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Alone in the Dark - Max Out Forum Review

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Alone in the Dark - Max Out Forum Review

Post by admin on Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:57 pm

Released: June 20th 2008

Alone in the dark is a horror game which features many different enemies from zombie like humans to worm like creatures who travel through the walls. It can played in either the 3rd or 1st person giving the player complete control over their gaming experience.

The game is set in Manhattan, but not as we know it today. The city has been destroyed by strange phenomenons occurring everywhere around the city, and the inhabitants being transformed into possessed zombie like beings who have inhuman powers. Your mission as Edward is to discover what is behind these occurrences and stop them before they have chance to take complete control of the city. Unlike other horror games, Edward does not have a complete arsenal of weaponry behind him. He isn’t carrying sawn off shotguns, double barrels or sniper rifles of any sort. In fact the most sophisticate piece of weaponry Edward carries around with him is a simple pistol.

With this lack of a huge arsenal to play with the player must think more on their toes, and try to make weapons out of the simple things that they collect throughout the game. For example combining a spray can with a lighter and some tape makes a pretty handy flame thrower. This game feature means that the player is more connected to the game, and is made to think about what combinations could create useful weaponry for a certain situation. This is one of the exceptionally well done aspects of the game, giving this game a unique twist which players cannot experience in many other games.

For gamers who like a bit of a challenge while playing then Alone in the Dark is perfect for you. The puzzle solving features of the game makes it a lot more challenging to players to pass through levels. Unlike many other current games, where simply following the in game instructions throughout the campaign will allow you to complete the required elements of the game with no real mental challenge imposed on the reader, Alone in the Dark forces the player to be smart, to solve puzzles within the game, whilst also giving the action which many gamers crave.

This puzzle solving game feature is what makes this game seem very unappealing to the majority of casual gamers who do not want to spend hours of game play solving a few simply puzzles like how to escape a building, or finding your way around the inside of a flaming building with no objective marker on screen and where every room looks the same it can seem like hours before they find the room they are looking for. This being said Alone in the Dark is probably one of the more effective puzzle solving games out on the shelves.

With Alone in the Dark having so many interesting features, it is a shame that there are so many points where the game lets itself down. The potential it had to become one of the outstanding games was obvious with the unique weapon customisation being a prominent feature which if it had been combined with a good storyline and better action sequences then Alone in the Dark may have been rivalling horror games such as Dead Space, but due to some features of the game it didn’t quite hit the mark, and more missed it by a long shot.

Alone in the Dark starts with Edward, the carrier and the main character of the game, being taken to the rooftops to be executed, but before they make it to the roof Edwards escort is brutally killed. This leaves Edward with the task of escaping the building, and seeing as Edward has amnesia and cannot remember anything about his life the player knows immediately the challenge which Edward is faced in just getting out of the building, let alone surviving the hell spawn outside.

While travelling through the building Edward comes into contact with a few people, many of which are killed pretty quickly by the demonic forces, but Edward meets up with Sarah Flores, who joins him on his mission. When they finally reach the garage of the building Edward sees a severely injured Theophile Paddington, an old man who claims to know what is going on. He informs the duo that the chaos in the building is caused by a stone, that until recently was possessed by Edward. It was taken from Edward by a man named Crowley who unleashed the power of the stone. Theophile finally informs Edward that the only way to stop the chaos Edward must follow the Path of Light.

They take a car from the garage and escape the building, only to find that the city around them is in the same condition as the building. The car crashes in central park, and Theophile hands Edward the stone and says that he lacks the strength to continue. He instructs them to meet him in the museum and then kills himself.

When the pair reaches the museum the ghost of Theophile appears and tells more information about the stone. The stone is Lucifer cast out of heaven contained in a stone, until Crowley released him, and now Lucifer wants to use the power of the stone to destroy the world. Theophile instructs Edward to go to central park as there is a secret which can stop Lucifer.

In Central Park Edward meets Hermes who possesses a similar stone to Edward’s. They make their way back to the museum to find Crowley holding Sarah at gunpoint. After a long lecture from Crowley about how fun it was to follow the path of light, you shoot him in the head, and proceed deeper into the museum.

In a secret chamber underneath the museum you find a gigantic circular structure, to which Hermes explains was built with the purpose to save humanity, but the stone betrayed them, and in fact this is Lucifer’s portal to the earth, and that when the light hits the outer ring Lucifer will be reincarnated onto the earth and bring about the destruction of the earth. Edward is then instructed to take the stone, and fight Lucifer by Hermes. When Edward takes the stone and writhes in agony as the stone takes over him, Sarah shouts that he isn’t alone in this and takes the stone from him.

The player is then presented with an option to either kill Sarah and retake the stone, or to let her live. The player’s decision then effects the outcome of the game. If the player chooses to kill Sarah and take the stone Edward is possessed (and Sarah is dead, obviously...), but if the player chooses to let Sarah live Sarah is taken over by Lucifer and Edward lives.

This ending is what lowers the score of the storyline, as throughout the game it has had an average storyline, nothing amazing yet nothing catastrophic, and then right at the end they make it impossible to have a ‘happy’ ending, as both possible outcomes are, well, pretty bad. If more thought had been put into the ending, and maybe a better choice of outcomes, then this games storyline rating might’ve been a little bit higher.

Storyline: 5/10


The graphics of Alone in the dark are average for 7th generation consoles, therefore its nothing really to get excited about.

Graphics: 5/10


The controls are another major problem with the game, and why many first time or casual gamers found this game to be very boring and too challenging to be entertaining. The controls take a lot of getting used to, and things aren’t in very logical places. For example the melee attack which is usually assigned to a certain number of buttons, like X (or square for Playstation users) as a kick and B (or circle for Playstation user) being punch. This is not the case in Alone in the Dark, all of the melee in the game is controlled by the right thumb stick. This can pose challenges for casual gamers.

The hotkey system on the other hand is very useful, and is unique to Alone in the Dark. If you have a certain set up of things in your hand which you find very useful, like for instance pistol and flashlight, you can assign that to for example the B button. This means that if you had different items in you hand, and then suddenly one of the hell spawn jumps out in front of you, you can press the B button and quickly get out the flashlight and pistol so you can kill it. As you progress further into the game this hotkey system becomes very useful.

Controls: 6/10


Overall, it is obvious that simple flaws in the game controls and storyline greatly affected the quality of this game, and if more attention to these areas had be implemented then perhaps Alone in the Dark could’ve been known as a very successful horror game.

Rating: 5/10
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