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A Letter to the Big “N"
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Alone in the Dark Member Review for the Xbox360

DWs By:
DWs
07/03/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action / Adventure 
PLAYERS  
PUBLISHER Atari 
DEVELOPER Eden Games 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

While i've spent 4-5 days hooked on the Bad Company multiplayer, i figured it was time to review Alone in the Dark.

To start, I found the game really enjoyable. When I first played it, I found the combat really irritating and difficult to grasp, and this led to me being chucked around a fair bit by the enemys, but now i've settled down somewhat. The Graphics are good, and the physics engine is, in a word, amazing. The way fire works is possibly alone in the darks biggest plus point. Everything that should burn, does burn. I once used a flaming bullet to put the window through of a car, and then slowly released i'd set the car on fire, and had to jump out. Moments like this make the game fun, and again, its the engine that should be applauded.

As for the story, it's pretty decent adventure game fare. You play as Edward Carnby and after a brilliant first two "episodes" escaping from a collapsing tower block, you find yourself in Central Park to solve a mystery. Yeah, the whole of central park. Central park is a pretty large place though, so you will have to use one of the many vehicles littered around to get there. In the run up to release, developers Eden used the dreaded words "open world enviroment" but this is untrue. While you have alot of ground you can cover, you dont have the Items to really go on a killing spree of sorts, and so generally you head for the nearest car and go straight for your next checkpoint. That is, when you are actually in central park. Most of your time is spent roaming sewers and hallways nervously.

This isnt a big thing however, I for one like some linearity to my survival horror and the game has alot of charm. The combination system is slightly insane sometimes, as i found out when i taped a bottle of petrol to a box of bullets and then chucked a bandage in it as a wick. Yeah, quite an explosion there.

Thats not to say there aren't bad things in the game. Gameplay really needs to pause while you are using items in your coat, and the difficulty curve shoots upwards at about 4 hours into the game, a part where I didn't get any healing items for about an hour, and was stuck on "one hit will kill you" after fighting a boss and still not getting any healing items. The controls are ever so slightly clunky, although you will get used to this with time, and some of the enemys are practically invincible, requiring you to shoot 3-4 different fissures with flaming bullets to put them down. The main flaw is that there just isnt enough of it. the game clocks in at alittle under 9 hours if you know what your doing, and I finished it in around 10. This is to me its main crime as a game. I just wanted to play more of it.

The game has been soured slightly by Atari's rampage regarding poor review scores, a fiasco that veteran companies like atari should be past by this point, slinging accusations of piracy left and right, and so it's hard to review this without that coming into my head but overall i'd give it an 7/10 although, if it would of been a few hours longer it would of certainly been an 8 or 9, i just struggle to justify it as a full price purchase when its so short.subconciously

www.DW-gaming.net


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