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Alone In The Dark Review for PlayStation 5

“Alone In The Dark” has been around for many decades now, not just in games, but even in a movie (the less we talk about that, though, the better). I recall owning the first 2 on CD-ROM for PC and remembered my tiny little brain couldn’t compute how to even solve the puzzles in that game with my primitive PC that could barely run. After all this time, many of the greatest horror franchises today such as “Resident Evil” have taken inspiration from “Alone In The Dark,” so it’s really cool to see this series come back with a new reimagining of the original game. With a talented Hollywood cast as the two starring leads with Jodie Comer and David Harbour, consider me extremely intrigued to want to hop back into this world. Was it what I was expecting? Not exactly, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Alone In The Dark Review for PlayStation 5

The tale commences with Edward Carnby (David Harbour), a seasoned investigator, and Emily Hartwood (Jodie Comer), his client seeking assistance, embarking on a journey towards the enigmatic Derceto Manor. This antiquated estate, shrouded in a tapestry of intrigue, now serves as a peculiar refuge for the mentally afflicted, including Emily’s uncle, Jeremy Hartwood. Emily’s mission is to check on her uncle’s well-being, with Edward providing backup, spurred by a distressing missive from Jeremy. Yet, as they step foot inside, they are swiftly drawn into a web of perplexing disappearances and unsettling secrets concealed within the shadows of Derceto, revealing a narrative uniquely veiled in mystery and suspense. In this reboot of the original 1992 game, numerous fundamental aspects make a comeback, yet significant changes abound. From the introduction of pivotal new characters to modifications in the lore and backstory, and even shifts in the core premise, the reboot ventures into uncharted territory while still paying homage to its predecessor.

Right off the bat it was clear that this wasn’t going to be an expensive AAA experience, from the controls to the graphics, none of it feels all that polished. Not every game needs to be AAA and this one, with its flaws manages to keep me enamored with its constantly intriguing mystery. The biggest down-side I’m sorry to say for me was in fact the two lead performances, this may be one of those cases where Hollywood actors are just not used to how it is done in the motion-capture style environment. That being said, despite the slightly off performances and dialogue, it doesn’t fully detract from the overall narrative. The spooky New Orleans environment really works well to often bring very nice to look at ambiance.

Like many survival horrors you are limited with ammunition and the encounters you have with creepy monsters can be rather freaky at first. The controls are another element I take issue here though, where it can often feel rather clunky, but it often just adjusted and got used to its clunkiness over time. The puzzle-solving elements I actually very much enjoyed, they seemed to be rather creative at first, but weren’t too difficult to figure out and gave me the right amount of sense of accomplishment. One more thing I thought was pretty neat I wanted to point out was that the game gives you the option to choose who you want to play as between the two leads and their point of views throughout the story may be a little different along the way. I didn’t play the game twice for this review but maybe it is something I will try out down the road. But yeah, “Alone In the Dark” isn’t perfect, the controls and dialogue are a bit rough, but I firmly believe we need AA games like this more often. The ongoing mystery at Derceto Manor is worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre.


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Related: Nick Navarro Reviews

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Gaming since I was given an original Nintendo as a kid. I love great storytelling and unique ingenuity. When both collide in a single game, I'm a happy gamer. Twitter/IG @NickNavarro87