PC/Mac/Linux
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System Requirements
OS: Windows 95b/98/98SE/ME/2000 Pro CPU: AMD K6-3 450 Mhz or Pentium II 400 Mhz RAM: 64 MB VIDEO: OpenGL compatible 16 MB 3D accelerator SOUND: DirectX compatible DirectX 8.0 is required Age: Mature (17+)

Introduction

Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare is 4th in a series of survival horror games. The original Alone in the Dark was the originator of the genre that inspired games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and pretty much every other survival horror game. In this review I will look at all aspects of the title.

Graphics

Might as well get this out of the way first so we can move on to what actually makes a game good. Like the original three Alone in the Dark titles, TNN uses pre-rendered backdrops with 3D polygonal characters and objects that move about the screen. The graphics run at 640x480 which is adequate but not anything spectacular. This is due to the size of the backdrops, which were apparently rendered at 640x480. It would have been nice if they could have at least rendered them at 800x600, which would have made it a bit sharper and more polished looking. Also, another thing that was not done properly is that the characters mouths do not move when they speak. Minor gripes aside, the graphics still manage to create a pretty terrifying adventure. The manor itself is a pretty creepy place to be. The OpenGL accelerated graphics for the models and visual effects add a nice touch and the flashlight and light effects were superb.

Game play

The game play has its share of ups and downs. The game has two different options when you start. You can take on the role of Edward Carnby, who was in the first 3 games or Aline Cedric, who has accompanied Carnby on his trip to Shadow Island to find out who killed his friend, Charles Fiske. Soon, they realize something darker is going on at Shadow Island. Controlling the characters is easy enough, just like the original AITD, but sometimes picking up items is a pain. There was one point in the game where there was a charm of saving that I never was able to pick up. I tried many different positioning of my character but could never get him to pick up the charm. There are only 4 save slots if I remember correctly and you have a limited number of saves, which you can obtain more of when you pick up the charms of saving. Some other reviews have made complaints about the key hunting early on in Carnby?s adventure, but I really didn?t have a problem with it. The atmosphere was heavy and intriguing enough to keep me interested. Also, one more thing, AITD:TNN is able to make a scary game because it presents the enemies in such away that you are actually scared of what could be lurking around the corner, be behind the next door, or even crawling on the ceiling? This is much more effective than survival horror games such as Resident Evil, in my opinion. Overall, the gameplay is pretty good, not at all different from the previous titles in the series.

Story

The game has an interesting and engaging story line which you pick up throughout the game through interaction, reading various documents, and solving puzzles. The ending, however, isn?t up to par with the rest of game. While not excessively bad, it could have been a little bit better.

Offensive Content

This game is rated Mature. There are a few places that have some explicit scenes, e.g. a dog getting bit by a creature of darkness, a decapitated head, a bloody guy that was seemingly attacked by some creatures. However, the way in which this is used serves to heighten the suspense. These parts are not gratuitous in any way, they added a lot to the game for me. When fighting creatures, there is very little blood. Another point that some Christians may be offended by is the use of magic. Some magic is used in the game and ultimately it is used to save the earth. This was not a big problem with me, as I know this is a fictional adventure. There is one area with a pentagram, the pentagram however is clearly portrayed as something evil. There a few swear words, but this very sparse.

Overall

Overall, this is a pretty decent survival horror/adventure title. Some may like it more than others depending on whether they liked the original AITD trilogy. I probably enjoyed it more than a Resident Evil fan may have for this reason. It?s pretty cheap now, so pick up a copy or at least try out the demo.

Final Ratings

Game Play: B Graphics: B+ Sound: A Interface: B- Stability: A Offensive Content: C-

Overall: B

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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