This game has more zombies and light than its title would have you believe...
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, retrogaming fan, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EVERY game in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey. So let's play those classic retro games we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Alone in the Dark
Developer(s) Infogrames Entertainment, SA
Genre(s) Survival Horror
Alone in the Dark is the first 3D survival horror game. This means that all you Resident Evil and Silent Hill fans out there owe a huge debt of gratitude to this game well. Well, you also owe gratitude to the Japanese game Sweet Home, but that's another story.
Alone in the Dark tells a Victorian-era tale of ghosts and ghouls. You travel to a strange mansion and are immediately set upon by monsters. You are fairly vulnerable in this game and weapons are relatively scarce so you have to be very careful. Much of the game involves exploring and finding items to help you survive and progress. Like the early Resident Evil games, Alone in the Dark uses a fixed point camera which is placed strategically sometimes to allow zombies to pop out from behind corners.
As far as survival horror games go, this one is rather decent. One complaint I do have however is that in the first room a monster spawns relatively quickly and if you don't know how to block it, it will just show up and kill you. I think this is a huge design flaw of the game, and if I was playing this in the era of pre-internet, I would have found this to be a hugely frustrating way to start the game. Once you get past the unfair start though, the games difficulty seems pretty reasonable. There are cheap deaths and jump scares, but that's just part of playing a survival horror game. Just save often, and you'll be OK.
Overall I like the theme and setting of Alone in the Dark. I didn't get far enough into the story to see it myself but the game supposedly references the Cthulhu mythos, which I think perfectly mixes with this Victorian-era horror. Though the graphics are rather dated, the game still does manage to scare, and so I would say this is a game that's worth checking out. The only thing that might turn players off really is the controls, which do feel kind of clunky and delayed unfortunately.
➙ Must You Play It?
The first 3D survival horror game. The graphics are dated and the controls a bit dated, but it's still got a creepy setting and managed to still scare. It may feel a little clunky but it's worth a shot if you're into these types of games!