Alone In The Dark Reviews

  • WeisGuy9WeisGuy9736,501
    05 May 2009 31 Oct 2019
    94 40 50
    Here we have a game that has a really great concept for the story....and that is all it has. Not having the intestinal fortitude to complete the game myself, I will give you my impression of the game from the parts I did play. If you would rather skip all the reading to follow, I will tell up front that this is probably the steamiest pile of crap ever imprinted to disc. If not...then, are you ready? Let's break it down.

    Genre:
    Survival Horror

    Game Play:
    You play the game as Edward Carnby in an apocalyptic New York City invaded by hideous evil. There are guns available as weapons but the scarcity of ammo (a la Resident Evil) will keep you sticking mostly with melee attacks to defend yourself from the deformed fiends infesting the city. Notice I said "defend" as you cannot kill ANY enemies with melee weapons or even guns...only with fire. This is normally accomplished by finding containers of oil to pour on them and then setting them ablaze. Oh, did I mention that containers of oil are more rare than 100 carat diamonds? You access your inventory by opening the front of your coat and looking down to see what you have in the pockets inside. This seems a really cool idea until you notice that you only have like four pockets....and until you find out that enemies don't stop doing what they're doing just because this Carnby idiot needs to check his coat pockets. The AI in the game is also a bit quirky. At times you will be stunningly outflanked and overwhelmed. Other times several enemies will stand patiently nearby as you open your coat to laboriously construct gasoline bombs to hurl upon their unfortunate heads. Which brings up the concept in the game of scrounging mundane items to piece together into WEDs (Weapons of Evilness Destruction). Great idea, tediously laborious in execution. Are you seeing a pattern yet?
    Rating: 2/5 stars

    Controls:
    The only fault with the controls is...everything about the controls. Our intrepid Mr. Carnby moves like a glacier headed uphill. This is doubly frustrating considering that all the enemies in the game are as agile as Chinese acrobats. After dying for the 10th time at the hands of the lowliest enemy in the game who hops around you like a flea on amphetamines while you lethargically keep trying to turn and face him, you'll be ready to drive a screwdriver through your forehead and swirl it a few times for good measure. Which brings up the camera, over which you have absolutely no control. This would not be a bad thing if the camera would ever look in the direction of enemies, objectives, items of interest or even somewhere in the general vicinity of where the game wants you to go. The right stick control for melee combat is great. You can easily flow strikes from side to side, vertical to horizontal. You just can't hit anything with whatever you happen to be swinging. If you do manage to get your weapon headed in the general direction of an enemy, they normally hit you before you can complete your swing and interrupt your attack. Fun, huh?
    Rating: 1/5 stars

    Sound:
    The musical score is quite excellent and the varied selections do an excellent job of conveying the mood of any particular scene. Job well done.
    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Graphics:
    The graphics overall are outstanding and the fire in particular is nothing short of absolutely gorgeous - it even spreads. The graphics in the set-piece scenes are truly spectacular, if you can get past your frustrated hostility at the developers long enough to look around and notice them. I have to take time here to tell you about one set-piece in particular. This is a sequence where you drive a car through the streets of New York to reach Central Park, where the majority of the game takes place. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? As you drive maniacally through the streets, they begin caving in, buildings topple around you and some monstrously huge demon is eating the streets behind you so don't slow down whatever you do. Still sounds good, yes? Wait until I tell you about how the spastic driving controls send you careening off into chasms or smashing headlong into walls at the slightest movement of the stick, unless of course you're at one of the sections where even moving the stick as far as you possibly can won't turn the car through a gentle curve. Or how going over a 2 foot high ramp of about 6 degrees inclination will send you carooming 100 feet in the air. Or how you can easily plow right over a 12 ton boulder but somehow manage to stick on a curb. Or how this driving set-piece seems to be about 87 minutes long and if you crash one time or let the demon catch up to you, it's game over, go back to the beginning. No checkpoints. It rocks!
    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Co-op:
    None

    Multiplayer:
    None

    Replayability:
    You're kidding me, right?
    Rating: 1/5 stars

    ScoHo Info:
    There are lots of achievements (49) in the game. Only having suffered long enough to obtain a few of them I have no first-hand info on their obtainability. Scanning through the list, you'll find all achievements available in single player (obviously), and for the most part they seem story-related, so the game shouldn't be too tough to get 1K in as long as you can get through it.
    Rating: 3/5 stars

    As you have most likely figured out by now, this is a game full of great and innovative ideas poorly executed. Extremely poorly executed. I never tell anyone not to play a game. After all, some say potato, some say potahto. However, if you choose to play this game, please take my advice and consume about a dozen qualudes before you start. It will go much more smoothly.

    Overall rating: 0.5/5 stars

    Smiley rating: cry out of cryredfacesmileclaptoast
    .5
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Ellen...that was a silly.comment. Arcania is completable. Just not one achievement is obtainable. And dark souls garbage? OK. You must be bad at it then as its a highly praised game. I have played 50+ titles worse than this and the ones you listed... And to name a couple ever played Raven Squad? Darkest of Days? Jumper? Hannah Montana? Americas Army? Stormrise? No? Ok quiet then. You have no knowledge.
    Posted on 03 Dec 16 at 03:48
    TheBongoFuryI think I am one of the very few than who has completed this game.
    The entire thing has some new mechanics, which is great.
    Until you start the first driving level. And check your inventory. Which is switching and doubting if you made the right choice.
    Take a molotov cocktail? Or a blood pack? Or the ammo and the bandages? Games like Resident Evil 5 inventory makes the inventory in AOtD 2008 dwarfish and small.

    And then you go to Central Park. And get stuck in the road. And walk stretches of land and be lucky to find an ambulance for blood packs. Or let alone, one of those things with 4 wheels that makes distances less long. Oh. Right. CARS!!!!
    And you meet "Humanz". With 5 ammo, and you have to hit them very specific into their body in some small line like lava thing. Which is hard as they rush on you faster than the zombies in Left4Dead when a Boomer bursts in your surroundings.

    I finished the game. And well. When I was out of games......I went for the final achievement of combining items....And 1000G was there although I am in a very select group that went this far.......
    Posted by TheBongoFury on 05 Apr 18 at 20:20
    WeisGuy9The amount of intestinal fortitude required for this feat can scarce be imagined. I commend you!
    Posted by WeisGuy9 on 11 Dec 18 at 17:33
  • Draconic LordDraconic Lord106,710
    27 Mar 2011 29 Mar 2011
    37 1 7
    This is a true challenge to review but here goes my best shot.

    Story

    You start the game in a room filled with strangers, some of them not very friendly and fond of you, talking about a certain stone and the path of light. After a bit, you discover two things: some serious paranormal stuff is going on with the walls “eating” people and you have no clue who you are. Of course, if you played any other AITD you know exactly who our character is, but that can be considered a spoiler so it’s better not to head that way.

    So, if that wasn’t enough to ruin your day, you are now faced with a burning building that’s collapsing around you and of course, you need to escape. And that’s just the first of the many amazing action scenes this game has to offer.

    The game plays like a TV show, much like Alan Wake. The Story is divided in several episodes, each with different checkpoints. The interesting thing is that you can skip ahead sections of the game if you want to. Only the final part of the game requires you to do some specific actions before you can unlock it.

    Overall, it should last you around 15 hours. It doesn’t have any difficulty settings, so only one run is required for the achievement hoes out there.

    Gameplay

    This is where the sh*t hits the fan. I’ll be honest here. Not everyone will be able to stand the controls (AKA, the majority of the players). I’ll try to resume the different areas of the game.

    First things first: movement and actions. You’ll notice how awkward it is to control your character once you start playing. Left joystick is for walking, Right joystick is for the camera, problem is, walking doesn’t feel that natural, it’s a bit hard to control his direction. That’s problem number 1.

    Number 2 is the overflow of controls in dire situations. Oh yes, get ready. I’ll explain in a bit but I need to clear something out of the way first.

    The enemies in AITD are like the Necromorphs in Dead Space (I can already hear the *gasps* because I just compared these 2 games). In DS, you could headshot the enemies and hit them in the torso (almost) all you wanted, they wouldn’t die. You had to dismember them. In AITD, you can shoot the humanoid enemies all you want, the most you’ll do is knock them out after lots of rounds. You need to burn them, more specifically, the cracks in their body. How do you do that?

    Your weapons of choice are fire bullets (I’ll get there soon enough), cans of spray + lighter, and explosives or set something made of wood on fire and wack them with it. Yes, fire plays a big role in this game.

    You remember those fire bullets I mentioned? That’s made by combining ammo and flammable liquid. That’s right, there’s a crafting system at work here.

    You create your arsenal using duct tape, bottles filled with flammable liquid and tissues. Combine a bottle and duct tape, and you’ll get a “sticky bomb”. Combine a bottle and a tissue, and you’ll get a Molotov cocktail, and that’s only if you used a glass bottle. With a plastic bottle you got yourself a time bomb.

    Confused yet? But wait, there’s more!

    To heal yourself, you have to press left or right in your d-pad so you enter in a strange first person mode where you can see your wounds. IF you have any health sprays, you can spray your wounds and you’ll heal yourself. If you are too badly injured, you need to use a bandage to stop the bleeding or you die after a certain period of time.

    Speaking of first person, you enter first person mode every time you want to shoot your gun. Why? Dunno, guess they thought it would make more sense. That, or they just wanted an excuse to add BLINKING TO THE FREAKING GAME. Click the right joystick and your character will blink. Spam the thing so you can clear out the “goo” certain enemies hit you with.

    So as you can see, you need to carry a freakin’ lot of stuff, uh? Bottles, duct tape, ammo, tissues, bandages, sprays to use in combination to the lighter, health sprays, ah yes, and batteries for your lantern because in certain places it’s really, really dark. Guess you have a lot of inventory space, eh? Yeah, ye wished. The game goes old school here. All you can carry is what you can fit in your jacket. That means you have to be really, really picky about what you carry around.

    And guess what, the inventory works in real-time just like (again) in Dead Space. Every time you enter “inventory mode”, you have to worry if some enemy isn’t about to bash your brains out, but unlike in Dead Space, YOU ARE LOOKING AT YOURSELF, not at an awesome hologram that allows you to see if some Necromorph is about to rip you a new one.

    Let’s do a short recap:
    - You ALWAYS need fire to kill the humanoid enemies.
    - You need to carry stuff that makes fire.
    - You need to use that flammable stuff fast if you want to kill your enemies.
    - You have low inventory space.
    - You need to combine stuff to make more effective weapons.

    Now, try doing this with bad movement controls and you are trying to access your inventory in dire situations where something goes wrong and suddenly you are out of fire bullets or out of spray, while the enemies are happily about to strike you. It’s a mess. “Certainly there’s a way to select the item you want without using the inventory screen” you may ask, and yes. Press LB and RB and he’ll happily go thru every usable item in the left/right side of his jacket. Want that spray real bad because you are about to be hit by the enemies? Start pressing RB and hope your lighter is already in your left hand.

    That’s my main problem with this game. They tried to insert so much stuff at the same time, the controls are a mess. Sure, they are workable, but they aren’t user friendly. And that’s a big problem. For me, the game managed to grab my attention and I resisted and learned and eventually got used to the controls but I am sure that many, many, MANY other gamers would just throw the remote against the wall.

    Sound / Graphics

    The music is amazing, simple as that. They really did a good job with the music that plays in intense moments, with mysterious and strange lyrics while sh*t is exploding around you, or you are hanging for your life and trying to climb to safety while (once again) sh*t is exploding. Master piece when it comes to big action moments!

    The dialogues can be pretty funny as well, again, reminding me of some kind of action movie.

    The graphics are good, with great attention to details. Like I said, your character gets wounded but you also see those wounds and after healing, the cloth stays ripped. It’s those little details that show they cared.

    As I said before, Fire is pretty important in this game, and it shows. It spreads, it dies down, it burns down debris that block your path *HINT, HINT*, and it’s pretty good to look at. They really did a number on this, and considering only Far Cry 2 comes close to this realism, they deserve a pat in the back.

    My big complain is the lack of diverse enemies. You have 3 types of “critters”, one very original, 3 humanoids and bosses. That’s it. I’m one of those players that when it comes to games with monsters, I’m all up for the craziest stuff the developers can come up with.

    Achievements
    Awesome list. There’s no difficulty achievements so it’s just one run, boom, that’s it, campaign related achievements are done.

    Lots of achievements are related to actions you SHOULD be doing, like creating bombs, molotovs, fire bullets, etc.

    And of course, there’s a list of goofy ones, like shooting a gold fish (the heck?) or kicking 10 “Ratz” for the achievement “Goal!”.

    The main problem is the “collectibles”, aka, the roots. The good news is that you MUST “collect” at least 75 out of 100 to actually complete the game AND their locations are shown in the GPS so it’s not some huge gigantic “grind” like the flags in Assassin’s Creed.

    The bad news is that they are still pretty boring to get.

    Overall:
    As I said in the beginning, I enjoyed this game. Sure, it had clunky controls, but it shows they really cared about this game while making an awesome action experience mixed with survival horror.

    And as a gamer since the Famicom (or NES for our American friends) generation, I have had so many bad controls experiences it was somewhat easy for me to adapt, but for the newer gamers, the ones in this game are probably going to hurt like hell.

    6/10 -> A good game ruined by poorly designed controls.

    EDITS: Several typos and I'm sure there's plenty more. English is not my main language, so bear with me.wink
    3.0
  • Aura of HeroismAura of Heroism395,263
    16 Jul 2009
    35 10 5
    I've had this game for quite a long time and I just got around to giving it a review. There are quite a few problems with this game, but I dont think it was as bad as all the reviews, (not just the ones on this site, but all reviews.) The controls were a bit lackluster, mostly in the areas of melee battle and driving. If you took all of five minutes to practice it, killing things with firebullets and bombs became a breeze so there was no need to kill hardly anything with melee attacks. The storyline to the game and the way that the game was set up to resemble a movie was fantastic. The graphics for the game were great. The soundtrack for this game was a huge success as it was done by Olivier Deriviere (who also did the soundtrack for Obscure for you horror game fans.) If your reading this because your thinking about getting this game, hear this: Rent it first because its not a game for everyone. However, in playing it, actually give it a chance, play through at least until you GET to central park. Since up until that point your trapped in a building and it isnt until central park that you get to experience the games style of play. Yes, it gets frustrating when you die, but often times there are very simple ways of killing the enemies that kill you, you just have to look for them. Overall I would rate this game a 8.5/10. The only dragging down factor is some of the controls. Everything else about this game was great.
    4.0
  • HWNDarksideHWNDarkside906,182
    04 Feb 2009
    35 20 12
    Did anyone test this game before releasing it???

    Alone In The Dark has by far the worst controls of any game I've ever played. I cannot believe the clunky Resi-Evil-spin-on-the-spot is still being used. It was bad enough in 1996, but did add something to game and helped increase the tension (mainly due to lack of control) Here it's like driving a tractor in the 24 hour LeMans race. Switching to first-person doesn't help much - the controls are fixed so left-handers are doomed to fail.

    The item menu is a good idea - opening up your coat to reveal slots on each side - but is terrible in execution and made even worse by the fact the game carries on around while struggle to mix yourself a new molotov cocktail.

    Combat - God help you! A nice idea using the right-stick to swing items around but given everything dies by flame only it's pretty pointless. At one point 2 Brutes (knife-throwing Humanz) stood patiently for me at one end of the corridor, throwing the odd knife, while I stood in plain sight building bombs. They just stood there. Oooooo that was SOOOO scary!!

    Driving - apparently Central Park has approximately 50% of the gravity of rest of the planet. And everything is made of ice. Certainly makes for an interesting driving experience, especially when performed through first-person view.

    Camera - no control whatsoever - you WILL look where the game wants you to regardless of the fact the thing about to kill you is in the opposite direction

    All of this just sucks the fun out of the game. There are plus points, but as with Assassins Creed, they are totally destroyed by the sheer frustration of actually playing the game.

    Avoid.
    1.0
  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    11 4 6
    There's been a lot of talk since the hype from Resident Evil 4 died down, that talk consisting of how the survival horror genre is dead. The most compelling evidence for that argument is the fact that this game exists. Alone in the Dark is absolutely abhorrent in every conceivable way from top to bottom, an obviously rushed title that every gamer should avoid.

    I like to start my reviews by breaking down the controls, and unluckily for us, this game gives us plenty to talk about. The controls are incredibly clunky and awkward, and you will be struggling through the first 3 chapters to grasp them. Down on the D-Pad opens your inventory menu, LB and RB cycle weapons and items in your left and right hands, A is the action button and is also held to run, X is jumping. RT is used to go into first person mode and fire your gun or spray can, but Y can also be used to switch from first to third person. You'll need to keep this in mind, because the game is basically unplayable in 3rd person. The terrible movement controls will have you rotating the stick, trying to make Edward move in the direction you're clearly moving in. First person viewing makes this a little easier, and is the only thing this game did right. Melee combat is horrendous, and forces you into 3rd person mode. You move the right stick in the direction you want to swing your weapon from, then follow through in the movement to swing. Sounds simple, but the game has a tough time reading if you did a full swing, half swing, or even moved at all. Because of the weapon combos available to you throughout the game, I recommend skipping melee combat altogether.

    The graphics in the game are dated, but weren't anything to write home about in 2008 either. The enemies are very generic, just possessed humans, rats, and bats (creatively named Humanz, Ratz, and Vampirz) and a few very forgettable bosses. The story is based on the 2005 film of the same name, which is based on the 1992 game of the same name, which is based on the 1982 film of the same name...Something went wrong somewhere I suppose. The plot is decent but unfulfilling, it's just badly voiced cutscenes ("I don't have your stone, and fuck you anyway!") jammed in between repetitive and clunky gameplay. The story is mercifully short, but the game itself is extended (for you achievement hunters) by the Roots of Evil, the collectibles that require you to traverse the park and explore areas to burn them.

    There's not a whole lot to say about this game, but I saved the worst for last...The driving sequences. Driving in Alone in the Dark is an absolute nightmare. The smallest movement of the left stick will send the car spinning out over the road, very frustrating when speed is the key to completing the driving sections. You will get stuck on invisible obstacles, go flying for no apparent reason, glitch through the map, blow up, and fall into unseeable holes in the ground so often during these sequences that it makes you just want to put the game down and play Call of Duty 4 or something. I'm not sure who let this game be on the market, but they don't deserve their job anymore. If not for the allure of a quick and easy 1000G, everyone would be well advised to stay away. Far away. The only thing this game has going for it is that it's better than the movie.

    1/5
    1.0
  • Dr SartanDr Sartan361,881
    24 Aug 2013
    7 0 1
    This has to have been one of, if not the absolute worst game I have played on the Xbox, and I've played some pretty bad games. Yeah, there's no sugar-coating it here. It's a good thing I only rented it, because if I had spent money to buy it...*pow*.

    Before launching into what makes this game incredibly horrible, let me say what was good. First, I found the story to be pretty interesting. The main character, Carnby, wakes to find he doesn't know who he is, but quickly discovers that an unspeakable evil has been unleashed on the world and that he's at the center of events. After learning about the myth behind the evil, and unlocking the secrets of those who contained the evil centuries prior, Carnby comes face to face with the enemy and must make a choice that will affect all of mankind. Yeah, the basic story has been done time and again, but the details (which I'll skip here) make this version of the story pretty good. I will also say that the graphics (particularly the depictions of fire and the textures on the characters) are really well done, and the musical sound track was amazing.

    Unfortunately, everything else about the game destroys what was good about it. The game mechanics and controls suck, and that's putting it mildly. The game seems to prefer that the player play in 3rd-person mode, but it is incredibly awkward to control Carnby in this mode, and you cannot control the camera. If you want to see what is behind you, walk in a small circle to turn yourself around. Need to slightly turn to open a car door? Walk about 10 ft from the car, make a big loop, and line yourself up with the door so you can open it. Seriously??? I found myself always wanting to play in 1st-person mode since it felt more natural, but the game disagreed with my decision. Each time I'd aim to throw something, or a mini-cutscene came up, or something else, bam, right back into 3rd-person mode...this made combat frustrating. Speaking of, the combat system is so infuriating. In order to kill anything, you have to have some form of fire, either fire bullets, liquid bottles you can shoot, spray-can + lighter, or some combination of these. Fire bullets are the easiest, but your gun can only hold 12 bullets (fewer if you're still using the 9mm gun), and if you've got 3-4 enemies charging after you which each take at least two good shots to kill, and they're constantly jumping around in random directions...yeah, 12 bullets ain't usually enough. Once you reload...no more fire bullets (boohoo) until you open your inventory and manually combine bullets and flammable liquid to create more. Oh wait, the bad guys won't stop and take a smoke break while you tediously create more fire bullets (or whatever combination of stuff you need). And if you don't have anything to make fire, sure, go ahead, shoot with normal bullets, or swing away with sledge hammers or pieces of pipe (that seem to be in the stupidest places in the game...who leaves a fireman's axe on a baseball infield???), you'll just tick them off, but you won't kill anything.

    Finally, let me rant about driving cars in this game. Honestly, who the hell thought that this part of the game would be fun? The physics of this game are terrible to say the least, but driving takes this experience to all new heights. I mean that literally...hit a small stone or clip the edge of a crack in the road, and you're sent soaring 50ft in the air. At certain times, the game forces you to drive at high speeds to stay alive, but at the same time also forces you to navigate through very tight openings between trees, debris, or other vehicles. The tiniest movement of the joystick seriously causes the vehicle to over-correct, spinning you out of control or smashing you into whatever immovable obstacle is closest. Add to this that there are small invisible barriers that are no less obstacles than the things you can see. And of course, the game developers had to add smoke and dust in an already-dark environment, and shake the camera often, to blind you to what is directly ahead. There's even one section where the game pops up a "no-so-helpful tip" while you're driving, but places it right in your field of view so you can't see the narrow path you have to take, causing several crashes. And stay away from small cracks or curbs in the road. Your full-sized car can get hung up on 4 inches of concrete.

    In summary, this was one of the most frustrating, stupid, idiotic, moronic games I have ever played. I like the story concept, graphics and music, but there is no way that can overcome the failure of the game-play. I would not recommend this game to anyone...ever!
    .5
  • GottaBeMurphGottaBeMurphThis gamer has had their achievements removed from the site
    10 Aug 2015 10 Aug 2015
    3 10 3
    This isn't a review, as much as it is a fair warning to anyone considering this for an "easy" 1000g. If I had known what I've learned in advance, I would be far more greatful. Unfortunately that time has passed, but for those lucky few who haven't started it, heed caution.

    For a long while gaming to me has been a great pastime. Some games are easy and enjoyable which makes them fun. Alone In The Dark Inferno is not one of those games. Some are challenging but highly memorable....Surprisingly, this is where the game delivers. Unluckily for the devs, it probably shouldn't.

    This game as a whole is terribly flawed. From the moment you open the case, you realize that there are two discs w/ one serving as mostly an audio score and internationalized promotion, housing commentary and such. So with a two disc game, you would assume that this would be a crafted title that could hold merit....but you're wrong. Aside from the composition and audio tracks, this game has nothing more to deliver other than utter disappointment.



    The initial introduction doesn't really walk you through the game, it's meant to be a tutorial level but instead it leaves the gamer with more questions than answers. So if you complete the level without any primary, secondary or tertiary burns and have held back the urge to abacinate your own eyes or liquidize the discs or commit arson, then as with these fire jokes give it time. They'll really get you heated! (Zing!)

    The game progresses and although grabbing achievements is fairly easy early on. The upcoming chapters are not only cheap and boring, but it advances with no recognized tempo. The game malliciously and chaotically goes from a slow-creeping pace to loud, violently rushed and obnoxious in a second short. This style of tempo creates an imbalance that ruins the game. Mix that in with ridiculous battles that must be ended in a literal firefight with a lack of inflamable resources and you're better off surrendering because the enemies have quickly gained the advantage.

    The boss fights here are brutal, the enemies unforgiving and the character is annoying as **** which makes sense since respectively, this is how I feel about my experiences with this game. For a survival-horror game, I think the only scary part is that once you cross the point of no return. Your gamercard can never delete the frustration that grows within this game.

    All in all, I just want to say is that if you're seriously aiming for an extra 1000g, then becafeful with what you wish for. It's definitely the worst game I've ever played.

    Note: TA is kind enough to allow .5 stars as the lowest score. I would give it less.
    .5