Alone In The Dark: Inferno is one such example of brilliant ideas being released before fully developed.

Alone In The Dark: Inferno is a vastly improved version of the XBOX 360 game. Improved camera and control make Inferno the definitive version of Alone In The Dark, and a more than playable game. Sadly, like the XBOX version, it still carries the weight of its own originality.

To put it bluntly, Inferno is a very clever game. It takes the staples of survival horror (item combination, weakness, the dark) and makes them all that more personal. For example - healing yourself isn't a case of pressing X on a herb — in Inferno you have to manually spray the cuts that appear on your body and wrap them with bandages. It's a minor thing, but it really does put you in the shoes of your protagonist. Much like you would in real life, you'll find yourself fumbling the controls when under pressure; call that bad game design if you will but it certainly gets the heart rate pumping.

How about self-made bombs, that require you to combine flammable fluid with sticky tape. Puncture the bottle with your knife so the liquid drips out, throw the bottle towards a surface where it will stick via the tape, then light the trail of dripped liquid. Genius.

The problem with Inferno is that it's almost too clever. For every element of the game you wish it could have been developed further. There's no doubt other developers will look at Alone In The Dark and try to work on its ideas. Because the concept that's there is really smart. It's just half finished.

From the awkward level design, to the frustrating gameplay elements, to the drab environments and ridiculous plot. Inferno is definitely a game you should experience for the purpose of understanding how defining it could have been. It almost makes you wish Atari could afford to sit on the ideas for a year and perfect them.


Sadly it wasn't to be and what you're left with is a half-finished adventures with flashes of utter genius.