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    dkirschner's Alan Wake (360)

    [November 11, 2012 11:09:52 PM]
    The boxfront says "A psychological action thriller." I'd also describe it as "Play a Stephen King novel." Another hit for me in my week of short games, Alan Wake held me at the edge of my seat the entire time. From the serenity of the opening scenes to the darkness forming and stalking Alan, to the mysterious characters and the manuscript pages of Alan Wake's latest novel that he doesn't remember writing, every bit of this story was compelling. Alan and his wife go to an idyllic cabin in the middle of a lake for some R & R and to hopefully cure Alan's writers block. But there's an evil presence in the town that capitalizes on Alan's weakness after his wife dies (how did she die?!). Alan spends the story trying to get her back, and in doing so, follows the plot of the story he doesn't remember writing. The game is divided into six episodes with cliffhangers like chapters in a book. The pacing is excellent. Each episode has just what it needs and the game was so damn good I just played it straight through. I see that there are two additional DLC episodes, as well as some other Alan Wake fictions that expand on the story. I will consider obtaining these if they are of the same writing quality.

    As far as gameplay goes, it plays like a survival horror game. The light is your main weapon. Enemies, which are people taken over by the darkness, are like maniacal versions of the small town's inhabitants - loggers, policemen, all males for some reason. They come at you with various outdoor tools, ranting about various things related to their professions. I thought it would culminate with the chainsaw guy, but the buildup to that part really wasn't as stressful for me as it should have been. I was imagining hearing the rumbling of a chainsaw getting louder and louder, and the chainsaw enemy being a cut above all the others. But he wasn't the end-all-be-all of enemies. Turns out the darkness can possess inanimate objects too, so really the wheat threshers and giant farm tractors were more intimidating than the chainsaw guy. Anyway, all these people and objects are enshrouded by darkness. You must use your flashlight to burn away the darkness before you can shoot and kill them. The flashlight has limited batteries that drain as you use it, and there is limited ammunition for your few guns, including flares and flash bombs. Flares were really useful for keeping enemies at bay. But you couldn't see them very well for the brightness, though you were protected. So like, if you want to focus on killing a chainsaw guy, toss a flare to keep the other enemies away from you while you shine your light at the target. The flash bombs do tons of damage and are good when like 7 enemies are running at you. I used the pistol the majority of the time, and pulled out the shotguns or hunting rifle in serious situations. After every episode, you lose all your weapons. Usually you fell or were attacked or something plausible. After the first time, I was like, "Oh great, lost all my stuff" because I usually hate that. However, for maybe the first time in my life, I enjoyed losing everything every time. It made sense, first of all. Second of all, it made the game scarier all of a sudden having no flashlight, or only a flashlight but no pistol, or whatever.

    Great game, another brilliant story with tons of references to other horror media like the Twilight Zone and various Stephen King novels (the Shining especially). Like the last two gamelogs I wrote for Enslaved and Bayonetta, the story gets better and better as it moves along. Alan Wake provides so many good twists, and that moment of illumination near the end that straight up explains it all. Actually this moment comes somewhat in episode 4 when you learn what is actually happening to Alan on the island. This is expanded upon later. The earlier episodes are when Alan is confused, trying to figure out what is going on, etc. I really liked this. Go buy it!
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    dkirschner's Alan Wake (360)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 9 November, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 10 November, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Scary! I like. The playing with light is really cool. Like playing a Stephen King novel. ----------- Excellent story.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on Alan Wake

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Alan Wake (360) by djs224 (rating: 4)
    2 : Alan Wake 2 (XBX X/S) by smellinor (rating: 5)


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