The Disappointing Mediocrity Of Alone In The Dark (2024): Review

Whoa, there, nelly, don’t be raising pitchforks at us for having an opinion that’s brutally honest about Alone In The Dark (2024). At least one that’s not afraid of calling out the mediocrity and abysmally disappointing experience of this ‘modern reimagining. Imagine the irony of having the status of the pioneering gaming survival horror franchise. Yep, believe it or not, before there was this gold rush of classic titles that popularized the niche, there was Alone In The Dark.

We’re all for classic games getting the remake treatment. In a time where many beloved horror games are putting out bangers in their modern takes Alone In The Dark should also have delivered, right? See Resident Evil, Dead Space, and upcoming Silent Hill 2 remakes as proof, that this could have worked. But did it? Well…. That’d be a big NOPE! Here’s why.

Why Alone In The Dark (2024) Breaks Our Hearts?

Alone In The Dark (2024)

Boy, that Embracer Group is just one disaster after another, eh? The recent Aspyr’s Star Wars Battlefront Collection debacle is another example of Embracer’s incompetence and interference not doing anyone any good. If it wasn’t obvious, our time in Alone In The Dark (2024) was neither fun nor enjoyable. It’s memorable for sure, alright, but for all the wrong reasons.

We’ll break down every aspect of the game, starting with the good, then the shoddy, and then the rubbish. The thing is this game was one of our most anticipated releases because the legacy it holds is really special. It’s gonna pain us to thrash this one, cause after playing it, we see the potential of what could have been.

It’s not like this game didn’t try with its setting, but the fact is, it should have done better. After all, it’s kinda telling when you delay your game to avoid goin up against an overcrowded release window. We can only imagine how worse it would have been if it didn’t receive the so-called ‘polish’. Now, let’s get into this review of Alone In The Dark (2024).

THE GOOD BITS OF ALONE IN THE DARK (2024)

Derceto Manor in Alone In The Dark (2024).

There were key two traits of the Alone In The Dark (2024) that stood out for us. The basic premise of the game is that private detective Edward Carnby is hired by a woman named Emily Hartwood to go with her to Derceto Manor. The purpose is to find her uncle, who wrote a cryptic letter to Emily, and she is concerned for his well-being. Once they arrive, things go nuts. Now, let’s get discuss the individual aspects of the game that were actually good.

Very Atmospheric Visuals With Creepy Imagery

We’re gonna be honest here, very few things in Alone In The Dark (2024) we found compelling. Seeing the devolving of one of your favorite game series is never good. For crying out loud, the pixelated graphics of the original Alone In The Dark 1992 video game had more ambiance than this new one. That said, the environmental details in the new game are striking, and create an engaging experience. The presentation of the clues, and the puzzle placement along with subtle, and abrupt changes in the surroundings work really great.

Creepy imagery in Alone In The Dark (2024).

The entirety of the game quickly shifts the scenery in a way that every camera angle stirs up some tension for the players. Well, at least, it tries to anyway. But this loses steam quickly because it becomes overdone, and the shock value simply isn’t there. Still, in the earlier parts when you’re playing as one of the side characters, a girl named Grace, the game’s at its creepiest. Nothing groundbreaking mind you, but seeing the world through the eyes of a child in a horror game is an unsettling idea, so in that Alone In The Dark (2024) succeeds.

Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood.

Another hallmark feature of the game’s visual are the character models of the two main leads. Private Detective Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood stand out from the crowd, a little too much, if ya ask us. Like, compared to the rest of the cast’s designs, they’re the ones where the actual budget of the game went. The expressiveness of the dual protagonists’ character models during cutscenes is by far more believable. It gives off the feel of authenticity to the game. Some complaints are still there, but, for the most part, it’s fine.

The Storyline Was By Far The Most Interesting Thing In The Game But Not Worth Revisiting

Story is good in Alone In The Dark (2024).

So, the other saving grace, or rather the thing that goaded us on to see things through to the end in Alone In The Dark (2024) was its story. No, it’s not perfect, and most of it feels so disjointed at times because the interactions are on the trippy side of things. There’s too much abstract element that detracts from the enjoyment, but we’ll admit the intrigue was there. Like watching a train wreck happen, you know it won’t end well, but you’re glued to the screen anyway.

Presentation of the story was satisfactory.

There’s even a hint of what the devs were pushing for, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The cast of characters is charming and quirky with a dash of unsettling, but they’re too vague. They don’t see what Edward and Emily are seeing in the very instant things happen. The plot convenience trope is overplayed in the game design which eliminates all semblance of sensibility. But, credit where it’s due, some crucial changes like turning the mansion into a facility, and having Emily’s uncle, Jeremy Hartwood, alive for the story were good decisions.

Some nice little twists in Alone In The Dark (2024) lore wise.

The personal narrative branches for both Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood felt really great. There’s personal trauma that both characters have which is shown in a way that makes us care. However, it’s clear that there’s obviously some cut content with the story, too. Some things feel like they’re missing and there are so many questions about the entire final arc. The antagonistic ‘Dark Man’ also feels like a throwaway figure, and reliance on Cthulhu mythos is a little too on the nose. But, like we said, there’s enough of a hook to hold our interest in Alone In The Dark (2024).

THE SHODDY/TEDIOUS/BAD OF ALONE IN THE DARK (2024)

(Glitches galore, everybody)

Well, where to begin? The shoddy parts in Alone In The Dark (2024) are where we’ll tell you where the game lacks, but shows the vision of what the intention was. These are the technical issues, pacing, and character interaction with plenty of plot holes. Oh, and puzzle-solving tediousness, then there’s the abysmal combat. **Sigh** Let’s rant about that.

Glitches And Abrupt Transition Cutscenes Sap The Immersion Of Exploration

The sad thing is that glitches and bugs really ruin everything in this game.

So, remember how we said that immersion and storytelling are really interesting in Alone In The Dark (2024)? Guess what?! That enjoyment is out the window when you encounter not once, but several times, bugs and glitches. We’re not kidding here, the amount of times we got stuck on a table, or on a ledge, took away the tension of an intense moment.

That’s not all, though. You see, the character movement animation is clunky and feels too bogged down, too. It feels like our character’s got an overburdened inventory in an RPG. Then there’s the whole mess where the collectibles either disappear or the context-sensitive interaction doesn’t register. Seriously, the number of times we died because of that is no joke.

Sometimes, there were cutscenes and you didn’t have much control over what was going on. Before you knew it, the scene had transitioned. There were these cool environmental designs that you could only move around in a limited capacity. Plus, there wasn’t really anything of value in them, either, making them feel like wasted potential.

The Puzzles, Stealth Sections, And Combat Feels Either Generic Or Tedious

We’re not gonna sugar sugarcoat our disappointment with the gameplay loop and sound designs of Alone In The Dark (2024). This really stung, because walking around in the Decerto was supposed to feel suspenseful and intriguing. But, really, what we felt was boredom. The collectible portions didn’t have any great insight into the story, the exploration also didn’t seem particularly fun, either. But, but! The truly mind-numbingly part were the puzzles.

Pick up a clue by reading documents, then do a jigsaw to reveal more info to use on a different puzzle. All this jumping through hoops only to then unlock the combination to a safe. It was a snooze-fest. There was never any sense of achievement, here. It felt contrived, puzzle for the sake of a puzzle. And, now, we turn our guns to the true culprits of the gameplay, because puzzles, at least worked without a hitch. But these two things? They absolutely suck!

Alone In The Dark (2024) combat and stealth sucks.

So, get this! The combat is a by the number shooter, with no variety. You’re told to use throwable objects to distract enemies, but! When you pick one up, you automatically get out of the stealth crouch. Oh, but it gets worse, melee weapons are made of paper while enemies can one-shot you easily. The weapons feel like they don’t pack enough of an impact and that’s inspite of mostly two-shotting enemies. Ammo is so much, you’re hardly ever in a position where you’re in trouble.

Alone In The Dark (2024) Also Faulters With Plot Holes, And Characters

Plot holes.

Look, there’s just no getting around this fact that despite the dual-protagonist path, Alone In The Dark (2024) drops the ball. It tries emulating Resident Evil 2 Remake vibes, but completely flubs it up. There’s hardly any reason to play the game a second time. Mostly because it’s a cumbersome experience overall with repetitive and boring gameplay loop. But! There’s another reason. You see, this game’s branching path is the same, like with minor tweaks to cutscenes.

Characters.

Other than that you’re basically replaying the same story just with a new character skin. The diverging path happens late game, but then it’s too late to feel invested and you just wanna skip to the end. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the mental gymnastics you gotta do to make the connections. We’re not exaggerating here, because most character interactions make little or no sense in the story.

Weird motivations and conveniences.

Gracie, the child character, is seen as someone with ties to Edward Carnby. But she’s also speaking to Emily Hartwood like she knows her, and she does some questionable things to Emily, too without any explanation. The lack of acknowledgment on part of the main characters when they confront enemies before entering a new area and just completely forgetting they narrowly escaped certain death? What’s up with that? It’s such a disjointed feel that makes us shake our head at Alone In The Dark (2024).

Also one particularly charming Southern Belle helping our lead characters, Ruth, there’s no real reason for it, other then, might as well? That’s just lazy writing. It feels like an entire sub-plot got cut out to better flesh out these characters, which is a shame. It’s clear Emily’s story should have been the central focus, and as much as we hate to say it, Edward just feels unnecessarily inserted for brand recognition.

THE RUBBISH/THRASH/WORST OF ALONE IN THE DARK (2024)

Enemy designs.

Finally, let’s talk about the real sour point that’s ticked us off. Really, the expectation with Alone In The Dark (2024) was that it’s gonna be a glorious return to form. It’s a two-fold problem that really downgraded this game from bad to worse. For a survival horror game, it’s the equivalent to the final nail in the coffin. Others might enjoy the game, more power to them if that’s the case but for us, it’s gonna be one of the few that we don’t revisit.

Generic Enemy Designs & Meaningless Variety

Alone In The Dark (2024) enemies are meh at best.

One of the worst things about Alone In The Dark (2024) is the shallowness of its enemies. They’re not the least bit threatening, nor are they even frightening. Loud sounds for cheap jumpscare effects have been overplayed to death which this game revisits. But the enemies just feel so uninspired. What little variety is there, is only cosmetic because almost every enemy is killed with a few bullet shots. The shotgun or machine gun don’t feel any better, they’re just there.

The Dark Man.

The boss fights? Pfft~ What boss fights? There are just escape sections mostly, and during Emily’s path, it’s such a pain to go through. You can’t do anything except for running and hiding, and hoping the bug/glitch effect won’t trap you. The only emotion you’re experiencing from all of this is anger. This is bare bones, people, you’re not doing anything special. After such a delay, if this is the final product, well, then we question the business decisions. It’s almost as baffling as the moronic decision of WB Games to embrace the live-service model.

Final Boss.

Oh, and speaking of boss fights, the final boss fight’s a joke. What a waste of a perfectly terrific Lovecraftian entity. It’s such a formulaic encounter; shoot the puss oozing blobs on the enemy. This kind of design, to be fair, has been in Resident Evil remakes, too, but they’ve modernized it, while this one hasn’t. But they could have done something cooler and different. This was not a rewarding experience at all. Overall, one of the two weakest links in Alone In The Dark (2024) is enemy design, variety, and their animation, too.

Alone In The Dark (2024) Is Just Not Scary

Predictable.

So, get this: Alone In The Dark (2024) is boring, bland, and utterly unimpressive. Do you what it’s not? The answer is that the game’s just not scary. Because while the gameplay with its bugs, tediously looped puzzles, and janky enemy minions, might have some redeeming qualities, the scares are practically non-existent. Sorry, fellow horror gaming enthusiasts, but that’s the way it is. We were looking forward to this one, but sadly it didn’t live up to the hype.

This game's just not scary.

At no point in the story we ever felt like we were experiencing the same level of dread as in the claustrophobic zombie-infested Raccoon City Police Station from Resident Evil 2 Remake. Nor did we fear the element of surprise like the deceptive necromorphs from Dead Space Remake. The psychological imagery in Alone In The Dark (2024) was all flash and no substance, unlike the Silent Hill games. The macabre element and creature designs from The Evil Within games are superior to this game, too.

The point we’re making is, nothing made us pause and feel scared to continue ahead. Considering, the writer for Amnesia and SOMA was on board for this game is a really shocking and disappointing. This is what agonizes us to no end. The long wait, only to feel let down by the latest iteration of the progenitor of survival horror.

The Final Verdict

Alone In The Dark (2024) is not worth the asking price, but maybe at a steep discount sometime in the future, sure. This game’s technical issues will cause a lot of frustration, more so than the repetitive gameplay loop. The puzzles have their charm if you take breaks between them, otherwise, they can get old real fast. Oh, and enemies feel bland, the boss fights are one-dimensional, while the abstract elements seem like a plot convenience for lazy writing.

The performances of the lead characters are brilliant, though, and the voice-acting and the soundtrack are pretty cool, too. The story, despite its plot holes and disjointed nature, still is interesting enough, we suppose. But, the negatives outweigh the positives, here.

We rate Alone In The Dark (2024) a measly 4/10.

If you wanna buy, visit the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, or the Steam Page of the game.

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Rafi Ahmed
Rafi Ahmed
Retro(and modern) gamer, proud comic geek, anime connoisseur, and opinionated peach without a filter. I'm bringing you hot takes, recommendations, and what-if fantasy scenarios and championing the gamer cause against corporate greed. You're welcome!

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