With four games prior to this one and one incredibly bad flick based on it, the Alone in the Dark franchise has been around long enough to see a good number of ups and downs. The latest addition to the series – simply named Alone in the Dark – hangs really close to being a good game, but a few fundamental flaws in design ruin the experience in more ways than one.
Before we get into that, let me tell you a little about the plot. You play the role of Edward Carnby (those of you who’ve played the previous games are probably familiar with the name). Carnby is a paranormal investigator by profession, but what he’s really good at is deposing things that go ‘bump’ in the dark. This time around, he’s lost his memory after a strange ritual of exorcism that was performed on him. The game starts with him waking up amongst some strange people, in a building that’s about to be torn asunder by forces unknown.
As you move through the game’s well-conjured nightmarish urban realm, you uncover the demonic threat that looms over New York’s Central Park (which is where the entire game’s based), and take it upon yourself to save the city – and subsequently the world – from damnation. Developer Eden Games has done a brilliant job in crafting a believable, surreal, apocalyptic setting that’s atmospheric enough to potentially draw you in; and that’s no small feat. However, the ability to draw you in ends up being just a potential, since its biggest hindrance and most fundamental flaw– the way it controls – gets in the way every time the game begins to capture your imagination.
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