Saturday, 28 April 2018

Dealing with backlog: Alan Wake

I bought this game and the sequel after it was announced that they'd be taken off Steam due to the music license running out. People had told me how great the game was so ofc I wanted a chance to play it.

In general I liked the game and it had some really epic moments, like fighting a big bunch of taken while the radio station was playing War by Poets of the Fall, or the moment on the stage of the Andersons' farm. That was awesome! Or running from the Dark Presence along the bridge, or fighting against a possessed Harvester. So many epic moments!

But there were some things that sometimes made the game annoying, like the fact that Alan always moved a little bit to the left even when I had the camera straight and only pressed the forward button. Interestingly I figured out I had to angle the camera to the right to actually jump straight forward. Alan was also crap at climbing and running (not being able to climb practically at all and gettting tired from running short distances).

The story was intriguing and even when I thought I had figured it out there was a well-placed twist thrown in my face and I had to reevaluate what I knew. The manuscript pages were a nice touch (though the writing made it waaaay too obvious that Stephen King was the inspiration for Alan Wake, I knew that already, but come on, can't you try to be less in your face about it?)

The many Twin Peaks hints were hilarious. The crazy Agent Nightingale didn't remind me so much of Dale Cooper as of his bitter/angry partner, and the Night Springs episodes that you could catch on the TV sets in-game felt like a nod both to Twin Peaks and to The Twilight Zone

The ending was epic and unexpected, but I felt that it was left a bit too open, which is why I made the mistake of starting up the two DLC episodes. I wanted something more after the ending. I wanted more closure. Instead I got more of the same, and tbh too much of the same. I only played the first DLC episode for about an hour but for that hour it felt like I didn't get anywhere, the world just got more and more fragmented and broken while the Taken became more and more numerous. Needless to say I didn't complete the DLC episodes but contented myself with the ending of the base game. It would have to do.

Alan Wake is one of those games that you love when you're playing them, but when you stop playing and the story is over you realise just how done you are with the whole thing. I have some amazing memories from that game, but do I feel like going back to that world and fighting with a flashlight again any time soon? Not really. Which is a shame, because I did love this game when I was playing it. I really did.
 Left). A suspiciously Lovecraftian reference in the beginning of the game that turns out to have been entirely intentional later in the game (Yay me for spotting it). Right). A rare daytime shot.

 Left). The game enjoys to go all Hitchcock on everyone. Why avoid a horror reference when it's so readily available? ;) Right). First hint at the tornado stuff to come - a boat that fell right out of the sky.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What's the first thought in your head after reading this? Let me know!