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Apr
18
2011

QUASI-REVIEW: Alan Wake

Alan Wake, I think every Xbox 360 owner owes it to themselves to play this game, or at least try.  The story is solid and really engages you to keep coming back.  I liked the way the chapters are laid out like a TV show, it’s genius in that I felt more involved with the story.  Speaking of story, it’s a little out there.  You’re a famous novelist who takes a trip to quiet little town with his wife.  The plan is to relax and get over his writer’s block; well that’s his wife’s plan anyway, Alan just wants to relax.

Weird things begin happening once you start a new game.  Alan, and you the player, don’t seem to understand what’s going on.  You run over a man, you show up on a ferry with your wife, you end up in a diner with your biggest fan, meet with a creepy person to give you keys to a nifty cabin on the lake, and after some strange occurrences you end up in your now wrecked Lincoln CUV injured, oh and your wife missing.  The game keeps you guessing as the story unfolds.

Unfortunately the story couldn’t save this game for me.  All I wanted to do once I got the game was to pop it in to play.  You know, that urge you get all day to play a game when you can’t?  I wanted to see what everyone else loved about Alan Wake so much.  What I ended up seeing was a strange and uncomfortable game play mechanic that kept me from wanting to play anymore.

Others may like the shooting mechanic here but It just became cumbersome and annoying to me.  It did add to the tension but it just didn’t evoke fun.  I guess you could compare it to the feeling some people get playing Resident Evil games, the whole you can’t move and shoot thing, it’s frustrating.  I really wanted to enjoy the game but just couldn’t get past that whole shooting mechanic; it really did prevent me from enjoying it.  But still, the game has it’s high marks.  Obviously the story is wonderfully done and the graphics are beautiful but you do have to look past the horrible facial animations when people talk.  They never really seemed to match up with the dialog in the game. Also, maybe it was just me but the Lincoln in the game felt too detailed compared to everything else.  I don’t mind product placement, in fact I like it when it’s tastefully done, it gives me a sense of immersion.  But the car really stood out, felt wrong.

If you can get past the combat mechanic I hope you enjoy this game, I really do.  It’s one that should be enjoyed, I just couldn’t get to that point myself.


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