By bananaz 11 Comments
There's a strange thing when I play Alan Wake. My parents are disturbed by it when they sit in the other room, while various shooters and far more violent games go mostly unnoticed by comparison. It's because of the gunshots. When I figured this out, it made me realize how awesome that is, because gunshots in that game bother me too. They're not weak, poofy sounds that blend into an ambiance of war. They're not deep with bass, to convey mastery over power. They pop with combustion and ring like a ringing in your ear. They convey that you are out of your league. That sound jumps higher than anything else and isn't nice to hear. It isn't pleasurable to fire the gun. Even the clash of light with the darkness has a grating sound, like a sparkler scratching a metal plate. It is the sound of a violent chemical reaction, a sonic short-hand for conflict. All of this, not blending into the din of some busy battlefield or arena swarming with enemies, but in contrast to the dark and lonely woods against a few enemies at a time. I want to applaud the sound design in Alan Wake. It truly is the most violent-sounding game I have.