Alone in The Dark – Review
Follow Genre: survival horror
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PC

Alone in The Dark – Review

Site Score
Good: Engaging creepy story, Excellent voice acting, Looks beautiful
Bad: Combat gets repetitive, Slight visual bugs
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Alone in The Dark is a franchise with quite a reputation. Some people credit these games for the birth of the survival horror genre, with the first one being released all the way back in 1992. Over the years, the original game got several sequels and was already rebooted once in 2008. While that specific reboot changed the premise a lot to keep up with modern times, it was not exactly successful. So it was no surprise that Pieces Interactive and THQ Nordic wanted to take another shot at it. The new Alone in The Dark was released in March of this year for PC and consoles, providing a whole new horror experience to scare us at night. Be sure to bring your flashlight!


The game is set in the 1930s and has two protagonists: Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood. Edward is a private detective hired by Emily after she starts receiving some disturbing letters from her uncle Jeremy, who is currently staying at a psychiatric hospital in Louisiana called Derceto Manor. On the drive over to the mansion, Emily reveals that insanity runs in her family and a lot of them have died young under strange circumstances. So she wants to assure herself her uncle is fine. After arriving and meeting with the hostile staff and strange other patients, however, it turns out Jeremy has been missing for a while and the police haven’t been warned. Edward and Emily force their way into the manor to help the search efforts, soon discovering that what plagues Jeremy and perhaps the entire hospital is not merely a mental thing but rather something supernatural.

You decide at the start whether to play as Edward or Emily. While your story will follow the same plot in a general sense, a lot of dialogue, cutscenes, and encounters are radically changed depending on which character you end up playing as. It also dictates which ending you get. To uncover the full story, you’ll have to play the game at least twice.


Alone in The Dark looks stunning, especially if you’re playing on higher graphical settings. The environments in and around the mansion are stunning, the cutscenes are fluid, and even the character models look nice despite this game using motion caption technology known to steer more into uncanny valley appearances with some other games. It probably helps that they managed to get professional actors for the roles, with David Harbour portraying Edward and Jodie Comer taking on the role of Emily, and various side characters also portrayed by experienced actors. The monster designs are also creepy, if a little boring after a while. We would have liked to see some more creativity. We also experienced some visual bugs in certain areas.


In terms of the soundtrack, there’s almost nothing to complain about here. The backdrop fits the game’s atmosphere perfectly and knows how to add to the tension. The music also works as a good indication of when you’re being chased or when there are monsters around. When the music is calm, you can explore and look for collectibles at your leisure. Having a bunch of professional actors working on the game is also an asset for the voice acting. We enjoyed how they gave the characters personality, even if you could hear that the actors were straining to make an accent work for them from time to time.


Alone in The Dark is a horror survival game with a focus on puzzle-solving and combat. You will have a very different experience depending on what difficulty you choose, with the game being notably more engaging for us if played on hard or even just normal difficulty. There are also options to change the user interface to display more or less hints. The game is divided into chapters, so you can replay parts easily to look for any collectibles you might have missed. Your objectives are tracked in a journal, though some of them are optional and only serve to reveal more lore.

You’ll spend most of the game exploring the mansion or the supernatural parallel worlds you’re thrown into. Often, you’ll have to solve puzzles to progress and find clues. These puzzles are more challenging on the higher difficulties, though they’ll never get too obscure. They are a nice change of pace from the combat you’ll be subjected to for the rest of the time, whenever monsters are near. At the start, you only have a simple handgun with limited ammo. If you run out of bullets, melee weapons are your best bet though they’re a bit more clunky, break after a few hits, and require you to get closer to the enemies, who can do a staggering amount of damage. Later on, you unlock other guns like a shotgun and even a machine gun, though the game is clever about never giving you enough bullets to play this like a shooter. Often, you’ll be better off sneaking around enemies and sometimes you’ll even be forced to run away in a tense chase scene. Around the map, you can find booze to heal with.

Overall, the gameplay does get a little repetitive after a while, though it never completely outwears its welcome. Some enemies can jump on you and stun you, making you button mash to get them off. This combined with the sometimes unresponsive dodge mechanic does drag the combat down a little.


Alone in The Dark is a worthy return for the franchise that manages to take the better elements of modern horror games and make them its own. While it’s not quite anything groundbreaking, it’s a fun little title with decent scares and a compelling plot that kept us interested from start to finish. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of this world in the future.

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  1. […] something very intriguing. This was the case for Shines Over: The Damned, which looked like an interesting horror experience, but it ended up being one of the worst games we have played in recent […]

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