Based on the writings of the popular H. P. Lovecraft, I-Motion's Alone in the Dark stands as a classic horror title that is certain to please PC fans.
Alone in the Dark presents players with a choice of two characters to select, namely, the respected Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood, niece of the deceased Jeremy Hartwood. The game takes place in the Hartwood mansion, Derceto, a large and grand mansion that houses the many tales of horror that have taken place within. As one of the characters, players are given the task of investigating the mansion to uncover what really happened to Hartwood and to uncover the secrets that lie deep within Derceto.
The cinematic camera angles provide an intense sense of suspense in the game. There are up to nine different camera angles in each room which switch at random. However, as in most action/adventure titles, the "fixed" camera can more times than not lead to some incredibly irritating angles that hinder you from being able to fully enjoy the game. Players will be blinded by an object that will block an oncoming monster and so forth. This is easily the biggest problem with Alone in the Dark.
Graphically, the game is a gem. Full polygonal players and environments provide a sense of realism that adds to the serious theme of the game. The player models are a bit chunky and seem mis-proportioned but this is a minor complaint.
As to sound, the game is very moody. The music changes as the situation does and adds that slight feel of suspense that adds a great deal to the title. The creepy sound effects will have you looking over your own shoulder at times to see what's behind you. The main thing that detracts from the sound is the voices. They seem to lack emotion and when the game needs emotion the most, the characters seem to let us down.
All in all, this title is a classic. With a deep plot and gameplay to boot, I-Motion's Alone in the Dark is one title every PC gamer should have.
Jeremy Hartwood has committed suicide in his Louisiana mansion, Derceto. You take the role of either Edward Carnby, a private investigator, or Emily Hartwood, Jeremy's niece, and investigate the suspicious death. The three-floor mansion is reputed to be haunted by its eccentric past owner. Very quickly, you realise that it is. Warped rats, zombies and giant worms are among the foes who are after you, and you must somehow escape.
Alone in the Dark is an action-adventure survival horror game. The action is displayed from a number of fixed viewpoints. The backgrounds are 2D painted images, while the player character, all items and monsters are rendered as 3D models.
To escape the mansion, you'll have to solve a number of puzzles. They usually involve finding an item and using it in a proper place. Apart from items necessary for the puzzles, you can also find books and documents that can be read, healing items which can be consumed to restore hit points, and weapons.
Weapons come in handy, since Derceto is full of various monsters. Some monsters can be killed with weapons, but others are either impossible to kill or require a bit of thinking to take down. Note also that you have limited amounts of ammunition, so you have to use firearms carefully.
This is one of the true classics. Before I start reviewing it any further I must say something about it's graphics. All the backgrounds were hand-drawn and they give the complete game a specific atmosphere. Complete game uses a kind of a 3D graphics that were never seen before. Also, Alone in the Dark was the first game ever that used different camera angles (the style that was used in many other games, such as Tomb raider, Resident evil...). Graphics are simply - terrific! Sound in the game fits the atmosphere like nothing I've seen before. The chills of the unknown are incredible. The creeps that you feel when a monster steps into the room, or when one of those beasts jumps in through a window are incredible! I really did jump from my chair a few times! The story is pretty simple and usual when it comes to horror titles - a man was found dead in a house known for mysteries. An agent (male or female) is investigating the house itself and gets in real trouble. Now the only goal is to get out alive... One of the best aspects of this game is that it's very much open-ended. You can explore all three floors of the house from almost the very beginning , and if you are having trouble with one puzzle you can always move on to another one without feeling blocked. In fact most of the puzzles aren't necessary to finish the game, but can help you tremendously (for example if you figure out how to defeat the suit of armor, you get a nice sword which doesn't break like the old cutlass you start out with). Alone in the Dark is one of the best horror/adventure/action games ever made. It's great atmosphere is something that you just can't miss. Not to mention how great it is to be played late at night...
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