What Is It?
Stop me if you've heard this before: You're stuck in a spooky mansion full of puzzles, locked doors and limited ammo. And just when you've mastered the tank-like controls, you're forced to go toe-to-toe against a whole host of ghoulish monsters. But here's the kicker: The game I'm describing isn't a Resident Evil sequel; it's actually Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare for the PlayStation.
Before Jill became the master of unlocking there was Edward Carnby, the unlucky hero of Alone in the Dark. Despite bumbling his way through several adventures, The New Nightmare is only Edward's second console outing (the first being a game nobody played on the 3DO). This time around we hear of a mysterious murder on a shadowy island, so it's up to our hero (and his female sidekick) to crash a helicopter on the island and get sweet, sweet revenge.
Much like Myst, last week's dreadful PSone Classics release, Alone in the Dark is full of vague puzzles that have no interest in helping you out. Sure, the game tells you that a door has been unlocked, but not where. After solving nearly every puzzle, the player is forced to backtrack and guess at what to do next. This ultimately hurts the pacing and keeps Alone in the Dark from hitting the same highs as Resident Evil.
Does It Still Hold Up?
Visually, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare squeezes every last bit out energy out of the PlayStation hardware. The background graphics are stunning for a 32-bit game and I was reasonably impressed with the audio. However, players are still forced to battle an unwieldy control scheme. Couple that with annoying combat and you'll find that an otherwise stellar presentation is marred by terrible play mechanics.
Is It Worth The Money?
I've always been intrigued by the Alone in the Dark franchise, but turned off by some of its design decisions. I am thoroughly impressed with the game's visuals, right down to the creepy figures you only see in the split-second flash of lightning. Sadly, the rest of the game's mechanics hurt the enjoyment a decade later. Also, it's worth noting that this game has been released on newer systems (the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2), so this isn't even the best looking version. The New Nightmare can be a lot of fun, but know what you're getting yourself into before spending the money.
Before Jill became the master of unlocking there was Edward Carnby, the unlucky hero of Alone in the Dark. Unfortunately, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare doesn't hold a candle next to Resident Evil. I am thoroughly impressed with the game's visuals, right down to the creepy figures you only see in the split-second flash of lightning. Sadly, the rest of the game's mechanics hurt the enjoyment a decade later.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!