Alan Wake (PC) A Casual Review

I found myself installing a game.  A game I had only read a few reviews for.  No matter how hard I tried I had to experience it.  I began my quest confused and lost, stuck in a dark nightmare with no way of returning unless I somehow rescued Alan’s wife, Alice.  I ran through the woods, flashlight and revolver in hand battling dark entities know only as The Taken but the darkness was overpowering.  My flashlight burned the darkness away and revealed the weakness these entities had.  I fired round after round at the hoard around me, the beam of light highlighting the cold black eyes.  It was to much .  I had to reach a safe place.  In the distance there was a single beacon of light shining down like a sign from God.  I had to run.  I had to escape the darkness.  I was running, my hands numb and sweat on the mouse.  I made it just as The Taken had reached me.  As I entered the light The Taken dissipated before my eyes like a wavy mirage but i was safe.  I had found my safe haven. ” – Vitosal’s own manuscript page

Playing Alan Wake was a breathe of fresh air and a nice break from the more commercial releases that have plagued my desk recently.  While it did take me a while to get through it i found myself almost addicted to the simplicity of it.  This is not a great game, and it’s not bad.  It’s a decent take on an old tale spun in a slightly different way.  Progressing through the game is like watching a series.  It’s full of twists, turns, gasp moments and cliff hangers and the fact that each episode starts off with ” previously on Alan Wake “ is a nice little addition to the formula.  I wish more games did that.  The only other game i know that does the whole previously thing was Driver San Francisco which funnily enough was a game I enjoyed as well.  The game reminds of something i have read or watched or seen but i can’t put my finger on it.  It’s like a Stephen King book only better with exception to The Shining and Silver Bullet because those were cool books and movies.

You play as main protagonist Alan Wake, a successful thriller novelist from New York who journeys to the fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington, with his wife Alice for a relaxing vacation.  But then the shit hits the fan when Alice disappears and events from Alan’s new book start unfolding in the town although he has no recollection of even writing it.  Intriguing isn’t it?   As the story moves forward you learn the history of Alan and Alice which adds a nice depth to the character and you might even start to sympathize with him.

The graphic’s are pretty much what you would expect from a game like this.  Nothing really fantastic to report on visually considering that this is pretty much a dark and light game.

E.G. 1:  When it’s night time, it’s dark….enough said.

E.G. 1:  When it’s day time, it’s light…….enough said.

Based on the complicated mathematical examples I gave above the only difference between night time and day time is that in the night time you need a flashlight and all the crazies come out to play while in the day time the town is completely normal. (well, except for a few characters)

The controls are simplistically easy.  Left click shoot, Right click focuses flashlight beam, E interact, Shift to dodge and sprint, Q to replace batteries and Middle Mouse button to use flash bangs and flares.  As simple as that is it can sometimes be gimmicky.  When i want to sprint I first dodge and then sprint.  And when you actually do dodge an enemy i found the camera to be annoying because it focuses on you  dodging the guy and you can’t see where you’re running.  ( I manged to run off a freaking cliff)

The story is pretty good, a decent plot mixed with an intriguing character that would journey to the bowels of hell in order to save the world.  While this is something we have all seen before I enjoyed this character more because i can relate to him.  ( Except for the part where he was willing to fight the darkness, where I would curl up into the fetal position, waiting for death and wondering why God is punishing me)

I really think this probably the most under rated game I have ever played.  Granted it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but If you have the money, enjoy dramatic, creepy thrillers and need something to play before the bigger releases come out, I recommend this.

Happy Hunting

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