Edward Carnby and Aline Cedrac are about to face their worst
Out to avenge the murder of their friend and colleague, they
arrive on Shadow Island only
to discover that it is held in the grasp of an evil force.
Now they must uncover clues to help them reclaim three ancient tablets, before the ultimate terror is unleashed! Confronted by menacing creatures and unspeakable horrors, will they survive the night?
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: MATURE with Violence, Blood and Gore. PEGI Rating: 12+ with Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2010-07-20 10:48:15 by DoraAreGames:
The New Nightmare is one of those games that trips itself up because it couldn't decide what it wanted to be; creepy mysterious thriller or action/adventure. The beginning is so promising, regardless of the character you choose; Aline finds herself on the roof of a strange manor and is forced to find her way in via the room of a strange old woman, while Carnby (whose name soundsread more a lot like "Corned Beef" whenever the characters speak it aloud) is forced to take the more direct approach and explore the manor grounds. As they explore, they come to realise the place is infested with all manner of strange creatures, from malevolent spirits to beasts that flourish in the dark. These latter beasties can make for some genuinely tense moments as you flee down darkened corridors desperately searching for a light switch before the game gives you sufficient weapons.
The game makes excellent use of lighting even beyond dispelling enemies; sure the dimly lit rooms are also trying to mask how mediocre some of the textures and modelling are, but hey, it's SPOOKY darn it. There's a sequence for Aline where she starts hearing whispers cajoling her onwards that get stronger the closer she gets to her source that is absolutely unnerving. Carnby's exploration of the grounds before he finds his way inside is similarly creepy, with lightning flashes illuminating the dark vegetation and rubble, and an unpleasant surprise or two lurking behind closed doors.
The problem is that the longer you play it, the scarier it isn't. Subtle atmosphere and mood is abandoned in favour of tedious enemy blasting as the game throws more resilient enemies at you to impede your progress. By the halfway point, it's more annoying than it is tense and frightening to round a corner and find a group of baddies milling about waiting for their turn to chew on your face. Aline's path fairs a bit better since she takes longer to find herself armed, and as such gets to explore the spooky halls and rooms feeling more vulnerable; within minutes, by contrast, Carnby is forced into frustrating shooting sequences against enemies. It's like the developers saw the popularity of Resident Evil and were worried this game wouldn't be received as well unless they shifted the focus more on shootin' varmints.
It doesn't help that the narrative gets bogged down in a lot of silly "ancient legend" hoo-haw, complete with mysterious Native American dude whose exposition just winds up making the game sound ridiculous. Horror isn't horror anymore once you explain it away, and unfortunately the explanation The New Nightmare comes up for its mysterious island isn't particularly scary.
The gameplay itself is... alright. Controls are mostly responsive, . Enemies soak a lot of damage before they drop, so the game tries to encourage you to find alternate ways to dispose of them or sneak by. The problem with this is that the game likes to throw groups of them at you in tight quarters so that you're forced to kill at least one or two in order to get by, and both our would-be heroes are disappointingly fragile, dying after a few hits. It doesn't help that the most lethal of enemies tend to be faster than either Aline or Carnby can stumble along, either.
Is it worth six dollars? That depends. If you're a big fan of the genre, then it's worth it just to play it and see what it gets right. It's not unforgivably bad, and its good points mostly balance out the bad to make the whole experience serviceable, if not particularly memorable. While it lasts, The New Nightmare is mostly entertaining, and as long as you don't expect too much from it (or any degree of perfection), it makes for a good evening's play.
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Posted on 2010-07-20 15:36:52 by whodares2:
This game reminded me of the classic Resident Evil. Survival horror, perspective type controls (right/left means rotate not move), prepare or aim a weapon in order to use it, etc...I also enjoyed the concept of demons/spirits that emerge from the darkness as your primary foes. Now I know that the RE series was inspired by this series, I just happened to have played RE first.
Whatread more I found extremely frustrating though was that this game has a flaw that can stop you in your tracks from finishing your story. When playing as the girl, Aline, it is easy to run out of ammo for your gun. That in and of itself is not entirely bad in this type of game, what is horrible is that unless you save a bullet to shoot a mirror at a certain part in the game you cannot procede. Ughh! There is nothing more frustrating than that to me, hence the "average" rating.
I enjoyed the story, the graphics and I found the controls very responsive. I would, in fact, recommend this game to fans of the survival horror genre particularily at this price. If not for that 1 design flaw that caused me to re-start that scenario I would have rated this game much higher.
Remember, to take a tip from all of those old horror movies and save "one bullet for yourself, just in case" and you might just make it out alive.
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Posted on 2010-07-24 10:45:55 by KainKlarden:
You may have played the original Alone in the Dark, the precursor of the Survival Horror genre finalized by an instant classic Resident Evil. It wasn't really about being alone or in the dark, but brought a completely new feel to the Adventure genre. Second and the third games in the series decided to put more emphasis on action and less on creepy Lovecraft-style atmosphere. Andread more then, when Resident Evil came, the series were forgotten for a time.
But in 2001 Darkworks finished the new game in the series. Developed for PS1, a return to survival and horror adventure finally decide to justify the name of the series. First, and only for now, time the game was called Alone in the Dark for a reason. You were pretty much alone, on an island covered in darkness with enemies born of darkness and afraid of light. And that very same concept, recently revisited by Alan Wake, was very interesting. Flashlight, instead of being a simple tool to help your navigation, was a weapon. It wasn't a novel idea, but the way it was done was very interesting.
But a lot of people, fans of the original trilogy, were disappointed. Why? Most likely, by the fact that The New Nightmare was in many ways "another Resident Evil clone". Beautifully done and, in the end, very individualistic. But still not "something completely different". The control scheme was similar, battles used similar logic, same pre-rendered backgrounds, same load between areas. Even two characters as in Resident Evil 2. Everyone seemed to ignore the facts, that RE system worked wonderfully and was based on the original AITD, that original AITD also had two characters. And the fact, that instead of two characters going through the same things and puzzles, like RE2 did, you had two completely different and complementing scenarios.
But even though the game looked great, played great and had a lot of interesting mind-twisting tricks (something Eternal Darkness later done even better), the game did suffer from a lot of problems. RE-scheme was good, but had its own flaws, that were present here as well. And the game had its own share of small or big flaws, one of the biggest ones was the story. Starting in a Lovecraft-style "unknown horror" it decided to change to a "scientifically explainable horror" and no old-Indian mythologies could help the growing lack of interest in the story.
But even knowing the flaws and having finished the game several times now, i couldn't help but by the game the second i saw it.
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