Alone in the Dark


Alone in the Dark

Stuff of nightmares.

Alone in the Dark

The Garden of Eden.

FeatureAtari's Phil Harrison

On Alone in the Dark and switching roles.

FeatureAlone in the Dark

Eden's Nour Polloni on the delay, the format, the content and how it plays.

Key events

11th July 2008

Alone in the Dark

18th June 2008

Alone in the Dark

Atari: Eden Games "has not closed"

Confusing reports, publisher has sin.

Eden Games, maker of Alone in the Dark and Test Drive Unlimited, "has not closed", owner Atari has clarified - and Test Drive Unlimited 2 support isn't in jeopardy.

Eden to fix Alone in the Dark 360

Patching in the PS3 ver's changes.

Eden Studios has said that it is working on a patch for the Xbox 360 version of Alone in the Dark to bring it into line with the heavily reworked PS3 version.

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

Stuff of nightmares.

We hear you! We know you want Wii reviews of multiformat games. The problem is that publishers are often unwilling or unable to provide them. That was the case with Alone in the Dark - with Atari's usually helpful staff for once unable to assist us in our search - so in the end we gave up asking and bought it ourselves. We're going to look pretty silly if it turns out you're not interested. Not as silly as Alone in the Dark looks, sounds and feels on the Wii, mind you, despite developer Hydravision's valiant attempts to wrestle Eden Studios' ambitious Xbox 360 design into the constraints of the Wii's relatively underpowered hardware.

Credit to whoever worked on the first-person controls, though, because the combination of nunchuk analogue movement and Wii remote aiming is one of the few highlights. Point to the edge of the screen and the responsive Wiimote controls steer player-character Edward Carnby in that direction with a sensible degree of acceleration. You can only look so far up or down, which is a problem in a game where you spend a lot of time picking things up or examining your surroundings, but it's forgivable, and the way your viewpoint re-centres is intuitive and unintrusive.

Those of you with a working knowledge of the Xbox 360 version will know that first-person is only part of the view, though, because Alone in the Dark is a survival-horror game that switches you between third- and first-person depending on the scenario you face as you fight zombies and solve puzzles to uncover the truth about your past. And actually, the other controls aren't so bad in some respects either.

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Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

The Garden of Eden.

At sea in an ocean of blockbusters, Alone in the Dark has no choice but to punch above its weight: high production values, biblical clashes between good and evil, and precociously elaborate game mechanics unite, embraced by a rigid but versatile single location and tempted in every direction by a developer unafraid, perhaps even desperate, to sling every idea at the wall and hope the majority stick.

Beginning in an apartment block overlooking New York's Central Park, which the game centres around, you're thrown behind the eyes of a drowsy Edward Carnby, woken as a captive in the grip of amnesia opposite a weary, cudgelled old man called Paddington. As grimy henchmen drag you away to your death, an unexplained force wrenches the building apart, coincidentally fashioning your escape at the tips of its grumpiness. Dragging yourself through the collapsing structure - grasping the complex controls as groggily as the character you're playing finds his own feet - you meet the key players and catch the gist: an ancient ritual has unleashed something, it's grouchy, and everyone's priorities are going to be shaped by its thrashing arousal.

Soon dumped in Central Park with a gun, a flashlight and a ready supply of explosives and scavenged first-aid kits, Carnby is instructed to head to the museum to meet someone - someone he shouldn't be able to meet - and as the adventure expands and contorts, Alone in the Dark offers a counterpoint to modern survival-horror. The genre's core values - inventory management, tension as a by-product of fumbling and panicking, and elaborate puzzles - are as they were, but Carnby is a practical hero: he heals himself by manually bandaging and patching cuts and gashes, and he solves puzzles with his hands and whatever else he can cobble together.

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FeatureAlone in the Dark Video Roundup

Extensive gameplay capture in big, neat and spooky chunks.

It's been a long time coming - not least for fans of the last instalment, which came out seven years ago - but Eden Studios' larks-in-the-park reimagining of the Alone in the Dark series finally hits later this month.

FeatureAtari's Phil Harrison

On Alone in the Dark and switching roles.

After four years of development, the first next-gen instalment in the Alone in the Dark series is almost here. Atari held a press event in London last week to reveal more of the game, and newly installed Infogrames president Phil Harrison was on hand to have a chat to us about it.

Alone in the Dark

I think we're alone now.

Before there was Resident Evil, before there was Silent Hill, there was Alone In The Dark. It's easy to forget that now, of course - those two games have unquestionably made the genre what it is today, after all. It's still worth mentioning, though, that Alone In The Dark was there before either of them.

Harrison proud of Alone in the Dark

Welcomes support from Internet.

Infogrames Directeur Général Délégué Phil Harrison has identified the Internet response to Alone in the Dark as a reason to be excited about it.

Eden boss hails Harrison "vision"

EG stalks Big Phil in NYC.

With the ink barely dry on Phil Harrison's shock new contract with Atari, his new colleagues were already lining up this week to praise the former PlayStation figurehead's appointment.

Here's a situation with which everyone who plays videogames will be familiar: you're playing as a heavily armed character, who has shot, punched, smashed and looted his way through wave after wave of monsters, zombies, henchmen or aliens - only to be foiled, despite your bulging muscles and impressive arsenal, by a plywood door. Kick it in? Shoot it? Blow it up? Nonsense - it's time to go and look for the four pieces of the sacred medallion that'll make it open!

FeatureAlone in the Dark

Eden's Nour Polloni on the delay, the format, the content and how it plays.

Alone in the Dark looked amazing when Atari and Eden Games first unveiled it. Over two years later, some of its smarter ideas - physics puzzles, high levels of environmental interactivity, fancy lighting, a mixture of third- and first-person controllers - have been and gone in other games. With an additional delay until May 2008, there's a lot of scepticism about its quality, and suggestions that the game's in trouble. Not so, said Atari, when they rang us up yesterday. In fact, why don't you ask the developer yourself? So we did. Nour Polloni, the game's producer, gave us an update on development, and explained how the game will go about living up to its lofty billing.

Eden wants more Alone in the Dark

Sequels, DLC likely, 360 demo planned, plus Wii control hints and new gameplay trailer.

Eden Games hopes to get straight on with another Alone in the Dark game once the current one ships, according to producer Nour Polloni.

May for Alone in the Dark

But Atari fed up with hardcore market.

Atari has ended speculation and confirmed a May release for Alone in the Dark on 360, PC, Wii and PS2.

Alone in Dark PS3 delayed

Will follow PC, 360 versions.

Atari has told Eurogamer that the latest instalment in the Alone in the Dark series will not be released on all platforms simultaneously.

Atari's Leipzig line-up

TDU, NWN2, AITD, etc.

Atari has announced its line-up for the Leipzig Games Convention, headlined by playable versions of Test Drive Unlimited and Neverwinter Nights 2.

FeatureAlone in the Dark

Consolidate all those monthly killings!

Edward Carnby hops into a car. The woman demoing the game to us explains that everything in the car works. We sort of tune out a bit. Is this really relevant? It's nice that you can look in the glovebox for a gun. It's nice that you can operate the wipers. But is it that important? It's not like games haven't done this before. You could play the harmonica on the Plok title screen. Stupid PLOK RIP-OFF.

Alone in the Dark story details

Alone in the Dark story details

Eden tries episodic approach.

Eden Studios is adopting a TV-show style format for its forthcoming survival horror game Alone in the Dark.

AitD, due on PC and Xbox 360, will be split into 30-40 minute "episodes", complete with cliffhanger endings, and "next week on..." style summaries of what's to follow.

Cynics might argue it's just a fancy way of describing the level structure, but Eden reckons it's more than that, and helps maintain a "high level of narrative intensity".

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Boll nominated for Razzie

Well now, what a surprise.

Notorious movie director Uwe Boll has been nominated to receive the worst director award for game adaptation Alone in the Dark at this year's Razzies.

FeatureAlone in the Dark

It's not survival-horror. It's action-survival-thriller, apparently.

What is "next-generation gameplay"? Nobody seems to know. Asked about it just prior to the Tokyo Game Show in September, one prominent next-generation game developer narrowed his eyes slightly and responded with a shrug. "Meh!"

Alone in the Dark for 360

X05: Bad news for Achluophobes.

Adding to the list of new game announcements coming out of the X05 event, Atari has confirmed that survival-horror franchise Alone in the Dark is heading for the Xbox 360 next year.