Alone in the Dark Review
Xbox 360 | Wii
Alone in the Dark box art
System: Wii, X360, PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Hydravision 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 24, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Nearly broken Wii controls only further exacerbate these issues, making even the simplest of tasks a chore. Motions are required for virtually every aspect of this game from opening your inventory to equipping your pistol. Major control problems quickly arise because of just how similar all these motions are and how badly the game registers them. The difference between pulling out a pistol, jumping, opening your inventory, and equipping a flashlight are somewhat slight and the game often doesn't successfully differentiate between them. This typically results in a very angering experience complete with many cheap deaths directly caused by frequent misinterpretations of your movements.

Alone in the Dark screenshot

Nowhere are AITD's controls more painful than in its frequent driving segments. Here players will need to hold their Wii-mote and Nunchuk facing upwards and towards themselves, twisting both to the left and right to steer. Again, the game does an absolutely horrible job of actually picking up these motions, turning these portions into a test of the player's patience and luck more than their skill. Since most of these driving segments also have no checkpoints throughout, repeated failures stemming directly from these terrible controls become increasingly more frustrating. Being forced to replay these sections multiple times from their beginnings is maddening, boring, and only further accentuates their many issues.

Unfortunately, battling this game's camera and controls often proves more difficult than squaring off against any of its enemies. There are a few different enemies in the game, some requiring more work to dispatch than others. One enemy in particular forces you to hold down on the Wii-mote's D-pad to make his constantly moving weak point visible. While some of these enemies can be a handful, it is frequently easier to just avoid these conflicts all together. Running past enemies is incredibly easy, as the A.I. in this game is virtually nonexistent. Several times while playing, I stood no more than three feet from enemies while they just stared blankly back at me. Foes' sheer lack of effort when it comes to stopping Carnby leads me to speculate that they must clearly be getting paid by the hour and have no vested interest whatsoever in actually ending your quest.

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While I may not have expected the same visual quality from the Wii version of AITD, the state in which this game was released is hard to believe. Almost every aspect of this game feels like it wasn't clearly thought through and is certainly executed poorly. As a fan of the AITD series, I was really hoping this title would help to reestablish and ensure a bright future for this franchise. Unfortunately, if the Wii version of AITD is any indication as to where this series is headed, then nostalgia may be all that is left for its many fans.

By Adam Brown
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.5
Graphics
While far from being the worst looking game on the Wii, AITD's bland backdrops, ugly fire effects, and poor-looking characters do little to help out its visuals.
1.3
Control
Terrible motion detection combined with plenty of similar required movements results in a very frustrating experience that is easily at its worst when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
3.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Interesting music and good quality, if not lifeless, voice acting makes AITD's audio slightly better than average.
1.2

Play Value
Constant frustration, linear levels, infrequent checkpoints, a fairly short experience, and a disappointing finale, unfortunately, leave very few reasons other than nostalgia to actually play through this title.

1.6
Overall Rating - Avoid
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A New Inventory System: Players utilize the pockets of protagonist Edward Carnby to hold items which they can view, switch and combine without leaving the game.
  • Narrative intensity: Taking its cues from blockbuster TV dramas, the story is told in a TV season style narrative structure based around episodes that deliver maximum intensity throughout and keep the player hooked.
  • A Captivating Story: Centered in iconic Central Park, long-time series protagonist and paranormal specialist Edward Carnby returns to delve into the frightening events occurring in the Big Apple.
  • Real World Rules: In-Game movement has been designed to allow players to do almost anything that is physically possible in the real world.
  • Photographic Rendering: Game developer Eden's proprietary "Twilight" technology creates a lavishly detailed game world with highly realistic and advanced cinematographic effects.


  • Screenshots / Images
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