News: Atari reveals the new gameplay mechanic in the latest Alone in the Dark.
Episodic gaming is all the rage these days. Every company wants to be the one that figures out how to sell bite-sized chunks of gaming to a graying gamer population that can't play as often as they used to.
Which brings us to Atari and the next Alone in the Dark game.
Alone in the Dark 5 (alternately referred to by Atari as Alone in the Dark: Near Death Investigation or "the next-generation Alone in the Dark") will buck the latest gaming trend and not try to model itself after a movie. Instead, Atari and the developers at Eden Games plan to model the next AitD after a season-long TV show.
Atari explains it like this, "Alone in the Dark is split into distinct episodes in a season-style format. Eden Games has departed from the typical ten-hour game based on film-style scripts and structures and focuses on TV-season format in order to deliver a constant sustained pace and high level of narrative intensity."
They go on to say that these episodes will be broken up into 30-40 minute gameplay sessions, roughly equivalent to the length of an episode of an hour-long drama. Each episode will open with a "Previously On" recap and close with a cliffhanger (a boss fight perhaps?) and a teaser of the next episode.
I have no idea how this new way of looking at gameplay differs from the tried and true convention of a "level". But it sounds interesting that someone is willing to take the "video game-as-TV show" idea so far. Hopefully Atari and Eden can pull it off without making it feel cheesy.
Alone in the Dark 5 is coming to the Xbox 360 and PC sometimes in the future.