Alone in the dark

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
Produced by:
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Adults Only
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Reviewed By: Mark T
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Genre:
Rating: 1 of 5 (awful)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 2 of 5 (heavy)
Adult Content: 2 of 5 (heavy)


Alone in the dark.  Illustration copyrighted.


Central Park was not built as a haven for the people of New York; it was built for something else entirely. The truth can no longer be contained.

In one apocalyptic night, Edward Carnby must fight unimaginable forces to reveal the earth-shattering secret of Central Park.

THEY SAID CENTRAL PARK WAS FOR THE PEOPLE…THEY LIED.

I’ve been survival horror fan since the first alone in the dark all those years ago, and when I heard there was a new game in production I jumped with joy. Seeing the amazingly cinematic trailer only heightened my excitement and then by luck I was invited by to see this amazing game in their London studio. What I saw there had me in such a state of awe; I had no idea about the dark secret that lay within the game. Much like Central Park, this game hides a secret.

Alone in the Dark

Gameplay Before I get onto that though lets start off with game play. This game is over the top and cinematic and really has you thinking on your feet. From the moment your rushing through a burning building to the frantic car chase through the crumbling city the action never lets up. The wow factor in this game is through the roof, friends and family came in my room to see what I was playing and ended up staying for the whole time.

One scene has you rushing through central park whilst being chased by the rather stupidly named Vampirz , these are crazy bat things, that’s the best I can describe them, crazy bat things.

The game is hard, very hard in places and is a real thinker as well. However there’s an ingenious device for those less apt at playing video games, which is very similar to a dvd menu. That’s right you can skip scenes and if you skip enough that you don’t get the story don’t worry there’s always an awesome Previously on Alone in the dark segment that will get you up to speed.

Alone in the Dark

Fire is a big part of this game, it’s a pyromaniacs dream come true, you can set fire to almost anything. Also fire is the only way to kill some creatures in the game, whilst this can get really tricky it really adds to the tension, trying to line up a shot that will hit the fissure and light up your foe.

Also the inventory screen is in game, in fact it’s in your jacket, just open it up and combine items such as a spray and a lighter to create a flame thrower, it’s a lot of fun messing about with this game, and if you really want to you can spend hours setting up little traps for the creatures in the free roaming sections.

The game slows down a little towards the end but this actually adds the game, you’re allowed to wonder central park and you start to become really suspicious, wondering what could be lurking in the shadows.

Graphics

Well the graphics are very good, however there are a few technical issues that I wish they ironed out. One bug had my car suddenly start flying when I hit one of the zombies, I soon ended up in a lake and my character began to float on top like he was walking on water. They are there but you’ll hardly notice them most of the time. However the rest of the game looks amazing and this is going to shock you but Central Park IS central park, perfectly mapped out except for all the evil of course.

Alone in the Dark

Sound

There is one place where Alone in the dark really shines and that is in the music. A Bulgarian choir was used and the effect is phenomenal. The theme tune is so captivating I found myself humming it on the way to the gym once, rather loudly as well. I have even bought the full soundtrack, which I totally enjoy, I had a Bulgarian friend from Bible College translate and the lyrics fit very much with how Edward Carnby is feeling at that time.

The voice acting…not so much, they seem like their not really enjoying themselves, like their heart really isn’t in it, but this still doesn’t take away from the story and the tension amazingly.

The sound effects are great although a few odd niggles now and again over gunshot sounds.

Violence

It’s a violent game there’s no other way to put it…you’ll be smacking zombies with flaming two by fours and blowing up creatures all over the place, blood is mostly aesthetic such as the healing screen which is on your body and the blood packs which can be used to lure Ratz.

Language

There’s a lot of swears in this game, a whole lot, the f word is used by far the most by Edward Carnby but unlike other games with swearing I found it suited the character a little, he’s a gruff everyman.

Alone in the Dark

Story

The biggest downfall of the game is the story, not that it isn’t good, it’s brilliant but it revolves around something extremely dark and evil…I’ll explain later.

View (spoiler)

Ok this game has buckets load of Satan in it, it revolves all around him and even the main enemy is in fact the devil. When Light Bringer is quickly translated to Lucifer and I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. However no Satanic symbols are used throughout the game just to clear that up, it’s only in the story where he rears his ugly head. There is nothing really occult in the game but still the over use of Lucifer is quite disturbing. The theology is all over the place but it’s a video game so that’s to be expected. Just with all the praise I’ve given this game in game play and scene setting just keep in mind that your in for a bumpy ride.

Overall

This is one of those games I couldn’t put down no matter how much I wanted to, it sucks you in and holds you hostage, it’s short but it’s a great ride just don’t’ expect not to be disturbed. And keep in mind the dark secret that’s lurking around the corner.

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Year of Release — 2008

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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