Alone in the Dark: Illumination – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Developer: Pure FPS
Publisher: Atari
Platforms: PC
Release Date: Early 2015

Alone in the Dark: Illumination – Preview

Good: Creepy atmosphere, lighting effects
Bad: No real storytelling, sometimes it's not clear if you're being attacked, fixed camera is a bit too close to the character
User Score
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to try out a beta version of the upcoming horror game Alone in the Dark: Illumination, made by Pure FPS. It’s been a while since we last saw an Alone in the Dark game pop up, so the more curious we were to see how this new game plays. Even though the game is obviously still being worked on, there are some good things and some problems worth mentioning.


In this early build of the game, you can’t play the 4 player co-op mode but you’re free to try out the first campaign with the Hunter, one of the Heroes you can choose from to start your adventure. In the complete game, players will be able to make a choice between the Hunter, the Witch, the Priest and the Engineer to take it up against the creatures of the dark. Each Hero has their own set of skills, weapons and powers so it’ll make a difference, gameplay wise, if you choose one character over another.

The game offers four levels of difficulty going from easy to insane. It’s always good to see such a diversity in difficulty levels as not everyone enjoys being mutilated to death every 10 seconds. Medium proved to offer the perfect mixture of challenge and joy without frustrating the player too much. Then again, some of you might enjoy a really hard game once in a while and for that group of people, there’s enough keyboard-throwing, screen-smashing and mouse-crushing action to be found in the hard and insane mode.

Story wise, there’s not a lot to say. If the player starts up the level of their choice, they’ll get some more information on the location and events that unfolded there by information provided by a simple information screen. No spoken-in text or authentic looking letter here, just a black box with white letters. Although that box does the job well enough, it’s not really what you’d call immersive storytelling. Hopefully, the game will offer something more sophisticated when it nears the release date.

Alone in the dark

Now for the actual gameplay. As soon as you start a level, you might notice that the camera is fixed pretty close behind your character. Even a bit too close as a big portion of the view is occupied by your character’s charismatic head. This is not that bothersome but sometimes it proves hard to detect danger when you can’t see part of the area. Running around is pretty smooth which is of course necessary as this is the kind of horror game where running away plays a major part. Shooting enemies in the face is often not enough to kill them. First of all, they need to be lured in a near light source as this will greatly weaken them and make them a lot more sensitive to gunfire. Overall, the gameplay works as it should but could use some tweaks here and there.

Alone in the Dark: Illumination is not particularly a beautiful game and it looks pretty aged at some moments. Still, the effects created by the constant use of the flashlight make for a great atmosphere. The monsters in the dark look quite terrifying and the audio that goes with it only enhances the constant feeling of being hunted. Imagine yourself playing this game in a pitch-dark room with a headset on… Incoming screams guaranteed. It’s important to emphasize that this is still an unfinished product so most likely, there’ll be a bunch of changes before the game is actually released. Although the sound from the monsters was pretty alright, the gunshots could use some more oompf. Now, some weapons feel more like toy guns instead of actual killing machines.

Alone in the Dark (2)

Some things were still missing or not completely perfect like the possibility to change the key binding or the fact that sometimes it’s not completely clear if you’re being hit by an opponent or how severe you’ve been hit. It often occurs that the main character suddenly collapses and the game is over before you even had time to check your health meter. An easy solution for this problem could be by adding a red glare to the screen or making the main character stagger around if he’s seriously wounded. Dropping dead because you didn’t even notice that a monster was attacking you can become quite bothersome.


The atmosphere in Alone in the Dark: Illumination is pretty good and the basic gameplay works as it should. However, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. The fixed camera might be a bit too closely tied to the character and it’s often not clear when you’re under attack which makes an easy death unavoidable. Still, this is still in beta and if some of these remarks are solved when the game releases, I can see this game becoming a fine horror sensation.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

1 Comment

  1. […] you may have read in our preview of this game, light plays a very important part. Monsters can only be shot down when you lure them […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.