Reply To: Alone In The Dark 2 & 3

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I’ve been playing loads of Alone In The Dark 3 all this week. It’s set in a ghost town in the desert where a Western was being filmed but all the crew have vanished. You basically have to go in there and save Emily Hartwood (from part 1) who is now a Hollywood actress apparently. I’ve been really enjoying this one. I’ve cheated like blazes using a walkthrough if I’m stuck for more than 10 minutes but the puzzles haven’t been quite as out there as part 2. The game tends to lock you in to smaller areas at a time so even if the puzzles are equally crazy, trial and error can usually get you through.

Part 3 still has a lot of combat but the difficulty has been dialled down and there are even options as to how easy you want it to be. The same techniques of staying too close to be shot work here so the combat is as silly as ever. After two games I’m even getting used to the funny angles. The open/search command from part 1 has been brought back again. There is also a small section where the jump command appears from nowhere just like AITD1. The whole game is much closer in spirit to part 1 but still not exactly scary. It does make up for this with the size of the town which is way larger than even part 2. This was the first AITD to be designed exclusively for CD and it shows.

I’m not exactly certain what is going on in the plot of this one. I’m never sure whether something has been lost in translation with these games but they aren’t exactly forthcoming with the storyline. It doesn’t matter a whole lot really, you just have to deal with a load of undead cowboy gangsters and get past locked doors. There is a really strange section where you die, get reincarnated by a native American as a cougar and have to kill werewolves by covering one paw with tar and silver nitrate. Survive this to bring back an eagle statue and you get to literally rise from your grave. It’s followed by a Prince Of Persia like puzzle where you have to drop your gun, and run into a cowboy mirror image of yourself to merge into one and then play the rest of the game in full cowboy attire. It’s all very odd really and probably best not to think about it too much.

I’m loving it anyway. My nostalgia for this series is very strong so it may not hold up as well for others but it’s a better sequel than AITD2 if you ask me. It doesn’t matter so much playing it now but it must have looked a bit dated by 1994. The engine hasn’t been touched as far as I can see so it doesn’t look any better than AITD1. It even still has all the same bugs on faster PC’s.

I’m going to give Time Gate – Knight’s Chase a go after this. It’s largely forgotten these days but it was supposed to be a whole new trilogy using the AITD engine. Said engine was looking even more dated by 1995 so it didn’t sell well. I’ve had it sat on a shelf since the early 2000’s so this is the excuse to play it at last.