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Alone in the Dark 2024 (PC, PS5, Xbox X\S) - Horror Game Review

alone in the dark 2024 pc ps5 xbox horror game review


Release date: 20th March 2024
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox X\S

In 1992, the first Alone in the Dark game became one of the most innovative video games of its time and had a great influence on the evolution of the horror genre.

However, the fate of the series turned out to be quite sad. The original development team split after several key people left. And the publisher company went bankrupt and was forced to sell the trademark.

As a result, the rights to the series were bought by THQ Nordic. And in 2024, this company released a reboot of Alone in the Dark with old characters and a new story.

Among fans of the earlier games, this news was received without much enthusiasm.

Firstly, because none of the original creators of AitD1 were involved in the new project.

And secondly, because the development of the game was outsourced to the company "Pieces Interactive", which previously only developed some lame casual games.

Let's try out the game and find out - did the developers manage to create a worthy reboot? Or did they end up desecrating the classics?


The events take place in America in the 1930s. We have two main characters to choose from: we can play either as a woman named Emily Hartwood or as a detective Edward Carnby.

The story begins with Emily receiving a strange letter from her crazy uncle (the artist Jeremy Hartwood), who is being treated in a sanatorium for the mentally ill called "Derceto".

In the letter, Jeremy says that a mysterious "Dark Man" is hunting him. And all the doctors in the hospital are supposedly members of some kind of weird religious cult.

Therefore, Emily decides to visit Derceto and check if everything is okay with her uncle. And just in case, she hires Detective Carnby, who must accompany her on the trip and act as a bodyguard.

But upon arriving at the sanatorium, our heroes suddenly learn that Jeremy has mysteriously disappeared. None of the employees know where he is.

And in addition, strange things are happening in Derceto. It seems that the building has some portals leading to alternate worlds that resemble distorted fragments of someone’s memories.

During the game, we have to figure out what is happening here and find Jeremy Hartwood.

Plot Impressions

The story is somewhat based on the plot of the first Alone in the Dark game. But here, all events and characters are altered and reimagined in a strange way. In this sense, the game is reminiscent of "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories" (it had a similar approach to "reimagining" a story).

By the way, AitD2024 heavily leans towards SilentHill-esque style. Throughout the game, we will have to enter several bizarre worlds created by someone else's subconscious. This twist will certainly appeal to fans of psychological horror games like Silent Hill and Rule of Rose.

But despite the major changes, the "reimagining" is still done with great respect for the original version of Alone in the Dark. There are many interesting references to AitD1992. And you can notice that the developers carefully studied the original game and its lore.

Also, just like the original game, the new reboot continues the tradition of adding Lovecraftian themes to the story. The game is stuffed with all sorts of references to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Fans of the writer will be able to find a lot of interesting connections here.

In my opinion, the scenario is the strongest aspect of the game. There are many surreal situations and unexpected plot twists, and there is also a sense of intrigue - so it is always interesting to follow the story. And the ending will probably surprise you.

I also liked the abundance of various diaries and notes. You can find about 50 files with plot information in the game - it is always interesting to read them. The scenario writer put a lot of effort into creating these files (by the way, the scenario writer for AitD2024 was Mikael Hedberg, who previously worked on "Amnesia: Dark Descent" and "SOMA").

The selection of characters was also cool. There are a lot of interesting and memorable characters among the residents of the mental hospital. What gives them a special charm is that all these people are from the 1930s and reflect different social strata of American society at that time. The only pity is that some characters are poorly integrated into the story and ultimately play a very small role in the events.


The game mechanics here look similar to Resident Evil 4. Therefore, before the release there were fears that the developers would turn the game into a furious TPS action with a lot of shooting and hordes of mutants.

But fortunately, this did not happen. AitD2024 is not an action game, but rather a story-driven horror adventure. 90% of the time here is spent exploring locations and reading notes. Fights with monsters are quite rare, and you can just run away from most of them. During the entire game you are unlikely to be able to kill even 100 monsters.

The game is a bit too simple on "Easy" and "Normal" difficulty levels, but on "Hard" level the gameplay is very well balanced. The monsters here are really dangerous, and encounters with them keep you in suspense. The quantity of ammo and healing items is also balanced quite well, and you’ll have to conserve the supplies to survive. So I recommend playing the game on "Hard".

The exploration part of the gameplay is also good. The game gives you a lot of motivation to carefully examine everything around you. Firstly, because you don’t want to miss an important note or ammunition. And secondly, because the designs of the locations are beautiful and atmospheric.

The locations themselves are quite diverse. In addition to the Derceto mansion, you can visit a dozen different "alternate worlds”, which are a reflection of someone’s memories of real places. This is a lot like Walter Sullivan's strange worlds in Silent Hill 4.

Overall, I liked the gameplay in AitD2024. However, the game still has several shortcomings:

1) There are some bugs and glitches. Sometimes characters get stuck inside walls and cannot get out (forcing you to restart the game). Sometimes textures don't load on time. And sometimes it becomes impossible to pick up a weapon lying on the floor. I hope that all this will be gradually corrected in the future.

2) The puzzles are too primitive. All riddles in the game are divided into two types: "put together a jigsaw picture" or "look in the notes, there is a code written there". The jigsaw picture puzzles are especially annoying - such puzzles appear about 10 times per playthrough and look as if they were made for small children. It's ridiculous to see such puzzles in a game that is intended for an adult audience.

3) There are few varieties of enemies. Throughout the entire game, you can meet only 6 types of standard enemies (half of which are almost the same) and two bosses. But the meager assortment of monsters here is not as annoying as it was, for example, in "Alan Wake" or "Last of Us". Because there are much less action scenes in AitD2024, and battles with the same type of enemies don’t get so boring.

4) It’s also a little disappointing that there are no unusual ideas in the gameplay. The original Alone in the Dark had a lot of interesting gameplay mechanics that were innovative for its time, but in AitD2024 the developers couldn’t come up with anything that could be in any way surprising. And they couldn’t even recreate some ideas from the original game (for example, you can't move items to make the barricades anymore, and there are no deadly traps in the mansion).

Replay Value and Endings

The game is not short, but not too long either. Completing the game with one character takes an average of 12-14 hours, if you take your time and carefully explore all the locations.

The scenarios of the two characters are not very different - in both cases the story develops more or less the same. But it still makes sense to go through the game again as a different character. Because you will be able to visit another new "alternate world”, and also reveal secrets about the past of this character.

It is also interesting to replay the game because the meaning of some dialogues and notes becomes better understood on the second playthrough. The plot here is quite complex and confusing, so you won’t be able to figure out everything in just one playthrough.

There are 3 endings available for each character: "main ending", "bad ending", and "joke ending".

The main ending is really cool, but the rest of the endings are quite weak. They only last less than a minute, and it feels like the developers were making these additional endings in a hurry just to say, "Oh, you see, our game is not completely linear!".

Also, the conditions for obtaining alternate endings are very strange. To see them, you must first find a bunch of hidden items ("lagniappes") that can be easily missed. And then you will also need to complete a secret side quest or activate a secret QTE during some cutscene.

Therefore, I do not recommend wasting time on all these troubles for the sake of getting the "bad ending" and "joke ending". It's easier to watch them on YouTube.

Graphics and Design

The graphics are good by the standards of horror games. It certainly can’t compare with high-budget AAA-class shooters, but it looks pretty decent. Although sometimes there is a feeling that the character models could be a bit better.

An important advantage of the game is the great design of the locations. The "Derceto" sanatorium and the alternate worlds have nice visual aesthetics and look very atmospheric. And you can notice that the developers paid a lot of attention to all sorts of small interesting details. For example, the design of each patient's room in a mental hospital has a lot of symbolism to it - these rooms reflect the nature of the person who is living there.

It's also nice to see how much work was put into creating the illustrations for the various diaries and notes. The developers meticulously created a unique design for each document in the game.

But unfortunately, the developers didn't put as much effort into monster designs - so they turned out to be too generic: swamp zombies, walking skeletons, flying beetles... These creatures look like something that can be found in any random dark-fantasy RPG. Of all the monsters in the game, only the final boss looks interesting and impressive.

Music and Voice Acting

Composers Arni Bergur Zoega and Jason Kohnen worked on the music for AitD2024. This was their debut work (they have never written soundtracks for games before).

Most of the tracks are made in an avant-garde jazz style, which is unusual for horror games. They emphasize the retro ambiance of the 1930s and the melancholic mood of the game.

But it should be noted that there are almost no "scary" tracks here, and the composers are not very good at creating a frightening atmosphere. Also, in my opinion, there are no memorable tracks that I would want to listen to again. Therefore, I can't say that the music is bad, but I can't really praise the soundtrack either.

The quality of voice acting in the game is quite high. The developers hired many experienced actors, so all the characters are played quite convincingly.

Hollywood actors were invited to play the roles of the two main characters: the detective Edward Carnby was played by David Harbor (known for the TV series "Stranger Things"), and the role of Emily Hartwood was played by actress Jodie Comer.

It’s also quite amusing that the role of crazy uncle Jeremy Hartwood was played by an actor named Paul Mercier, who previously voiced Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 4 (he also voiced the main villain in Shadows of the Damned).

And here's one more fun fact: the actor who voiced the sanatorium patient MacCarfey in AitD2024, also played many other characters in various retro horror games (he previously voiced characters in Deadly Premonition, LifeLine, Kuon, and Echo Night Beyond).


I can't call AitD2024 a particularly scary or frightening game. It has more of a gloomy-mysterious-melancholic type of atmosphere. And this type of atmosphere is conveyed very well here. You can wander around the locations and enjoy this feeling.

There are not many sudden jumpscares here. But there are a lot of strange and surreal scenes. And the game often tries to convince you that you are gradually going crazy. In my opinion, this is a good approach to creating horror games.

It’s also worth noting that the game has strong retro-horror vibes and feels a lot like classic games from the mid-2000s. It brings back nostalgic memories of such projects as Eternal Darkness, Silent Hill 4, Rule of Rose, Shattered Memories, Siren Blood Curse, Clock Tower 3, and Fatal Frame 4.

So if you like old-school horror games from the PS2 and Wii era, then you will probably like AitD2024 too.

Pros and Cons of the Game


+ Interesting story.
+ Two playable characters.
+ Many different locations to explore.
+ Excellent design of the locations.
+ More than 50 diaries and notes.
+ Good gameplay, without too much action.
+ The game is not short, but not long either.
+ Nice graphics.
+ Dark and mysterious atmosphere.
+ Old-school horror game vibes.
+ Lots of references to AitD1 and Lovecraft.
+ Unusual 1930s America setting.
+ High-quality voice acting.


- Few types of enemies.
- Generic monster designs.
- The puzzles are too primitive.
- There are some bugs and glitches.
- Alternate endings are too short.

The Verdict:

Despite skeptical expectations, the developers managed to create a very good game with an interesting story and great location designs. The project was made with great respect for the original version of Alone in the Dark, and feels like a love letter to the classic old-school horror games. The only pity is that the technical implementation could have been better. It is clear that the developers did not have enough budget and enough time to polish everything. But overall, AitD2024 is one of the most interesting horror titles in recent years. I had a lot of fun with this game, and I recommend you try it too.


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Author of the article: SilentPyramid

Publication date: 27.04.2024

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