Atari has not only slaughtered another game but has put an end to a series that started the Survival-Horror genre.

User Rating: 1 | Alone in the Dark PS2
Alone In The Dark is a game published by Atari and was not only supposed to be the fifth installment in the series but a recreation of the series as well. After following this game for about a year, it was finally released for current generation consoles and also ported to the Playstation 2.

Set during 2008, the story continues with Edward Carnby, the main protagonist from the original game, looking for answers to strange supernatural and bizarre occurrences while battling his way through the opposition in New York City's Central Park.

Alone In The Dark is absolutely dreadful. From the main menu at the start of the game to the actual gameplay itself. Everything here is a complete mess and I have never in my life seen something with so much potential go so horribly wrong. All the interesting and innovative ideas are executed poorly.

Even as a port of a new generation game to an old generation console, has been a complete and utter failure. The entire game has been completely compressed. The cut-scenes look awfully washed-out and lost about 50% of the real quality. There was many times I thought I was looking at a playstation 1 game. The sound in Alone In The Dark is completely random. Some noises sound fine and some sound just like pure static or are to loud. The dialogue and voice-acting are a complete waste and the constant cursing causes me to think the script was created by a child. As soon as a cut-scene begins, you will most likely lose interest right away.

Gameplay is by far the worst thing about Alone In The Dark. The game plays out like a TV show. It progresses by chapters and it is possible to skip chapters so that you never truly get stuck. This would have been a nice feature in a much better game. For Alone In The Dark, this is truly useless since the entire game is ridiculously difficult. I skipped many chapters and decided to just randomly play other sections and as it turned out, the entire game is pretty much the same. You start the chapter with a certain objective which usually involves running from something or completing some type of puzzle. You will die many times during the course of this game and sometimes you will have to start again from the beginning and you can't skip cut-scenes! Even if you don't die, you aren't rewarded with anything for your time.

The controls in this game are a joke. I honestly couldn't believe after the first 10 minutes that I was still playing! In fact, I won't even bother getting into explaining the controls, because they don't make any sense. In the beginning they will prompt you on what some of the buttons do. However, during certain situations you will be clueless on what you are supposed to be pressing. How do you climb up to the next ledge? You won't have a clue and you'll often just be tapping buttons to find a solution, which will most likely lead to your death, more then a few times. The inventory controls are completely worthless and even simple things like healing yourself become a joke to figure out. Anytime you need to pull out an item or combine something, Alone In The Dark makes a production out of it. Nothing with this type of control-scheme is easy.

Alone In The Dark also has one of the most frustrating cameras in all of gaming history and most of the time while playing, I couldn't even see down the hallway unless I went into first-person view. The game not only offers two types of views, but both of them seem to go in and out. One second you're playing in third-person and then you pull out your gun to enter....first-person? I don't see why a laser-sight aiming, like Resident Evil 4 couldn't have done the job. Whatever the case, the camera is completely busted, no matter what view you are in.

Enemies are useless as well. Most of the time they won't even attack you, or they will run into walls. I walked straight up to an enemy and since I thought he was going to hit me, I moved aside and he just stood there. I had to hit him with a chair to get him to react. The term "Artificial Intelligence," does not apply here in any way.

The only thing I found in this game to be worthy of mentioning is the soundtrack. The music is beautiful and it's a shame it must be hidden by this abysmal game. All the music cues right on time with the action and does give you a slight chill. Sadly, any action sequences that do provide a toe-curling moment are jaded by the camera or controls.

Final Notes:
After waiting so long for Alone In The Dark to release, I'm truly disappointed. Playing this game is nothing but a frustrating mess and I have never wanted to toss a controller out the window so bad in my life. If you enjoy fighting with the controls and struggling to get a good camera-angle in your games, then Alone In The Dark is for you. However, if you like to play actual games, then you might want to skip Alone In The Dark, for it's not even worth the rental price. I would like to thank Atari for reminding me why the company is on the verge of going under. I rooted for Alone In The Dark to bring them back gracefully, but this game is living proof that they should not make video games anymore. There time has come and gone. The next company will have so much work ahead of them to fix what they did to this drowning series.