Review – Alan Wake

Alan WakeAs one of the first titles announced for the Xbox 360, some began to wonder if the title would ever see the light of day. After 5 long years, Alan Wake has finally made his way home.

As usual, there are no spoilers in this review so feel free to read on.

The game is set in a small sleepy rural town in the mid North Western USA, Bright Falls. Complete with vibrant landscapes and wildlife, the town features some very quirky characters and unapologetically takes its cue right out of the cult classic TV series of the early 90s, Twin Peaks. You play the part of title character Alan Wake a best-selling author suffering from writer’s block who’s on vacation with his wife. When his wife Alice goes missing, it’s up to Alan to find her through the pages scattered throughout Bright Falls of a manuscript he doesn’t remember writing. He comes to the realization that a dark presence is at work and it’s up to him to save the woman he loves.

The game’s narrative is much like a book. As Alan completes certain tasks or reaches checkpoints, Alan narrates certain aspects to the gamer allowing for the story to progress much like a living book.
The graphics are beautiful. The town and environments are just as beautiful in the dark(sometimes more so) as they are in the light and the character models look incredible – Hey Alice, can I give you my phone number? (the actress is seriously hot and her model looks just like her). The only thing that’s not quite right is the lip syncing and this weird grimace that Alan Wake has that says “I just got kicked in the pills”. Apparently they’re working on a fix for that. When walking through the town or the forest at night, the baddies (known as “The Taken”) come at you in various forms and they are ‘effin creepy man, especially the sound that accompanies them which bring me to my next point.

The sound in this game is AMAZING! The sound directors and writers deserve huge props for some of the more intense and gripping soundtracks and sound effects I’ve experienced in a game for a in a long time. Whenever the music started to pick up the pace, my heart raced along with it – couple that with the ambient sounds of the game and the noises/voice of the Taken and you’re likely to find yourself sitting slightly higher in your seat and perhaps even turning the lights on.

This game has something I’ve been missing from all my so called “Horror survival games” – The scares. Truly feeling like the situation is dire or that feeling of dread as you round a corner to thematic music, second guessing the wind in the bushes or the silhouette in the distance is what made games like Resident Evil 1-3 so near and dear to me (sadly they lost that dynamic). The game had moments that made me jump and feel great moments of relief when it was all over.

Any avid book reader will tell you there’s nothing like a page turner which is exactly what Alan Wake is. Great Job Remedy – This game shall never leave my game collection and will go down as a classic title from this generation of consoles.

Feed Your Console gives Alan Wake 10 out of 10

Pros:

  • Graphics – Simply put, beautiful
  • Engaging Story – Keeps you wanting more(please make more)
  • Sound Effects and soundtrack – Both of which will raise your heart rate
  • Scare moments – this felt more like survival horror than anything in recent years

Cons:

  • It ended – Seriously, why is the game over?
  • Lip Synching and strange mouth movements by Alan – Reportedly a fix is forthcoming
** Thanks to Xbox for for supplying a review copy to Feed Your Console,/h6>

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