Jun 22, 2008

I may not have been alone, but I was in the dark.

You couldn't pay me to walk around New York's Central Park, alone, at night. So why is it that's what Eden Games is asking me to do in the new, Alone in the Dark? Because it's scary, that's why.


Last night I got a preview of the new game hitting stores this week. I only got to see about the first board or so but I liked what I saw, or could see, rather. Hence the "dark" in the title. But don't worry, it's not long before you find the obligatory flashlight, or you know, your building goes up in flames.

Speaking of flames, you're going to spend a lot of time setting them and putting them out. You won't get bored with it though because it's entirely unpredictable, kind of like a real fire. Plus it looks amazingly realistic. Lucky for you the fire extinguisher never run out.

You play the typical amnesiac who has no idea the hell he's just woke up in. And with all the fire, it might as well be. There's some sort of demonic force at work which I only got a small look at during my preview. Bloody rips form in the walls that move like tentacles and suck people into the floor, wall or ceiling. A helpless (read, annoying) damsel gets possessed and leads you to believe you're a part of all the crap that's going down. Luckily all that fire comes in handy with these demon people. As long as you hit them in the right spots, setting them on fire will dust them like the vamps in Buffy.

Since I didn't get to see much of the game I'll be honest and say I got bored with it pretty quickly. I didn't even get to see the park. Though there seems to be a lot of room for a quick progression and a lot of fun. Items in the game have an almost limitless variety of combinations for use. If regular bullets aren't good enough for you, add some alcohol to them and you've got fire bullets. Players with a big imagination will likely be creating some stuff that will become popular on game forums and wind up being the standard.

Playing into television drama fans, Alone in the Dark follows the new episodic format last seen in the Lost video game Via Domus. You get a preview of the next episode when you finish one and see a "previously on" type of recap the next time you load up. Oddly enough you have the ability to fast-foward if the game gets to hard. Blasphemy to hard-core gamers but it sounds like a great idea to me. The last thing I want to do is get frustrated enough with a game to never finish it so I hope other games follow suit down the road.

Anyone looking forward to this? Play the original?



2 comments:

Patrick Rennie said...

It's not really on my radar, but being able to follow the story without having to beat an impossible level some idiot designer came up with certainly makes it more appealing. Heck, just time wise, it would be nice. I must have a half-dozen games I haven't finished playing simply because video games only takes third on my hobby list. I would like to be able to wander through their story bits at will, not just as a reward for passing the puzzle bits.

The Nerdy Bird said...

I'm with ya on that.