kalmis's Alan Wake (Xbox 360) review

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  • kalmis has written a total of 101 reviews. The last one was for Lume

Erittäin hyvä

Erittäin hyvä is of course Finnish and it is means very good. Yes, this review is partly biased because I happen to speak Finnish and Remedy are a Finnish company. Alan Wake get's described as Psychological Thriller. The thriller part is of course more suitable for movie or tv-show normally but it is actually a suitable description.



As with Remedy's previous Max Payne games Alan Wake has lot of weight on story telling. Simply put Alan Wake is writer who is suffering from writers block. He and his wife travel to remote Twin Peaks-esque town Bright Falls to recharge the batteries and get a inspiration. When wife disappears under mystical occurrence it is your task as Alan to find out what's going on and get her back. Best part of the story is the pacing. Game is divided into six chapters. Each chapter played like a TV episode with a cliff-hanger in the end and each start with "Previously On" summary of previous episode. Despite the end that was left bit open, bit too much on purpose, I was pleased with the story. There is already DLC coming in August and Remedy has mentioned Alan Wake 2, not announced it yet though.

Game-play would fit into adventure shooter category. Most of the action being in forest shooting the Taken's. Taken being a average Bright Falls person who has been taken by a dark presence. Like with Max Payne's bullet-time Remedy has come up with a unique twist on the shooting action. These takens need to be disarmed from their dark presence "armour" with a bright light before they are vulnerable for shooting. This light factor is also used for safe points. And several occasions you might feel bit lost but a climbs of light always shows you were to go.


There has been some fuzz about the graphics mostly because seeing how long the development cycle was. Granted the few the facial and character animations might look a bit dated. Other than that the Bright Falls and its surroundings is absolutely beautiful. The deep dense forest and the huge mountains surrounding the town are detailed. From first climbs there is no doubt that you are in somewhere in  Pacific Northwest . The light effect is without the doubt best I've seen in any games before. Most of the time is spend in the dark forest with your flashlight and as in real life dark forest is a spooky experience with all the shadows and sounds. Each time there is dark presence danger there will be a shift in the weather. All clouds turning black and wind turning all stormy. These effects emit a danger really well.


On the sounds and music department I have no complaints. Remedy has done good job selecting a fitting soundtrack that relays the small town feel ideally. The ambient sounds in the forest aid the haunting feeling. Voice acting is done by professionals luckily not Finnish with broken English despite most the actors being Finnish.

Alan Wake is a single player game with three different difficulty levels. There is also good number of collectibles that will add the game playability value. There is also a note with a code for free the DLC coming out in August.

I started with mind set to give AW a perfect score but after the analyze here I can not justify it. The flaw being story is left so open and the forest stages might get bit repetitive. Still highly recommended and definitely one the exclusive gems of Xbox 360.
1 Comments
Posted by Jeust

Yeah I felt that the repetitive nature towards the end weighted a bit on the game too. That and I felt the plot lost momentum after the fourth chapter. 
 
Nice review!

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