Throwback Thursday! *Warning contains spoilers*
Hey guys! It’s Chris again, but this time I’m reviewing a game that came out a couple of years ago. This game is one that I personally think is worth telling everyone about. Today’s game is the psychological thriller “Alan Wake”. This game came out May 18th, 2010 (NA version) for the Xbox 360 and then was re-released February 16th, 2012 (NA Version) for the PC.
“Alan Wake” is the first game in its series, making everything in the game a surprise to almost anyone who is both familiar and unfamiliar with the genre. The unique part of the game is the use of light and the power it holds. Not only does the light keep you safe, but it also is used as your main weapon!
The entire game circles around the idea that light defeats darkness, hence why Alan’s main weapon is a flashlight. That’s not his only weapon though. He is equipped with a small revolver, plus any other weapon you pick up in the game. His other equipment consists of flashbangs and emergency flares to defeat your enemies.
“Alan Wake” takes place in a fictional town called Bright Falls in Washington, USA. Alan is a famous writer on vacation with his wife Alice because he had had a two year case of writer’s block. When he arrives in the town, he is instantly recognized and the word quickly travels around town that he is there. He goes off to his cabin that is located in the middle of Cauldron Lake. Late in the night, Alice has a surprise for Alan that he wasn’t too happy about. It was a typewriter that Alice brought, hoping that he would give writing another chance. Alan storms out of the house to try and cool off later that night. The power inside the cabin goes out, causing Alice to scream, as she is afraid of the dark. Alan runs back into the house only to see his wife fall off of the back porch and into the lake. Without thought, he dives in after her, finding nothing and blacking out before he can get out of the lake.
This is only the beginning of the writer’s new story, “The Departure“. Alan’s new book describes everything that has happened and will happen throughout the game. The best part is, Alan has no memory of writing the book. Page by page he realizes that he is the one in control of the story.
With the story out of the way, let’s get down to how the game plays. The enemies of this dark world are known as The Taken. These unfortunate beings were taken by the darkness and are shells of their previous selves and cannot be saved. Coated in darkness, you must use any source of light that you have to take the coat off of them before shooting and killing The Taken, when killed they fall back, bursting into light before fading away. Other enemies fought in the game include random objects possessed by darkness that fly at you randomly, as well as crows. Both just need a little light shined on them and poof, they’re gone.
The world of “Alan Wake” is filled with references to other books, movies and a TV show. Stephen King’s “The Shining” has a heavy influence on the game’s story and characters. Bright Falls itself is based off of the serial drama “Twin Peaks” by Mark Frost and David Lynch, a TV show made in the early ’90s. In the game there are TVs you can turn on that play a strange show called “Night Springs”, where supernatural events occur. This is based off of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone”.
Like all games, “Alan Wake” has its Pros and Cons. Here are some that stuck out at me:
– Combat system is incredibly smooth
– The setting of the game is beautiful and compelling
– Timeline is broken down into 6 episodes, making the game easy to pick up and play for any amount of time
– Memorable characters
– Linear story
– Collectibles feel unnecessary (minus the manuscript pages)
– Bad voice syncing
– Manuscript pages spoil the story before it happens
– Advertising of real world products
– Short story
“Alan Wake” will forever hold a special place in my heart for its incredible story telling and unforgettable characters that seem almost too real. Yes, the pages from “The Departure” tell you what’s about to happen, but the feeling of reading the events and then seeing them happen is unlike any other, and almost like a feeling of deja vu. Currently, “Alan Wake” is $30 on the PC and $20 for the Xbox 360. I’d say the game is worth $20 for the movie like feeling it gives with a nice touch interaction. I personally recommend this game to anyone looking for a story they will remember for a long time
Thanks for reading my review on “Alan Wake”. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. As always have a good rest of your day/night.