Horror games have an interesting lineage. Most gamers’ first real exposure to what we consider the template for “modern” horror was the original Resident Evil or, perhaps, Silent Hill. However, even those games had clear influences. One was a somewhat obscure Japanese game called Sweet Home, but in terms of 3D horror, Alone in the Dark was an experience like nothing else. Based on the unique cosmic horror writing of H.P. Lovecraft, this series, unfortunately, saw a fast fall from grace with the arrival of its sequels.
Despite a few leaks, most were still caught off guard by the announcement that Alone in the Dark would not only be coming back, but the new game would apparently be a reboot of the series that aims to take it back to its survival-horror roots. There are nearly as many mysteries surrounding the revival of this historic IP as there are in its narrative, but we’ve braved the dark corners of the internet to bring you everything we know about Alone in the Dark.
Originally set to release on October 25, 2023, Alone in the Dark was delayed to January 16, 2024.
Alone in the Dark is set to come exclusively to current-generation consoles, meaning PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, as well as PC. The Switch was not listed and likely will be left behind with the previous generation.
The announcement of the reboot came with a full-reveal trailer to dissect. It opens with a haunting rendition of The House of the Rising Sun as a little girl hangs various dolls in her room. She sits on her bed and pulls a noose over her own head, though the other end isn’t tied to anything.
We cut to various characters speaking about the area and people, along with some disturbing imagery. A man, who seems to be some kind of psychiatrist or doctor, asks about the main character’s “condition.”
Some slow sections of gameplay cycle through, showing different mechanics and systems of the game as a preacher delivers an impassioned speech. We close on a woman lounging with a cigarette who welcomes us “to the madhouse.”
As cryptic as that all is, much more was detailed in the accompanying PlayStation Blog post. Here, we first learn that this new imagining of Alone in the Dark will be written by the writer of SOMA and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Mikael Hedberg, and monster designs by frequent Guillermo del Toro collaborator Guy Davis.
The blog describes the title as a mixture of psychological horror and Southern Gothic, set in the 1920s. You can play as either Edward Carnby, the original series’ protagonist, or Emily Hartwood in a quest to uncover what secrets are hidden in the Darceto mansion asylum and try to find Emily’s missing uncle.
Not much else about the specifics of the narrative is known, only that it will be a completely original story that uses characters, locations, and themes from the original trilogy of games.
One extra tidbit revealed was that there will also be a prologue chapter called Grace in the Dark, starring Grace from Alone in the Dark 2, however, for now, that demo is exclusive to those who played it at Gamescom 2022.
At the THQ Nordic Showcase, we got two new trailers focusing purely on the characters delivering little monologues. The first was David Harbour speaking as Edward Carnby in a chilling performance.
The second featured Jodie Comer’s performance as Emily Hartwood.
The trailer did show some snippets of gameplay, but again, the blog sheds some more clarity on how the game will play.
We see plenty of exploration and conversations with the two characters, though no mention of any dialogue systems. It would make sense, since Edward is a detective, for that to be included, but for now, that’s still in the dark.
Puzzle-solving will be a major component of the game. Two tiny moments from the trailer show some sort of breaker or switch puzzle, as well as one where players will need to rotate three plates on a wall.
Aside from solving puzzles and getting lost in dark, creepy environments, Alone in the Dark is also a third-person shooter. Again, glimpses of this are very brief, but it looks like standard survival-horror-style aiming and shooting. There is one moment of melee combat, too, though we guess that won’t be your first choice in facing off against the grotesque creatures shown. They do mention that ammo will be a rare resource, so having a backup of any kind will probably come in handy.
An entire trailer was dedicated to the Collector’s Edition preorder for Alone in the Dark, and yet still didn’t give us a release date. Preorders are up on every console and PC platform, as well as online retailers. There are only three versions to take note of, Standard, Digital Deluxe, and the Collector’s Edition. Let’s investigate the contents of each.
The Standard Edition will cost $60 and include:
- preorder bonus – Derceto 1992 costume pack
The Digital Deluxe version is only a bit more at $65 and includes:
- Everything from the Standard Edition
- Vintage Horror Filter Pack
- Director’s Commentary Mode
Finally, the massive Collector’s Edition will cost a full $200. For that price you get:
- Everything from the Digital Deluxe edition
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