Man vs Chair

By Alec Meer on January 23rd, 2008 at 1:44 pm.

That's what you get for being made out of pine, asshole

The new Alone in the Dark game was announced a couple of years back now, and it’s remained something of a mystery since – it’s managed to carry almost the same air of quiet potential that Alan Wake has, in fact. With it creeping towards release at last though, here’s an (ugh) ‘gameplay’ trailer, which gets across some of the intended atmosphere, but still doesn’t give much away.

Bizarrely, it largely consists of a man attacking furniture with a variety of weaponry, seemingly without provocation. Perhaps the chairs are possessed by sinister otherwordly forces. “Alone in the Dark 5: Dawn of the Demon-o-Tables.” Or “Alone With the Bark”, perhaps. Whatever the true purpose of this wanton domestic destruction, it certainly demonstrates an impressive degree of environmental interaction. There’s also a fair bit of pyromania, and some glimpses of various spooky beasties towards the end of the video, but no clear sense of whether this reimagining of the classic action-adventure is primarily shooty fun, Tomb Raidersome puzzle-solving, a mess of quick-time events, or just one long anti-Ikea tirade.

Witness returning AITD hero Edward Carnaby in the midst of wood-rage after the jump.

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19 Comments »

  1. Kast says:

    What utter senseless destruction of poor defenseless pieces of furniture. Those chairs and doors had loving owners and houses, you know?

    Seriously, if they can keep that level of interaction up throughout the rest of the game, colour me excited. I’m particularly interested in using fire and furniture to create barriers against the shadows.

    I must admit to never having played an Alone in the Dark game. Or any horror game for that matter. Can anyone recommend a good starting point?

  2. Schadenfreude says:

    The inventory screen is pretty cool.

    *Adopt Flasher Pose*
    *Choose Weapon*

  3. Meat Circus says:

    You’re never really alone in the dark when there’s cheap flat-packed furniture to keep you company.

    Some of my best friends are seating.

  4. roBurky says:

    Wow. That actually pretty impressive.

  5. The Fanciest Of Pants says:

    O M F G
    I ALWAYS bitch about not being able to take down the bloody ‘crossed swords on the wall’ prop thats in countless games and swing the bastards around.. and here.. you.. you.. you CAN DO IT -_-!! About time!

    But seriously.. that looks awesome D: gotta love RE4 style camera positioning, great stuff. Also that inventory screen is really clever, something new, but also something a bit obvious if you think about it. Awesome.

    Doesn’t hurt that I’m a long time AITD fan, not that this seems much like the first 3 in the series(frankly.. thank god. don’t think they would translate into a modern game very well).

  6. phuzz says:

    The ‘make hole in petrol tank, light petrol trail, BANG’ bit got my pyromaniac little soul going, now that’s how to kill the undead/unsleeping evil/bad things!

  7. Andrew says:

    Haha, I laughed at him hitting inanimate stuff….hehehe

    I liked the inventory screen a lot (I’d love it for other FPS games in fact – seeing your body should be the norm, instead of having disembodied hands).

  8. martin says:

    survival horror games are great, this implementation of an inventory is great.

    imagine such an inventory for a normal shooter like half life (gordon freeman, the drudge)

  9. po says:

    Time to buy $10 of pixie sticks and a 6-pack of rootbeer, then make like Beavis.

  10. Ging says:

    Kast: You could either start with the old AITD games, though they may have lost some of their “horror” these days. The other major option would be the Silent Hill series (1 – 3 are preferred), SH 2 – 4 appeared on the PC. I gave 4 a brief go on the Xbox, but it just didn’t appeal that much as the previous 3.

  11. SBF says:

    I wonder if the developers have ever played Resident Evil 4.

  12. Jives says:

    I like the way he SETS A FIRE AXE ON FIRE

  13. Yhancik says:

    It’s so great that a small detail bugs me a lot.

    You know, on the middle of the video, there’s a huge *something on fire* flying in front of the character, who subsequently turns around and walks the other way, IN A TOTAL APATHETIC STATE, just like if he remembered to buy canned peas before queuing at the cash desk.

    So many things look “”"realistic”"” that his typical 3rd-person-videogame-character-attitude seems a bit out of place.
    … except if he’s actually lobotomised/zombified. You never know ;)

  14. matte_k says:

    ooooo….explodey goodness! Liking the look of this, a vast improvement on AITD: The New Nightmare (i don’t think there was ever a more appropriate game title). Maybe between this and Alan Wake, “survival horror” is actually going to be good on the PC, after horrid ports of Res 4 and Silent Hill…

    @Kast: of the series, Resident Evil 2 and 4 are the best, but avoid the PC versions if you can…

  15. Chis says:

    I watched some video walkthroughs of Alone In The Dark 1 and 3 recently. Obviously the low-poly models look laughable these days, but both games still have a uniquely abstract sense of dread that makes them compelling.

    I look at these new AITD games and I see flashy graphics first, generic Resident Evil gameplay second. Where once the series led, it now follows. How pathetic.

  16. Scandalon says:

    Yhancik, I must agree, that “oh, hmm, guess I should move out of way, I guess” part bugged me as well. Of course, it’s possible they just haven’t implemented physical/emotional reaction states for the main character yet.

    The original AITD demo that I played in a CompUSA when I was a young impressionable lad scared me silly. Years later after I became a Mac Heretic, I bought the mac AITD collection with all three games. Never touched ‘em. I do have some hope for this installment, if only because I played RE4 for GC and enjoyed it immensely. (Hated every other RE).

    I also agree about the “crossed swords on the wall” bit, in theory. (I had the same thought during RE4). But in this case, something high up – how often would shooting a wall-mounted display sword actually make it fall?

    However…what is still kind of sad is that only now can we decide to pick up a chair and light it on fire and we call it “interactivity”. However, this is in a “survival horror” game, which will likely be a game that mostly involves picking things up, swinging them, shooting them, and having things burn/electrify/go boom. Most likely there will still only be a very limited set of item/action combos, so even in the limited scope of “using things in the world to kill monsters” if you see something that you want to try that could conceivably be done in real life (say, strangle a monster w/ a telephone/ethernet cable, or roll a board in super glue and brocken glass), unless the developers said “wouldn’t it be cool if you could X”, mostly likely you won’t be able to do X. Not that that means it won’t be a good, fun game, or that I think you should necessarily be able to pull the distribution cap on a car to keep it from starting in, say, Battlefield 3 or something, just I wish we’d quit hailing every little advance in being able to break/shoot/blow up things as interactivity.

  17. Empty=IRL= says:

    @Jives:

    “I like the way he SETS A FIRE AXE ON FIRE”

    Brilliant.

    I really like that inventory system and the lighting looks superb.

  18. Yhancik says:

    And I agree with you too, Scandalon ;)

  19. Unstable says:

    He should also be able to spit on them evil thingies to death!
    What?!? He could!
    Maybe even be able to blow them away with his mighty sneeze!

    Yeah, those were just jokes but come on now, you can’t expect a game to be completely equal to a real life adaptation, it’s hard enough to do what you’ve seen in the trailer, it’s practically impossible to imagine every possible action that could happen in a real life situation.