You're alone and it's dark, so start shootin stuff. Decent game, but may require some patience.

User Rating: 7 | Alone in the Dark (2008) PC
[This review, as the few others I've done, was written early in morning after a bottle or two or wine to accompany gameplay. More sober edits are in brackets...] Yeah, it's an OK game. There's a lot that's annoying about it though. I totally can't stand games that don't let you save wherever you want or start you off when you die at some predetermined stage. Strike one. Also the perspectives are schizophrenic: I can understand wanting to give people a choice whether they do 1st or 3d person shooter, but this one appears to give you the choice and then takes it away from you at the worst possible time. The game is also basically 2-dimensional which means you'll not be exploring a whole lot randomly on your on, all the events are largely conceptualized for you ahead of time in a florescent corporate office. [I actually take this back. There are definitely times when it does feel 2-dimensional, but once you get into episodes involving Central Park things become nicely open ended. I wrote this before getting to the point where you need to burn all the roots. This creates numerous, albeit somewhat repetitive, side missions. It lengthens game play and lets (forces you in some cases) to explore around the park. There a kind of satisfaction too that comes from dosing the roots with lighter fluid (or whatever that crap in the bottles is), pouring out a trail and watching it burn...mwaahahahaha! ] All you need to do is follow suit like a good boy. boring. These, of course, are just the most salient reasons you'll be screaming your head off at the dumb ass programmers who put this thing together.

That's my **** session. On the good side, the game's got some decent atmosphere, but not quite as spooky as AID 4, which I liked alot. The whole NYC thing makes it seem a little too close to home, which removes much of the ambiance. I mean, one thing about wasting one's whole life playing games is that at least you can wander about the world virtually. I can hop on a bus and be in NY in 3 hours. [yawn]. Yeah, OK, central park is a templar hide out from way back. First of all, never mind that by the time the dutch settle the mid atlantic the templars were basically fighting for their last breath. On top of that of all the countries in Euro land, the dutch are the last I associate with catholic religious orders. Anyway, the more you trace it out, the stupider that part of the story goes. I was trying not to **** There's a lot of good stuff to the game. Once you fall into a grove with your favorite perspective it cuts a nice line between FPS and adventure module, with the emphasis in most scenes being on figuring stuff out and not just blasting your way through to the boss man. The variety of weapons is impressive - everything from flame throwers, to maces, to magnums to saw horses. nice. this variety and complexity is replicated also when it comes to non-battle related game play. Basically, the range of user initiated action is really impressive. On the down side, this is also a source of frustration since there are so many unusual combinations of items that it's almost impossible to develop a rhythm about them. On several occasions, your best bet is just dumb luck putting together explosive bottles with handkerchiefs with knifes and then lighting the whole mess on fire. The fight sequences can be satisfying. At one point you realize that the normal FPS weaponry is not going to be your salvation since every bad guy has to burn to die. Although after a while you feel likes it's a little silly stalking and killing major meanies around the park with a can of hairspray and your Zippo. This makes things more challenging than normal, but in a welcome way. It likewise creates a nice symbolic motif to play off the title since it's the light of the fire that combats the darkness. (as motifs the light-dark thing is as stale as star wars, but it's interesting to see these literary category recreated visually). The cut scenes are both rewarding and the most hair-pulling feature of the game. Why, oh why can't I skip through them after being forced to start over at the beginning of the level each time!?1? It makes me want to chuck my monitor across the room - which I very near well did several times. How many times must I curse the programmers and shout "stupid, stupid" so the neighbors around the block can know my folly?

There's a lot too that standard for the horror action genre: the PDA, the gloom, grotesque creatures, etc. Given that these elements weren't necessarily accentuated in the original series, it may make for a kind of copy cat experience for those familiar with those games. It's not to any obnoxious degree however and, actually, well done whatever the intention.