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, closely followed by the first game. It is more linear than the first one and not as spooky, 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.