The New Alone in the Dark Looks Like the Real Deal

Alone in the Dark

It’s almost been easy to forget about the Alone in the Dark reboot, especially in the face of other huge horror reboots this year like Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space. We’d seen little of the game until the Alone in the Dark Spotlight, but it’s looking like yet another banner entry in one of the best years ever for the horror genre — and not just because it’s got Hopkins and Villanelle in starring roles.

The first thing that struck us about this new reboot when we had a chance to take an early look at it was how much extra it seemed like Piece Interactive had put into it since its initial reveal. While the combat animations aren’t quite as fluid as they could be, the facial work and overall ambiance competes with some of the eye-catching sights of the RE Engine. It helps that David Harbour and Jodie Comer are some of the best in the business when it comes to emoting, and represent a pretty huge get for the genre as a whole.

Harbour portrays the iconic Detective Edward Carnby, while Comer plays Emily Hartwood, the niece of Jeremy Hartwood, who convinces the pair to come and investigate a disturbing man where a dark figure lurks. Much like Resident Evil 2, players will have two campaign to experience, one for Emily, and one for Edward. Resident Evil 2 is a comparison that’s almost impossible not to make for the Alone in the Dark reboot as an over the shoulder third-person horror game with tense combat and puzzles, but there is enough here that’s all its own to help it stand out.

The first thing is the doom jazz soundtrack composed by legends of the subgenre, which sounds like if the Disco Elysium soundtrack dropped a whole bunch of acid while in a dark basement. The screeching brass and plinking pianos will do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to the score, but the overall soundscape really does feel like it’s transporting you to a specific time and place. A not very nice place, mind you.

Then there’s the fact that both campaigns will play out differently, as different NPCs will react to both playable characters in unique ways. This extends to the Derceto manor itself, with different locations being available for Edward and Emily, while second playthroughs will also change depending on what items you found in prior playthroughs. This is all weaved together too by Mikeal Hedberg, the writer on Amnesia: The Dark Descent and SOMA. Alone in the Dark has quite the pedigree behind it, and anyone who’s previously been burnt by more recent entries in the series can rest assured that THQ Nordic are putting their weight behind this one.

It’s been pretty illuminating to take an early look at Alone in the Dark, and it’s shaping up to be the best the series has been in about two decades. Here’s hoping Piece manage to put all the pieces together for this October.

Alone in the Dark is scheduled to release on October 25th, 2023 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X & S. A free prologue, Grace in the Dark, is available now.

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