Many gamers may recall the signature Alone in the Dark series for putting players into tense, dark atmospheric games that ultimately represented the birth of the survival horror genre as we know it. Frédérick Raynal, one of the main designers and creators behind Alone in the Dark, is back with developer Gloomywood and their upcoming title 2Dark.
Unlike other survival horror games that may put you into a can-do hero armed to the teeth, 2Dark seeks to put players back into that tense, dark atmosphere with nothing more at their disposal than their small light sources, wits, and a few scattered and limited weapons. Taking on the role Mr. Smith, a former detective, you'll set out in search of a number of missing kids around the town of Gloomywood. These kids aren't just missing, however, and have been in fact kidnapped by some of the most disturbing serial killers you might be able to imagine. Like a clown.
This interesting game isn't played from a first or third-person perspective, but rather a kind of isometric view. Nor is the game uninteresting looking; in fact, the backgrounds looked vividly detailed and styled while Mr. Smith and the other characters in the game are all voxel-based. This allows for the game's darkness mechanic to really kick in, showing shadows and lighting effects on the characters and environments in excellent detail. This is actually pretty important since being in the dark might mean the difference between survival and death at the hands of a deranged madman.
Throughout the level I witnesses, I saw Mr. Smith ducking into the darkness to hide from enemies. He was also able to pull out a flashlight, candle, or lighter to help light his path, but in doing so, he made himself a potential target. The darkness may hold many secrets, so it becomes important to try and dive in there. There might be clues to the next serial killer or more information for the story itself, plus there are puzzle elements found in those dark corners of the map. Keep in mind the game has no cutscenes, so finding those hidden story elements and more is the primary way of progressing the narrative along, so everything makes sense.
There are also children to find there sometimes! Hey, I mentioned Mr. Smith is saving kids after all. The children in the game are your primary focus and finding them on every level is vital, as well as killing serial killers and dodging their henchmen of course. Finding the children is one thing, but it's also a matter of getting them out safely. This requires some careful work on your part as the kids may not stay quiet, stay still, or completely follow directions as you traipse back through the darkened corridors full of enemies. Successfully getting them out to safety will complete the level, but not every kid will just be out in the open, so a bit of searching will be necessary. Remember too these are kids we're talking about, so telling them to stay put while you search for something may not work out when they wander off aimlessly like children are apt to do.
2Dark looked like an impressive and challenging title from what I've seen. I'm interested to see more of it when it releases later this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.