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New Alone in the Dark



New Alone in the Dark coming to PC this year


Publisher Atari is keen to resurrect Alone in the Dark and Haunted House, two of its oldest horror franchises, thanks to the success of recent games like Outlast, Amnesia and the like that have proven there is a serious appetite among gamers for gory fright-fests.

I’m not sure how this was ever in question, but you know bean-counters, they need to see numbers before they greenlight projects. Clearly, the beans are saying “Go go go!”, and so we’re getting both games for PC before the end of the year, according to the official press release. We’ll get our first glimpses of them at the PAX Prime gaming expo taking place in Seattle between the 29th and 31st of August.

This news is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Not because these are the scariest franchises around, but because Atari’s previous attempts at reboots didn’t go so well: 2008’s Alone in the Dark and 2010’s Haunted House were both utterly mediocre.

Having been a fan of the series since the early 90s, I’ve watched the franchise slowly deteriorate from awful graphics but edge-of-your-seat gameplay in the first two, to games with slightly better visuals that lost sight of what made the first games so good. The 2008 game was so bad because it effectively ignored everything that had happened in the first four games, changed the game’s core mechanics, took place in modern times and was buggier than a spilled picnic.

All I want from a new Alone in the Dark is more Edward Carnby and a seriously creepy story set back in the first half of the 20th century. If they could also invent a clever mechanic that makes good use of lighting, that would be fantastic. Maybe something like Alan Wake’s use of torches and limited weaponry meeting the slow and deliberate pacing of Resident Evil 4, interspersed with sequences where Carnby is literally left alone in the dark with things you can’t see but which want to eat him. Leaving certain things up to players’ imaginations is always better than showing and telling, after all.

The new Alone in the Dark (subtitle: Illumination) and Haunted House reboots will arrive “this fall”, so expect to see them before the weather gets too hot.

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