Alan Wake(Mathew Porretta) is a famous writer who needs a vacation. He and his wife decide to get away from it all by visiting the small town of Bright Falls. Things quickly take a turn for the weird when Alan's wife is kidnapped by a dark presence and he's the only one that can save her! Minor spoilers ahead.
|Alan's got a short temper and he talks a lot.|
The story really sucks you in. I really wanted to find out what was going on and why! It starts out simple enough with dream sequences and partial amnesia, but the plot keeps twisting and turning. It really gets going when you start to find manuscript pages of one of Wake's novels that he doesn't remember writing. The manuscript pages describe random events, but pretty soon you find pages that descibe events that have already happened in the game. Then, you find pages of events that haven't even happened yet! It creates this weird sense of foreshadowing and dramatic irony that I love, and it's meta as all hell. The designers do a great job of strategically placing the pages in spots that turn the story on its head.
|Barry is the best!|
The gameplay is pretty simple to get into and fun to play in spurts. Shine a ligh on the baddies with your flashlight, flares, spotlights etc, and then shoot them with your firearm. There's enough variety in the weapons to give a sense of choice and to keep things from getting too stale. In fact, if they have a sequel, I really hope they have multiplayer. Think how interesting it would be if one character held the flashlight while the other held the gun! Or y'know, 2 flashlights and 2 guns I guess. Also, one character could control a giant spotlight while the other runs and guns. Just putting that out there.
There's a very creepy atmosphere to Bright Falls. I don't know if I'd classify it as scary as there aren't really any jump scares; they give you plenty of time informing you of your impending attackers. But whenever the "taken" talk it's always a weird distorted jumble of dialogue. Also, I kept expecting the slender man to pop out, so there's that...
Alan Wake is a fun engrossing adventure with some creepy atmosphere and great meta narrative. It's an interesting enough story I might buy the add-ons and the new semi-sequel American Nightmare.
THE GOOD: great story with satisfying payoff, fun gameplay, creepy atmosphere, great soundtrack, lots of quirks and extra content, nice game length.
THE BAD: some of the controls are clunky/buggy, dodging, car parts aren't especially fun.
THE VERDICT: $$$$ Buy it! It should be pretty cheap to pick up now. You might even be able to rent it and beat it in a week. If you liek action-horror and meta-humor, you'll enjoy Alan Wake.
THINGS LIKE IT: Twin Peaks, Gravity Falls, Silent Hill, SHutter Island,
ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: You find a manuscript page on the ground detailing how Alan fought a possessed bulldozer, but you haven't fought a bulldozer...yet...