Alone in the Dark, originalmente conocido como Alone in the Dark 5 y Alone in the Dark: Near Death Investigation, es el quinto episodio serie de videojuegos de survival horror bajo el mismo nombre creado por Infogrames. Se lanzó con el título del juego original para PC, Xbox 360, Wii y PlayStation 2, y como Alone in the Dark: Inferno para PlayStation 3 en una versión mejorada que es la que debería haberse lanzado para las demás, en las que los bugs y una jugabilidad complicada generaron malas críticas.
¿Te atreves a volver a la oscuridad?
El terror de supervivencia vuelve a sus raíces con el regreso de la serie que ayudó a que empezase todo: Alone in the Dark. Continuando con la historia del protagonista original del juego, Edward Carnby, deberás investigar los fenómenos sobrenaturales y el secreto oscuro que se oculta en Central Park, en Nueva York.
Alone in the Dark está dividido en varios episodios para imitar la estructura de las famosas series de acción de televisión, en la que cada parte está compuesta por 30-40 minutos de juego, que terminan con una pregunta abierta y un avance de lo que veremos en la siguiente entrega. Para los que vuelvan a una partida previamente guardada, el episodio empezará con un resumen del anterior para refrescar la memoria del jugador.
¿Tienes miedo a la oscuridad? A lo mejor deberías...
It has been 83 years since Edward Carnby investigated the suicide of Jeremy Hartwood. Now he wakes up in an apartment in New York and is moments away from being shot by a group of bad guys. He doesn't remember much and as he looks into a mirror, a man looks back at him that isn't even near the age of 80. But as all hell breaks loose and mysterious forces tear through the building and the city itself, the question about his looks becomes one of many. To make things even worse, an old enemy decides to return in a search for a powerful stone. So for Carnby a race for survival begins and all signs point to Central Park.
Edward's mysterious journey is divided into eight episodes that can be played in chronological order or can be accessed directly from the main menu. Once in the game, the player controls Edward either in a 1st-person or a 3rd-person manner either by switching manually or depending on the situation and what item he uses. If he picks up a fire extinguisher for example, the player will be able to extinguish fires with it if he is in 1st-person mode. In 3rd-person mode it instead becomes a deadly weapon or a battering ram.
This is especially important since Edward won't find much ammunition for the pistols, shotguns and other weapons in the game. Instead he needs to be creative and use the items he finds or the environment for his advantage. Especially since most enemies can only be permanently killed by burning them, igniting a wooden chair at a nearby fire, or using a lighter and a can of hairspray are Edward's best bets to knock them out.
Fire plays an important role in the game at all times. If not extinguished, it will slowly burn through anything in the vicinity and spread until everything burnable has been reduced to a smoking pile of ash. This behavior can of course be useful to Edward if he for instance wants to get through a closed wooden door and has nothing heavy at hand to force his way.
The PS2 and Wii versions of Alone in the Dark follow the same plot as the game developed for Xbox 360 and Windows by Eden Games, but were created by a different company with their own vision how the game should be implemented. Level structure, mechanics of gameplay, and looks of the characters (Sarah, especially) sometimes differ strongly as these versions contain concept elements that were left out of the other game. The driving sequences are almost entirely taken out. The first-person view is also mostly not used, and, for example, fire can be extinguished in the third-person mode. The basic aspects of screenplay are retained, but this can be considered another "what if" instalment in the series, rather than a canonical entry like the other version. The endings have a different look, but remain largely the same.