By Egge 6 Comments
I played through Alan Wake back in 2010 when it was released exclusively for the Xbox 360, and I honestly didn't think very highly of Remedy's long-awaited new action adventure. On the plus side, in creating the little town of Bright Falls with its surrounding deep woods the studio completely nailed the Lynchian atmosphere they were so clearly aiming for, and the settings themselves remain by far the game's greatest asset. However, the endless and relentlessly linear traversal through familiar-looking dark forests quickly became repetitive and the rather basic combat - while not without its share of visceral thrills - likewise grew stale within just a few hours of gameplay. This might all have been excusable if the story was any good, but the needlessly convoluted narrative gets so mired down in the details of its supernatural backstory that by the (annoyingly amiguous) end its reasonably compelling "man loses wife and sanity" premise has almost completely fallen by the wayside. As a game Alan Wake significantly overstayed its welcome, and it was thus a real relief for me to finally put it back on the shelf for good.
Given my less than enthusiastic reaction to the original version of Alan Wake it might seem surprising that I picked up the PC version as soon as it was released, but this was purely a case of wanting to support the platform rather than being particularly interested in actually playing the game itself again. If nothing else, there's some symbolic value in this belated PC port considering how Remedy's contractual obligations surrounding the 360 release of Alan Wake seemed to mark a drastic shift away from PC gaming for the developer in question. Indeed, that this agreeably priced PC port reached #1 on Steam and became profitable in just 48 hours - despite the game having received a somewhat mixed reaction and been out for two years on another system - speaks volumes about the personal computer's renewed commercial viability as a serious platform on the market.
As for the extra bells and whistles added for the PC version, the increased resolution does wonders to the already quite respectable art assets (especially compared with the 360 version's somewhat controversial sub-HD graphics), but the promised NVIDIA 3D Vision support is sadly quite lacking at the moment and will have to be patched extensively. Also, for the keyboard/mouse purists out there it's worth adding that AW works best with a gamepad plugged in.