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August 16, 2010 | by  | in Games | [ssba]

Alan Wake

It’s almost ironic that you’re reading this now, because Alan Wake is a game about writing. No, it’s not Shakespeare, but something more akin to Stephen King’s Secret Window, Secret Garden. Alan Wake is an author of a series of thriller novels. He’s actually pretty famous too. But at present he’s having a bit of writer’s block, and thus escapes to a picturesque village named Bright Falls. Over the course of his story, some pretty weird shit goes down. Alan wakes up in bizarre places, his wife goes missing, and there are these shadow demon dudes (also known as the Taken) who seem to want nothing more than to impale an axe into Alan’s face.

This is the game Remedy Entertainment, the developers behind Max Payne (another game named after its main character), have been working on for the last five years. So if you haven’t guessed it already, Alan Wake is basically a horror survival game like Silent Hill or Resident Evil. There’s also some television thrown in for good measure. The game is split into episodes and even features “Previously on Alan Wake” titles, and live-action shorts displayed on in-game televisions.

During the day as Alan you will be scoping out the town of Bright Falls, asking questions, bothering the local inhabitants, trying to find your wife and solve those freaky mysteries. You’ll come across manuscript pages, foretelling things that haven’t yet happened but will—typed by Alan’s own hand, though he doesn’t remember it. There’s also these coffee thermoses you can collect too, but they don’t seem to offer any sage advice.

During the night Alan will go into the forest armed with nothing but a torch, some batteries, and maybe a revolver. Shotguns, flare guns and other offensive materials can also be found along the way. So why does Alan need this much fire power? For those shadow demon dudes I mentioned earlier. Shine your torch at their shadowy body and BAM, shoot them in the face while they’re weakened.

So what else can you do in Alan Wake? Driving, running, climbing, dodging, more running and more shooting. It does get a tad repetitive, but the story’s enough of a driving force to get you to the end. It’s not extremely scary, but I must admit there were a few times I had to check my underwear.

Hey what’s this? I just found a mysterious letter left on my desk. Here, I’ll type it up for you:

I immediately closed Salient, knowing now what I must do. I stood up, and headed to the nearest video store. I spotted the Xbox 360 exclusive Alan Wake sitting nearby on the shelf and rushed it to the counter. For three to four nights I escaped and gunned down shadow demon dudes like there was no tomorrow. I went to bed confused, but satisfied, turned out the light and embraced the darkness.

[ssba]

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