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 Alone in the Dark

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PostSubject: Alone in the Dark   Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:29 am

The original Alone in the Dark (1992) is one of the most memorable games ever made. It is a perfect blend of action, adventure and puzzle solving with very atmospheric graphics, sound effects and music.

The game uses a 3rd person 3D engine with fixed camera angles. Some people used to complain that the camera angles sometimes were rather "awkward" during battle. Personally I only found this to add to the claustrophobic feeling and challenge of the game.

The game was based on Lovecraft, although not a favourite author of mine, the storyline of the game suited it perfectly.

Another strong point is that the game for the most part is quite non-linear. However there is one big flaw. You will get stuck late in the game if you lack a certain object, it is not possible to go back and retrieve it!

The first sequel, Alone in the Dark 2 (1994), is perhaps my favourite of the three games. It is more linear than the first one but it is longer and has more action. The title is a bit funny because in this game you are never in the dark and never alone, that is if you consider zombies as company! There is one major bug that makes it possible to bypass the first section of the game. It was probably there for debug reasons and should have been removed.

Alone in the Dark 3 takes place in a "Western" ghost town. I used to look forward to this third instalment with anticipation hoping it would combine the best elements from the two previous games. The game turned out a big disappointment. Sure, the puzzles and the atmospheric surroundings kept you going to the end, but the game was extremely linear. There were some action situations but they were not particularly well designed, and you never got a chance to explore the ghost town. The ending was challenging in itself but rather disappointing considering this was supposed to be a "Western".
In addition the game seemed unfinished. I think the designers originally may have wanted to do it differently but that someone in charge suddenly said: "Don't do it like that, do it like this! And have it finished on Monday!" For instance in one place after solving a puzzle you are rewarded with a box of ammo. Shortly after you invariably lose all weapons and ammo without having met anyone you could shoot!
By replacing some of the enemies and items you have to collect and making it possible to move around more, the game would have been vastly better, and worthy of the two predecessors. This could have been done and at the same time have all the puzzles kept.
Lastly there are a few bugs in the game, including one near the start where an enemy shoots at you without you getting hurt.


Last edited by Admin on Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:06 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Alone in the Dark   Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:22 pm

The first Alone in the Dark was great. It really freaked me out as a kid. A very clever and well executed game. The 3rd was in my opinion the best even though it was more linear.
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PostSubject: Re: Alone in the Dark   Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:17 pm

Sure. The 3rd was good. But it didn't quite live up to my expectations and therefore its flaws became more noticeable, to me anyway. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Alone in the Dark   Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:03 am

Lately I have replayed all three games and I would like to moderate my criticism of the third game a bit. It has a lot of varied action scenes, puzzles and locales, and it is very atmospheric.

However, the first sections of the game (saloon and prison) would have been greatly improved by being less linear and this would have been very easy for the designers to achieve. The player should have been able to move around more, exploring the town, (the two un-killable villains preventing this should have been removed). Several necessary items should have been replaced so as to be found somewhere around town, as well as some killable villains leaving useful items, in addition the prison front door should have been unlocked giving the player the option to enter the sheriff's office and the roof of the prison building before entering the saloon, but still having to find the secret passage from the saloon to get to the inner part of the prison for some necessary items needed to finish the roof part. This way the game would have been much more varied and it would have given the player the opportunity to solve many of the puzzles in no particular order.

I was never a fan of the section where your character was a puma. In my personal opinion this could have been left out.

The game having a Western theme I had expected the ending to be a tough fight-out with the game's main villains, like with the pirates of Alone in the Dark 2. This did not happen however and that was a big disappointment.

This last disappointment and my dissatisfaction with the linear gameplay especially in the first part of the game made me disregard the many good aspects of the game.

But I did indeed like the romantic conclusion!  Smile
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