1992s Alone in the dark is often credited as one of the games that started the genre that came to be known as survival horror. The original trilogy was a hit on PCs in the early ’90s and enjoyed a successful reboot in 2001 with the resident Evil-inspired The new nightmare on PSX and Dreamcast.
This should rightly have been the time AitD became a household name in horror gaming, but then someone let Uwe Boll get his hands on the license in 2005. That put a curse on us AitDis the name for the next decade, culminating in the widely-anticipated online co-op game of 2015 Enlightenment.
However, 2023 was the year of big horror comebacks, so if AitD can ever get past boll it is now. THQ Nordic bought the rights to it Alone in the dark from Atari in 2018 and prepares for the reboot AitD for the third time in October.
The new Alone in the dark is a major remake of the original 1992 game developed by Pieces Interactive (magic 2) with a script by Mikael Hedberg (SOMA, amnesia: rebirth) and the blessing of the original AitD Creator Frederick Raynal. It brings AitD meets modern standards, with a third-person over-the-shoulder perspective and motion-captured real-life performances of all characters.
THQ Nordic and Pieces showed us a short, recorded presentation as the official first look at what’s new AitD, with Hedberg as moderator. Like the original, it’s set right between World War I and the onset of the Great Depression, in what Hedberg calls “antebellum horror,” with a slow-paced, noir-tinged soundtrack by a dark jazz artist Jason Koehnen.
In 1920s Louisiana, artist Jeremy Hartwood died under strange circumstances. It was officially a suicide, but Jeremy’s niece, Emily (Jodie Comer, kill Eve) don’t think so. She hired a private investigator, Edward Carnby (David Harbour, stranger things) to take her to Jeremy’s house, the Derceto mansion, to find out what’s actually going on.
In the original game, you could play as either Emily or Edward, independently investigating Derceto. Now they are partners in a possible murder investigation and both offer different perspectives on the events of the game.
Derceto in the original AitD was mostly deserted save for the ghosts and monsters that would try to kill you. In the 2023 edition, people still live in Derceto and you need to talk to them to get more details about what happened to Jeremy Hartwood. Edward is the actual detective, so he has investigative powers here, but the people in Derceto know Emily and will tell her things they wouldn’t tell Edwards.
At one point during the presentation, Hedberg described the working process AitD than “cultivating a seed planted 30 years ago”. The reboot has at least one nod to later games in the series, such as the appearance of Grace Saunders, a young girl who wasn’t introduced in the original series until 1993 Alone in the dark 2.
This suggests Alone in the dark The remake could also serve as the start of a broader exploration AitDis the original pulp horror setting that the series hasn’t touched on since the conclusion of the original trilogy.
That doesn’t mean any of that Alone in the dark 2023 is a walking simulator. The presentation I saw offered a few brief glimpses of combat, as both Edward and Emily used revolvers, double-barreled shotguns, and improvised melee weapons to deal with a variety of monsters.
Hedberg briefly mentioned that the game will feature puzzles, with options to choose how much help you need to solve, as well as a menacing slow corruption that will ambush the manor while you search for clues about what’s going on with Jeremy Hartwood happened.
Alone in the dark Scheduled for release on October 15, 2023 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC for an MSRP of $59.99.
Beginning May 25th, digital storefronts will offer a demo that serves as a prologue to the events of the game, set a few weeks earlier and starring Grace Saunders. We’re told that the demo doesn’t feature combat and is intended as a first look at the overall atmosphere of the game. This is also the second time Grace has starred in a free promotional prequel, following 1993 jack in the dark
fans who pre-order Alone in the dark will receive a “1992 Costume Pack” to outfit Edward in an ultra-pixelated retro costume. The digital deluxe edition of the game offers additional extras, such as a sepia-colored visual filter and a director’s commentary mode with Hedberg and original AitD Creator Frederick Raynal.