Horror games have an interesting lineage. Most gamers’ first real exposure to what we consider the template for “modern” horror was the original Resident Evil or perhaps Silent Hill. However, even those games had clear influences. One was a somewhat obscure Japanese game called Sweet Home, but in terms of 3D horror, Alone in the Dark was an experience like nothing else. Based on the unique cosmic horror writing of H.P. Lovecraft, this series, unfortunately, saw a fast fall from grace in its sequels.
Despite a few leaks, most were still caught off guard by the announcement that Alone in the Dark would not only be coming back but be an apparent reboot of the series that aims to take it back to its survival-horror roots. There are nearly as many mysteries surrounding this revival of this historic IP as there are in its narrative, but we’ve braved the dark corners of the internet to bring you everything we know about Alone in the Dark.
For now, the biggest mystery surrounding Alone in the Dark is when it will see the light of day. No hint of even a release window was given with the reveal, which unfortunately means it is almost certainly quite a long way away. All we can do is speculate, but this feels like a fall 2024 title for now.
Alone in the Dark is set to come exclusively to current-generation consoles, meaning PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, as well as PC. The Switch was not listed and likely will be left behind with the previous generation.
The announcement of the reboot came with a full reveal trailer to dissect. It opens with a haunting rendition of The House of the Rising Sun as a little girl hangs various dolls in her room. She sits on her bed and pulls a noose over her own head, though the other end isn’t tied to anything.
We cut to various characters speaking about the area and people, along with some disturbing imagery. A man, who seems to be some kind of psychiatrist or doctor, asks about the main character’s “condition.”
Some slow sections of gameplay cycle through, showing different mechanics and systems of the game as a preacher delivers an impassioned speech. We close on a woman lounging with a cigarette who welcomes us “to the madhouse.”
As cryptic as that all is, much more was detailed in the accompanying PlayStation Blog post. Here, we first learn that this new imagining of Alone in the Dark will be written by the writer of SOMA and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Mikael Hedberg, and monster designs by frequent Guillermo del Toro collaborator Guy Davis.
The blog describes the title as a mixture of psychological horror and Southern Gothic, set in the 1920s. You can play as either Edward Carnby, the original series’ protagonist, or Emily Hartwood in a quest to uncover what secrets are hidden in the Darceto mansion asylum and try to find Emily’s missing uncle.
Not much else about the specifics of the narrative is known, only that it will be a completely original story that uses characters, locations, and themes from the original trilogy of games.
One extra tidbit revealed was that there will also be a prologue chapter called Grace in the Dark, starring Grace from Alone in the Dark 2, however, for now, that demo is exclusive to those who played it at Gamescom 2022.
The trailer did show some snippets of gameplay, but again, the blog sheds some more clarity on how the game will play.
We see plenty of exploration and conversations with the two characters, though no mention of any dialogue systems. It would make sense, since Edward is a detective, for that to be included, but for now, that’s still in the dark.
Puzzle-solving will be a major component of the game. Two tiny moments from the trailer show some sort of breaker or switch puzzle, as well as one where players will need to rotate three plates on a wall.
Aside from solving puzzles and getting lost in dark, creepy environments, Alone in the Dark is also a third-person shooter. Again, glimpses of this are very brief, but it looks like standard survival-horror-style aiming and shooting. There is one moment of melee combat, too, though we guess that won’t be your first choice in facing off against the grotesque creatures shown. They do mention that ammo will be a rare resource, so having a backup of any kind will probably come in handy.
Alone in the Dark will be a purely single-player experience. Survival-horror games are always most effective when you don’t have a friend along, no matter how much you may want one, so we’re glad this is one dive into insanity we have to take alone.
With no date, or even year, set for when Alone in the Dark will be released, pre-orders are still just a daydream. Once the truth about this game’s release has been made clear, we will update you on how you can reserve your copy and dive into the madness for yourself.