Alone in the Dark is among a large number of classic horror games that are currently being remade for the modern era. After purchasing the rights to the scare ’em series that established the survival horror genre from Atari, THQ Nordic, and Pieces Interactive, Helmet’s ambitious re-imagining of the tale of 30-year-old detective Edward Carnby – is currently in the alpha stage of development, due to at some point in the The year 2023 – but it’s a far cry from retelling frame by frame.
You see, this isn’t a mid-size, refined rework, or even the familiar A-Z rebuilding we’ve seen over the past few years thanks to recent Resident Evil remakes from Capcom and Dead Space and the upcoming System Shock reimagining. Instead, Alone in the Dark is a self-proclaimed love letter to the 1992 original — one that delves into the details of a game clearly dated by modern standards, in order to recreate integrated aspects of its world and narrative. why? “We simply can’t remake the 1992 original,” creative director and lead writer Mikael Hedberg explains during a hands-on demo at Gamescom 2022. “It will only take about three hours!”
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When revisiting a game more than three decades old, the technology chasm is clear. In its defense, Alone in the Dark looked absolutely stunning visually at the time, and while I didn’t play it myself until several years later (I was six when it first hit store shelves), I remember still being impressed by its appearance in The end of the ’90s, in the face of much nicer games like Resident Evil 2 and Parasite Eve. Alone in the Dark was a pioneer in psychological survival horror, championing the fixed camera angle that came to define the genre in the era. But other than the front-end aesthetics, games like Alone in the Dark are clearly dated and less noticeable — not least in the speed and narrative arcs.
“That’s why we call it a love letter to the origin,” continues Hedberg. Before the game was officially announced, there was a small leak of screenshots and everything, and so a lot of people on the internet were shouting, ‘It’s a remake! It’s a remake! It’s a remake! “Not only will the original Alone in the Dark remake that looks like Alone in the Dark for a few hours, it will essentially consist of one man walking around one house with some monsters.”
To this end, THQ Nordic has played and replayed the original game, going over every detail with a fine-tooth comb, in order to build the broadest, most sophisticated and far-reaching interpretation of its original material. For example, harmless characters that were only present in the notes and in-game notes pages in the original version may appear as a fully realized character in the modern era Alone in the Dark. If others appear in the pictures, or are simply mentioned outside the loop in relation to the broader story of the first game, they may find themselves built, with presence and story to tell here. And, of course, the most obvious nods to 1992’s OG are scattered all over Alone in the Dark today — the eagle-eyed nostalgia among us will surely enjoy the lettering from the bouncy characters and vintage piano alike.
“For us, it’s about making a game that horror fans will love in 2023, with all due respect to the original Alone in the Dark series – those great games from 1992, 1993 and 1994,” Hedberg adds. “We have inspiration from the first game palace, for example, but we also have portals that players will need to discover in order to understand what’s going on in this world.”
At Gamescom 2022, THQ and Pieces showed a pre-playable teaser starring Alone in the Dark 2’s Grace Saunders serving as an aperitif for what lies ahead. It’ll be available to players before the proper launch of Alone in the Dark – and with that and with everything else we’ve seen so far, Alone in the Dark feels choppy and great, and to me, it’s a clever, hands-on remake of the classic survival horror – something we’ve seen a lot lately. , where it applies to the survival horror genre.
Considering the fact that Hedberg’s resume already features groundbreaking writing roles in the likes of psychological horror classics SOMA and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Alone in the Dark definitely looks like one to watch. Whether it’s from behind the sofa or through the gaps in your fingers.
There is no exact release date for Alone in the Dark, but it is expected to be in PS5And the Xbox Xbox Xand a PC sometime in 2023.