The Alone in the Dark series is arguably one of the inspirations for Capcom’s Resident Evil series. By the time Resident Evil was released, the Alone in the Dark series was on their third iteration, Ghosts in Town. One would think that it was all roses and fun in the Infogrames gaming garden but it wasn’t. Gamers were willing to forgive the slow gameplay of the first game since it was so cutting edge and new but by the third game, the honeymoon was over and gunslinger zombies wasn’t going to save Alone in the Dark 3.
In Alone in the Dark 3: Ghosts in Town you are again controlling Edward Carnby, who by now is nicknamed the “Supernatural Private Eye” by journalists. Since Edwards’s fame is ahead of him he is now getting calls to investigate cases, such as the one at Slaughter Gulch in California. A film crew has gone missing but that is not all, Emily Hartwood – Jeremy Hartwood’s niece from the first Alone in the Dark. With a name like Slaughter Gulch you know there has to be guns abound, which is great since that is the best way to dispense with zombies. The problem with guns being everywhere is that somehow the zombies have figured out how to use them too. It is not just the zombies you have to worry about either, there are plenty of gold fever suffering prospectors out to protect their plot.
Today, CD-ROM is a bygone technology as most computers come with at least a DVD drive of some sort, if not a Blu-Ray drive. Back in 1995 though, CD-ROM was still new technology and not every computer came with it standard. This was a problem for Alone in the Dark 3: Ghosts in Town because Infogrames had the unfortunate foresight to only release it on CD-ROM. This hurt the sales of Alone in the Dark 3. It did allow Infogrames to focus on making the game a tour de force in the audio department though. Everything is fully voiced in many languages for various markets and there was a full red book audio soundtrack that awaited gamers with the right tech to play in the first place. Alone in the Dark 3: Ghosts in Town was never released on consoles which did not help when Capcom released Resident Evil on Playstation. This was a missed opportunity but it was probably understandable as the first two games saw console releases but did not reach the Top 10 chart in many areas of the world.
Alone in the Dark gets a bad rap by a lot of gamers but by the third release the criticism was warranted. Infogrames should have invested more in improving the engine, maybe then they would have fared better when Capcom released Resident Evil on Playstation.