Alan Wake screenshot
Alan Wake screenshot

Much has been made of Alan Wake's less-than HD resolution, but the bottom line is that it's a stunning looking title. No game released so far this generation features lighting effects more impressive, or so much going on. At times, with the wind blowing, smoke in the air, objects flying around, flares alight and enemies coming at you, there'd be an argument for this being one of the most visually striking games ever released. It's that impressive. During certain dramatic moments the game even pauses and pans around Alan, giving you a chance to take it all in.

Things take an unfortunate turn for the worse during the game's many non-interactive cutscenes, however. Quite why isn't clear, but in these scripted video sequences the animations appear to be jerky and the lip syncing is terrible. It doesn't hurt the overall experience too much, as the voice acting is still excellent and the direction superb, but compared to the high quality on show at all other times, it's somewhat jarring to see a car judder along a road and a woman speak as though she's a ventriloquist's dummy.

A special mention has to go to the audio work, too, which will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up if you've got a good surround sound setup. It adds an immeasurable amount to the game's atmosphere, which at times is so thick you'll want to remain rooted to the spot, flare held aloft while you take a moment to calm down. The use of licensed music is a great touch, too, with the soundtrack being one of the best and most memorable I've ever heard in a video game.

Remedy and Microsoft haven't made a perfect masterpiece, but Alan Wake may well be one of my favourite releases of 2010 – an escapade I'm going to remember for a very long time. It's a stunning action game, a superbly scripted adventure and a technical showcase for the now-ageing Xbox 360 hardware. If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise, but this ain't no picnic.

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User Comments

chelskiboy247's Avatar

chelskiboy247@ El-Dev

Hmm... it seems to be a bit of a marmite game. I didn't get bored by it at all!

@Kert - Glad you enjoyed it too. I'm guessing you got the same deal I did?
Posted 10:04 on 23 July 2010
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie@ Neon-Soldier32

Think its supposed to be the 27th.
Posted 08:34 on 23 July 2010
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

When's the first DLC out?
Posted 08:06 on 23 July 2010
K3RT's Avatar

K3RT

I'm with Chelski on this one I also recently finished it and I absolutely loved it I cant wait for the future DLC.
Also I got the limited edition which comes with the book the Alan Wake files I also found this book to be a very good read and would recommend any Alan Wake fan to read it as it has more info on the story.
Posted 06:40 on 23 July 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev@ chelskiboy247

That really wasn't my main thought after the final few hours of tedium, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

By quite some distance Alan Wake is the worst game I've played this year. Stale and past it's sell by date is my opinion of it.
Posted 02:02 on 23 July 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar

chelskiboy247

Finished this today and thought it was brilliant, probably my favourite game of this year (and that's saying something). The ending was good but I did have one problem with it:
Show Spoiler I think that the player should have been able to stab Jagger with the clicker instead of it being a cutscene.
Posted 23:05 on 22 July 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

This review gets a mention,
you should be pretty proud Tom :D
Posted 09:57 on 18 May 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

I finished it really early this morning,
got all the achievements except the collectable ones and the Nightmare one.
On episode 2 of my Nightmare play through now :D
Posted 18:42 on 16 May 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ SexyJams

The Anderson's Farm with the stage. I'm shocked you didn't remember that as being a rock n roll moment :D
Posted 12:52 on 16 May 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

What episode and chapter do I get Child of the Elder God achievement?
Posted 11:59 on 16 May 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

lol, I dunno, it'd be awesome to get quite a lot of extra game in my opinion.
Posted 10:20 on 16 May 2010
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Woffls

Yeah sorry Woffls I must have not made it very clear. I think season 2 is free which I think is the one that came with the game.
I have no idea how many "seasons" there will be, I'm hoping it won't be six like Lost mind :laugh:
Posted 21:41 on 15 May 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

I believe just the first one
Posted 20:10 on 15 May 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

All episodes? Or just the first one?
Posted 20:09 on 15 May 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

It's free to those who bought it new.
Posted 20:05 on 15 May 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Alan Wake
9
Out of 10
Alan Wake
  • Combat is brilliant
  • Clever use of narration
  • Atmosphere is incredible
  • Cutscenes look odd
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 14/05/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Remedy
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Adventure
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 524 44
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