Alone in the Dark – PC Review

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Alone in the Dark has seen many iterations as it is a franchise that spans over 30 years. The fact that I was 12 years old when I played the original by Infogrames does make me have a bit of an existential moment. Here in 2024, we have devs Pieces Interactive and publisher/owner of the franchise THQ Nordic’s vision for the Lovecraftian horror, action, puzzle-solving instalment of the game.

Back to Derceto we go

With the original 1992 Alone in the Dark paving the way for 3D-style horror games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, I was very excited to see how this single-player game has evolved to catch up with what we expect nowadays in terms of gameplay, storyline, visuals, and sound.

Alone in the Dark will be available on PS5, Xbox and PC. There is a standard edition, a deluxe digital edition featuring some vintage horror filters and a director’s commentary mode, and finally, a physical collectors edition to choose from.

screenshot showing a 1920s house maid of mid 50's peering back through a doorway looking sternly.
Right from the off, there is something about this one!

It is worth noting that while there are several nods back to the 90s original, you do not need to have prior knowledge in order to enjoy playing this game as it is a new story. Having had a play through the Prologue I felt I was ready for Derceto. Difficulty guidance set to “Old School” instead of “Modern”. Let’s regress and descend into the insanity.


Set in the 1920s gothic American South, you join the adventure as Emily Hartwood and Private Investigator Edward Carnaby drive to a mansion to find out what has happened to Emily’s uncle Jeremy Hartwood. As you arrive you choose as to which one of the two characters you wish to play the game as.

Alone in the Dark can be played by either Kb&M or Controller. I tried both and for me, the controller was the easiest. With a 3rd person camera view, I found the ease of the button setup to be more beneficial, especially in combat scenarios.

screenshot showing a typical screen when picking up an item to be used later on. Here we have a piece of broken plate that has been found in a drawer in yellow edging and grey with symbols carved onto it.
A piece of plate, something that will become of interest later in the game…

Entering the eerie Derceto Manor you quickly establish that it is a residential home that comprises of mentally fatigued patients as well as house staff, including a doctor and orderlies. Conversation is through both cut-scenes and interacting at designated prompts. The noir setting creates the mood as you begin to meet the characters and learn more about the recent happenings.

As you begin to walk your character around the property it is alarming by the sheer number of health vials and ammo for your pistol that you find. Something will be going down at any given moment. Every noise has you on tenterhooks.

An eye for detail

Investigating each of the rooms and locations reveals items that you can look at closer. I liked that they were not immediately obvious until you got close by. Some are collectables (lagniappes), others are items that you can read through such as excerpts from books or memos. While most give you more of an understanding of an occult strangeness that resides at the manor, it is well worth reading through each item as there are many clues given that later on you may need. These can be recalled from your inventory.

Alone in the Dark’s main gameplay comprises of puzzle-solving and combat. If you have never played an Alone in the Dark game but have played the likes of RE or Silent Hill then you will feel very at home here.

screenshot showing a gold medallion puzzle that consists of 3 rotating dials that have numbers on them.
One of the early on puzzles that requires a bit of grey matter to solve.

A puzzling affair

The puzzles can range from something as simple as locating a key to get through a locked door to intricate problems that have multiple steps to successfully solve it. The gameplay controls are easy to follow and are displayed on the screen. Each puzzle is unique and I enjoyed how the game mechanics worked. Early on in the game, you discover a map that helpfully shows you the location of any puzzles that you have found but not managed to solve as of yet.

An alternate reality

During the course of the game, there will be moments where the room or location you are in transforms into another dimension. While reminiscent of Silent Hill when the air raid siren used to ring out and the makeup of the floor and walls would change to an industrial mesh; in Alone in the Dark a fog-laden eeriness descends that features slime running down walls and across the floor while ocean-bed looking flora protrudes from the ceiling.

While I am not going to give away any of the plot, the scene changes are not only a psychological horror but an all too real one.

screenshot showing a room that has flames burning wildly outside the windows while within the room the floor is filling up with a blood like ooze. flying creatures are a blur as they whiz around Edwards head. while the decor looks disturbing with red blood on the walls and curtains.
A very disturbing experience for Edward

A shot in the dark

Monsters lurk both inside and outside the manor. Although the change in scenery makes you more wary of what may be coming, there are still times when you can get caught out, particularly by jump scares.

Organic plant and carnivorous-based entities are your biggest threat. Thankfully you have a hand gun and if you have been looking hard enough, a melee weapon of some kind. With limited ammo, you need to ensure that if you are going to kill the nightmarish monster you do not miss. Of course, you can choose to run around a monster if you wish, using distraction techniques that are located close by. You just have to hope that you are not going to run into a second monster and then get sandwiched!

screenshot showing a plant based monster walking towards emily who is firing a pistol at the monster. The floor is a grey paving while the area is surrounded in foliage that is draping down.
Emily is a dab hand with the pistol!

Health is monitored by the amount of claret visible on your clothes. One quick glug of a health vial and stains magically vanish better than a bio-wash at 40 degrees.

All in all the chapterised gameplay flows effortlessly as the story progresses. Can you unravel what has happened to Uncle Jeremy? More importantly, can you survive to tell the tale?

Graphics & Audio

Alone in the Dark has beautiful graphics that immerse you in the 1920s gothic American South with ease. The attention to detail that has been given to each object and the way that light and shadows are cast bring the locations to life.

The characters are realistically drawn and the monsters that have been designed by Guy Davis are purely the stuff of nightmares. I can concur that the animations are very smooth all around. I have never been so frightened by the looks of a monster in all my life!

screenshot showing Edward facing a monster in a street that is lit by lorry headlights behind them.
You just need some MJ’s Thriller to come on.

The other half of the immersion factor is brought to you by Doom Jazz composer Jason Köhnen and contemporary composer Árni Bergur Zoëga. The soundtrack is brilliant. It is haunting, playful, suspenseful and bloody terrifying at times. Each location has its own theme that sets the mood. I really loved the mix and have downloaded the album as part of the game on Steam.

Hollywood A listers

The voice acting is strong in Alone in the Dark. Having both David Harbour and Jodie Comer as the main protagonists in both audio and character models aids the presentation of a believable storyline.

screenshot showing a page of a brown folder held within the inventory. Black pencil scrawlings of 4 dials are shown along with text and numerals.
Clues are hidden all over the place.

David Harbour’s stern and sarcastic vibes ooze from his interactions with others while Jodie treads a more emotive and family-orientated path with how she tackles dialogue as she seeks knowledge of her uncle’s whereabouts.


There are around 6 to 10 hours of gameplay to be had with Alone in the Dark. With two characters to run the game campaign as; and although on the second play, you will know what to expect. The dialogue, cutscenes and environments will be different as told by that character. I enjoyed how the interactions were different as well as some of the situations.

There are collectibles to be found dotted around the place however some of them are sets that require you to find the comprising items with both characters. Happy hunting!

Final Thoughts

Alone in the Dark is brilliant and ticks all the boxes for me. The setting, storyline, characters, gameplay and puzzles are fantastic. If you enjoy a mix of combat and puzzle solving with a horror vibe running through it, you certainly need to pick this game up.

Alone in the Dark scores a sincere Thumb Culture Platinum Award!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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