Alone in the Dark brings back the option to play as Edward or Emily

Our impressions of the modern reimagination of the Alone in the Dark series based on a demo played at PAX East 2023.

Pieces Interactive, THQ Nordic

Alone in the Dark is arguably one of the most influential survival horror game series first born in the early 90s with titles like 1992’s Alone in the Dark and 1993’s Alone in the Dark 2. The games follow private investigator Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood in exploration of spooky locations like Derceto Manor.

The original 1992 release gave players the option to play as Edward or Emily, and the modern reimagination of the series looks to stay true to the game’s roots by offering players the same option. At PAX East 2023, I had the opportunity to play a brief, yet engaging demo of the game, with the final scene shown pointing to the aforementioned presence of both Edward and Emily in the game.

While this is something that’s previously been confirmed, and is even mentioned on the game’s Steam page, it still gave me the warm fuzzies seeing the two side-by-side (albeit briefly) at the end of the demo.

Alone in the Dark screenshot showing a 1920s car approaching a sign for Derceto Manor
© Pieces Interactive, THQ Nordic

Interestingly, the demo itself didn’t focus on Edward or Emily but instead on a young girl named Grace. Taking on the role of Grace, I was able to do some exploration around parts of a reimagined Decerto Manor, with the graphics and attention to detail in the game immediately impressing me. I felt naturally inclined to walk around each room, and enjoyed some of the light puzzle-solving elements present.

The demo also showed off some of its horror elements with a previously cozy 1920s style house environment changing in parts to a haunted swamp full of aquatic monstrosities. I didn’t glean too much when it came to things like story details and tidbits, but the subtle mysteries presented in the demo grabbed my attention and made me want to dig even deeper into what was happening. Which makes sense given the presence of writer Mikael Hedberg on the project, with Hedberg being known for games that I already have a lot of love for including SOMA and Amnesia.

Alone in the Dark screenshot showing Edward Carnby shooting a gun at a skeleton
© Pieces Interactive, THQ Nordic

Additionally, the development team at Pieces Interactive is also being supported by Guillermo del Toro as a collaborator according to the game’s official website. The audio of the Alone in the Dark demo was a standout for me as well, and I was excited to learn on the website that Guy Davis along with Doom Jazz legend Jason Köhnen worked on lending their talents to the game’s unsettling melodies, some of which I enjoyed hearing (again, briefly) during my time with the demo.

Elsewhere on the game’s website, it’s confirmed that the new Alone in the Dark features a completely original story, though it incorporates familiar characters, places, and themes from the 90s original trilogy that are sure to delight established fans. With that being said, you also don’t need to have experience with the previous Alone in the Dark games to enjoy this one.

Alone in the Dark screenshot showing a 1920s town at night with dark blues and reds in the color palette
© Pieces Interactive, THQ Nordic

Despite how brief it was, I really enjoyed my time with the new Alone in the Dark and find myself impatiently waiting for the next opportunity to sink more time in with the game. If the rest of the game is anything like the small snippet I got to enjoy at PAX East 2023, Alone in the Dark fans could have a solid offering to look forward to in the future. No release date or window has been announced yet. To keep up with updates on the game’s release, be sure to keep an eye on the game’s website, and wishlist the game on platforms like Steam.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

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