Before Resident Evil and Silent Hill, 1992’s Alone in the Dark helped lay the foundation for 3D survival horror before the genre even had a name. Players explored a haunted building laden with elaborate puzzles and scary monsters, with gameplay emphasizing thoughtful management of scarce resources. It even featured two playable characters with separate scenarios, an idea later adopted by Resident Evil 2. Numerous sequels of varying quality followed, but it’s been many years since the series was culturally relevant.
Last year, developer Pieces Interactive announced its plans to revisit the celebrated first game and reimagine it for a modern audience. Alone in the Dark rides the recent wave of survival horror remakes, and a dedicated showcase gave us our first look at how the classic is being rebuilt from the ground up.
This new vision of Alone in the Dark largely sticks to the blueprint of the 1992 game. After receiving a disturbing letter from her uncle, Jeremy Hartwood, Emily Hartwood enlists the aid of hardboiled detective Edward Carnby to figure out what happened to him. They visit the haunted Decerto countryside hospital, where Jeremy checked himself in after claiming to be plagued by an evil entity called the Dark Man. Emily is also grappling with a mysterious family affliction known as The Hartwood Curse, and their visit soon spirals into a fight for their sanity and lives. Pieces is going all-in on this remake by enlisting actors Jodie Comer (Killing Eve, Free Guy) and David Harbour (Violent Night, Stranger Things) to lend their voices and likenesses to Emily and Edward, respectively.
Like the original, Alone in the Dark has two separate campaigns for Emily and Edward, and though the story has the same setup, events unfold in a different manner. People behave differently around each character, and they’ll also visit exclusive areas, encouraging players to experience the game twice to see everything. Pieces also teases that progress from the first playthrough, such as the items you find, will have a subtle impact on the second. Fans should expect new twists on the original tale while also keeping an eye out for copious references and easter eggs littered about.
As you explore Decerto and beyond, you’ll be assaulted by all manner of supernatural monsters, from strange insect-like critters to grotesque humanoid creatures made from vines. You can blast them apart with firearms, but ammo is limited, so you’ll have to pick your battles and use your resources, and your environment, wisely. That means relying on melee weapons, hurling stray objects, and triggering hazards such as shooting pools of gas to ignite enemies into flames. Alone in the Dark also places heavy emphasis on puzzle-solving. Decerto is laden with strange contraptions and riddles, and you’ll need to wear your detective hat to find clues pointing to the right direction.
Alone in the Dark is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC in time for Halloween on October 25. You can get a taste of what’s to come by playing a free downloadable prequel chapter called Grace In The Dark. Launching today, this brief demo is inspired by Alone in the Dark 2’s Jack in the Dark prologue game and stars the young Grace Saunders exploring Decerto weeks before the main game begins.
With Resident Evil helping usher in a survival horror renaissance with quality new titles and Silent Hill making a comeback, now’s as good a time as any for Alone in the Dark to awaken from hibernation. We just hope Pieces can recapture its magic and remind players why the series was once so highly regarded among horror fans.