Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
When I found out that I was going to be reviewing Alan Wake, excitement hit. The main reason, was that its in the horror genre of games. A genre that I’m a huge fan of, but one that is also rarely done correctly. We begin our adventure with Alan Wake, a popular novelist who needs a break from the pressures of his life and decides to take a trip with his wife, Alice. She disappears without warning and that is when the game and Alan’s reality takes a turn for the darkness. Alan begins searching for the truth behind the dark presence that has taken over the entire area and finds himself in the middle of a riveting story, the story he has written himself but cannot seem to remember writing.
If this game has one thing going for it, it’s definitely the storyline. When starting the game I had my doubts about it, the story begins with Alan Wake’s wife disappearing, what game doesn’t start with a damsel in distress? Soon found out however that this was no story I had ever heard before and became intrigued with following my character through the game and uncovering the clues of what was happening. It gave me that old school Resident Evil feel, before Resident Evil was something people knew about.
Light and Dark, specifically shadows and light, are a huge part of the game. Alan uses a combination of guns and light emitting tools to defeat his enemies. One of Alan’s most useful tools in-game is his flashlight which can be used to weaken enemies. As you progress through the game more useful lanterns and flashlights that are heavy-duty and more effective become available. Flares and flare guns are also a light expelling object that can be used to distract large groups of enemies or to give Alan time to get from one place to another without enemy interference. We appreciated the fact that while Alan doesn’t have a huge arsenal of weapons they are extremely realistic and give the player a more down to earth survivalist feel, something that in the end makes the horror experience more intense.
Another plus for the game is the constant new music the player will hear throughout the title. The music not only contributed to the feel of the game but also through some humor in with a comedic in-game radio talk show. I love that unlike its horror counterparts, Alan Wake has an easy on the ears experience by providing new listening material from beginning to end.
The game is not without flaws, though they are few. Product placement is completely obvious and at some points seems to be out-of-place. Once in a while there will be a big huge billboard display plopped in the middle of an unlikely part of town, and seemingly thrown in last-minute by developers. The placement does not take away from the game however and I’ve defiantly seen worse in-game product placement. A couple of times too, the camera seems to be a problem but again it was very few and far between.
I was completely satisfied by the end of this game. The visuals were surprisingly stunning and added to the dynamic of the storyline and characters. The story is set up in episodical fashion, creating the feeling of reading a book and the, “let me just get to the next chapter,” mentality. Truly could never put the controller down and it sucked me into Alan’s next goal and the clues of what was happening in his intense surroundings. We recommend this game for anyone looking for a new experience and especially those who are fans of the horror genre.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare Gets
Out of five
-Camera at times