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Alone in the Dark

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Ironically, many of these gameplay moments are quite memorable enough. For instance, an exhilarating taxi-driving escape as hero Edward Carnby outruns the supernatural force tearing New York into shreds. In action, this section worked quite well, mainly because it wasn't stupidly difficult - because how thrilling is a thrilling moment once you've failed at it 20 times?

An interesting decision made by the developers actually means that even if you do find such moments a bit too hard (or frustrating) you can just skip them. Yep, skip right through. We're told that you'll miss crucial plot bits (though they're likely to pop up in the recaps) but hopefully you'll also miss out on pick ups and the like too. Atari reckon it's good for casual gamers. But we don't want it to be too kind, do we?

The best section we saw took place late in the game, after a spectacular helicopter crash. Carnby dangles from a rappel line, that in turn is hooked to the 'copter wreckage. Which is perched perilously on the edge of a cliff. By climbing, swinging and jumping - while avoiding falling debris, streaks of fire and then the plummeting helicopter - Carnby escapes in one piece. Phew!

Elsewhere, the demo took us through the hotel escape covered in early footage. Obviously, fire is a constant and growing threat in the collapsing, ruined building. But as you get closer to ground level you encounter zombie-like monsters, humans that have been sucked up and corrupted by the terrifying force laying waste to the city. Physical violence isn't enough, and again it's back to the fire - burning the bodies of your enemies is the only way to stop them coming back.

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