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    Alone In The Dark Review

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    Looking for a comprehensive Alone In The Dark Review? We’ve got you covered! A mystery shrouded by the scenic New Orleans setting, a Detective pulled into an enigma, and the craziness of wondering what is real. Here is our Alone In The Dark Review.

    After receiving a mysterious letter from her uncle, as highlighted in the Grace Demo, Emily Hartwood sets off with New Orleans Detective Edward Carnby to uncover the mystery that surrounds Derceto. In their time there they encounter all sorts of horrors, from beautiful townscapes of the New Orleans setting to the horrors of the trenches during the War, all to uncover the truth surrounding a supposed curse on the Hartwood name.

    STORY

    Starting up from where the Demo, Grace, left off, where heroes Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood arrive at the institute, Derceto, the player gets to pick which character will drive the story. Since this is the case we have separated the sections into each of the character’s descent into madness.

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    Edward Carnby playthrough.

    Playing the game as Edward is a pretty interesting experience as his skepticism of the supernatural and Occult would have been expected as a detective, however, when he is pulled from the world he knows into the mystery that is affecting everything it becomes the Alone In The Dark franchise it is known for.

    Alone In The Dark Review - Edward Carnby

    Carnby’s storyline unfolds by investigating and trying to locate Jeremy until he learns that there is a contract with the Dark Man. This prompts Carnby to break the contract. While both characters follow this storyline it deviates and is tailored to their individual specifications. For Edward Carnby it is one of his cases where he met Grace. This is arguably Carnby’s failure of a case, where the 2 characters first met and is the link for Carnby to Derceto. Past this, the story pretty much plays out the same until the end for both characters.

    Emily Hartwood Playthrough.

    Playing out the same as Carnby’s story, however, Emily’s storyline is tied to her betrothed. Having the game set in a post-war setting, you can probably guess that things never went ahead due to situations. Emily’s experience is started after the camera puzzle which takes her into the trenches where she needs to find the man she is to marry.

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    While this is a fantastic sequence, and one of the most unique environments in the game, this is only the first part. Once you find the man, who is involved in an incident, Emily’s will starts to break and she returns to Derceto, in the locked-off area of the basement. In here there is a puzzle where you need to find the building layout, which eventually reveals that her fiance, ended up in the morgue of Derceto.

    Honouring the Origins.

    While this is a remake, and a remarkable one like Resident Evil 2, 3, 4 and even MediEvil, it is also a nice Initiation into the franchise for anyone new to the series. All that being said, and please take this with a pinch of salt, I personally haven’t played the original game, however, after much research and searching through videos I get the feeling that the game doesn’t follow the original story exactly. This isn’t a new thing of course, Resident Evil 3 (I think) didn’t follow the original content perfectly, and let’s face it what is going to unless the original people are directly involved in the development cycle? There is something to say about the Alone In The Dark Remake though, which is it brings that essence of the 90’s back to the modern system. What I mean is there were limited resources back then and strangely this remake feels like it captures this perfectly, as for the story it is close enough from my personal understanding to be called a True remake of the original content. The one change that I personally like is the Third Person Perspective, making this game control and function for a new audience who are more accustomed to this playstyle making it feel like a different, but the same game.

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    Mechanics, Graphics, & Technical things

    Mechanically the game plays like the recently remade Resident Evil 2, 3, and 4 games on PS4 and 5, as well as the Dead Space Remake. The treatment that these aforementioned games had to bring them to a newer audience on the latest hardware seems like they directly impacted the return of the famous Atari horror franchise from the 90s. Alone In The Dark (2024) plays as you might expect a horror game to play, the HUD is minimal to give a sense of immersion and the horror aspect.

    That being said, there were times when I would have liked the HUD to have been more noticeable and apparent. It’s accurate to say that when going to aiming, the HUD elements come back into view but they are small and down in either bottom corner as highlighted above. Animation-wise they are pretty good, but with anything that is simulated, there are problems. Where this is minimal, and we will touch on this in the graphics for some parts, there were some glitches like stretching meshes and sliding when animations don’t function.

    Graphically the game looks and feels like a horror, only without the scaryness that comes with it. How I would describe, it would be Alan Wake meets The Evil Within. The reason for this is simple, Wake’s story revolves around the mystery of him being inside his own writing, whereas The Evil Within is a psychological adventure where nothing is as it seems. These 2 games perfectly embody Alone In The Dark in my mind. Played through a third-person perspective for 95% of the game and, for one sequence, as a more traditional view. This short, 5 chapter game, is an experience to enjoy from the scenic jungle-like world of the New Orleans Bayou to the rolling dunes of Egypt all the way to the frozen landscapes.

    As stated above with the animations and some graphics, there are some things that I do sort of wish the developers had addressed. The biggest thing is the weapons. This is a rather bad point as you obtain a Double Barrel Shotgun and a Thomson Sub-Machine Gun, however, neither character shows where they hide it on their person. At the least, Edwards Revolver changes on his shoulder holster and can be seen in both hand and holstered positions, depending on what’s happening. This can’t be said the same for either Long gun they have. I really would have liked the weapons to have been visible in a holstered position like slung over their shoulder as Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4 does, however, this is not the case, it’s almost like they have a bottomless bag they hide the two guns in to holster them. This also brings us to the equipping and unequipping animations, which are somewhat the same. While this saves on resources just calling up the same animation if you do it a lot it kind of feels boring and makes you want to stick with the same weapon.

    One thing that is worth noting is the fact that there is a constant throughout the entire game, which is light. We have addressed this development theory in the Scorn Review. However, this applies to almost all games, which is lights direct gameplay. Alone In The Dark, as the name suggests is going to be a dark game, however light plays a pivotal role in how gameplay functions. You have a light you can use to illuminate the world, however, this isn’t what we are referring to, what we are referring to is how light sources direct the player. It’s a subconscious thing that developers put in to push the player down a path. If there is a dark corridor and one with a light, instinctively you will want to pick the lit one.

    That being said there are more sides to this lighting than that, however, the one that I want to draw your attention to is something called color theory. This is about the use of colours within the world and how they work but also the palettes that are used. Horror games have dark palettes anyway to make you feel alone and isolated, but Alone In The Dark takes that theory and kind of flips it to make your sense of fear a little shaky. They do this by giving you Derceto, this bright, lively and inhabited place, but then contrast it with the world inside Jeremy’s head. Essentially the team plays off the fact that your sense of fear is fluctuating in order to throw in jumpscares and world changes, in order to keep the player on their toes like a Horror game would. It’s kind of a cheat considering the lack of hostile entities in the game or real threats to your survival but it adds a nice dynamic to the way the horror games work. As for Colour Palletting, I would say there are 3 Main palettes of Lighting colours within Alone In The Dark, these are, Redy-Oranges, Bluey-Purple, and Greens. These might just sound like Primary Colours but it’s how they are used. The Redy-Oranges are used as natural lighting like torches and the sun, the Bluey-Purple are the Moonlight hues, and the Green are Shadows.

    Unreal is a powerful tool, and Alone In The Dark shows off that tool fantastically, however, there was one aspect of this which really caught our attention, which is the IK system. When either Edward or Emily are within set parameters either their arms or legs react to the difference in level height and as one might expect they react in a way that feels natural. This is something that is called IK or Inverse Kinematic. In simple terms this means that there is a point on the wrist which is connected to the shoulder, anything the wrist does the shoulder acts as the next joint, taking the elbow with the movement. It’s more complicated than that but it makes it look and feel like the real world. Back to the point in hand, tables, or rib height surfaces are perfect examples for the upper body while most uneven footing will make the leg IK System work.

    CONCLUSION

    To conclude the game is, not the best Horror experience but it is a good one. While the game isn’t exactly scary in any sense of the concept of horror, it is a fantastic adventure, which I have been looking forward to since its announcement, however, it didn’t live up to the expectations which were set in the Grace Demo sadly.

    I would first like to say the Graphics are fantastic and there is no question, however, they don’t feel real enough to engage me in the events or keep me locked in the action. This is only amplified by the amount of glitches that were encountered. Second, Combat is limited and where the Demo highlights this bug thing behind Grace at the end of the demo it’s only exposed to the player in a limited capacity, meaning that you don’t really get to engage in battle with it. That being said Emily’s Storyline in the Trenches does give you a chance to battle it however you are not able to actually kill it which felt like a disappointing resolution to this character. Thirdly, the dual storyline is nice and apparently the same as the original game, however, it feels lacking. It’s like you just finished Carnby’s story, and now you have to redo it with a different character almost in an identical way getting little differences. This was a little bit of a letdown and I would have preferred two separate storylines like Resident Evil 2 with Clair and Leon or Alan Wake 2 with Wake and Saga. This might just be me being picky but the other character is there doing something, so why not let us enjoy their adventure?

    Finally, I want to reiterate the fact that an 11-year-old is unfazed by the fact that Supernatural things are happening around her and the player-controlled characters seem more concerned by what is going on. As highlighted in the Grace Demo the world can change around her and she seems like nothing is happening. Since playing that it hasn’t sat right with me that it’s happening and that she isn’t affected by the events, during the story you learn why this is but also out of everyone, Grace is either the most level-headed or crazy one of everyone in Derceto.

    As a final note, I want to make it apparent that the game is good and puts me in mind of other games of the setting like The Sinking City, and The Order 1886. The reason is because of the setting and how combat works in the games. Personally, I started the Franchise on the 2008 version which isn’t the best introduction to the series but it sparked an interest in the franchise, this version, is so much better.

    Looking for more reviews to read? Be sure to visit this page and discover a wide range of informative and insightful reviews. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions.

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    SUMMARY

    Enter into Derceto, a Hospital in New Orleans with a dark secret. Play as Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood to uncover the mystery surrounding the Hartwood name.

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    Enter into Derceto, a Hospital in New Orleans with a dark secret. Play as Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood to uncover the mystery surrounding the Hartwood name.Alone In The Dark Review