Review: Alone in the Dark explained to parents

What parents need to know

Alone in the Dark (2024) is a survival horror game based on a reimagined concept from the original game released in 1992. It is also the 7th game in the Alone in the Dark franchise. The game offers a 3rd person view that places the camera over the shoulder of the protagonist, which is quite popular for games in this genre (a style popularized by Resident Evil 4 in 2005), and differs greatly from the first installment released in 1992, which offered a fixed camera point of view.

Alone in the Dark has two playable characters, and each character has their own unique scenes and levels and can collect unique collectibles. This principle suggests that the game should be played at least twice in order to explore it in its entirety, i.e. once with each character. The game offers a creepy and unsettling atmosphere, which pushes the characters to question their reality.

Emily Hartwood, accompanied by private investigator Edward Carnby, travels to Derceto, a home for troubled people, to investigate the disappearance of her uncle, Jeremy Hartwood. From the moment the two protagonists arrive in Derceto, not everything is what it seems. The strange dialogues and evasive behavior of the other characters immediately set the tone, creating an unsettling atmosphere. The characters will have to navigate between nightmare and reality, from one universe to another, and face many monstrous creatures in order to follow in the footsteps of Jeremy Hartwood and discover the secrets of Derceto and the mysterious talisman that Jeremy’s notes talk about.

The core gameplay mechanics of Alone in the Dark resemble those of many other horror survival games; Fans of the genre should find their way around easily: a map and a notebook are filled with annotations as you explore, allowing you to keep track of the various puzzles, clues discovered and doors unlocked. The player must accumulate useful items, such as keys, puzzle pieces, and tools in order to progress. Other objects serve only to feed the narrative, such as books and notes, but can still provide important clues for puzzles. The player will also have to fight repeatedly, either with a firearm or with melee weapons (axe, shovel, hose, etc.). Objects can also be thrown to create diversions or knock out enemies, such as bricks or glass bottles.

The game features multiple difficulty levels, including one that allows for an experience closer to retro horror games, with fewer on-screen clues and cues to help the player progress. The difficulty level can be adjusted at any time.

Alone in the Dark Picture Split Screen
The two playable characters, Emily Hartwood (Jodie Comer) and Edward Carnby (David Harbour).


Release date: 20 March 2024
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Available on: Steam PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series
Available format: Digital
Version tested: Steam PC

Game genre: Horror, Survival
Themes covered: Horror, Time Travel, Parallel Dimensions, Mental Health
Duration of a game: 6 to 10 hours per character
Duration of the main game/story: 12 to 20 hours total
Total time to complete everything: Maximum 20 heures

Text languages: German, English, Simplified chinese, Traditional chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian,
Voice languages: German, English, French, Japanese,

Number of local players: 1

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+

It’s a horror game, so not recommended for children. There is violence, disgusting and horrifying elements, and adult themes.

There is no sexual content, but there are adult themes.

It is necessary to know how to read between the lines and analyze the clues in order to progress. Textual clues are sometimes quite long and complex.

It is, again, a horror game. The atmosphere is rather gloomy and not very cheerful.

The controls are rigid and difficult to master, and the interactions with the puzzles are not very instinctive.

Local game modes

The game is played in local, single-player mode (story mode).

Online Game Modes

There is no online game mode.

Expansions/Add-ons (DLC)

No DLC at this time.

Our opinion

At first glance, it’s clear that the game offers a reimagined version of the 1992 concept, without however offering a remake like we see a lot in recent years. Visually, the game looks pretty, but it’s clear that it lacks polish. It doesn’t compare to other games of the same genre released the same year, and the controls are very rigid and not very instinctive, both with a controller and with keyboard and mouse. However, the feeling is very close to the horror survival games of the early 2000s, a somewhat niche genre that nevertheless has many fans. Despite a few bugs, the scripted animations are generally smooth and allow a good immersion in the strange atmosphere in which Derceto is bathed. The puzzles are challenging and the combat offers a good level of challenge, once you know how to avoid getting stuck in the corners and clipping into walls (a fairly common bug). Melee weapons break quickly, and bullets are limited, forcing the player to be strategic and careful when exploring and adding a certain anxiety-inducing element reminiscent of early Resident Evil games.

The exploration with the two characters is interesting. It’s is a good way to motivate the player to start a second playthrough in order to complete the missing elements of the story and unlock achievements by collecting all the items, or even having two playthroughs in parallel to progress the two characters alternately.

The gameplay experience is average, but the story is captivating. Fans of ”easter eggs” will also enjoy a few features, since there are several nods to the first game as well as to retro horror games in general. Some surprises are available in the options, including filters to change the quality and colors (vignette, black and white, sepia, etc.) as well as skins for characters featuring the protagonists of the 1992 game, to name a few.

Alone in the Dark is an interesting game that will delight fans of occult mysteries. However, it does have some elements that are a little disappointing; By itself, it’s a good experience of about ten hours, including the 2 scenarios. Nevertheless, compared to the rest of the Alone in the Dark franchise, or even other more recent horror games, it’s a decent game, nothing more. Our opinion is that it would be better to wait until you get it on sale, as the game has many bugs and seems a little overpriced at the full price of $60.

Alone in the Dark Derceto screenshot split screen
Derceto, home for the mentally fatigued, sometimes seems completely normal, and sometimes, as if from a nightmare…

Our rating : 10 / 20


About Myriam Baulne

Traductrice agréée aussi détentrice d'un DEC en animation 3D et synthèse d'images, Myriam est constamment à la recherche d'opportunités afin d'allier ses passions pour les jeux vidéo, les TTRPG et la rédaction. Armée d'un solide bagage journalistique, elle est outillée pour vous rapporter toute l'actualité et l'information sur vos jeux favoris.

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