How does the modern Alone in the Dark stack up?
During this year’s Electronics and Entertainment Expo, I was able to get myself an appointment with Atari. For those who didn’t know, Atari was showcasing their game, Alone in the Dark: Illumination. This game is a cross between a horror game and a survival/don’t die type of game. The game tries to maintain the horror element but this time it goes with a third person shooter element as well.
The game is going for a less “point and click, more action” feel this time around and it achieve that with flying colors. The multiplayer co-op also helps the game feel more action. The idea of lighting things up is a major game play mechanic is this game. The monsters are only vulnerable when they’re exposed to light or some form of illumination. The more people you have playing, the more light sources you can have, and the more vulnerable the monsters will be.
Your character isn’t overpowered in Alone in the Dark so you will be running away at times. You can kill some monsters but then there will be some that you will have to think about how to kill or just run away. There are four types of characters: hunter, engineer, priest, and witch. Each has different ways of interacting with enemies or environments for example. You can increase your stats/level up by killing monsters, accuracy shooting typical horror game level up. If you do die, it is permanent and you will need to start over. The idea of this was to create some stakes and danger so it felt scary.
Characters have light-based abilities since light plays a huge factor in the game. The engineer can repair lighting as an example. Some light sources run out after you use them, similar to life/health packs. Fire in a barrel is a prime example of this where you probably don’t want to use the fire barrel if you can avoid it because you never know if a large horde of monsters could come after you soon.
There is no mini map in the game. If there was a map, it eliminates the idea of the game being hard because it’s supposed to be hard. The only real time it tells you anything is when the objectives are in orange. The levels are random every time you play so that’s another reason why there can’t be a map. The points aren’t set in stone so there can’t be a map. There are three campaigns in the game and you start out in a mining complex. After that you move on to a graveyard facility and the further you get, the tougher the puzzles get. The themes of the puzzles change the further you go.
Each character has their own backstory you learn while you play through the game. If you don’t play as the character, you don’t get to interact with them and thus, not get to hear their backstory. If that’s not a reason for replay, I don’t know what is? You can combine your group anyway you like so if you want four hunters, you can have it and have them dress differently.
Some final thoughts don’t play Alone in the Dark: Illumination in the dark, it won’t end well. The game is designed to be hard or at the very least very challenging so be prepared to probably die or run away a lot!