PS5 Review: Alone in the Dark

Is this reboot worthy of your time?

Deep in the 1920’s south, Emily Hartwood’s uncle has gone missing. Together with private investigator Edward Carnby, she embarks on a journey to Derceto Manor to uncover the secrets of this mysterious place and the circumstances of her relative’s vanishing. Return to Derceto Manor in this reimagination of Alone in the Dark, a love letter to the 90’s cult classic horror game. Encounter strange residents, nightmarish realms, dangerous monsters and ultimately unveil a plot of rising evil. At the intersection of reality, mystery, and insanity, an adventure waits that will challenge your core beliefs. Who can you trust, what will you believe, and what will you do next?

Alone in the Dark has had a good number of games over the years, some have even been attempts at rebooting the series, only to not hit the mark. The series has been dormant for some time now, so it was a surprise that it finally got revived after all this time. I actually haven’t played an Alone in the Dark game before, so it was interesting to see the reboot from my perspective as a new player.

The reboot brings great talent in the form of David Harbour as Edward Carnby and Jodie Comer as Emily Hartwood, both of which deliver stellar performances throughout. You choose which character to play as and each story handles differently depending on who you picked…you will definitely want to play both characters to get the full story. Alone in the Dark handles like a third-person survival horror that definitely made me think of the original Resident Evil with its Manor layout.

There are a good number of puzzles, clues, combinations to safes or to use on a talisman which will unlock a new “memory” which is set outside of the Manor and can be anywhere from a New Orleans setting to a the middle of the desert. All areas are full of twisted monsters that you can put down with your guns and melee weapons, though some enemies have to be avoided in order to survive. It’s not a walk in the park and sometimes, you’ll even be so overwhelmed with enemies that the only option is to run for it.

The puzzles themselves are clever, such as trying to work out what star sign goes with a number to enter it on a safe, light puzzles, jigsaws and matching pictures or objects that have rot going through them. The traditional finding keys to access new areas is in play, as well as having to backtrack. Each story took me roughly 8 hours to complete and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it.

I did come across a few bugs before launch such as crows hovering randomly or enemies getting stuck in gates, but the majority seems to have been fixed in patches beforehand. The visuals are superb and the facial animations for David Harbour and Jodie Comer are very believable, as are their performances. The soundtrack has some great tunes that are dramatic, haunting and atmospheric throughout. The game lets you choose between framerate and graphics performance, each of which works as well as you would imagine. I didn’t notice any framerate drops throughout either.

The Verdict

Alone in the Dark does a great job in reviving the long dormant series to life. Stellar performances from David Harbour and Jodie Comer, a spectacular setting, clever puzzles and creepy enemies add to a truly memorable experience. Sure, it may not be on the same level of quality as the past few Resident Evil titles, but it’s damn close.

Score: 8.5