Here's the TL;DR to save you time and anger: avoid this game like a steak salesman outside an animal shelter.
Let's tackle the good before delving into the pit of despair that some call "gameplay". First, the story was fairly interesting throughout the game, and most of the cutscenes were well done (this is coming from someone that skips them whenever possible in other games). You encounter several individuals throughout your quest, adding depth and a bit of humor to the plot, as well as numerous complications. Outside of the ridiculous swearing quota, dialogue was decent.
But hey, who plays a game for the story? Let's discuss why I found Alone in the Dark to be the most frustrating and unplayable title on the 360.
The first issue I had was the horrible control in third person; to describe it as sluggish would be an understatement. The melee combat system is painstaking and inefficient -hey developers, how about binding attacks to a button instead of RS?
Second, the pop-in is truly in a league of its own with this game. Take the end of Chapter 2, for example. After driving your vehicle through the glass at the end of 59th St., it takes several seconds for the ground to even appear, so you have no idea if you've "made" the jump or not. At one point in Chapter 8, I literally hit a car and heard the smash before I could SEE it. Wow.
Third, the inventory system is a mess, for various reasons that don't need explaining.
Fourth, (spoiler) the need to hunt roots in Chapters 7 and 8 added some creativity and fun to the game, but it completely kills the immersion. Don't make me run around for an hour to find and kill roots, while having to scrounge for seemingly scarce items across an enormous, barren map. Let the player proceed after a few root kills; there's no need to find so many in order to advance the plot.
This is really the tip of the iceberg, but I'm out of space, so rent something else and save yourself the time.
posted by dohsetsu (SAN FRANCISCO, CA) Jul 8, 2008
Member since Jan 2005
gamers (80%) found this review helpful
This was on its way back to Gamefly within an hour of playing. The camera and real lack of camera controls made the first level not unplayable, but totally not fun (escaping a possessed building that is collapsing around you), as I felt like any success I had was accidental, but mostly I had just embarrassing failures. I would miss the only ledge available to escape and have to do it all over again, or fall down on the "border" where camera angles switch back and forth. It just made it really non immersive and sucky to have to fight with the camera and try to guess which broken table was a part of the rendering and which one was "the object I must interact with". Note to developers: high tension immersive scenes should not be so linear; there should be many solutions/ways out to keep the tension flowing, anyway, though I was excited about a next gen AitD title, this really missed the mark for me.
This was an ambitious project that was failed in its development. Camera angles are horrid, Controls are horrid, the game is a buggy mess, gameplay is poor. Voice acting is annoying and poor at best. This developer should never be allowed to make another game ever again!