|System: Wii, X360, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Hydravision||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
When a game gets released for the Wii as well as the other current-generation consoles, nobody really expects an identical experience. Whether as a result of the addition of motion-sensing controls or the less powerful hardware, multiconsole games are usually quite different on the Wii. Despite many having somewhat lowered expectations for Wii versions of multiconsole titles, there are still plenty of reasonable things expected from almost any good game.
One would likely assume most competent games would look decent, have a slightly entertaining storyline, control well, and actually be somewhat fun to play. Unfortunately, Alone in the Dark (AITD) for the Wii manages to miss every one of these marks by fairly sizeable margins.
Darkness would appear to be this game's greatest ally, as its poor graphics can be downright terrifying. Most of its backdrops are incredibly simplistic looking with repetitive, drab textures and an awful amount of pop-up to boot. Finding your way around this game's environments can be challenging enough, but when everything looks incredibly similar, it can quickly become quite irritating. AITD's characters don't fare much better, looking like they came straight out of a Dreamcast title. Enemies, friends, and even the game's main character, Edward Carnby, all appear rather jagged and severely lack detail. Even in its many included cutscenes, this game's visuals still manage to appear incredibly dated.
Regrettably, the story that unfolds in these cutscenes does little to make them any easier to stomach. The concept behind the game initially sounds great, with Edward Carnby waking up in New York several decades in the future without aging and having no memories of his past. Central Park has essentially become hell-on-earth and Carnby must try to stay alive long enough to unravel what has happened and attempt to fix it. While many things are explained by the end of this game, the story clearly doesn't resolve itself. Instead of leaving me pondering this game's events or hoping for a sequel to further enlighten me, AITD's story just left me feeling cheated in the end.
Continuing to burglarize players' chances at an enjoyable experience with AITD is its atrocious gameplay. Ridiculously bad Wii controls collide with poor camera options to create one of the most frustrating experiences currently available. While progressing through the game, you will be able to control Carnby in both third and first-person perspectives. Usually the choice is yours, but frequently the game will actually force players into the first person view. In third person, the camera seems to be in a constant struggle to give you a workable angle of the action. Moreover, with no second analog stick to move the camera, a limited ability to re-center it, and the inability to use firearms combine to make this view virtually unusable.
The first-person perspective doesn't help matters much either, having players move with the analog stick while turning and looking around are handled by pointing the Wii-mote. This view feels incredibly clumsy and doesn't allow for a full range of vision. While exploring in this perspective, players will quickly realize they are unable to see above or below themselves very well. Players are sadly limited to a very small window in which they can actually view their surroundings. This becomes quite problematic, as you will frequently need to find ledges, holes, and platforms that tend to appear just outside of this limited window of vision. Prepare to get lost often as a direct result of these subpar camera options (even in this game's extremely linear levels).