Is that really the same Edward Carnby from the original 1920’s game - and also how did he get that nasty scar?
Polloni: Yes, it is the same Carnby and how he got the scar is one of the things you’ll learn while playing. You can imagine Carnby being none too pleased waking up nearly 80 years later with a grisly scar across his dashing features, but he has other things to worry about which stop him rushing to the nearest cosmetic surgeon!
AITD’s been a long time coming - since you announced it both Resident Evil 5 and Silent Hill 5 have been announced. Scared?
Polloni: We don’t think of ourselves as competitors since we’re offering a much broader experience now with Alone in the Dark. Of course I’m not saying we don’t want fans of these games to want to play our game too. But staying true to what the first game achieved [means] Alone in the Dark is going to innovate again and stand on its own.
How do you balance all the dazzling new technology and rock solid gameplay?
Polloni: Technical innovation can sometimes blind you to the all-important “is this game fun to play?” factor, but every innovation we’ve implemented has added to the experience. Now we’re at a stage where we can see how the game actually plays and with the testing taking place we’re making sure we haven’t lost sight of the goal: to entertain. You can do clever things you never did in a game before, and have fun doing them.
Central Park is a huge space - ramming it full of content must be a hell of a job.
Polloni: It was a challenge, especially as Central Park is almost a city within a city with its own wildlife sanctuary, police precinct, museum, boating lake and castle. But the environment has been a dream for the level designers giving them lots of variety to work with, so there’s no shortage of things to do. However, it’s true that you might get a bit fed up running everywhere - after all, like the real park, there’s quite a lot of long paths and open spaces with not a lot going on. So you’ll definitely be using vehicles quite a bit to get around and keep up the pace. We’ve spread the action over pretty much the whole of the park so there’s a bit of ground to cover.
The ‘inside your jacket’ inventory system is a great idea - as are the combos…
Polloni: One thing I particularly like is using tape and a bottle of flammable liquid (like alcohol) to make a sticky bomb. You can throw it so it sticks on a wall, hang back, wait for an enemy to appear… then ambush him by shooting the bottle so it explodes. You can also stick stuff to creatures which is great fun and has interesting applications in the gameplay other than just watching them turn into a massive fireball.