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 Alone in the Dark Impressions
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Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 07:53
I was looking forward to Alone in the Dark 5, it looked like it was going to be a dark horror story with a realistic believable backdrop, and I was hoping the characters were going to match up. The lighting and features in the tech demos with the chinese lady were impressive too.

It starts off promising, waking up to a nicely used depth of field and blurring effect, having to look around and blink to clear your vision as you try to figure out where the hell you are.

Unfortuntely as soon as you gain control of your character things start to go downhill. You can choose between 1st and 3rd person views. 1st is good for aiming but you turn far too slowly to move or look around effectively. In 3rd person for some reason they' ve chosen to use the left analog stick to turn and move forwards and backwards, but only a tiny bit of the diagonal arc makes you turn and advance together - which makes the whole experience very jarring, unintuitive and slow, often leading to frustrating deaths. The right analog stick only moves your vision a few degrees in each direction, rendering itself pretty useless.

Im two levels in so far, and I wont give away any story elements, but believable and horror is far from what Eden have achieved here. The pacing is all wrong, being guilty of forcing an intentionally clueless character (and equally clueless player) down a very linear path of objectives - like go to ledge A, now wait for triggered cutscene, now go to door B and use object C. You' re given no build up, context or reason to do any of this, all the while random NPCs are being introduced and killed off within minutes and sometimes even seconds!

You have no idea what' s going to happen next, and all game events feel random and forced. Whats worse, they show the game' s credits between every save, and the saves are usually right in the middle of an action sequence or cutscene. The letters WTF came to mind often, and I was tempted to see who was to blame for all the games faults.

Most forced was the driving sequence near the beginning, advertised on the back of the box as ' blockcuster action' , you effectively just steer a badly handling car through a set of hoops, turn here, ramp there, falling building with conveniently placed hole to drive through. Its tedious and predictable.

One thing that was cool was the fire, but its like they were so proud of the fact they made fire that spreads and consumes realistically.. they used it all the time! They use it for no reason and often just to create gameplay objectives with handily placed fire extinguishers next to them. Sometimes to create more standard ' put out fire to proceed' objectives they just use fire that has its spread and consume function turned off so it does what its told, while you acquire ' slightly more awkward to get' fire extinguisher. So in the end, you never really get a chance to be afraid of the fire.

To top it off the background music, voice acting and characters are just annoying - they' re not even B movie.

If I had to give this game a disappointment rating, it would be somewhere between Jericho and Condemned 2. But I still have the majority of the game to play, so if anything changes I' ll let you know.
< Message edited by choupolo -- 21 Jun 08 0:01:51 >

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 08:01

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 08:18
Oh well... thanks for the heads up man. I was actually going to go put money down on the game today but between your impressions and the review scores I saw on Joystiq I think I' ll pass.

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 09:06
I would say rent it if you' re still interested.

You can actually skip ahead in the game without cheating if you want, with its DVD-style chapter select, so you can go right up to the last level if you want. Its even got a ' previously on Alone in the Dark' style recap movie showing you all the best bits of the cutscenes prior, so you dont actually have to play the majority of the game if you dont want to!

EDIT: I read the Eurogamer review a few minutes ago. They liked it for the most part, but brought up the same flaws. Thats the most favourable one I can find however.
< Message edited by choupolo -- 21 Jun 08 1:52:28 >

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 10:12
Did it ever look promising?
Vx Chemical

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 14:45

Did it ever look promising?

It features some nice things and effects but over all not really..

After the comments Atari are making on the industri, i dont think we should ever buy one of their games again.

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 20:25

Did it ever look promising?

Well I guess I' m a sucker for this genre of games. The initial E3 2k6 trailer was vaguely interesting.

and this screen in itself was cool...

But sadly nothing as cool so far.
< Message edited by choupolo -- 21 Jun 08 12:30:11 >

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 21, 2008 23:19
It did, a good game with that engine would have been fantastic...

I was going to get it for the 360 but I' ll wait for the ps3 version and see if they fix things :)

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RE: Alone in the Dark Impressions - Jun 23, 2008 10:06
Ahhhhhhhh, I thought this game was Silent Hill for a moment...

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