Pieces Interactive shines spotlight on Alone in the Dark, releases prologue for Xbox and PC

A screenshot from THQ Nordic's Alone in the Dark (2023).
Jodie Comer portrays Emily Hartwood in Pieces Interactive's Alone in the Dark reboot. (Image credit: THQ Nordic)

What you need to know

  • THQ Nordic bought the Alone in the Dark franchise in 2018 with Pieces Interactive beginning work on the reboot in 2019.
  • Mikael Hedberg, previously known for his work on SOMA and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, was brought in to write and direct Alone in the Dark (2023).
  • David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve, Free Guy) are cast as Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood.
  • A prologue, Grace in the Dark, is available now on Xbox and PC. 

Pieces Interactive has released a free to play prologue to the upcoming reboot of the survival horror classic Alone in the Dark. The prologue, titled Grace in the Dark, is available now on Xbox and PC. It gives players their first glimpse into the story of Alone in the Dark and helps set the atmosphere, which is expected to be a more linear experience with some exploration and basic puzzles. Grace in the Dark will provide about 15-20 minutes of gameplay but will not feature any combat.

In addition to releasing Grace in the Dark to give players a hands-on experience, THQ Nordic and writer/creative director Mikael Hedberg of Alone in the Dark answered questions from the press to provide more information on what fans can expect from the reboot.

Judie Comer lended her likeness, voice, and performed facial mocap for her character, Emily Hartwood, in the Alone in the Dark reboot. (Image credit: THQ Nordic)

Released in 1992, the original Alone in the Dark was an early attempt at survival horror that left such an impact on the genre that we still see its influence in games today. In 2018, Atari SA sold the IP to THQ Nordic after Alone in the Dark: Illumination was poorly received. Pieces Interactive picked up the franchise in 2019 and has since been hard at work rebooting Alone in the Dark into a game that will appeal to modern audiences while still paying tribute to its history and the nostalgia that many hold for the original. To do this, Pieces Interactive wove together classic survival horror elements including exploration, puzzles, combat and story with the presentation of a more contemporary 3rd-person game and a focus on psychological horror over jump-scares.

To accomplish this, THQ Nordic and Pieces Interactive brought writer and director Mikael Hedberg on board. Hedberg is most widely known for his work on other survival horror staples like SOMA and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Hedberg stated that the original 1992 release was the foundation for Alone in the Dark and that the team carefully poured over every miniscule detail of the lore and themes of the game to create the terrifying haunted-house mystery players will uncover. However, the story will stay play out differently and will focus on different emotional beats than the original, with these changes being affected by which of the two protagonists you choose to play as.

David Harbour portrays Edward Carnby in the reboot of Alone in the Dark. (Image credit: THQ Nordic)

To bring Along in the Dark to life, the developers tapped some recognizable and talented faces. David Harbour, more widely known as Hopper from Netflix's Stranger Things, lends his likeness and voice to Alone in the Dark's Edward Carnby. Jodie Comer, known for her roles in Killing Eve and Free Guy, brings Emily Hartwood to life. Both actors provided facial mocap for their characters, as well.

Players will be able to experience Alone in the Dark's twisted narrative through both characters' point of view just as in the original. Edward's purpose in the plot is to serve more as a hired gun uncovering the mystery of Derceto Manor, while Emily is searching for her uncle and dealing with what is known as "The Hartwood Curse." Cutscenes and interactions with NPCs will be affected and change the story depending on which protagonist the player has chosen, and there are multiple endings to discover over repeated playthroughs.

Alone in the Dark reboot draws inspiration from southern gothic media for its haunted house mystery narrative. (Image credit: THQ Nordic)

While Pieces Interactive relied heavily on the source material for the Alone in the Dark remake, the studio did also seek to modernize the design choices such as the over-the-shoulder-camera and control scheme. There are multiple callbacks to the 1992 game blended into the modern gameplay, as well as inspiration from other southern gothic media. According to Hedberg, he drew on stories like the 1987 movie Angel Heart for atmospheric inspiration, while Twin Peaks inspired the "general mood and weirdness of the game, specifically when we talk about characters and cutscenes."

THQ Nordic also tapped Árni Bergur Zoëga to record a Doom Jazz soundtrack, composed by Jason Köhnen, that helps tie together the southern gothic atmosphere with the tension and foreboding dread of the narrative. When speaking with press, representatives for THQ Nordic stated, "We're confident that more classical horror sound design and our unique Doom Jazz vibe will combine to deliver a truly unique auditive experience."

Alone in the Dark officially releases on Oct. 25, 2023, and preorders of the game are open now. When it arrives, Alone in the Dark may become one of the best Xbox games for horror fans, if it delivers on its ambitious vision. The Grace in the Dark prologue (demo) is also available now on PC and Xbox. For those playing on PC, the recommended spec list is below.

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Grace in the Dark required specs
Header Cell - Column 0 MinimumRecommended
CPUIntel Core i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 2600Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 5 3600
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 8GB or AMD Radeon RX 570 8GBNVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 8GB or AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

The infamous Alone in the Dark horror franchise is being reimagined for modern audiences, and it's now available for preorder on Xbox and PC platforms.

Preorder from: Microsoft (Xbox Series X|S) | Steam (PC)
Also see:
Prologue (Free demo)

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.