Thursday, 23 December 2010

Alan Wake Review

You're trudging through the woods in the dark with one bullet left and a couple of batteries, this is where Alan Wake is successful, it makes you feel vulnerable and isolated.

I like Alan Wake because there isn't a story like it, you and your wife Alice, go on a holiday to bright falls, a small mountainous village. This is when the bad things start to happen, your wife goes missing in a weird way and you have to find her. The story is told in six episodes that end on cliffhangers and start with a bang which is a very clever way of doing it.

The gameplay is your basic over the shoulder, third person shooter gameplay but it works really well because your enemies are dark spirited and you have to stop them using light via a torch,flash bangs and flares. The guns pack a punch but their isn't a massive variety of guns, you've got the revolver,the shotgun,a hunter rifle and a flare gun (which is awesome). The use of the torch on the left trigger button and shooting on the right trigger button works really well because the torch is almost like an aim.

The movement is a bit clunky at times but most of the time works relatively well but the dodging system doesn't work well at all because nearly every time you try to dodge you end up getting hit anyway unless it's a perfectly timed dodge which then means you move in slow motion to evade the attack. The sprinting and the dodge system should've definitely been put on a different button because sometimes when you try to sprint it dodges and vice versa.

The graphics in Alan Wake are amazing, some of the very best I have seen on the xbox 360. Although sometimes there is a bit of screen tearing but it's barely noticeable. The facial expressions used in Alan Wake are very good too, you can see the true emotion in the characters faces which is always a good thing especially in a emotional thriller such as this.

The main story is about 8-10 hours long but if you want to collect all of the collectables I would add at least another 5 hours onto that. The main things to collect are the coffee Thermoses,the manuscripts,the cardboard cut outs,secret chests,radio's and TV’s to turn on and the pyramid cans to knock down.

The problems I found with Alan Wake was that the settings in each episode were to repetitive and bland, it was mainly always a woods. The game was far to linear, it wouldn't let you explore the village of bright falls which would've been nice. The enemies were all the same it would've been nice if they mixed it up a bit. Also the way the combat is the same in every episode, I do like the way Remedy mixed it up with driving sections thought which was solid.

Alan wake was a very enjoyable experience and the story kept me driving on until the fantastic ending. This should have been so much better for how long it was in development though. Remedy have done a good job at something innovative which I respect, it's good to see something new for a change!