever to make a sequel I sincerely hope they spend time and effort to polish and refine this, after all, promising concept.

by ratpizza (75) on Dec 11th, 2010 · PlayStation 3

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Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by T a z, ryanbus84, CalaisianMindthief, Riemann80.