Alan Wake

Format: Xbox 360 [Played]
Published by: Microsoft Game Studios
Developed by: Remedy
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Score: 93%

Wait, wait and wait some more, I remember seeing screenshots for this game not long after the release of the 360, this has to be one of the most long awaited games I have come across and in the end was it worth it?

The answer is simply yes, yes it is and I’ll explain why!  While Alan Wake isn’t short of a couple of flaws and that’s all it is in my opinion just a couple! The storyline is epic, interesting and draws you into the world it creates.  The whole story reminds me of Steven Kings “The Dark Half” you play a as Alan Wake a bestselling thriller writer who has been suffering with writers block so he takes his wife Alice  to the small town of Bright Falls on vacation in a desperate hope to spark his writing flare within him.  When they get there Alan is surprised when Alice has set up a room for him with a type writer to help him write, it is here that the storyline gets going as Alice gets taken by the darkness than it’s up to Alan to figure out what is going on and where his wife has gone.

The game is split into 6 episodes each of which should take you around 3-4 hours if you also search around for collectables.  Throughout the game there will be pieces of scripts dotted around, most will be on your main course but for those willing to take a risk the dark and head further off track you may find more.  Also there are 100 Coffee Flasks around, TV and radio stations to find along with a few other things.  The most interesting being the scripts as they tell a story, your story to be precise or better put what sometimes is going to happen before you actually see it.

Along the way you meet a host of characters but one that will stick in your mind is your friend and agent Barry, he comes across unlikable at first but as you progress I just began to love him as a sidekick.

The controls are easy to pick up; you will hold a torch in one hand (Like Alone in the Dark) and a gun in the other, you also pick up flares and flash bang grenades along the way.  All the action in this game happens when the lights are off so you know when to feel safe which is sometimes when you are most vulnerable.  I suggest you play this game in the dark and if you have it a decent set of headphones or surround sound system do use it to really get into the mood.  There is a lot of suspense in Alan Wake, the “will it won’t it happen” suspense, you know something is coming but it doesn’t always happen when you think it will and when you finally think you are safe it hits you.  I love this about films and especially in games as you really get drawn into what is happening.  There are countless times I have found myself looking in all directions with my torch to make sure nothing is coming at me or I hear a rustle to the left or behind me or a flicker of light.  In the earlier levels things will happen that may make you jump or question yourself if that actually did happen which again is perfect for the atmosphere.

Like I said earlier the game is set into episodes, most of which will start in the light or in the past to give you more of an insight to the characters lives which I felt is important to the games likability, the sign of a good game is one that will let you get attached to the characters, that way it’s more shocking if something happens to them.

Alan Wake is a brilliant game with good voice acting that is only let down by the lip sync.  It’s easy to pick up and play; it has fantastic music and will keep you on edge the whole way through because of the great atmosphere and suspense.

Alan Wake delivers

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~ by Martyn on December 7, 2010.

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