This October, Pieces Interactive will release Alone in the Dark, a reimagining of the 1990s horror game. Blending horror and mystery, the new game looks to give the game modern sensibilities while remaining loyal to what made the original title so memorable.
Preserving the horror
Alone in the Dark once again stars Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood as its protagonists. This time around, the characters are modeled after and portrayed by actors David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), respectively. The developers explained that as a character-driven story, it was important to cast the best actors possible in order to bring those characters to life.
Set in the 1920s, Alone in the Dark sees detective Edward Carnby investigating the mysterious case of Jeremy Hartwood after being hired by his niece, who received a disturbing letter from the man. Mr. Hartwood is haunted by an evil known as the dark, and the two protagonists endeavor to save him before its too late, while trying to avoid the evil themselves.
Players can choose to play as either Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood in Alone in the Dark. During my hands-off preview, the developers showed both characters walking through identical sequences. The character you choose to play will influence the direction of the story and your interactions with NPC. They said that players will be incentivized to play through the game twice from both perspectives.
As you explore the environment, solve puzzles, and interact with items as you look to solve the overarching mystery, you can toggle just how much assistance and direction the game gives you. This was done to preserve the game’s mystery element and make the player feel like they’re in the shoes of a detective, without alienating those that want a little more structure.
The most noticeable change in Alone in the Dark is its 3D visuals and animations, a huge evolution from the polygonal design of the original game released in 1992. Looking at both games side by side, it was fascinating to see some sequences really come to life thanks to new technology. It also feels like the new Alone in the Dark might be a bit scarier than its predecessors thanks to the increased realism.
The changes to Alone in the Dark aren’t just visual, either. Composer Árni Bergur Zoëga talked about the process of determining the musical direction for the game, settling on “Doom Jazz.” A genre inspired by noir detective stories, the creative team saw it as a perfect fit for Alone in the Dark.
Alone in the Dark will be released on October 25, 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. It’ll be the first single-player story-driven entry in the series since 2008.