Alone In The Dark (Dreamcast) Review

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  • Addiction Level

  • Graphics

  • Value For Money

TOMLEECEE's review of Alone In The Dark (Dreamcast)


“Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (to give its full...”

Written on: 22/10/2008 by TOMLEECEE (121 reviews written)

Good Points
Great story
Decent voice acting
Nice graphics
Two seperate overlapping adventures
Uwe Boll isn't involved

Bad Points
Some overly obscure puzzles
Lots of text to trawl through
Game-ruining glitch when playing as Carnby

General Comments
Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (to give its full name) is the forth game in the long running series that essentially kick started the whole survival horror genre way back in 1992. Spawning such immitators as Resident Evil and even Silent Hill, Alone in the Dark was a truly revolutionary title in it's day, combining claustrophobic camera angles and chilling sound to create a trully disturbing experience.

So, after 2 sequels, how does Alone in the Dark measure up to the rest of the survival horror pack? Quite well, actually.

You get to play as either Edward Carnby, Paranormal Investigator or Aline Cedrac, erm, Extreme Archaeologist and must unravel the mysterious goings on over at Shadow Island. The fact that it's called Shadow Island in the first place would set alarm bells ringing in my ears, but it's the disappearance of Carnby's best mate that the pair are interested in. Cue much running about pre-rendered spooky locales such as a crumbling mansion, abandoned church, a swamp and underground caverns. Add a sprinkling of slightly Lovecraftian horror, shooting beasties and collecting arcane artifacts and you've got a fairly decent little adventure game.

The pre-rendered backgound graphics are generally of a very high standard and some interesting effects - such as the real-time flashlight - lend an air of finesse to the whole experience. However, rather than just a graphical showcase, the flashlight can also be used as a device to solve puzzles - of which there are many. Some of which, I must add, are fairly obscure and will leave you scratching your head; or are just plain confusing and involve reading reams and reams of text in order to discover clues as to what you're meant to do.

As with most games of this ilk, Alone in the Dark offers you the chance to use some spectacular weaponry on the evil creatures that pop out of the ether to rip your head off. My personal favourite? The triple barrelled shotgun, of course.

So, while The New Nightmare is a worthy entrant in the Alone in the Dark pantheon, there is one major flaw I must bring to light: Quite far into the game, while playing as Carnby, there is a sequence that sees you traverse a cliffed area and venture down into a sort of basement where a macabre surgeon is experimenting on a subject. Due to some kind of glitch, the cutscene makes a crouching Carnby shuffle into the corner and never stop, rendering the cutscene un-endable. Control is lost and so it is impossible to go any further with Carnby's side of the adventure. I'm not sure if this glitch is only present in some batches of the game and is rectified in later versions, but it destroyed my enjoyment of The New Nightmare and no matter how many times I re-loaded my save and tried again I couldn't bypass this cutscene.

You still get the whole Aline side of the game, which is just as much fun and shock-packed as Carnby's, but to have Carnby's adventure ruined by this careless oversight is unforgiveable.

  • Value For Money

  • Graphics

  • Addiction Level

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