Alone in the Dark: the original survival horror returns thanks to THQ Nordic

We preview Alone in the Dark, the modern remake of the progenitor of survival horror, from THQ Nordic and Pieces Interactive.

It is amazing how quickly intellectual properties of extraordinary importance in the magical world of video games can die or be reborn. One good game was enough to resurrect the entire Resident Evil series after the big missteps made in Capcom’s dark decade. At the same time, several bad moves from Square Enix (and truly forgettable competitive online play) have led to legendary names like Deus Ex and Legacy of Kain disappearing from the discussion. Let’s not even talk about Konami IPs then, because there’s a risk of a decent slump if you think about the huge unexpressed potential for years.

In short, a prestigious name is not enough to guarantee success in the market: foresight and solid projects are needed to support the brand. East THQ Nordic he seems to know this well, given that recently the house has been hunting for notable IPs with the crystalline intent of exploiting them all. We saw one of these return during the last showcase, shown in a “cut” form to the press and focused only on four new productions.

The first of them was none other than the rumored return of Alone in the Dark: progenitor of the survival horror genre and iconic series… at least until its monstrous qualitative collapse and total disappearance from the spotlight.

Considering the ugliness of the 2008 and Illumination comeback, it was legitimate to tremble at a possible new “modern” reboot, far removed from the glories of the past. At THQ, however, cunning is not lacking and, after listening to the wishes of the fans, they opted for a return strongly linked to the roots of the saga, as well as reinforced by the presence of an exceptional director. let’s find out in this Advance alone in The Darkthe return of the original Survival Horror.

Welcome back to Villa Derceto

Alone in the dark: the

Alone in the dark: the “new” villa Derceto is still very disturbing

Wanting to stay true to the spirit of the original, this new title also offers two protagonists to choose from and they are the same ones that historical fans remember: Emily Hartwood and Edward Carnby. After discovering that her uncle has disappeared from Villa Derceto, a sumptuous resort for wealthy people with serious psychological problems, Emily hires Edward (who is, in fact, a private investigator) to investigate and accompanies him directly to the location. .

Evidently waiting for them are not simple rich anesthetized with medicinal cocktails, but nightmares that have taken shape, take them to infernal worlds and the usual evil entities are dedicated to pulling the strings in the shadows. Ordinary for a mustachioed detective (although the mustache is not confirmed yet, as Edward has only been seen from behind).

Alone in the Dark: The monsters have an aspect between the undead and the insects.  Yeah, well... they're disgusting.

Alone in the Dark: The monsters have an aspect between the undead and the insects. Yeah, well… they’re disgusting.

As you can see from the premise, the graphic it is not exactly identical to the original, but the similarities are many and the desire to rework a much-loved base so as not to betray its spirit is clear. The developers have also revealed to us that the demo available at Gamescom in Cologne (more of a gameplay trailer than a real test, but so be it) will even let you play as little Grace from Alone in the Dark 2, so we suspect. that classic quotes will not be missing during the campaign.

It is difficult at the moment to make any considerations about the narrative, we have seen very little, but the desire to respect the brand is evident and, as mentioned before, the reins of the project are Michael Hedberg, writer for SOMA and Amnesia. So there are excellent reasons to expect harrowing and potentially twisted events, as well as a world disturbing enough to amplify their effects on the player.

patinated blood

Alone in the dark: Edward's mustache has not been confirmed yet, but if they are missing, we will lower the game's rating by 3 points.

Alone in the dark: Edward’s mustache has not been confirmed yet, but if they are missing, we will lower the game’s rating by 3 points.

Less convincing, actually, is thegraphic impact of the game, which at the moment does not seem to have the production values ​​necessary to stand up to other “illustrious returns”. Attention, it is clear that there is still a lot to do (there is no planned release date, although development has started in 2019), but the engine is the usual Unreal Engine 4 and, although in general the project seems solid, the character models and sets suffers slightly from the shiny look of some productions that use them.

What little has been seen of Villa Derceto at least it seemed well detailed, and some scenes confirm the dev team’s intention to use a “dual setting” beyond Silent Hill here too, alternating between normal locations and disgusting sights filled with hideous organic matter.

Alone in the Dark: Clearly there is a lot of darkness in this return

Alone in the Dark: Clearly there is a lot of darkness in this return

Care has also been taken in the design of the monsters, who look like a mix of undead and insectoids, to say the least disgusting. However, only a few basic enemies have been introduced, perhaps to avoid revealing too many cards before a more substantial trailer. It seemed good to us – although it is now impossible to assess its actual validity – the gun response during the action. The approach chosen by Pieces Interactive seems close to that of the Resident Evil remakes: slow motion, camera from behind, but quite close, and claustrophobic settings that often leave little room for maneuver to avoid the dangers. However, unlike Capcom’s notable recent work, where the basic pistol had the power of a pea shooter and required a considerable expenditure of energy to knock out even a single zombie, the weapons here appear to pack significant power. The service pistol, in fact, seemed to us capable of knocking enemies out with a few shots and the shotgun really flexed its muscles in the few seconds of gameplay observed. We immediately noticed a discreet difference in resistance between two different monstrosities in the video, and we wouldn’t be surprised if this sense of security was linked only to the first trailer, with much worse threats yet to be discovered. Honestly? We’d also appreciate some speedup during action phases, as long as these are handled properly and monsters require a minimum of movement and tactical thinking to take down.

The new Alone in the Dark is a project that seems to have the strength to stand on its legs, finally true to its roots and potentially capable of reviving a big name. It remains to be seen if the team will be able to refine the less convincing elements (mainly the graphical impact) in the remaining time, but expectations remain more than good. Hopefully it’s not just the hope of seeing good old Edward’s mustache on top of the world again that makes us positive.

CERTAINTIES

  • Finally a return to the roots of the series.
  • The setting is disturbing and the place more than good
  • There is the author of SOMA and Amnesia at the helm of the project

DOUBTS

  • Production values ​​don’t seem exceptional
  • Little has been seen of the game yet


#Dark #original #survival #horror #returns #THQ #Nordic

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