Alone in the Dark - GAME Exclusive Limited Edition PC Games and Downloads
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Alone in the Dark - GAME Exclusive Limited Edition Product Details
Released on 20/06/2008
Alone in the Dark - GAME Exclusive Limited Edition Contains:
- 15cm Alone in the Dark Edward Carnby Figurine
- Alone in the Dark Artbook
- Bonus 'Making Of Alone in the Dark' DVD
- Alone in the Dark CD Audio Soundtrack
In Alone in the Dark, Central Park is hiding a secret. Built as a safe haven not only for the people of New York, but for something else entirely, generations of guardians have long protected the truth, preserving the vast parkland while the most expensive city in the world reached skyward on its fringes. Now the truth can no longer be contained. Alone in the Dark's main character paranormal investigator Edward Carnby finds himself inexplicably cast into the eye of the storm as over the course of one apocalyptic night he must uncover the earth-shattering secret behind Central Park. New York will never be the same again. Are you ready to be alone in the dark?
Inspired by the gripping style of contemporary TV dramas, Alone in the Dark delivers a new degree of narrative intensity, presented as a complete season format of episodes each containing action, twists and cliff-hangers. Bursting with innovative technology, including unprecedented environmental interaction, revolutionary physics, advanced artificial intelligence, stunning visuals, and uniquely immersive user interface, Alone in the Dark breaks gaming clichés to fulfil the next-gen promise and deliver a new kind of entertainment experience.
Alone in the Dark Features:
- Central Park: One of the world’s most iconic and best loved urban landmarks, Central Park has been accurately reproduced in Alone in the Dark using satellite data and thousands of photographs.
- Captivating story: The story of Alone in the Dark reveals the conspiracy behind Central Park and challenges beliefs on the afterlife, based on ideas and theories drawn from real-world spiritual philosophies.
- Narrative Intensity: Taking cues from blockbuster TV dramas, Alone in the Dark is told in a TV season-style narrative structure to deliver the maximum intensity throughout, keeping the Alone in the Dark player hooked.
- Real world rules: Revolutionary technology brings a new level of environmental interaction to the gameplay of Alone in the Dark, where anything you could do in real life, you can do in the game!
- Immersion: The Alone in the Dark player is plunged into the heart of the action in real-time with full movement control, in-game inventory system, on-body damage and healing system, and physiological effects.
- Photographic Rendering: Eden’s proprietary Twilight technology and rendering engine create a lavishly detailed game world for Alone in the Dark, with highly realistic and advanced cinematographic effects including depth of field, camera focus, numerous light sources, moisture, reflections and High Dynamic Range effects.
You Carnby Serious!
It's strange for the series that created the Survival Horror genre, but Alone in the Dark, much like its amnesiac main character, is searching for identity. Seven years after The New Nightmare, Eden Games have gone to great lengths to ensure this franchise rebirth stands out from anything else on the market.
Resident Evil 4 raised the bar for Survival Horror, but also threw out exploration and puzzles in favour of linear progress, over-the-shoulder shooting and adrenaline-pumping set pieces. Alone in the Dark copies the third-person camera at certain points, shifts to old-style fixed views at others, retains traditional Survival Horror hallmarks of puzzles and exploration, and does its shooting a little differently through a first-person viewpoint.
In the broader strokes of the Action Adventure genre meanwhile, you have Assassin's Creed, which received criticism for simplifying control, to the point where the game almost played itself. Alone in the Dark is the anti Assassin's Creed, bamboozling with a wealth of impressive gameplay interactions and real depth, but via an ungainly control scheme that takes some getting used to.
Constantly at conflict between ambition and execution. There are some thrillingly innovative ideas, but the reality will surprise and frustrate.
Resultantly, Alone in the Dark is constantly at conflict between ambition and execution. There are some thrillingly innovative ideas here, alluding to a developer with its own distinct direction for Survival Horror, but the reality will surprise and frustrate in equal measures.
At its height, Alone in the Dark is the most original, open-to-interpretation take on the genre. Physics, fire, intuitive inventory and common sense combine to make Alone in the Dark the thinking man's Survival Horror, a world away from the run-and gun of Resi 4; protagonist Edward Carnby the MacGyver to Leon S. Kennedy's more straightforward action hero.
You ooze, you lose
Early in Alone in the Dark you're faced with passing an oil-like ooze which sucks you into the floor. It's repelled by light, so you're advised to use your torch. Finding the battery depleted – potentially a gamebreaker in other titles – you'll soon adapt, setting aflame and carrying wooden palettes as a makeshift light source.
The same real-world smarts go for smashing doors with fire extinguishers, counter weighting a see-sawing bus with corpses at one end so you can reach the driver's door, and fashioning explosives with a handkerchief and gasoline bottle, or a flamethrower with a lighter and aerosol. The latter are improvised in Alone in the Dark's inventory, seeing Carnby look into his jacket for stored items; far more immersive than any pause menu.
Visually it's a next-gen spectacle; aurally it's evocative and impacting; and the sheer scope of the gameworld is breathtaking.
But also more frustrating. Alone in the Dark's inventory and healing are accessed in real-time, which is more realistic, and presumably done to heighten tension, but it damages gameplay. Enemies can only be dispatched using fire, so you'll frantically fumble around in first-person creating a petrol bomb or fire bullets while taking damage – meaning more standing still while you spray or bandage yourself up. A shortcut system helps, but it still leads to lots of unwanted deaths. Not fun.
Alone in the Dark also insists on switching up viewpoints and interactions at every opportunity, to the detriment of control. Third-person movement lacks a fully controlled 3D cam and feels cumbersome; swinging weapons with the right analogue stick is rigid; cars handle like hovercraft; and why first-person shooting was favoured over Resi 4 style third-person aiming we'll never know.
Inspired but flawed
It's a shame, because Alone in the Dark is a game of such enormous aspirations. Visually it's up there with MGS4 as a next-gen spectacle; aurally it's evocative and impacting; the sheer scope of the Central Park gameworld is breathtaking; and the episodic structure, DVD-style Chapter Select and TV-style catchups will have you wanting to see the demonic story through to its gripping conclusion.
A game we dearly want to love, Alone in the Dark sadly falls short of greatness. Innovative yet irritating, inspired but flawed, its contradicted nature promises a brave new direction for Survival Horror that may never come to pass. Not everyone will take to it then, but Alone in the Dark is a release that cerebral gamers and Survival Horror developers alike should certainly take note of.
- Enormously ambitious physics and fire propogation, intelligent puzzles and a whopping combination of gamestyles.
- Innovative DVD-style chapter structure, impressive TV-esque presentation and wonderful next-gen visuals and audio.
- The sheer scope and detail of the Central Park gameworld is breathtaking.
- The combination of gamestyles and constantly changing viewpoints damages the game's controls, which often feel cumbersome.
- Real time inventory management and healing leads to a LOT of frustrating deaths.
- Why oh why is there no third-person aiming?
Survival is a preference for the habitual playeur of what is known as... Darklife!
'There's been little innovation in Survival Horror since Resident Evil 4 in 2004', starts Atari's Head of PR Lee Kirton. 'With Alone in the Dark, we're addressing that. We're blurring the boundaries between Survival Horror and traditional action-adventures.'
It's a bold ambition, but Alone in the Dark, as Kirton is keen to point out, is a sleeping giant. 'People know all about Resi, but perhaps they've forgotten a little about Alone in the Dark', he concedes. 'This is the forefather of Survival Horror. With the power of Xbox 360 and PS3, we really think we can re-establish the brand and the genre.'
Alone in the Dark certainly has the right credentials. The team behind huge hit Test Drive Unlimited have put Resi 4's over-the-shoulder gameplay into a title that's distinctly less linear. Indeed, while Resi 4 all but abandoned the idea of a central 'hub' area on which the genre had been based (The Spencer Mansion in Resi 1, for example), this new-gen Alone in the Dark keeps that very much at its core, making it a more complete hybrid of action and exploration.
'This is the forefather of Survival Horror. With the power of Xbox 360 and PS3, we really think we can re-establish the brand and the genre.'
The setting is New York's Central Park... and it's hiding a secret. A rather dark, gruesome secret that's devastating Manhattan. Amidst this, main character Edward Carnby jumps into a cab and heads for the wide-open spaces of the Park as the city crumbles around him, in a gameplay section not unlike the Warthog ending of Halo 3.
That said, our presentation started with Carnby navigating the park's sewers and showing off Alone in the Dark's intriguing control system. Object interaction sees Carnby able to pick up objects and move them with the right analogue stick. This combines with the latest version of the Havok physics system for some sophisticated environmental puzzles.
Pick up a metal pipe in Alone in the Dark and you can swing it fast as a weapon, or slowly to lever objects out of the way – in this case, this meant hooking the electrical wires dangling from water. Shoot a keypad and you can hotwire it, with an analogue stick for each hand. Jump into a car and you can move between seats and inspect the glovebox. Kirton was also keen to stress that 'every door in Alone in the Dark is destructible' – and went on to show this by opening a steel one with a fire extinguisher. Later on, in a museum setting, we also saw how carrying a burning chair to a wooden door could weaken the wood, allowing him to shoot away the panels, and we even saw him drive a car through a gate in the evocative Central Park hub area.
Electricity and fire seem key to defeating enemies in Alone in the Dark. In the sewers, Carnby dragged a cable to a fence covered in mutant bats, flipping a switch to electrify it. In the museum, grabbing an aerosol from his coat (inventively, Carnby's inventory screen sees him look down in first-person at his torso), walk towards a naked flame, and create a makeshift flamethrower to toast an I Am Legend-like zombie.
Undeniably jaw-dropping, with a literally intimidating sense of scale, lighting effects to die for, jumpy set pieces and eerie Hungarian Choir music.
Zombies and bats aren't the only enemies, but Atari are being tight-lipped on the most gruesome. We did see headcrabs, which Kirton took out with first-person aiming and a shadowy monster which appears to suck you into nothingness, Grudge-style, unless you direct a torch at it. We're also promised a main foe called 'The Fisher', which will be an ever-present throughout Alone in the Dark, a little like Resi 3's Nemesis.
None of which would be half as impressive without Alone in the Dark's production. The next-gen version is undeniably jaw-dropping, with a literally intimidating sense of scale, lighting effects to die for, jumpy set pieces and eerie Hungarian Choir music fronting the musical score. Kirton also insisted that 'even without all the bells and whistles, Wii and PS2 versions are the same game, and play really well.' The Wii version will even see the Wiimote take on the properties of the right analogue stick on other systems, offering motion-sensing melee combat, IR pointer aiming and wand-waving puzzle solving.
Now slated for May, the delay for Atari's most high profile 2008 title is encouraging. 'Alone in the Dark is close to a lot of people's hearts here', says Kirton. 'We're not content to release it if it's not 100% right.' It's a commitment to quality that Atari are adamant about, and really shows. Alone in the Dark is already impressing the gaming press, and from what we've seen, deserves to be right up there with the big releases in the first half of the year.
Don't take our word for it, though – with multiformat demos due in March, you won't have to wait long to enjoy scaring yourself witless.
Alone in the Dark Review (02/07/2008)
You Carnby Serious!
It's strange for the series that created the Survival Horror genre, but Alone in t…Alone in the Dark Preview (18/01/2008)
Survival is a preference for the habitual playeur of what is known as... Darklife!
'There's been little innovation in See more about ‘Alone in the Dark Preview’Alone in the Dark - GAME Exclusive Limited Edition User ReviewsTop review
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