So… Is It Good?

A blog featuring the various writings of E. H. Lau.

Archive for the ‘Video Game Short Looks’ Category

Alan Wake Short Look

Posted by cyberpfalcon on February 14, 2011

So recently I went over to my friend’s place, and tried out Alan Wake on his Xbox 360. I was unexpectedly surprised by how good it was. Unfortunately, since I don’t have an Xbox 360, I won’t be finishing Alan Wake anytime soon, but I was impressed enough by the Prologue and the first episode that I want to give a short look at the game.

The story of the game is about Alan Wake, who is a writer suffering from writer’s block. He and his wife, Alice, travel to the rural town of Bright Falls for a vacation and, hopefully, for some inspiration. However, disaster soon strike when Alice disappears and Bright Falls turns in a dark, nightmarish town filled with human-like (but very obviously not human) creatures trying to kill Alan, who’s only defense seems to be the light.

The game is a third person shooter, with Alan going from episode to episode, defeating the creatures as he makes his way to his wife. However, the twist is that Alan must shine light onto the creatures, who are otherwise nigh-invulnerable, with things like a flashlight in order to defend himself and kill the creatures blocking his way.

The game is very atmospheric and the story (at least as far as I played it) is well told. The simple twist of having to shine light on the enemies before being able to defeat them serves the game well and adds a lot to the atmosphere.

However, one big gripe I do have with the game is the almost atmosphere-breaking aspect of having manuscripts from Alan’s book to collect and the definite atmosphere-breaking aspect of having coffee thermoses as collectibles. The manuscripts does, at least, serve to provide a bit more insight to Alan Wake and its world, however, the coffee thermoses just completely break the atmosphere of the game whenever they appear. I’d be going through a logging site, trying to stay alive and defeat the monsters in this nightmarish world when all the sudden… there is a floating coffee thermos… Definitely a bit jarring.

However, coffee thermoses aside, Alan Wake does seem to be a fairly good game with a great story and good gameplay. It’s definitely one of the games I’d buy if I owned an XBox 360.

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