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3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
Platform: Xbox 360|Edition: Normal|Change
Price:£7.80+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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on 8 March 2017
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on 22 November 2013
I found myself looking up Alan Wake on Amazon and reading the reviews just to see if anyone confirmed what I already thought about it, which was that it was a spooky and atmospheric game which I was quite fond of and had an excellent storyline, and they recommended some similar games - so to speak - similarly atmospheric and dark, I assumed, one of which was this, 'Alone in the Dark'. Also, I'd stumbled across this game's product page before and been attracted to the fact it was set in the whole of Central Park, New York. After looking at the Product Description telling me it had 'immersive gameplay' and 'stunning visuals' and plenty of environmental interaction in the many acres of Central Park, and not bothering immediately with the Reviews, I thought "What a brilliant-sounding game, and similar to Alan Wake into the bargain!" so went ahead and ordered it from Amazon. I received it today through the post and when it was evening I thought "What a good idea it would be to play 'Alone in the Dark' now!" Result: I nearly went on a rampage smashing up the house like the Incredible Hulk (an Xbox game, incidentally, I have also been taking an interest in today on Amazon)!! I have never found a game on Xbox Original (not even Fellowship of the Ring which is the most difficult game I have ever played on that 1st-gen console) or Xbox 360 which is so difficult and almost impossible to play because of the absolutely abysmal camera that makes this game practically and literally unplayable. The one thing that made me jack in this game by the time I got to the bit where the spiders attack you and your female companion early on in the burning building which you have to find a way out of to reach Central Park on the ground below - and then your troubles are just beginning, I assume - was the almost impossible camera controls which had me repeating a scene over and over which with normal camera I could have just achieved once on my first attempt. The problem with them is this: instead of using a 360o camera whereby you can turn your character around full circle like in most games (especially those with superior graphics engines like Crysis 2/3 and CryEngine 3; or games with Unreal Technology like Borderlands 1/2) which use full-directional camera with the right thumbstick, you have to use the left thumbstick to guide your character Edward Carnaby in the direction you want it to face and go, as the right thumbstick practically only turns him for about 90o in a clockwise/anticlockwise direction, making it extremely difficult to line him up with an interactive object (like when wanting to pick up a chair to use as a weapon) or to face an enemy. I also didn't like the melee feature much as it was finicky and you couldn't use your pixel fists like in most games, only an object as a weapon, although it was doable and merely meant you needed to time the blows you dealt on an adversary. Because of these drawbacks (majorly the clumsy camera) I didn't have the patience or the time to complete my escape from the burning building to even experience the (relative) freedom and fresh air of Central Park. I didn't find this game to be like or as good as Alan Wake even in darkness or atmosphere let alone quality as it just proved to be a chore and was likely to be that way to the end with the unplayablility factor influencing my decision to stop trying to get further through the burning building and call it a day (or night) with this one. Who knows, I may come back to it in the future for another bash, but I doubt it. There are better games to waste my time on. This one is a pointless waste of time and is rewarding as having to wash someone else's dirty dishes (a task I felt I was doing the equivalent of for Atari with this). It was a good idea but sadly spoilt by the camera controls, otherwise I would have continued playing it right through, as like with reading books I generally like to finish what I've begun. But this is a first, it's no-go for me, no-man's-land for gaming. If there is no enjoyment to be had from trying to control a character who moves like something with near-paralysis, I wish to venture no further. I thought it was only something to do with being stuck in the burning building and that the matter would be resolved and the camera revert to normal once I reached Central Park, until I read some of the negative reviews on Amazon which led me to believe this wasn't going to change and so that decided it for me and as I said before I decided to jack it in on that note. Atari mustn't have been able to afford to invest in a good graphics engine for this game as whatever one they used is terrible. The graphics themselves are reasonably well-drawn but that's about it. The lighting even downplays that aspect and you're more concerned with finding your way around with a flashlight to take in the scenery anyway. Someone who's played and maybe completed the full game makes for a better judge of it than me, but as for me even this early on in the game I wouldn't recommend it; I'd advise don't bother and go and play Alan Wake instead, which is far superior and excellent by comparison.
[UPDATED 1.12.13]
Well, what can I say? I originally gave this game a one star review rating, but contrary to my expectations of self I came back to it and continued playing through it with perseverance - and with a little help from a sympathetic friend (I've done most of the difficult bits, mind!) - and whattya know, I now dangle from a cliff on a cable supported by a teetering wrecked helicopter in Episode 7, part 1 after having ran in circles while keeping within the glowing orb of the aforementioned heli's spotlight that shone into some man-eating black oil and then successfully reached a savepoint shortly after. I must say, I have changed my mind somewhat on the quality and playability of this game having now moderately mastered the camera/directional controls - I find that moving the character around with the left thumbstick is easier than using the right stick to focus camera, although this latter is needed from time to time in conjunction with the former - and also been impressed by the intelligence and required strategy for some of the puzzles. It is still not up there with Alan Wake in my opinion but I will recant some of my former diatribes against this game and say that as you progress and start to get the hang of it it turns out to be not altogether unplayable, and some of the most difficult parts are actually doable despite the atrocious camera and in some ways actually enhanced by it. So, I would say that if you like difficult games which require intelligence to solve problems in the non-action sequences or after you have silenced everything in your wake and have breathing space to think you should not be put off buying this game at the cheapest price you can find in the same way that you don't mind paying a small amount for a low-budget indie movie sometimes (Beast of the Alamo is a fairly decent one that springs immediately to mind, Uwe Boll's films do not). It is not all that bad, and the satisfaction of completing an episode of such a difficult game leaves you feeling rewarded and proud of yourself (especially in my case after the scene with the pillars and the huge dragonlike demon which had me breathless and on edge). It is not a game I would recommend because of its terrible camera controls which make the game so much more difficult than it otherwise would prove to be, but if you are considering the challenge I would not want to dissuade you either. As I say, the terrible camera controls have forced me to deduct 1* from an otherwise 3* review, leaving 2* in my overall rating of it, and but for these the game would have been much more enjoyable and quicker to complete. After reading some other reviews and so taking a closer look at the graphics rather than just concentrating on surviving the horrors of this decently-woven Lovecraftianesque story with its brooding darkness and haunting plot but semi-predictable frights and monsters I came to agree that the graphics themselves are really quite good indeed but this is no use if gameplay detracts from that element. All the same, there is quite good artistic content but concentrating on this alone is not good enough, if the Havok graphics engine is inferior, although I have a suspicion that it is meant to be played this way and is not just the result of lazy tweaking. "Bidi-bidi-bidi!" No, I said tweaking, you silly robot, not Twiki! Get back to the 25th Century where there are better games and consoles than the ones I'm talking about here...Anyways, I am well on my way to completing Alone in the Dark now and fully intend doing so, provided I can rack up enough spectral points by setting haunted tree roots scattered throughout each level on fire in the process as you need them (at least 50 out of a possible 100, I'm led to believe) to wrap up the story finale. Seen better games, seen better times...but, Hell, I'm not going to waste my money spent on this one, am I, without being a sportsman and at least giving it a bash.
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So, the good points first - it looks stunning, has some truly spectacular moments that wouldn't look out of place in any Hollywood epic, and the narrative is compelling.

The bad points - it has a horribly clunky control system, some rather contrived puzzles, and a preponderance of game points that you can't get past without the benefit of having died and been reborn through the save-game mechanism. Some of the levels too are punishingly difficult, a problem which is exacerbated by the lack of clear guidance at times with regards to where you have to go and what you have to do.

It's a wonderful game to watch someone else play, though.
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on 16 July 2008
hmm well after just the third time of playing it I gave up. Its got some really good new concepts of working, EG the right thumb stick to swing your weapon in a certain way and the inventory layout idea..but in actual fact they dont work well in gameplay. Simple things like you have to drop an item before you can pick a new one up - in order to combine it with something you have already, then re-pickup the original item. Or when you open a cupboard, he doesnt take the max he can carry, but just a set amount, so you end up having to open the cupboard 10 times to pick up 10 sets of ammo.

The driving is shockingly appaling to control and often difficult to see where you are going. Alot of time seems to have been spent on graphics but not on how the game actually plays, or how user friendly it is. Its controls are clumsy and time consuming. I found it takes all the fun away and becomes frustrating and just plain silly.
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on 21 July 2008
Ok I bet there alot lots of people that played this games for an hour or so they may have even got the driving section, and then understandably went straight to their laptop and voice their hate on these Amazon review pages.
I say understandably because the controls did my head in too, OMG walk in a straight line you moron was my scream during the opening level.... get on the ladder you.... any way you get the idea the controls are not good. Then get behind the wheel in a thanfully short driving section and the controls go from bad to worse. Why oh why if you can't do driving physics just but a nice cut scene of driving in its place.... yes its easy to see why this game got turned off, just like I did.

BUT then I switched it back on and I was greeted with previously on Alone in the Dark (yeah im a LOST & 24 fan it got my attention)as the story re-capped I realised it is quite a interesting story and I would give it another go. All of a sudden I got used to controls and started to reall enjoy the game and its very good ideas. The game started to devope into a quite a good survival horror, reminisent of the old Resi Games.

The main character Edward Carnaby is bleeding badly, hit right on the direction pad and you can actually see your gaping wound. Hit down and the camera gives you a view of your pockets, sugar! i've got nothing that will stop the bleeding just a bottle of lighter fluid, a gun and double sided tape!!!. ok im in central park it has gone to hell there will be healh pack in a tree or something yes?? No not in A.I.D.

You will not find any pick ups where they shouldn't be, luckily I spied rest room hopefully a first aid kit maybe in there, YES! I find bandages and im better. Oh dear! now something is after me, I can't go out where I came in but there is door locked in the corner I can smash it down??? so I check my pockets again, I grab the bottle of lighter fluid wrap in double sided tape stick it to the door, pull out my gun and shoot it ! hey presto open door! This inventory system is brilliant, you can only carry what you can fit in your pocket, so you must be selective and think what you will need. Its just great, got no ammo? well you have a aerosol and a lighter...hey hey home made blow torch.

This is not all the game has to offer I assure you the graphics are very good, the Fire is truly amazing as it expands and burns anything near it. the fire also becomes your friend, you got now weapons at all? pick a chair up put it in the fire instant weapons. The story is very interesting as are the charcters? the use of constant swearing seems out of place but there we go. The set pieces are very good, apocolyptic New York is a very interesting place to be.

The game obviously has its problems! I wish I could rate it 3.5 stars cause 3 seems harsh,but a game such bad controls cant get 4. But if you can get by its obvious problems then there is a very interesting game here, that is unlike anything else currently availiable on this gen of consoles. I have seen A.I.D as low as £18 at them moment believe me its worth it, especially if you are survival horror fan, it should keep you going untill its time to vist Silent Hill...again
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on 19 May 2014
After reading the bad reviews it received, I have played and completed. It seems to me a game that if they devoted a little more time in their development had been one of the best games for the Xbox 360. Presents many innovative aspects, from the shape of third day from now until the inventory of objects that you're wearing. Graphically it's not bad although it leaves something to be desired, and the soundtrack is quite good in my opinion.
I would recommend it since to a low price you'll get quite a game that insurance you'll be amazed.
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on 23 December 2009
I was quite excited to play this game as I thought it should prove to be an engaging adventure. I had a vague recollection of playing it in it's Playstation incarnation. Much to my dismay frustation abounded within minutes of starting to play the game. The main characters movements are incredibly clunky and slow, although you can pick up objects to batter the zombies with you can only actually kill them with fire. Using the menu the game doesn't pause so the enemies can come and attack you while you are trying to combine objects. The gun targeting system is abysmal and the character turns too slowly to keep up with fast moving enemies.

I got to the part where you meet your female sidekick and I wanted to kill her. Not only did she get in the way of trying to shoot enemies she complained in the most obnoxious way about not shooting her - 'well get out of the way then!'. Her voice was so annoying, on a stairwell she kept standing in the way making it almost impossible to get past her. I found myself shouting at the television 'GET OUT OF DAMN THE WAY'! Then when you have to find another car to exit the building her constant whining really got on my nerves I did actually try to shoot her but unfortunately the game doesn't let you!

Upon exiting the building you get involved in car chase to get to central park in which the slightest wrong move means your car flies up into the air and explodes, the controls are frustratingly over sensitive and small means you drive into a lampost which you then have to reverse ever slowly away from and you end up dying and having to start again from the beginning. After almost an hour of the car race I had to switch off the xbox for my own sanity. I don't know if I can bear to pick up the game again it is just too frustrating!
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on 7 August 2008
Alone in the dark has to be commended for its ambition if nothing else, there are ideas here that will no doubt inspire other games - hopefully slightly better implemented than they are here. The idea of having vehicles to drive and tactics the player can use with these motors - brilliant! the very first time you get in a car as you go to Central park - frustrating! its very much trial and error, things are just a little too tight to make it through without remembering where everything happens.
Yet the spectacle is more awesome tham most games manage in their entirety and this is just the first of many set-pieces, throughout the whole game there are a lot of brilliant scenes its just that the controls are a little fiddly.
The core gameplay has many neat touches and can be quite satisfying but is often very sloppy, there is one section that seemed nigh on impossible without exploiting the enemies stupid A.I (although it gave me a chuckle seeing them kill themselves it took forever to do and relied on random luck because it was too tricky otherwise).
Some people have complained about the inventory not pausing the game, I did this often and its actually the case that the enemy rarely attack you when in the inventory screen - people who moan about it must be spending ages doing what they need to do because I hardly ever noticed any problems despite loads of enemies running around.
The final levels are very satisfying with Tombraider-esque puzzles and platforming, both are handled well and the end is pretty good (the ending however leaves a bit to be desired).
To me I'm glad I played the game despite its obvious flaws, in some ways this will be better than the likes of Silent hill or Resident evil but at a fundamental level it needed a bit more polish and a few ideas being chucked out - the melee combat being controlled by the analogue stick doesn't quite work for example.
Theres a lot of thrills to be had with this game but it takes patience, something I suspect most 360 owners wont bother with or if they do its flaws will be more obvious to them than its charms.
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on 15 July 2008
Oh my, It's not many times I've brought a game home, turned it straight on and been back in the shop trading it in within 3 hours but with Alone in the Dark I was.
I can't comment on the last five episodes as I gave up after two chapters - 45 mins of the same car chase over and over and over and over (without Hot Chip) was enough to condemn this game to the junk bin.

The game is jerky, really jerky, characters are wooden, the fire is unrealistic, you cannot see anything that is going on (I know it's half the point - but it's not scary just annoying), the driving is terrible, but worst of all is the attack options, the shooting is diabolical and the hit objects goes nowhere near where you want it.

The manufacturers had a few good ideas, but for everyone of them they tried to put six really bad ones in.
If you love doing the same scenes over and over again you will love this - it's base on trial and error - you do something wrong - anything - you die and have to start the scene again - you can't skip the movie clips either. It's not 1990 gaming - we don't like dying 10 times to move forward to the next room.

The only reason I've not given this game one star is because of the summary movie you get when you've completed a chapter then exit and restart the game and you get a US TV style "Previously on" - that is really well done and almost makes this game good - it's shame to say it, but this is anything but good. Avoid.
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on 14 November 2008
Ive only been playing this game an hour or so but felt I just had to write this..

First of all the control system is TERRIBLE, camera angles are TERRIBLE, fighting parts of the game are TERRIBLE your inventory is.. yes, you guessed TERRIBLE.. this game has so much of the early resident evil feel to it but everything seems far worse, movement is slow and frustrating, camera angles are limited, you can switch from 3rd person to 1st person but then it changes back on its own accord.. The worst parts are the fighting sequences, they are annoying, its not just a case of pressing right trigger to whack someone over the head, its a case of push the right stick one way to make ready with the chair or whatever you are using as a weapon then move it the opposite way to hit with, usually it misses, breaks or you drop the damn thing, then if thats not enough you have to grag the body to some fire as fire is the only way to kill the demons or whatever you want to call them, before you have dragged the body to some fire they are awake again and trying to kill you.. this game could have been so much better, the graphics are fantastic, some of the backdrops look stunning, animation seems really good but the frustration of trying to navigate your character is enough to put me off this game.. nice try but just not good enough
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