Alone in the Dark (1992) Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here to share my thoughts on the 1992 release of Alone in the Dark by Infogrames and Atari. I received a copy of the game for review purposes but like all of my reviews, this has no effect on my thoughts and experiences with the game.
Alone in the Dark is a third person adventure game that went on to inspire the survival horror genre. The game follows either a woman named Emily Hartwood or a man named Edward Carnby. The sequels use Edward as their main character’s so he is the “canon” character for this game. Both characters follow the same story and have the same abilities so it doesn’t matter who you choose.
The game is set in 1925 and revolves around a mansion named Derceto. The two character’s have separate reasons for going to the mansion. Emily goes to the mansion to find a will left by her uncle after he mysteriously hung himself. Edward on the other hand is a shady private investigator who has been hired to locate an old piano for an antiques dealer. The story is told through a series of books and letters that you find throughout the mansion but they aren’t required to complete the game so If you really wanted you could complete it wthout learning any of the story whatsoever (But what is the fun in that?).
One thing I will admit right off the bat is the controls are a bit archaic and they can be a little clunky at times. Sometimes when running the next area will pop up and you’ll be running straight into a wall. The combat system can also be a bit of a pain as well but if you’re familiar with old school survival horror games then you shouldn’t have too much trouble here. It does take some practice though.
The game has a great deal of hazardous creatures that you’ll run into as well ranging from ghosts and plant monsters to bird-like creatures and zombies. Some of them will kill you instantly and are invulnerable to attack so you’ll have to avoid touching some of them altogether.
Even though the game is pretty ancient at this point, having now played it, I understand why the game is/was so popular and why it went on to inspire many of the most popular survival horror games as well. The game is incredibly addicting, even at it’s age, and while the controls may be a bit clunky and graphics may not have aged well, it’s atmosphere and uniqueness holds up incredibly well.
Overall, Alone in the Dark is an ancient relic but it wound up spawning an entirely new genre and was ahead of it’s time in many areas at the time of release. It’s the granddaddy of the survival horror genre and I still feel that it’s well worth experiencing today. I imagine it’s age may deter some folks from trying it though.
Thanks for taking the time to read the review folks and I’ll be back with my next one soon, until then, happy gaming folks!
Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!