Alone in The Dark: Inferno PlayStation 3
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Released on 14/11/2008
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, and 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.
Inspired by the gripping style of contemporary TV dramas, the game 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 using satellite data and thousands of photographs
- Captivating story: The story 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, the story is told in a TV season-style narrative structure to deliver the maximum intensity throughout, keeping the player hooked.
- Real world rules: revolutionary technology brings a new level of environmental interaction to the gameplay where anything you could do in real life, you can do in the game.
- Immersion: the 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 with highly realistic and advanced cinematographic effects including depth of field, camera focus, numerous light sources, moisture, reflections and High Dynamic Range effects.
We talk to Alone in the Dark publisher Atari about brand reinvention, breaking clichés, and a new direction for Survival Horror...
Could you tell us your name, job title, and what you worked on specifically in Alone in the Dark?
My name is Benoit Auguin, Brand Manager at Atari, working on Alone in the Dark, specifically in charge of the marketing campaign for the title.
Alone in the Dark is of course one of the great gaming series. This has been a bit of a brand reinvention. What audience have you aimed for this time, and how have you done that?
We wanted to re-establish Alone in the Dark as a major mainstream brand broadening the appeal beyond its historical survival horror genre.
To achieve this, the game has been designed to contain key elements that appeal to both core and casual gamers. The marketing campaign for core gamers highlights the game's technical innovations and how Eden are breaking videogame clichés with Alone in the Dark. The mainstream marketing campaign talks about the game in terms of its Hollywood blockbuster presentation, the great storyline based on the conspiracy behind Central Park, and Alone in the Dark's DVD chapter select feature which lets everyone reach the end of the game without becoming stuck.
Has the fact that the last Alone in the Dark game, The New Nightmare, released nearly seven years ago now, been a problem from a brand perception point of view?
As with the team at Eden Games, we think Alone in the Dark's core fans are more faithful to the first PC iteration of the game which introduced real innovations and created the genre than the later console versions. However because of the time that's passed we also think we're bringing the brand to a completely new audience who don't know the earlier games for the most part, which gives us something of a clean slate.
This game is not a sequel in the normal sense and we've taken the clean slate as more of an opportunity to give a new birth to the brand, releasing this opus as Alone in the Dark.
Alone in the Dark's DVD chapter select feature which lets everyone reach the end of the game without becoming stuck.
And how about your competition in the realm of Survival Horror? How does Alone in the Dark differ? What does it offer that's new?
With Alone in the Dark we want to change what players expect from action adventure games, breaking the established clichés of the genre.
It's traditional in the genre to have creepy corridors and claustrophobia, which is why we blew that all apart literally in our game, and at the end of episode two the wide open space of Central Park becomes the play area.
We've also done away with the cliché of locked doors that are just textures, or doors that need a specific key. Every door can be opened in Alone in the Dark – you just need an object heavy enough to smash it down!
We've gone for a really high level of environmental interaction which breaks game rules by rather relying on the rules everyone knows from the real world. If you can't interact with it realistically, it's not in the game.
Storytelling is obviously a big factor in Action-Adventures like Alone in the Dark. What was your process for creating the plot and integrating it into gameplay?
The story itself was written at Eden and was a very organic process which evolved along with the game. The initial inspiration came from Hervé Sliwa, the lead designer, who visited New York ten years ago and was amazed at the sight of Central Park at night – a huge black mass in the sea of bright lights. He thought then it would be a great place for a new Alone in the Dark.
The park itself was a great inspiration – there's lots of weird things that happen there in real life, some of which you can read about on www.centraldark.com. It's also a city within a city with a museum, police precinct, lakes, ice rinks etc, all of which game the designers lots of gameplay ideas.
We're really emphasising the intense story-telling in Alone in the Dark which is inspired by the structure of US TV series like Lost and 24, with a paced dynamic of action, plot twists and cliff-hangers in each episode. Eden wanted the game to have the same impact on the player as those TV shows.
We asked Lorenzo Carcaterra, the guy who wrote the film Sleepers, to work on the script for the game and he brought his big-screen style and New York authenticity to the dialogue.
The story is told by seamlessly integrated cut scenes created in the game engine as well as normal in-game dialogue and the player learns more about what's going on from the things he finds and characters he meets, some of whom play a big role and others who don't last very long at all!
The DVD Chapter-style feature is obviously new for a game. How will it work, and what are its pros and cons?
The DVD Chapter select feature is a real innovation that we supported since the beginning. And one figure is enough to justify it: according to research only 22% of console gamers finish all the games they play. We want everyone to finish Alone in the Dark!
If you end up skipping too much of the game there is a price to pay – you wont get the complete finale of the game and Xbox 360 players will miss out on achievements.
Of course we also want people to play through the whole game, but in the same way you don't skip straight to the end of a film on DVD, we think players will want to do that too. The only person they'll be cheating if they skip to the end is themselves.
We've gone for a really high level of environmental interaction which breaks game rules... If you can't interact with it realistically, it's not in the game.
Alone in the Dark is due for release on five systems. How have you gone about getting the most from them individually? What do the different versions offer?
On PS3, X360 and PC, the possibilities offered are huge to create a completely destructible environment with dynamic lights and fire propagating in real time to any flammable part. Moreover anything that could realistically be picked up and used as a weapon can be, including pieces of the items you will have already smashed. Last, the interactions with the environment are also huge and everything is ruled by real world physic.
Wii of course offers completely different and immersive gameplay possibilities. It's almost as if Wii had been designed for Alone in the Dark. You can use the Remote and Nunchuk to realistically manipulate objects, drive cars, draw your gun, aim at enemies, shoot, access your inventory... Everything is done thanks to specific movements of the controllers, creating a maximum immersion in the game.
PS2 is the platform which still remains the best mastered by developers and therefore the goal was to exploit everything PS2 could offer. As a result we focused our attention on implementing as many next gen features on PS2 as possible. And most of them have never been seen before. With the real time inventory, all the interactions with the environment, the DVD structure, the fire, the combining of different items, got the best of what the PS2 could offer.
The original release date was due to be March. Why the delay, and what has it allowed you to achieve?
Alone in the Dark could have realistically been released in March. However, we wanted to make sure we were delivering the best experience possible. After having given so much to this project, we preferred delaying it a bit and giving it the finishing touches to make it perfect.
And how's the final project shaping up? Sell it to us!
You take the best ideas from the original Alone in the Dark to which you add brand new highly innovative concepts and exceptional technological quality. Then add huge amazing interaction possibilities plus a living environment with never seen before fire behaviour. You mix all that with an amazing scenario based on all the mysteries of Central Park and an unstoppable action pace. Last you polish it with a special focus on details and fine tuning. The result is Alone in the Dark, a game that will not only reinvigorate the brand but change what gamers expect from games.
Interview by: Mark 'Dark' Scott
Interview Published: 20.03.08
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 Interview (20/03/2008)
We talk to Alone in the Dark publisher Atari about brand reinvention, breaking clichés, and a new direction for Survival Horror.…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: Inferno User ReviewsTop review4 years agoAlone in The Dark: InfernoThis game is soooooo great I have played the demo on PS3 and its like Heavy rain with all the interactivity and because its a first person and 3d person shooter you can actually see your body whilst in 1st person.The graphics are great the story line is great and its an all good rounder4 years agoAlone in The Dark: Infernoafter uncharted this is easily the best game on ps3 possibly best game on any console. extremely entertaining and unlike all other rubbish games like resident evil type if you get stuck you can skip a level where as when you get stuck on other games you just have to sell them this one you can get the full benefit of every level giving the game a lot more lifespan. id give it 100 stars if i could1 year agoCaptivating From Start To FinishSupposedly having many fixes and upgrades over the 360 version, AitD: Inferno is a really good game. I enjoyed the plot twists and suspense-filled story right from the beginning, and played again when I finished it so that now I knew what was going on, I could fill the blanks I was previously unaware to. The graphics are good enough although the textures on some characters' skins are trying to be too realistic and end up a bit dodgy, but this wasn't something that put me off. The gameplay is a mix of extreme platforming (i.e. scaling a building face while avoiding big chunks of debris from above) and environmental puzzle solving. There's also the game's selling point of inventory combining to create fire-pistol ammo, improvised flame-throwers, and the classic Molotov cocktails, etc. Despite how cool that sounds, I found that most of the time sticking to the basic items got me through the game fine, or at least when I'm not up against bosses. As an extra gameplay choice, you can also change the camera from 1st to 3rd person, although I believe the game is primarily meant to be played in 1st.4 years agoAlone in The Dark: Inferno4stars would have loved to give it 5 but its atri course theres lodes of problems and glitches and partially "naff" and predictable storyling. Gameplay and interactivity is none the less epic although minimul combat and fast paced continual play. 1st person/3rd person pulled off well, inative healing and inventory, combing of items, nice explosions. i have just 100% the game including the platinum trophy and i can honestly say it was well worth the 20 pounds and would have been worth 40 or even to get the collectors eddition. I wish atari had paired with some other company say valve to turn this into the next HL. Puzzler shooter Horror. great fun ropes, cars and explosive fluids think up new ways to take out enemies! cannot w8 for the next new and improve havock game or even physx3 years agoAlone in The Dark: InfernoFinally! This game has arrived on the Playstation 3 console with a cool name known as Inferno. I had never played an AITD game before now and its tricky, probably one of the biggest head-scratchers I have ever played. The story starts immediately when you, Edward Crosby, from being knocked out by a load of pissed-off monks. You suffer from amnesia and don't know your name or where you live. You first start out in a tall building in the middle of New York, right by Central park. There's a monster in the building, which cracks the floors, ceilings, and walls. Once the monster has cracked by somebody, it gobbles them up and turns them into mind-controlled zombies. Basically, the priests (except for one) think you caused this monster to terroize everyone inside the building, so they try and take you to the roof to shoot you, but the monster gets the executener and kills him. The basic objective, at this point, is to escape the building. On the way you meet the love interest (who by the waConfiguring your price alert
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