When I got this game to review I was totally unprepared for what it would throw at me. I was thinking that it might be a Tomb Raider style game where you run around killing things and solving puzzles, however it is not, well not completely anyway.
Alone in the Dark: The new Nightmare is like the previous lot, I have not played any in length but have seen them in action so I know a little about the history, etc. The game is in true traditional style, similar to Resident Evil the screens are static with the action on a per screen basis where you can run about looking and picking up items you will need.
The game from the start is very scary, the music is moody, the graphics are very, very nice and clear and you feel that playing with the lights off is a bad thing, which indecently you should not do as it destroys the whole mood of the game.
After the introduction the game starts you off asking you to choose between two characters, a Man (Edward Carnby) and a Woman (Aline Cedrac), both of which have different attributes and start off with different items and in different locations, therefore the puzzles are also different as we would expect.
The interface for the game is very easy to get to grips with, the game allows you to use the mouse for aiming your weapons or you can use the keyboard just as well due to the nifty auto-aim feature. The default buttons, which there are very few of, have definitely been researched because they do everything you would want and are in very practical places, someone really thought of this when they designed/played the game.
The graphics are also really good, the intro movies are short and to the point and set the scene perfectly depending on which person you choose. The in game graphics are also very good as they seem to be rendered backgrounds but I am not sure as the torch lights them up very nicely indeed. The characters are nicely modelled and the textures fit well, however there are some slight problems when you see the characters moving their heads through their arms, but this is forgivable.
Other great aspects of the game are the great effects that are present throughout, both graphically and sound. Lightning effects look and sound very realistic, combined with other effects that the developers have put together, the game provides a few subtle but very effective scares that will keep you on your toes. One of these is at the very beginning, you come across a gate early on and as you approach it lightning goes off, not content with that when it does and the screen flashes and you notice two figures standing behind your character, which I can tell you is quite scary.
For the first part of the game (until I died, silly me) I was constantly pointing my gun as I walked through the screens, which although made progress slow meant that I had time to react to things that kept happening, rabid dogs would jump at you out of nowhere, scary creatures were present in video clips that showed them close to your location, which means you know they are there but your not quite sure where. Keeping with the creatures, they are all varied and are well animated, the AI is very good but at times it is lacking in some areas such as they will move up to you and just stand there or keep running even though they are not going anywhere.
As far as I can tell I think that playing as Aline is slightly harder than playing as Edward, she does not start with any weapons and she does meet creatures earlier on which means not having any weapons does not help, however this is not too much of a problem, most creatures she comes across seem to be fearful of the light so using the flashlight you can keep them at a distance and slowly you can make your way through the house. This does present some disadvantages as when your facing a door to go through it these creatures will attack you meaning that a lot of health can be lost.
The game overall has some great effects, the whole package is scary, the graphics great and the music totally adds to the already nerve racking atmosphere. I think that this game is definitely the scariest game of its kind I have played, this beats Resident Evil hands down in every department, I liked RE but I seem to like this more, the game is well worth purchasing if you like this sort of thing. If you're an Alone in the Dark fan, this has to be a purchase!