After surviving through two encounters with the supernatural in Derceto and Hell's Kitchen, detective Edward Carnby is ready for another round of being Alone in the Dark.
In the third game in the series, we learn that Emily Hartwood (the other main character from the original game) started a career in Hollywood movies after surviving her ordeal in Derceto. Her latest project is a spaghetti western being filmed in an abandoned western ghost town called Slaughter Gultch, which rests precariously on the edge of the San Andreas fault. Originally a gold town set up rather rudely on ancient Indian sacred ground, Slaughter Gultch was founded by a man named Jebediah Stone and run by his own private army of cold-blooded killers. Stone and his men were killed by angry villagers led by the local Blacksmith, and the town was abandoned soon after. Unfortunately, Emily's crew disturbs the spirits of Stone and his men, who promptly return to the world of the living and proceed to kill off the film crew one by one.
Carnby is called to Slaughter Gultch after learning of the disappearance of Emily and her crew, and is soon met by Stone's Zombie Cowboy gang. Armed with various western paraphenalia such as colt peacemakers, bullwhips, and even a gatling gun, Carnby must fight his way through Stone's minions and discover Emily's fate. Along the way he learns some surprising things about Stone's origin, as well as a sinister plan interrupted by his death which involved the destruction of the west coast and which Stone can now pursue once again.
The gameplay is similar to the two predecessors: The player guides Carnby through static 3D screens which regularly switch camera perspectives. He collects various items and uses them to solve puzzles. Additionally to using items there are four actions which are triggered with the press of a button: jump (only at pre-defined places), open/examine, move (e.g. pushing) and fight. The latter is an important gameplay mechanics because many situations require a violent approach: the player either uses melee attacks or other weapons (with scarce ammo resources). The player has to aim manually and can set Carnby's and the enemy's life energy (which greatly affects the difficulty) in three steps.