Thursday, 15 March 2012

Review: Alan Wake

Alan Wake was has finally come to PC in an updated editionwith improved graphics and the original two DLCs included. Players take on therole of Alan Wake, a famous writer, as he tries to save his wife and overcome agreat darkness. The story is about light versus dark and this carries overheavily into the game-play. The game plays as a third person shooter with aheavy emphasis on story and a unique twist; before enemies can be killed youmust burn the darkness out of them with light. Flashlights, flares and flash-bangsare often more important than bullets in this game.
The lighting and locations truly make this game beautiful; in spite of the slightly dated graphics.
The developers have created a great world with interestingcharacters and beautiful locations. The game is set in and around a smallisolated town in the American North-West, which is the perfect setting tocreate an oppressive atmosphere in, with vast misty forests and run-down buildings.Radio programs, TV shows and the characters really help to bring the world alive.Going off the beaten track is encouraged and you are rewarded enough to make itworth your while.
Despite there being no creatures of darkness in the sunlight a feeling of unease pervades into the daytime.
The game is split into six chapters and in which you exploredifferent areas, to achieve different objectives, whilst picking up pages of amanuscript that seems to foretell what is happening. However, this leads to abit too much repetition as you find manuscript pages that tell you how eventswill unfold, play through the events and then have Alan talk about what justhappened.
Driving sections help to break up the monotony.
The game can often feel too formulaic; you travel through astretch of forest to reach an objective, there’s some story, and then you do itall again. Different sections try to mix it up, by taking place in sunlight, ortaking away your light or guns, but the game can still feel overly repetitive.For a game so focused on story it’s strange that the lip-syncing and facialexpressions are done so poorly; the voice acting is good but it doesn’t make upfor how unemotional the characters look.
The DLCs get really weird but I thought they were great.
The DLCs don’t add to the story but take interesting ideasfrom the main campaign and push them further; the creativity they display isamazing, especially when things get really surreal. Overall Alan Wake offersgood value for money, has fun, if slightly repetitive, game-play and an interesting story that is well worth playing through to the end.

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