This is not a review.
This is me taking a huge poop on top of the huge poop that is Alone in The Dark. This is the ONLY game I have ever played which I could not…WOULD not, finish. This is more me venting about my negative experience with the game, rather than the game itself.
But let’s be honest, the game sucks
This was the fifth installment of the already waning Alone in The Dark franchise. Because of its universal panning by critics, it is probably the final nail in the coffin.
It’s a shame, because the original was the original survival horror. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, it won tons of awards in its day, even winning a place in Game Informer’s 25 most influential video games of all time.
Instead, this game traded its ‘master of horror’ origins in favor of a tie in with the 2005 Uwe Boll flop Alone in the Dark. We go from a story with substance, to some generic and uninteresting ‘stop Lucifer and follow the Path of Light’ garbage.
It was either this or a pic of Tara Reid dressed as a scientist in the movie
Don’t get me wrong, this game is amazing at points. It can be a fun mix of horror, puzzle solving, and even innovation.The problem is the bad parts are REALLY bad, and they come so often, they smother anything decent.
Leading up to the game’s release, I watched tons of promotional footage and gameplay leading up to release, all of which got me really excited. The fire effects and the item menu/customization really intrigued me. Instead of all this amazing stuff that was shown pre- release, what was delivered was comparable to an elephant taking a dump onto a CD and sticking it into my Xbox.
No I’m not going to attach an image you sick freak
Sure, I was an impressionable youth back in 2008 – but come on, this was billed as a great game by everyone who played unfinished demos. They promised innovation akin to the original! I got only halfway through before I tried to return it to GameStop. The $3 they offered me wasn’t enough to dry my tears of anger, so I kept it and planned to snap it in half.
Yes, I was that upset about it.
Instead I forgot about it and let it collect dust for the next few years until I tried it again in 2012. Yep, still as bad. Even though the game featured this really neat DVD style mechanic where you could skip or rewind through the game, the only time I used it I managed to skip through a really important explanatory cut scene. This only served to make what was already a convoluted story even worse.
The whole game reeks of missed potential. You can see what the creators were trying to do, but you could also see how badly they were missing their target. From wonky controls to even worse driving mechanics, I kept making silent promises to burn this game when I beat it.
Ya know, to pay “homage”
Let me actually harp on driving in this game. This game’s imagining of Central Park in NYC is both a delicious combination of scary and ominous. As a 50 year old time traveling detective (or something) Edward Carnbey can’t run more than 5 feet without getting winded. Thus, your only method of transport around the park is hot wiring a car and taking it for a spin.
Just like Momma used to teach me
Unfortunately it takes about 20 minutes to drive around a mostly empty park – a park that, may I add, is only 1.3 square miles in real life. Seriously, I know runners who can make better time than the cars in this game. It probably doesn’t help that Edward drives worse than Driver’s Ed. Students.
As you weave your way through the park, you solve little puzzles to defeat evil (or something) and fight a cool cast of ….5 types of baddies? You have your demonic bats and rats, different kinds of possessed humans, assorted bosses, and…a giant fissure in the ground that follows you.
There are SyFy movies with better monsters
Fortunately, all of them HATE fire (which is weird, being from Hell and all). So you whip out your trusty aerosol can and lighter, and burn them to ash. Now, just take 5 minutes to fix your inventory in the very cool POV menu system and.. Wait, what do you mean it doesn’t pause the game? You mean to tell me if you face a boss and need to reload fire bullets (Yeah, lets pour gasoline on our pistol. Shouldn’t be a problem.) that we are shit out of luck? Doesn’t seem very fair.
I know I could rant about this game for hours, but you probably are getting bored reading about a crappy game that released 5 years ago. So I’ll end this article with a positive: The soundtrack to this game is AWESOME.
The copy I bought came with an 8 track disc of music from the game. It was scored by Olivier Derivière and featured the female choir The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices. It is both haunting and epic- a sad reminder of what Alone in the Dark could have been.
Actually… writing this has made want to go back and beat it. I won’t let some measly game get the better of me! When I do, I promise I will write an article about how good it feels to light a game on fire.