Alone In The Dark (AITD) 2 by Infogrames followed on from the spookily brilliant original game – with a bigger, better and scarier atmospheric experience in Part 2.
The original AITD no doubt was an early inspiration for Resident Evil, it even coined the term “Survival Horror” and set the tone for a 3D character against raytraced backdrops where the camera angles where just not quite right to aid the player in seeing what was coming.
You played the part of Private Eye Edward Carnby investigating the disappearance of your partner (who was investigating the disappearance of a young girl). Your mission was to explore a strange old mansion called “Hell’s Kitchen”, where you discover your Partner has been murdered and Carnby comes across the murderous residents of the mansion – a bunch of undead pirates/gangsters.
Carnby had a variety of weapons to fight the undead pirates, including his fists, a pistol, but later on would collect things like a frying pan and even a shot gun.
The game was quite non-linear in terms of what you could do and the whole house could be explored thoroughly, including all of the grounds and gardens. There were different ways into the house depending on which path you took.
The only annoyance was when the player died (and you did die an awful lot!) the constant similar death sequence where one of the undead pirates would drop your carcass off of a cliff, would really grate after a while.
Also, anyone who could negotiate the controls should have won some kind of gaming award. If you think the camera angles in Resi were difficult, in AITD 2 you regularly find yourself expending your limited bullets whilst shooting into thin air, as you completely misjudge the angle of your undead opponent.
But in terms of atmosphere, this game ranks as highly as Another World, Flashback or even the Resident Evil series.
To make a scary closed in atmospheric shooter in 1993, with basic polygon graphics in the close knit uncomfortable style of Resi Evil (before Resi) was quite an achievement for Infogrames, who were no stranger to pushing the envelope with their series of unique 16-bit gaming experiences – such as North And South.
AITD 2 is not generally remembered as the strongest entry in the series for many AITD afficinado’s but it was my first entry into the series, so I remember it quite fondly.
The PS1 was showing its capabilities with this game, the animations were fluid and the backgrounds detailed. The action sometimes lagged when alot of enemies were on screen but generally coped admirably with the action.
It all looks a tad basic and dated now, but this belies what a great game Alone In The Dark II actually is – and was in 1993. AITD spawned many sequels (including this one, a terrible Uwe Boll movie) and was recently dusted off for a reappearence on Xbox 360.
AITD can be downloaded here.
Youtube Intro to game courtesy of POLE7645