When Alone in the Dark steps out of the shadows in 2006, it will be the fifth instalment of the franchise to date. But whilst you assume the familiar role of paranormal detective Edward Carnby, that is where developer, Eden Games, hopes the similarities end.
Widely regarded as the first survival horror series, AITD never matched the success of its rivals within the genre it pioneered. Resident Evil and Silent Hill went on to sell millions, while AITD was lumbered with a Hollywood turkey featuring Christian Slater and years in the videogame wilderness. So having paved the way only to see others stagger by, AITD returns in the hope of pioneering a new niche market with a combination of thriller, action and survival elements.
The present-day setting of New York's Central Park will play host to your adventure, offering a freeroaming environment for your investigation. Of course, while the park itself is huge, it's also enclosed. Although your movements are not restricted by underlit corridors or gloomy rooms, you will still suffer the claustrophobia of the surrounding environment, cloaked by the night's sky. There is already a promise of deep interaction with the park itself, with obvious scare points being afforded by the location. Whether that manifests in the eerie whistle of the wind rushing through the branches of a tree or the fright of a random lightning strike, the developer has been quick to stress that the real fear will be in your head.
At this early stage of development, specific gameplay and storyline details are scarce. The prevalent theme appears to be death and what happens in the afterlife. Even the monsters you encounter during your investigation may be in your mind, so just how will you find your way through to where the truth lies?