Review by TheFatMan35
"Well, it certainly is a solid game at least"
Alan Wake is an Xbox 360 game that is now downloadable over Xbox LIVE Games on Demand. The concept of this game is you play as this man (I bet you can't guess his name haha). His name is Alan Wake. He is a writer. The game starts off with a dream he has. This dream is your tutorial. This tutorial has you being hunted down by some crazed man who seems to be possessed by what the game refers to as, "The Darkness". As you progress through the game you find that all of your enemies are primarily, "The Darkness". The way to fight the Darkness is the most sensible thing you can think of, with light. Literally. Your main weapon, otherwise you would be completely powerless without, is a flashlight. You cannot harm these enemies until you have used a sufficient amount of light on them to weaken their darkness barrier. Once you have weakened this barrier you must take the time to then either shoot them, or use some other kind of standard form of force against them. My particular favorite in killing the enemies is the Flash Bang. It's weird, the flash bang is usually useless in every other kind of shooting game there is. And here this game takes the Flash Bang and makes it a very destructive force. Although a problem with this game, which is also a selling point, is the story. It is interesting at first. But the progress that this game moves at with it's story is uneven, and sometimes a little difficult to follow. Sometimes you feel like a lot of the stuff you're doing to supposedly progress the story feels like it's just filler. This game disappoints in that aspect.
Graphically this game is very impressive. The lighting effects are probably the most wonderful I have seen on the Xbox 360 at that time this game was released. This is saying a lot. If the game had a strongest point, this would be it. The wonderful, yet simple lights that hang above your head and are designed as check points feel like a gift from God himself every time you go under one. And even when you are in complete darkness in this game it still impressed with the amount of detail in the foliage and wind effects in the forest. My only gripe is that the game really doesn't have a lot of different areas to go through. Most of the game is in the woods. This isn't a bad environment, it does get a little old though after sometime. Also some of the facial animations are a bit awkward. Environments overall, are certainly the strong point graphically.
This games sound quality is excellent. Voice acting is pretty good aside from Alan Wake himself. I personally cannot stand him and his acting, or lack thereof. I thought it could use some work. The sound of the environments gives a constant creepy feeling of you not being alone and always being watched. Enemies make constant noises about nonsense in a voice is angry and disgruntled and creepy. This game does a really good job and setting the stage of scariness. My personal favorite moment of blissful sound was the level with the stage. That was an excellent and well-done moment in gaming history. Easily the best moment in this game.
This game is not difficult to master with the controls. It is certainly not an easy game but it is not terribly frustrating either. Platforming can be a little repetitive and annoying after some time, but fortunately it is easy to deal with. Big issue with this game as well though is the fact that it is only about maybe 8 hours long. It will not take you long to beat. When you do beat it, you won't really care too much for going back to playing it either. There really isn't a lot of replay value in this game. Even the extra episodes don't really add a lot more to the experience. You basically feel like you have played through what you can once you get to about Chapter 3. After that, nothing else that happens really surprises you. The whole story seems to just blend in with itself. It becomes the only reason you continue to play, but then you get to a point where the only reason you keep playing is because you have already played it so much, you might as well finish what you started. And when a game ends like that you know there is some problem with how it presented itself and how it continued to present itself.
As a whole, this is a solid game. I just feel like it didn't really offer a whole lot. From the beginning of the game there was some potential, but as it progressed that really died down. The excitment was gone about half way through. Which was really disappointing. In conclusion, rent for a few days. I cannot recommend a purchase.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 02/07/12
Game Release: Alan Wake (US, 11/23/10)
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