Friday, July 11, 2008

Alone in the Dark: A Really, Really Awful Game

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Oh no fire! I’d better slowly amble down this hallway.

Hey do you guys remember games that went a little something like this?

>You are in the Vivarium. There is a door to the north.

> There is a door to the north.
Go North

>I don’t know how to go that!
Walk north.

>I don’t understand.

>Open what?

Open door! (Asshole)

>You open the door. You are in a closet. There is a key here. You die of Starvation. THE END.

That’s what playing Alone in the Dark feels like. You know that there’s a fun adventure in there somewhere, but there’s no way in hell you’ll ever find it because you’re too busy slowly walking off a ledge! You know what I mean about slowly walking of a ledge right? I’m talking about those infuriating parts of a game where you stand on a ledge that you’re clearly supposed to jump across. You try to jump, but instead your character stupidly steps off the ledge and whirls around to catch himself at the last moment, climbing up, so you can try it all over again. “Hmm… Maybe if I get a running start… Fall! Whirl! Catch! Climb back up. Shut off console. Write angry game review.”

It’s just the worst game; every single thing you try to do is impeded by poor controls. The building you are in erupts in flames and starts collapsing, but your character seems unperturbed, slowly walking away. “Is there a ‘run’ button that I’m not pushing? Ah there it is! No, no, that’s a ‘slowly jog’ button.” I know what you’re thinking ‘But Funbox don’t you know that unnecessarily slow protagonists stupidly bumbling about are a great way to build tension?” No actually, we didn’t know that.


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