Here's Whats Wrong With Alone in the Dark: Illumination

Here's Whats Wrong With Alone in the Dark: Illumination

Someone got really excited about a shooter combat mechanic involving monsters being invulnerable unless under light. Unfortunately they discovered after making the game that it didn't work at all.

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It is quite interesting that you have put a lot more thought in one article than any of the developers put into this title. After seeing it with thy own eyes, it really is a piss poor job of a game. More like a failed college project. All it needed was someone to love it, to care for its' needs. To grow it from seed and let it flourish and flaunt its' pruned petals. Oh i'm losing focus again!

First thought: You mean, aside from everything?

I thought New Nightmare on the PS1 was fine. An obvious Resident Evil knock-off, but a fine game overall.

I think the mistake you made is assuming this game is supposed to be survival horror and not a crappy multiplayer shooter.

I mean, I don't consider Left 4 Dead survival horror or even horror at all. It's a zombie shooting gallery.

Thanatos2k:
I think the mistake you made is assuming this game is supposed to be survival horror and not a crappy multiplayer shooter.

I mean, I don't consider Left 4 Dead survival horror or even horror at all. It's a zombie shooting gallery.

Considering the teaser originally sent the signal that this game was going to be scary, he's right in assuming that it was supposed to be a survival horror games.

At some point someone got really excited about a new idea for a multiplayer shooter combat mechanic involving monsters being invulnerable unless under light.

And then someone else said, "Didn't they do almost exactly that in Alan Wake?"

And the first person said, "Oh. Well, maybe if we attach it to an existing horror franchise, it will seem like a new and fresh take on the series rather than a copycat of someone else's mechanic."

And the someone else said, "What horror franchise did you have in mind?"

And the first person said, "Well, I'd love to take on Resident Evil, or Silent Hill, or Dead Space, or even something that's been dormant for a while, like Dino Crisis."

And the someone else said, "Let me be blunt: we can't afford to get a license for any of those, even if the relevant companies would let us touch them. We're doing Alone in the Dark."

And then the first person had a long, dark moment where they considered the virtues of drug abuse, suicide, or getting out of the industry. And then they said, "Right. Alone in the Dark it is..."

Monsters vulnerable in darkness might have worked as an action horror game if it took place in a fixed small arena, with fast monsters that moved predictably so you could direct them into light, something a bit more tower-defensey.

Was that supposed to be "Monsters vulnerable in light might have worked..."?

Anyways, interesting piece; I've noticed that Yahtzee seems to be softening on co-op horror experiences, from "worst thing ever" to "something that can work well in a defined subgenre".

Thanatos2k:
I think the mistake you made is assuming this game is supposed to be survival horror and not a crappy multiplayer shooter.

Literally one third of the article (3/8 paragraphs, excluding intro and conclusion) are about that exact concept. He even specifically mentions L4D as a way to do it right.

Only Yahtzee would charge a company he badmouthed money for his constructive criticism. I call it his "Wasting My Time" fee.

Thanatos2k:
I think the mistake you made is assuming this game is supposed to be survival horror and not a crappy multiplayer shooter.

I mean, I don't consider Left 4 Dead survival horror or even horror at all. It's a zombie shooting gallery.

The Alone in the Dark franchise started as survival horror (much like Resident Evil and Silent Hill). But it has gone downhill with the time, with action replacing the horror (much like you know who). The only horror it has it's when you just passed a super tedious level where you had to find 3 batteries, and you are met with level that tells you to find another 4 batteries. NOOOOOO!!!

Thunderous Cacophony:

Thanatos2k:
I think the mistake you made is assuming this game is supposed to be survival horror and not a crappy multiplayer shooter.

Literally one third of the article (3/8 paragraphs, excluding intro and conclusion) are about that exact concept. He even specifically mentions L4D as a way to do it right.

Yes, I can read too. L4D doesn't do survival horror "right" though because it too is not survival horror.

Thanatos2k:

Yes, I can read too. L4D doesn't do survival horror "right" though because it too is not survival horror.

Maybe I read it wrong, but I thought was using L4D as an example of how to successfully put co-op in a horror game, as opposed to Fear 3 or Dead Space 3, which apparently did it terribly.

CaitSeith:

The Alone in the Dark franchise started as survival horror (much like Resident Evil and Silent Hill). But it has gone downhill with the time, with action replacing the horror (much like you know who).

Yathzee correctly pointed out that the series pretty much started the Survival Horror Genre and then as of the 2nd game, went straight for "Shooting zombie gangsters with a tommy gun". Everything after that was just tumbling down the cliff, hitting every rock on the way down.

I'm kind of surprised Yahtzee never compared Alone in the Dark Illumination to Shadows of the Damned, which also had enemies that became invulnerable in darkness and made you turn on light sources (i.e. find and shoot the golden goats) to make them vulnerable. They're also both over-the-shoulder shooters, although SotD was less a horror game than an action game with a horror aesthetic.

I know SotD didn't set Yahtzee's pants on fire and even I wasn't ecstatic over it, but I imagine Ay-Tiddy is a billion times worse. Like, SotD had the "Big Boner" segment and all the other dick jokes to keep it mildly interesting.

Dalisclock:

Thanatos2k:

Yes, I can read too. L4D doesn't do survival horror "right" though because it too is not survival horror.

Maybe I read it wrong, but I thought was using L4D as an example of how to successfully put co-op in a horror game, as opposed to Fear 3 or Dead Space 3, which apparently did it terribly.

Yeah, Yahtzee specifically said that L4D was not survival horror, but action horror. He tests Alone in the Dark as both a survival horror and action horror game, and it fails both; he doesn't assume the former and ignore the possibility of the later, which Thanatos implied in his original post.

The most important question was left out... was it better than the movie?

'Cos that thing was hella crap.

I never played any AITD games and I haven't played many survival horror games. The only one that I can recall is Silent Hill 2. I guess my age counts into the equation, after all i started playing when the PS 3 and 360 were a thing. However even though I haven't played many survival horror games I think there's something more than the aesthetic and the gameplay. I think the important thing is the story. I loved Silent Hill 2 but tell the truth the gameplay was awful. The writing however was great and the whole place felt like it could exist. So sure the developers failed in many "horror" games like Dead Space 3 and F3AR but i think the writing was part of it. I played both of those games and it wasn't even one bit believable. In DS3 the villain if you can call him that can be summarized as a radical religious lunatic. And who is the villain in F3AR... exactly. To be scary you've got to have believable writing so the players could at best go to bed questioning the idea that there is nothing under the bed.

I'm not sure if I made a lot of sense but i hope that someone could tell me if I'm anywhere close to being correct on this one.

Defining what it wants to be seems to be a recurring problem in lots of games. The idea of vulnerability under light could still work though, depending on how they implement it. If they wanted an action horror coop, for instance, some players could have flashlights only or something like that. They could have to cooperate to survive, one points the light, the other shoots, but the flashlight would need batteries so he needs to save it etc...

Although that idea is not particularly bad, it was already tried out by Resident Evil games (RS5 and the new remastered one to be exact.) However none of these actually did it well because we have to question why don't the characters just tape the flashlight to the gun. The same thing was in DOOM3 BFG but that one is singleplayer.

 

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