This is for my gaming friends, all others can skip if you want.
Last night I finished Alan Wake for the Xbox 360. If you are not familiar with the game here is the plot from Wikipedia:
“Bestselling thriller writer Alan Wake suffers from a two-year long stretch of writer’s block. He and his wife Alice travel to the small rural town of Bright Falls, Washington for a short vacation, hoping to recover his creative flow. Alan retrieves keys and map to their rented cabin from a veiled woman in black standing in for the cabin’s sick owner at their scheduled meeting. The couple drives to the cabin which sits on an island in Cauldron Lake. As they unpack their supplies, Alan discovers that Alice has set up a typewriter for Alan in the cabin’s study, hoping that he would be able to start on his new work. Angered by her persistence, Alan steps outside for a walk, only to hear Alice’s screams moments later. He finds something has dragged Alice from the cabin into the lake waters, and he dives in after her, and soon loses consciousness.”
That’s pretty much the jist of it, the wiki goes into more detail and even giving the ending away, I won’t do that.
The game would be described as survival horror and I would agree with that, there were some “Oh Shit!” moments that made me jump heh. It’s a 3rd person game and you control Alan Wake on his search for his wife.
Your weapn of choice is a flashlight, yep that’s right see your enemies are called “The Taken” and they live in darkness. They are tough as nails too, but if you hit them with light they get weak. You also encounter other weapons as well such as a revolver, pump action shotgun, hunting rifle, flare gun, flares and flashbangs (which are awesome!).
Later as the darkness gets stronger it will hurl barrels, tires, farming tractors, cars buses and even a fucking crane and boats (ships) at you!!!!!
The atmosphere in the game is like something I have never seen in a game, this game was pushed back several times and it was even in development hell. I think with the game makers pushing the game back to get it right worked in their favor, the lighting in this game is like no other, when your in the forrest and are getting ready to come upon “The Taken” you know it’s about to happen, now with that being said you won’t ALWAYS know when “The Taken” are around, they will surprise you and make you jump….so you are on your guard.
the wind and smoke will crisscross and make you feel like you are in a howling vortex in a way, a very dizzying and terrifying feeling…..you just have to see it to understand what I am saying.
The voice acting is top notch on all characters however I don’t think the characters look as good as the settings and atmosphere, but this didn’t make the game suck or anything.
While playing the game you don’t really know what is going on storywise, which added more of a Hitchcock feeling which is a + in my book. They added in things to keep you on your toes like driving, pushing things out of your way to create a path (Tomb Raider style) and starting up generators to get light, so it wasn’t just running through the woods, and oh man the ending is different and cool I even smiled to myself.
This is a short game sadly, my best friend (he doesn’t blog) picked up the game used (He bought it when it first came out and couldn’t handle the combat he said “It’s brutal” + plus other games had come out and consumed more of his time so he sold it) because hearing me talk about the game made him want to play it again, anyway he bought it on May 10th and he’s already on Episode 4, so I wouldn’t recommend buying the game, but def worth a rental and you should have it beaten in a weekend.
I give Alan Wake a B+