Alone in the Dark (opens in new tab) is officially coming back. Revealed today at THQ Nordic’s digital showcase, the new game will be a “reimagination” of the 1990s survival horror trilogy featuring the characters, locations, and themes of the cult-classicsin “a completely original story.”
Released in 1992, Alone in the Dark was a groundbreaking survival horror game that’s widely credited as one of the earliest and most influential examples of the genre. But the series spiralled badly over subsequent releases: The most recent, Alone in the Dark: Illumination, was released in 2015 and holds a remarkably bad 19% rating on Metacritic (opens in new tab). THQ Nordic acquired the series (opens in new tab) from the shambling corpse of Atari back in 2018, but then sat on it—until now.
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Developed by Pieces Interactive, a THQ Nordic studio, the reboot will tell an all-new tale about the unfortunate adventures of Emily Hartwood and private investigator Edward Carnby, who go searching for Hartwood’s missing uncle at Derceto Manor, a home for the “mentally fatigued.” They find a whole lot more than they bargained for, though, including strange residents, dangerous monsters, portals to nightmarish worlds, and evil in the Lovecraftian-tinged Deep South of the 1920s US. You’ll be able to play as either Emily or Edward, with completely different cutscenes and levels for each. Combat and puzzle-solving will form the backbone of gameplay, which unfolds across “a deep psychological story that goes beyond the realms of the imaginable.”
That’s obviously marketing hype written for the press release, but I’m inclined to give it a chance, or at least not dismiss it outright. The new Alone in the Dark is being written by Mikael Hedberg, who previously had a long run with Frictional Games as the writer on games including Penumbra: Black Plague, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and SOMA. The guy has real credibility as a horror storyteller, in other words, and while recent Alone in the Darks have been very different from Frictional’s games, there’s nothing saying that Hedberg can’t take it in a new, more gut-level-horrific direction.
A launch date for Alone in the Dark hasn’t been announced at this point, but it will be playable at Gamescom 2022 (opens in new tab), which runs August 24-28. Given that, I would expect (or at least hope) that a release can’t be too far off.