Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC
Release Date: 03.20.2024
While Capcom’s PlayStation release Resident Evil gets credited with coining the term “survival horror” and helping create the subgenre, it was a different release four years earlier—Infogrames’ Alone in the Dark in 1992—that truly laid the groundwork for everything that would follow. After choosing between protagonists Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood, the game tasked players with surviving the terrors that awaited in Derceto, a haunted mansion owned by Emily’s late uncle.
The original Alone in the Dark is still considered a groundbreaking and influential horror experience to this day, and now, over 30 years later, THQ Nordic and developer Pieces Interactive look to take players back to Derceto in a modern-era remake.
Positioned as a “love letter” to the original, 2024’s Alone in the Dark retains the first game’s dedication to exploration, puzzles, combat, and storytelling, all reworked in a contemporary third-person action horror title. While THQ Nordic has expressed that it was important to retain the spirit of what Infogrames’ release offered players, they also had the goal of crafting something that could grow and evolve beyond just a simple remake.
One obvious example of that is the game’s overall presentation and cast of characters. Technology has advanced far from what was possible back in 1992, and Alone in the Dark showcases just how much is now possible with horror games in terms of atmosphere, lighting, and creating a sense of tension and suspense. Both Edward and Emily are back, now brought to life thanks to the voices and likenesses of David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Jodie Corner (Killing Eve), respectively. Depending on whom you choose, you’ll see alternate sides of the same story, get varying reactions from characters, and come at situations from different perspectives.
Another way that Alone in the Dark expands upon its predecessor is in its balance between fighting creatures and solving puzzles. Of course, combat in these types of games has come a long way over the years, and our heroes will have far more options for dispatching the creatures they meet along the way. Delving into the mysteries of this world will be just as important as fighting monsters, however, and you can now decide how much help you get along the way. If you need that assistance, it’ll be there—but if you’d rather conquer the challenges that await within the dark halls of Derceto alone, then you’ll be able to prove that you’re up to the task.