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Game Profile
Game Boy
Dark Works
GENRE: Adventure
July 02, 2001
Alone in the Dark: Inferno

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

More in this Series
 Written by Kevin Stapf  on July 16, 2001

Review: Even if you are scared of the dark you will have no problems playing this game

Released back in the early nineties, Alone in the Dark was one of the first 3-D Adventure games were able to truly immerse yourself in the game. It would draw you into the intriguing story, creating a false sense of security and then literally scare the shit out of you. When people think of scary video games they imagine the Resident Evil series or even Parasite Eve, however Alone in the Dark was the series that started it all. The new combination of fear and excitement introduce by Alone in the Dark was a success and it spawned a few sequels over recent time. Now, many years later Infogrames has set out to release the 4th installation of this truly great series, on almost every platform available, including the Game Boy Color.

After seeing the initial screenshots before the game's release, all you could do was drop your jaw and stare with wide eyes at the miracle Infogrames seemed to be displaying in front of you. Comparing the screen shots of this game to any other GBC title was like comparing the Mona Lisa to the scribbles of a four-year-old child. They were simply amazing. Now the game has finally been released we are able to witness these amazing graphics first hand, but alas all they do is disappoint. The game is nothing more then a bunch of pictures thrown together in order for you to blindly move your character, Edward Carnby, around to move onto the next picture. While the backgrounds are quite decent to look at, they are definitely not the same ones we saw close to a year ago. The detail and color depth shown by those screens has seen to have all but disappeared, as the backgrounds of the final release are dark, muddy and fuzzy. Not only that, but the detail shown in Carnby's character seems to have been significantly downgraded, as well. Its not that the graphics are bad, but for anyone who has seen the prerelease screen shots, you will be sorrowfully disappointed.

While not entirely disappointing Alone in the Dark features some pretty standard sound effects as well as some pretty cool ones that greatly try to enhance the atmosphere in this game. The standard sounds of gunshots ringing out in the action sequences quickly becomes annoying, as it is increasingly impossible to hit or even injure these possessed creatures, where as to unique sounds of screaming and the continuous sound of footsteps close behind slightly enhance the mood. My only real gripe is that I feel they could have included a little bit of speech every once in awhile, and for those of you that say it can't be done on a GB game, go play Cannon Fodder for proof.

Now we finally get down to the area where AitD has made its lasting impression on gaming; its immersive gameplay. Attempting to create the level of engagement contained on its console and PC brethren would be quite the difficult task to pull of on the GBC and unsurprisingly the game seems to have failed to pull it off. Much of the game is suppose to revolve around the challenging puzzle solving sections, but in this game the ?challenges? are few and far between. When you finally do find a puzzle waiting to be solved the solution is usually to simply find some sort of key to open a door. One of the other important areas in all action/adventure games of this type are the challenging action sequences and I must give Infogrames some credit for what they attempted to do as a result of the systems limitations. Changing your view into an isometric view many various creatures are throw at you from all sides, but somehow this title doesn't succeed to entertain to full potential of the series. It may be because the controls in this section are awful, or because the creatures attacking you seem to have no ?life,? but for some reason it just doesn't seem to work.

Bottom Line
If this game were released with no initial hype surrounding it, it would have been a very average game that some will enjoy, whereas others may not, but alas, this Alone in the Dark adventure was encircled with a load of buildup. Alone in the Dark was supposed to be the game that made people forget about the cancellation of Resident Evil for Game Boy Color. Sporting incredible graphics and immersive gameplay, this was supposed to be a challenger for game of they year, but seemingly disappointments in doing so. Though failing to live up to its hype however, anyone who didn't take notice of the game's previous publicity before its release will still enjoy play, to some extent.

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