Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
- Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (2001 on Game Boy Color)
Description official descriptions
Edward Carnby, private eye of the paranormal, is back.
Carnby's best friend, Charles Fiske, has been found dead near Shadow Island, a mysterious island near Maine. It is your duty to take up the investigation and find out the secrets of Shadow Island. But you're not going alone... your companion will be a redhead by the name of Aline Cedrac who has her own reasons for tagging along. Aside from being a woman and inexperienced in the world of danger, she is the only one with the knowledge for translating the ancient Abkhani tabloids which may hold the secrets behind Carnby's friend's death and the disappearance of Aline's father.
Upon arriving on the island, your plane has been shot down by the things unknown, and the heroes have no other choice but to jump with a parachute, thus separating them on the island.
Now you choose the character to play with, either as Edward Carnby or Aline Cedrac, as they explore the mysterious and gloomy island with all its secrets and parallel stories that contain different locations and tasks for different characters, thus adding the level of replayability in a different experience - Carnby's story is more action oriented while Cedrac has more puzzles to solve.
Just like in the predecessors you move your characters through pre-rendered backgrounds while the camera perspective switches around. You collect various items and books which are used to solve puzzles. Many situations can only be solved with violence which means you'll have to use guns to get rid of your foes. Aiming is manual and especially when playing Cedrac ammo is scarce. Saving a game uses up a save medallion which can be found during the game.
- Alone in the Dark 4: По ту сторону кошмара - Russian spelling
- 鬼屋魔影4 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
- 鬼屋魔影4：惡夢之夜 - Taiwan spelling
Credits (Windows version)
210 People (186 developers, 24 thanks) · View all
|An Infogrames Production presented by|
|"Alone In The Dark" (written and produced by)|
|"Alone In The Dark" (Music produced and composed by)|
|"Alone In The Dark" (Drums, bass and keyboards performed by)|
|"Alone In The Dark" (Recorded and Mixed by)|
|"Alone In The Dark" (Guitars performed by)|
|"Alone In The Dark" (Vocal performed by)|
|"Alone In The Dark" (Assistant to Mr. Copeland)|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 77% (based on 70 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 118 ratings with 12 reviews)
This game is frightening, and for that I love it. I do not scare easily and this game makes me jump out of my skin. The game has a very eerie atmosphere which gives you the sensation that something is lurking in the shadows and is going to grab you.
That's because it is... and it's when you least expect it.
The game is well designed from ground up, and it's quite obvious from the start that you are playing a quality game in which the developers didn't rush through the production. Every detail is very well thought out and executed. The use of atmospheric horror music (more of a horror sound-scape than music) and the storyline contributes to the effective creepiness of this game, as do the graphics and graphical effects which are extremely intricate.
The story, too, is very well written. It's a progressively challenging game, employing the usage of puzzles, but is not ridiculously bogged down with them; and they're not extremely complicated. The puzzles are less complicated than trying not to waste your ammunition or first-aid kits by the end of the first disk!
The controls and cameras are perfect, and if you're using a dual-shock joy-pad (recommended) you can swing around a flashlight in 360 degree angles. There's plenty of horrific landscapes, monsters and other audio visual treats. The game is complete horror mind candy.
It completely surpasses the older Alone in the Dark versions for Macintosh and PC. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even resemble them. The New Nightmare is completely authentic, and extremely realistic (as compared to the older versions which had cartoon type monsters).
This is an amazing work for the Playstation platform (and other platforms) which should not be overlooked.
I don't like how little ammunition and first-aid kits there are, but at the same time I love that there's just enough. It adds to the realism of the game.
The only thing I don't like about the game is that there isn't more of it to play.
The Bottom Line
An intoxicating, twisted horror game which encapsulates you into it's atmosphere, forcing you to become part of the game. You'll feel as if you're living inside a horror movie, complete with the horrific sound-scape, landscapes and psychology to complete your nightmarish world.
PlayStation · by Weird Ed (14) · 2004
In a way, The New Nightmare closes a full circle. The original 1992 Alone in the Dark game developed by Infogrames for DOS was a major source of inspiration for Resident Evil, the 1996 PlayStation game that defined and popularized survival horror. By that time Infogrames had already squandered their potential with two rather bad AotD sequels and didn't seem particularly interested in revisiting the franchise. When they eventually did, they outsourced the console-oriented reboot (developed for the Dreamcast and PlayStation) to Darkworks, a relatively new studio which decided to base it on... Resident Evil games.
The similarities are obvious - while the very idea of a predetermined, cinematic camera system was an innovation of the original AotD, The New Nightmare definitely looks and feels more like the first four Resident Evil games (the last of which, called Code: Veronica, was released just 1 year earlier, also for the SEGA Dreamcast). To make the Capcom inspirations even clearer, TNN opens with an RE- or DMC-style intro movie and the game's title being read by an evil-voiced narrator. It's worth noting that Darkworks would later go on to rip-off Resident Evil to much better results with Cold Fear, released in 2005 as Ubisoft's answer to RE 4.
Overall, the Resident Evil influences combined with more experience of the action-adventure genre as a whole definitely do AotD 4 some good. The game looks really good, controls a bit better than the original PC trilogy, it doesn't allow you to softlock yourself or require you to leave items on the floor for the lack of inventory space (then again, it doesn't limit your inventory at all, which goes against the spirit of survival horror).
Unfortunately, The New Nightmare is much sloppier and less polished than classic Resident Evil. Interactable objects usually require you to stand at a very specific angle to activate them, the hitboxes of both background objects and enemies are very awkward, as is the aiming system. The puzzles, while not quite as unintuitive as in the original trilogy, can still be pretty cryptic and leave a lot to be desired. In many areas enemies are either located just in front of the entrance or spawn right next to the player character, which is simply unfair.
Alone in the Dark 4 brings back the idea of two protagonists from the original game, except this time - like in Resident Evil 2 - both characters' routes are actually different, although they do share a majority of locations. It's an okay way to pad the game's length without becoming too repetitive, but unfortunately the two paths are pretty uneven. You can tell that a lot of the visual and atmospheric creativity was kept for Edward's playthrough, while Aline's is not only less impressive, but also more unpolished, with more technical hiccups, an annoying timed section, and an absolutely terrible final boss fight.
Plot-wise, Darkworks bring back two classic Alone in the Dark themes - Lovecraftian horror of the first game and Native American magic from the third one - and pits them against each other. On the one hand, the themes of fascination with otherworldly shadow creatures and trying to use them to improve humanity work really well, but on the other hand, the worldbuilding in the game is rather shoddy. Native American deities having names clearly taken from Greek, Latin, and Mesopotamian cultures is an especially blatant blunder.
The Bottom Line
The New Nightmare, borrowing a lot from the Resident Evil series, ends up being an improvement over Alone in the Dark 2 and 3, but it's a still an uneven and unpolished experience that leaves a lot to be desired. 5/10
[played in an emulator]
Dreamcast · by Pegarange (197) · 2023
The first half of the game --from the great intro sequence to the first 'boss-fight', right before they prompt you to switch CDs- is a quite scary and inmersive experience.
There are lots of "bink" cut scenes all over that add a great deal of interest to the whole package.
The scenario graphics! The game has an ambient like few others. Specially the forest under the rain and the manor levels. If you have a powerful video card, using the 'high-detail' shadows will add a lot of effect. The lights will go off every now and then, and some creatures just flash before you to disappear in the blink of an eye, which will make you jump on your seat a few times and draw your weapons and flashlight, aiming to nowhere all confused. The sound effects add a lot to the ambient, and although the music is kind of weird and does not sound quite 'musical'; it doesn't bother nor add much. Just tags along fine.
One would think that in the times we live in, a game with 'fixed-backgrounds' is kind of retrograde. Well, AITD4 not only shows that is not the case, but even makes use of some really attractive camera angles that would not be possible with the 'moving' kind of background.
The first half of the game really fills in with the 'horror' thing.
The second half of the game seems to be the 'survival' part of the package, and resumes itself to a mainly 'run-n-shoot' type of game. Sadly, the control interface doesn't match with the idea; you find yourself dealing with a clumsy character that will have lots of trouble answering to your commands.
Suddenly, all the "bink" animated cut-scenes start being replaced by still images; and while at the beginning there was an animation every 5 minutes, somewhere in the game you start getting this still pictures where you have to imagine what happened.
The game prompts you with a 'yes/no' every time you need to do such silly things as climbing a ladder, which is quite annoying. If I press 'action' on a switch it clearly means I want to activate it, you don't need to double-check asking if I'm sure; it's not like I'm asking you to format the hard drive or something.
Everyone complained about this one, but here it goes again: the 'hot spots'! You will find yourself several times running in circles over an object or a door, while asking yourself 'am I doing something wrong or maybe this this a bug and it will never work?'
The monsters --not being the zombies, which are pretty good- are awful. There are just a few 'breeds', and they're very poorly designed.
The storyline isn't as nearly as attractive as it was in the first AITD. No other AITD had the strong plot the first one had, but in this one you can smell all the intention on recreating the kind of plot that the first had; sadly not being able to accomplish the task. It's a pity, since the ambient is all there for a well-driven strong story; and I think a good plot would have helped the 'second part' issue.
The 'downs' on AITD4 (specially the technical issues) are specially bad since this is the 4th chapter of a saga. One would expect a more robust and polished product by now. Instead, this looks like a first try.
The Bottom Line
A typical Horror/Survival game. Alas, the separation between 'horror' and 'survival' is too clear, which is not good for the final product.
The first half of the game is the 'horror', while the second would be the 'survival'. Sadly, the second half of the game is quite boring and frustrating, bringing down all the great atmosphere created on the first half.
Nevertheless, I think the game deserves a try, if only for the first half. Despite the poorly designed monsters and the clumsy interface, the atmosphere is really scary. Those of us who enjoyed the first AITD, this is how we would have liked that awesome game to look like.
Windows · by Slug Camargo (583) · 2002
4X movie compression
The 4X movie compression technology is only used in the Dreamcast version of the game.
This game had a cross-promotional "prequel" comic book, featuring Carnby and Aline Cedrac investigating in Tibet, published by Image Comics in September of 2002. The story was written by Jean-Marc Lofficier, while the illustrations were by Matt Haley and Aleksi Briclot.
Edward Carnby is the name of the protagonist in all of the Alone in the Dark games, yet AitD4 is set in the year 2001 whereas the original 3 titles were set in the 1920's. Carnby is also visibly younger in the forth title. The explanation on the game's official website (see links) is that every 40 years a man is awarded with the name Edward Carnby and that man will be destined to fight the forces of evil and darkness.
Developed with Terminal Reality's Nocturne Engine.
The name of one of the characters in Alone in the Dark: TNN is De Certo. This is a reference to the name of the ominous mansion in the original Alone in the Dark title, which was also called Decerto.
Related Sites +
Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
Hints & Tips for Alone in the Dark 4
Instead of walkthroughs, which can spoil a game for you, use these question and answer type hints to nudge you along.
Walkthrough by Tami Meyers
Complete solution for Alone in the Dark 4
Wikipedia: Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
Information about Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare at Wikipedia
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Matthew Bailey.
Game added May 29th, 2001. Last modified August 27th, 2023.