Alone In The Dark – The New Nightmare
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Review of Alone In The Dark – The New Nightmare
You are all by yourself. Your friends are lost. Its dark, you are frightened and you hear screams in the distance. Then you hear noises close by. Is there something out there? Does the night hide something terrible? Should you turn on your torch and give yourself away? This is the dilemma you face when your are Alone in the Dark.
The premise is that Edward Carnbys friend - Fiske - has been killed following a lead to Shadow Island. You are hired by the mysterious Johnston to find out what happened. Next you are on a plane with a woman archaeologist - Aline Cedrac - flying to Shadow Island when the plane develops problems and Carnby and Cedrac bail out. They land quite a distance apart and the game begins.
You can choose to be either Carnby or Cedrac from this point. Not only does the story alter from this point but so does the style of play.
First time through the game it is better to play as Carnby (hero from past Alone in the Dark games). He is the one with the gun from the start, and the puzzles are a little simpler. Besides since both characters essentially cover the same ground you get a feel for the terrain and don’t get killed so often.
Alines game starts with a torch to fend off the critters of the night - not easy!
This difficulty level drops a little as the game progresses but its isnt what you could call hard from the start anyway.
The game plays as you would expect from a title in this genre - lots of running about trying to find keys/clues/statues etc. As the game is not that long (maybe about 9 hours per character on the second run thru) you don’t get bored of this running around either - and there is always some critter popping up so you cant call the places you have been secure.
The camera angles can be a little annoying - especially when you cant shoot something you know is there! If its not on screen you are just wasting precious ammunition. And much of the time its better to run than shoot anyway!
In addition to this irritation with the camera angles each time you move from one to another there is a brief load time - this takes the edge of the tension somewhat. This is added to the load times which happen ever time you enter a new room.
The graphics are pretty pre-rendered screens - but nowhere as stylish as in other recent games in this genre - and the seem to protrude more than you see - you occasionally get caught on invisible edges.
That said though its pretty and the cut scenes are impressive. The simplest thing though is the most jaw dropping. Its your torch - turn it on and just watch as the shadows move as you cast your light around the room. Beautiful.
The sound is a bit lacking - especially as no effort seems to have been made to make the sounds coming out of the characters mouths match the movements of their faces. But still it does endeavour to generate a eerie atmosphere - and tries to give you a clue as to what is out there - you can hear footsteps - well you hope they are footsteps!
Another aspect is the radio communication with the other character. Occasionally you get a call and this activates a cut scene using the gaming engine - occasionally this just gives information that you previously learned and you cant skip them.
Now for the main problem with this game. This Alone in the Dark title is simply a hi-res version of the game for the PSone which came out several months ago. There is no difference in the puzzles and even some of the graphical aspects of the game seem to have been lifted straight from the 32-bit incarnation. The question has to be asked why would someone pay twice as much for this game when it is only for looks?
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Alone In The Dark – The New Nightmare' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Rory Kelly © Absolute PlayStation
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