In 1995, we bought our first Windows PC, packing an extraordinary 8MB ram. “And I don’t want you using it for games,” said our mother vehemently. A few days later she walked into the PC room and saw us innocently attaching umbrellas to Lemmings. Of course she did; computers aren’t all about spreadsheets and numbers, and you won’t get your money’s worth unless you explode innocent mammals on them.
But there was a good reason for her saying that: we had only a few months previously, sold all of our earthly belongings to purchase the underrated and overpriced 3DO. We ended up getting Alone in the Dark for that machine and ditching the PC for a short time, before copying it from a friend on the PC anyway. It was a quick and easy purchase for the 3DO because it was cheap and had been out for some time already. And it ran very well, of course, equally on the awesome 3DO as on our PC.
It didn’t matter that it was old. It was still scary, and still graphically superior to many games out there. How it ran on 8MB RAM I’ll never know, let alone the 4MB which was the minimum specification). At the level we’re at now, an extra 4MB would barely give you an extra polygon, let alone an entire ground-breaking game.
Like the previous Consolations game, Another World, this was a French-made game which pushed the boundaries of computer game expectations in the early 90s. You were free to walk in 3 dimensions, to a point, and your suspense was held constant by the single frame background – an enforced, but fortunate, design that was borrowed a few years later for the Resident Evil series.
There’s not as much blasting here as that series, there’s just a few chunks of triangles going about your 800x600 14 inch fat screen, plenty enough for you to get a shotgun and blast those zombies out the windows.