Alone in the Dark: Inferno PS3 Review

To many the 360 version of Alone in the Dark was a disappointment, with control issues being the primary aspect that they found got in the way of their fun. For this PS3 version, Eden Studios have been given a rare second chance, to perhaps make the game that they wanted to the first time round. To signify that it‘s more than just a mere port, it has also been re-titled Alone in the Dark: Inferno, which to me is the sort of name that sounds like it was picked from a hat filled with generic names, not at all fitting for a game that was looking to shake up the horror genre.

The story is intriguing enough and a fair enough reason to make headway through the game. It stars Edward Carnby and focuses on his muddled past, but to say much more would be a spoiler and you might even bring pitchforks to sort me out, so enough of that. What I will say is that the characters are on the whole likeable enough, but they’re also generic beyond belief, which, similarly to the Inferno moniker, is at odds with much of the freshness that is prevalent throughout the rest of the game.

Obviously, Alone in the Dark: Inferno is still the same game that it was on the 360. It’s still got memorable set-pieces, whilst the puzzles are largely less contrived than they are in a Resident Evil game, for example doors never need a key to unlock, instead you can bash them in with heavy objects and shoot them to get them open. A slight downer is the fact that here’s little in the way of scares here and the overall atmosphere pales in comparison to the best that the genre has to offer.

Some might say, the controls of the 360 version were one aspect that were stuck in the past though, especially with the fact that you were required to hold down a button to just simply run, which for a lot of people brought back unpleasant memories of the old style Resident Evil games, with their tank like control schemes. This PS3 version has eradicated this, which will result in a much more pleasurable experience for those who played it on the 360, even if Edward still is far from the smoothest of characters to take charge of, that and the fact that the controls, as a whole, take some getting used to before they begin to feel natural. Another archaic feature of the 360 version was its fixed camera, this has been tossed out and replaced by a much more modern, fully controllable camera.

The unique coat inventory system is still there, but this too has seen a tidying up in regards to control and accessibility. You still combine items in Edward’s jacket, but the badly behaved and finicky controls are thankfully a thing of the past and just a press of the d-pad will cycle through your items with ease.

Combat has also been improved. You’re still required to burn enemies (with makeshift Molotov cocktails, burning chairs and such) but they no longer have the durability they once did, which decreases frustration levels in fights with groups of enemies tenfold.

Driving has been refined, with increased suspension and less drift, which makes for a better experience when behind the wheel, but in terms of handling and overall satisfaction, it still can’t compete with a dedicated racing game. But since it’s not a part of that genre, it’s acceptable and serves its purpose relatively well.

Whilst it still isn’t as good as the best Resident Evil and Silent Hill games, of which it very well has the potential to be, Alone in the Dark: Inferno is a vast improvement over the original version. Eden Studios should be commended for taking on board the negative feedback and coming back with a game that, on top of the impressive action segments and genuine freshness, is much more pleasurable to play.