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Edward Carnby is back in the third and last episode of the "Alone in the Dark" series developed by Infogrames. This time around, the action starts in the Mohave desert in California where a film crew has disappeared in a ghost town named Slaughter Gulch. Following the first two episodes, local journalists have nicknamed you the "Supernatural Private Eye", and although ghosts and other paranormal phenomena do not frighten you anymore, you are still alone in the dark.
Built on the same engine as the previous episodes, the game features some minor changes that makes life easier for gamers. First, you can choose the standard level of difficulty from novice to expert, or set your life points, your hit points and villain's life points to high, average or low which gives a total of 27 different levels of difficulty. Second, you can now save up to 24 different games instead of only six as it was in the other episodes. Another new option is the map. If you get lost in the ghost town, just press the TAB key and you will see an overall view of the town with a small sign indicating your position.
Like its predecessors, "Alone in the Dark 3" includes large three-dimensional polygonal characters displayed on beautiful backgrounds. Nothing has really been changed to improve the polygonal-shaped characters to give them a more human-like look with smooth lines other than squares. Nevertheless, the game has a lot of elements that makes it a potential hit.
"Alone in the Dark 3" includes dozens of beautifully painted locations with varied camera angles to reproduce an oppressive atmosphere where every corner may have some nasty creatures hiding.
The music reinforces the feeling of fear with odd sounds and a horror movie like soundtrack of the best quality. This episode is probably the most frightening, and the developers emphasized the general feeling of anguish surrounding your character.
Some gamers might be disappointed because the fighting aspect is less important in this sequel although it remains an important part of the game. Alone 3 includes more adventure characteristics this time with more puzzles and you may find yourself trapped in a room because you have missed an item somewhere else in the town. The first two episodes were more action-based and it was sometimes really difficult to beat your opponents. Here, as the difficulty level can be completely customized, you can choose to give the action part less importance.
The game is available on CD-ROM only, but it uses only 35 megabytes on the CD-ROM. As the storage space used is so small, you may wonder why there is no floppy version scheduled. Well, it is not that small, considering that audio tracks are used in the game for music and voices. But then, the CD-ROM is a bit deceiving as the game requires 35 megabytes of hard disk space as well. This means that the CD-ROM is only used for audio and storage.
Infogrames Ltd., GRAPHICS ------------------ 92% 14 Smedley Street, SOUND ------------------ 94% Clapham, London SW4 6PF, England. MUSIC ------------------ 94% Tel: +44-(0)71-738-8199 GAMEPLAY ------------------ 90% INTEREST ------------------ 85% I-Motion Inc., 13428 Maxella Avenue, Suite 332, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. OVERALL ------------------- 90% Tel: 310-576-1888