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First look: Alone in the Dark 4

Central Park has been torn to bits and you're the meat in the rubble sandwich

Survival horror outside, this. You're in New York, Central Park to be precise, and obviously there's been some sort of 'incident'. This is not a game about sitting in a park and eating a sandwich.

There are Bad Monster Things that manifest themselves in the form of a black rip that appears along walls and floors, a rip that eventually tears apart your posh NYC apartment and pretty much all of the city. You're dumped in Central Park. Alone. And actually in the dark.

Because you're outside you can do cool outside stuff like drive cars. Your car cleverly becomes your impromptu safe house too - the doors can be locked to keep the monsters out. You're also able to turn on the heating to defrost the ice, look around and rummage through the glove box for - this being America - guns.

If you find a car you're able to break in and hot wire it in a little match-the-wires mini game - match up the wrong wires and the horn beeps, alerting the Big Scary Monsters to the tasty little meat thing (you) that's currently panicking like mad inside the car. The radio plays static and the occasional SOS broadcast. It won't help much.

The 'episodic' idea that's been bandied around the last few weeks was explained better, too. Basically each section of the game is broken down into 30-40 minute chunks, each with a proper ending or a cliff hanger, sometimes followed by a trailer for the next section.

Oh, and in a very cool little touch that had everyone giggling and saying "Ooh, what a good idea" your inventory is your coat pockets. Go to examine your items and you look down, open your coat and can see what's inside your inner pockets.

Full of nice little ideas, Alone in the Dark 4 looks like a quality game. Sadly it's out in 2007. Like bloody everything.

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