Alone in the Dark: A Haunting Return

A haunting return to Derceto Manor awaits in the Alone in the Dark remake, a chilling blend of exploration, puzzles, and Lovecraftian horror

by Sededin Dedovic
Alone in the Dark: A Haunting Return
© MKIceAndFire / Youtube channel

Alone in the Dark is a series of survival horror video games, the series started in 1992 and includes several sequels and re-releases and now a remake of the first part from 1992 is out. Atmospheric locations, an intriguing story steeped in Lovecraftian influences, and innovative mechanics that used lighting – these elements leave a whole lasting impression on everyone who will play this game.

Although it's been almost a decade since the last Alone in the Dark game, even a remake of the first part is fantastic news. Given the length of the old games and this new one, it feels more like a recreation of the entire original trilogy.

It's a passion project with a focus on specific, perhaps less critical, elements. However, for real fans, this remake of the original part will surely be "sweeter" than some new part of the series. Visually, the game is mostly decent.

The atmosphere is sometimes impeccably built through the graphics, only to be interrupted by some rather average sequences. However, given that the game aims to provide an old-school experience without significant innovation, at least in terms of raw atmosphere, I wasn't satisfied.

At least some innovations in terms of gameplay were expected without affecting the original story. The story is certainly interesting, but cryptic enough that if you're not actively engaging with the philosophical twists from the get-go, you may struggle to fully grasp the narrative and what the game is about.

This game requires full concentration if it's your first time playing this series.

Alone in the Dark gameplay© Wizzo / Youtube channel

A significant portion of the budget seems to have gone to the acting cast.

The cast is solid, although no one performance stands out. The cast doesn't seem very comfortable voicing video game characters, but visually, the casting works well. If nothing else, almost every sentence you come across will be voiced by one of the actors, which is a plus for those who don't like to read text.

The game itself can be divided into exploration and action. Exploration involves solving puzzles and navigating a map to progress. In that sense, it's on the lighter side of the genre spectrum. There's a choice of weights to satisfy, with one option offering a hint of modern style and the other offering no help.

Regardless of your choice, if you have little experience with these types of games, you probably won't encounter much of a challenge. On the other hand, the action elements are very basic. You have several firearms and one melee weapon that breaks after a few uses.

It's all rudimentary but functional, with a few moments where the camera and the protagonist's head can be obstructive. However, regardless of the "limitation" in weapons, the game itself is not based on mere violence and fighting.

Alone in the Dark gameplay© Wizzo / YOutube channel

At the beginning of the game you can choose the protagonist: Edward or Emily. Both come to the scene for different reasons. This choice doesn't drastically change the experience, but it's clear that the game encourages you to play through them twice to see things from both perspectives.

A few different dialogues, cutscenes, and events might entice some players to repeat, but given that a single playthrough lasts around five hours, it's likely that many players will be willing to play through it again, which we recommend.

Because after the second play, you will understand some parts of the game and some things that you missed during the first play, and that will certainly leave a better impression of the game. The 2024 remake of Alone in the Dark is a commendable effort.

It captures the essence of what made the original game so terrifying and captivating. Stepping into Derceto Castle is a haunting experience, filled with fear and uncertainty. The story, while cryptic, rewards patient players with a rich and disturbing story.

The choice of protagonists and multiplayer options add extra value to the experience. However, the remake is not without flaws. The visuals, while boasting impressive moments, can be inconsistent at times. The puzzles might seem too easy for horror veterans, and the combat mechanics are basic.

Despite these shortcomings, the remake successfully breathes new life into Alone in the Dark. It stays true to the spirit of the original while offering a modernized experience for a new generation of gamers. With a little more polish and refinement, future installments in the series have the potential to recapture the magic of the original and cement Alone in the Dark's place as the pillar of the horror genre that it certainly is.

The game has a relatively affordable price, so if you are a fan of this genre of games, it is definitely worth buying it.