When people think of survival horror the first game that pops to mind in Resident Evil. What many don’t know is Alone in the Dark, a game not many people have played or heard of, came out first. The problem is, Alone in the Dark never got commercial success. The only game in the franchise that got any press was the fourth one called The New Nightmare. Before the 2008 version came out, this was considered to be the worst out of the four.
The reason? It ripped off Resident Evil. While it’s understandable that fans would be pissed off at first, the game isn’t even that bad of a game if you give it a chance.
The best part of the game is the story. Edward Carnby’s friend is mysteriously murdered on Shadow Island, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. So he and Aline Cedrac go to investigate, get separated when a monster blows up their plane and find an estate overrun by monsters.
While the plot itself isn’t anything grand, what happens over the course of the story is pretty scary. We learn about this family that lived in this estate, their Native American Joseph Edenshaw, the last witch doctor of the Abkani Tribe and how these monsters came to mess things up. The background of the entire estate and family is what makes the story creepy.
On top of that, a great horror game needs a creepy location. While outside the mansion is boring to look at, the interior is amazing. The mansion is this he Victorian with a massive library, several bedrooms, a foyer with a chandelier and a creepy attic with an old woman living in it. There’s just something about Victorian mansions that make them creepy and perfect settings for horror.
Yes, it is a PS1 game and these graphics do show that, but it’s the later PS1 era graphics which looks great for PS1. The backgrounds look great today but the character designs look dated.
Again, the gameplay is exactly like Resident Evil but somehow controls better. This is one of those instances where you have to play the game for yourself to know what’s going on. There’s also this element where if you turn on the lights the monsters disappear. On paper that sounds stupid but story-wise, it makes sense since these monsters are being of darkness and are repelled by light. That also means that the lights will go out after you solve certain puzzles so watch out for that.
As far as the sound goes it’s above average. Carby’s voice is nice and fits the character, but Aline’s voice is a bit too annoying. Edenshaq sounds fine so in all, it’s the females who sound like crap.
While it’s understandable why Alone in the Dark fans would be pissed, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare still has plenty of redeeming qualities that make it worth playing even today.
Categories: Video Games