Alone In The Dark Review – Two Lights Are Better Than One

Rizwan Anwer
Rizwan Anwer
10 Min Read
Alone in the Dark
8 Great
Review Overview

Alone In The Dark is a game that predates even the Resident Evil series, but the last few years were not kind to the IP. With the last game for the series releasing back in for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, it was also the reason the IP was shelved for over 15 years. However, thanks to the efforts of THQ Nordic with publishing the latest entry and Pieces Interactive developing the game, we get a reimagining of the 1992 original game given to us in a brand new package. Will this offering be enough to reignite interest in the title? Let’s find out in my review of Alone in the Dark.


The story takes place in a remote part of Louisiana in the 1920s. Emily Hartwood hires Edward Carnby to find her uncle, Jeremy Hartwood in an institution called Derceto Manor. Players have the choice of playing as Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood. To get the full picture though, players will have to play through both campaigns, similar to Resident Evil 2 Remake.

Playing through the game as Emily or Edward shows you two different storylines with a little overlap occurring between them at pivotal points in the story. The voice acting is convincing and the graphics do a lot of work to keep the players invested and immersed in the dark and dingy setting of the world as you explore various parts of the manor and the “silent hill” esque worlds where you are taken into another place that is accessed by triggering a memory of someone in the manor.

Along the way, you will meet some interesting members of the institution who will give you clues on what’s going on in the mansion, and others that further add layers of mystery to the story. There is a good balance of keeping the player in the dark while also revealing enough of the plot to make me feel like my progression was worth the time.

A More Compelling Story

While padding was there, it was not difficult to get past. There are collectibles called Lagniappes, these are trinkets that you collect along the way as both protagonists on your separate playthroughs if you’re looking to get some bonus in the story, such as additional lore, or the shotgun.

While the characters do their job well to push the story forward, the interactions between them aren’t as well developed. The lack of character development overall throughout the story made me wish that there was more depth in the writing.

The two playthroughs are worth going through to get the complete story, and there’s an incentive to return in terms of trophies/achievements, collectibles, and even a secret ending!


The gameplay loop is relatively brass tacks. You go to a new part of the mansion, unlock a new memory, solve it, and move on to the next memory to unravel the deeper mystery of the house and the mystery of Emily’s uncle. In between moments, there are a few puzzles that are genuine headscratchers with a mix of enemy combat segments.

Combat in the game comes down to shooting over the shoulder with your pistol or shotgun, and you can find bullets with relative ease by just exploring the manor. Combat encounters can feel a little intimidating at times, but with the help of a dodge button offered to both protagonists, you can better manage fights against multiple enemies and reduce the damage you take.

My only real complaint with the combat comes in two parts. The first is how melee objects can be used to fight monsters but you aren’t given a better indicator on the screen when they are about to break. In games like Breath of the Wild, you get a warning on the screen that tells you when your weapon is about to break, but different melee weapons have different durabilities so you never know when you will need to switch your weapon.

My second complaint is how throwables like bottles and bricks are at fixed locations. You have to bait the enemy to the location of the throwable object, and only then can you pick and throw it. You can’t put the throwable object in your inventory and use it, these are stationary objects.

Old School Puzzles, But With More Help

One feature I appreciated in the game was the help with solving puzzles. If you easily get lost in these old-school horror games, you can get direct sub-objectives to do a little “handholding” to help you complete the puzzle. This is an optional feature and if you are a purist who prefers the thrill of figuring out the vague objective on your own, you can disable this option as well to make your playthrough challenging and rewarding.

In typical survival horror fashion, players will often backtrack to places or items in the mansion that were once locked and can be unlocked by finding the key or item to access it at a later point in the story, this also helps with encouraging exploration and finding collectibles in the game.


The graphics perfectly deliver its grim and eerie atmosphere with detail in every corner. Both of the protagonists will go to places far and near the Louisiana Bayou on their way to solving the mystery of the mansion, and these change the environments players can explore as well. Outside the interiors, you will also explore swamps, cemeteries, and other creepy locations. The game does a good job of giving life to these settings with a lot of great graphical detail, particularly when you zoom in on a texture as well.

Enemies are limited in variety, but that didn’t stop me from having equal parts of jumpscares, and fighting for my life when they would overwhelm me in certain sections. The monster design is scary enough the first few times but you run into them enough times for the shock and horror to wear off, and it’s only annoying when they overwhelm you.

Performance on PS5

I did encounter some minor audio glitches, where music would go tune in and out if I moved to a specific spot, along with some other minor audio anomalies.

I did my playthroughs on Performance Mode where I had very minor FPS drops. These are more prominent in Graphic Mode where the game has a 30 FPS cap. Playing it on a 65″ 4K TV, it was very hard to tell the differences between the two settings, but I am sure a Digital Foundry video will tell us about the visual tweaks in greater detail, but I would recommend Performance Mode for your playthrough as this mode offers a good balance of visuals and smooth combat.

I have been told that these will be fixed on the day one patch for the game on release date, and considering how few and far between these glitches were, they were never really a major hindrance to my ability to play the game.


Alone In The Dark is a brilliant reimagining of the 1992 original game that not many modern day gamers would have had the ability to experience. With some minor technical glitches, characters that could have been written a little better, and a few gripes with the combat, underneath that thick Bayou padding is a decent game here for fans of a good survival horror game. The trophies/achievements for this game will encourage you to come back for more, and with a secret ending to uncover, you have plenty of reasons to come and visit Derceto plenty of times as Edward and Emily.

What did you think of our review of Alone in the Dark? Share what you think about it in the comments below.

This review is based on the PS5 version of Alone in the Dark. The key was provided by THQ Nordic.

Review Overview
Great 8
Overall Score 8
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A gamer passionate about writing for the world of video games and consoles. Always on top of the latest leaks and making sure that I'm the first to cover them with the utmost accuracy. Thoroughly enjoy my work and always enjoy talking to other gamers from all over the world!
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