Some short notes about the first two episodes of Alan Wake:
- Either it's very easy to get overpowered/outflanked by the Taken in this game, or I am very bad at doing anything. It's likely the latter, but I especially appear to have problems dodging. Flares are a rare godsend.
- Ways in which the TV episode structuring is great
- "Previously on Alan Wake"
- Concrete stopping points
- End of episode twists & stings
- Ways in which the TV episode structuring is not so great
- Lack of "B" plot or breather scenes with other characters makes the linearity more obvious and the game more oppressive & relentless. It's a pro and a con
- Though vague, the "boss" fights break the illusion of a TV episode -- Jack doesn't punch the Smoke Monster at 9:50PM every Tuesday.
- Not enough of a rad, deep voice reading "Previously on Alan Wake"
- Pitch-shifted taken say the craziest things.
- Repeated dialogue and voice-over from the manuscript pages isn't over-played - no music cues or flashbacks (so far) to something that happened earlier in the episode.
- It's impossible to talk about the Darkness taking over Bright Falls without yelling like Rick James.
- The voice acting is superb enough to overcome the jerky animation and lumpy facial modelling.
I hope to get though at least an episode a night, if not more. I'm starting to feel guilty about signing up to GameFly for it, though. I'm clearly enjoying it enough that I want to buy it, and the DLC is tantalizing, but I can't imagine I'll ever replay it. We'll see how my feelings change as I get closer to the end.