I decided to buy this game in the summer of 2001 after seeing great screenshots over the previous year and because my friend recommended it. I thought it would be great since i love the Resident Evil franchise and the survival horror genre. I must say, the game lived up to the hype. It was excellent, the graphics were superb and very detailed even more so than resident evil code veronica (due to the static backgrounds, RECV used 3D backgrounds), the sounds were very atmospheric too altho the strange zombie effects made my speakers echo (the poor quality television I guess). The developers certainly did an excellent job creating the creepy atmosphere of a lonely island inhabited by strange beings from another world. The fact that you cant see much because of the consistent darkness raises the fright level even more. Thankfully the two main characters carry flash lights with them so you can see where they are going, the light effects are especially impressive. Feel free to glide the torch in any direction (thanks to the analogue control) to illuminate the scenery and uncover useful clues or foil hidden traps! While on the subject of clues, there are lots of puzzles to solve in this installment of alone in the dark. some more difficult than others but i can tell you now that the difficult ones will leave you completely confused as to what to do (they did with me any way). The controls are easy to get used to, there are the usual directional movements, the holster/unholster buttons etc. Pretty much the same as resident evil really with the added bonus of being able to walk while aiming and the flash light aims with your gun so you can see clearly what you're aiming at. So there we go, a top game then... well nearly. I dont know if anyone else has had this problem but for some reason my copy appears to have an awful lot of bugs in it. It seems to crash too frequently (AT KEY PARTS I must stress) and once the wh
ole screen appeared to melt away with just the playable character left viewable. Quite bizarre as i have never had this problem with any other dreamcast game. Apart from this minor mishap though, I would place Alone in the Dark at the top of the survival horror genre (just behind Resident Evil) and advise any wouldbe horror sleuth to buy it.
I think its very fair to say at this point i am still playing this little gem, so i can't tell you that much about the plot, as its still unfolding. Who would have thought games could make you jump? Well not me, untill this! This game has atmosphere, but not the party kind, more of an Aliens feel, you know somethings out there, but you don't know where. This is the fourth game in the series and see you returning as Edward Carnaby, all be it a tad younger than before. This young fellow has the task of investigating the stranges goings on Shadow Island, but he isn't really alone he has Aline Cedric there to keep him company, well she is on the island! They both have two different storys, but they both cross and together (from what i have played) make one very good plot. The graphics are excellent and really add to the atmosphere. The weather effects add suspense, the lightning is very good. There is one point where you will approach a gate, as you go to open it, a bolt of lightning illuminates the sky and thats when you first notice it. Something appeared on the screen, only for a second, you know you saw it and you know it was ugly. But its not there, this is such a great way to install fear and dread. It will happen again a few times but not in a way to get silly and to start to get predictable (i am now wondering if it ramdom? If you know, let me know!) The controls are ok and pretty simply to get to grips with. They are very similar to the resident evil series. You have an easy to navigate inventory system and combat, while best to avoid, is nice and simple. Which is good because you will panic when you are attacked, if the programmers expected this, they do deserve a pat on the back. The puzzles are good and don't need to you have a degree in puzzle solving, from the university of the bizzare (if you have played a discworld game you will understand how bizzare some puzzles can be!) Ok they do require alittle thought, but if it
didn't it wouldn't be a puzzle! Now, i have to tell you about two of the best features. The first is the flashlight, this is excellent and does work so beautifully. You can look around with it and it lights up the area where you want to look. I have played a few games but have never come across this done so well before - you really don't know how impressed i am with it! The second is the way the vibration pack goes with whats happening. If something scares the character, your vibration pack will go into spasam! if your hurt it will pulse. This is something that you have to experience. To sum up, this is a great game. It has so many little features that all add up to make this a great survial horror game. Fans of H.P. Lovecroft and other macarbe writers will love this! GO OUT AND GET THIS GAME!