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 Alone in the Dark Impressions
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  • Total Posts : 1773
  • Joined: Dec 02, 2005
  • Location: Manchester, England
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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