Alan Wake

Alan Wake Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

A psychological action thriller for next generation consoles and PC.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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"It was Tuesday morning, my hands still slightly numb from the cold May air that had jolted me into consciousness on my morning commute to work. I stared at a blank Word document, the black cursor flashing on and off the page. I could feel the pressure mounting. It was only 20 hours until my review for Alan Wake would need to be published, yet my thoughts were all over the place. No doubt, the Xbox 360 exclusive survival horror game I'd finished the week before would rank as one of my favourites of the year, yet its flaws were weighing heavy on my mind. The clock ticked on to 9:38am. 9.39am. 9.40am. If only I'd already written about writing this review."

Alan Wake is a writer, a hugely famous one at that. When he and his wife Alice arrive in the small town of Bright Falls, their location for an idyllic retreat, he's treated as you might imagine Cheryl Cole would be during an appearance at the Croydon branch of Topshop. He's a celeb, with posters advertising his latest book all over the place and his agent on the phone every other minute. The waitress at the local diner can barely string two words together, she's so star struck. After a slightly bizarre encounter with two ageing rockers, Alan and Alice head to a lovely island cabin where they intend to have a relaxing few days together. Things, expectedly, don't go to plan.

Remedy's finely-crafted story is unquestionably one of the game's biggest assets, and revealing more than the bare essentials would significantly reduce your enjoyment of the title. All you really need to know is that Alice goes missing, Alan's work plays a huge part in the events that unfold and that darkness is very bad when you're wandering around the heavily wooded Bright Falls. Things don't necessarily go bump in the night, but they certainly like carrying chainsaws.

Light really is the backbone of Alan Wake's gameplay and storyline. In the sunlight the town is as picturesque as a postcard, with sweeping vistas and gorgeous yellow beams piercing the tree lines. Once night falls, however, the darkness quite literally takes over. Alan, understandably goes on the hunt for his wife, but stumbles across an evil presence that is hell-bent on using Alan for its own wicked means. Bright Falls residents, possessed by the darkness, are just one of the many enemies Alan has to overcome.

These 'Taken' appear like black ghosts, but thankfully they don't take kindly to light. Alan almost always has a torch in his hand (with various stronger versions collected as your progress), and shining this at a Taken will slowly rip the darkness out of them. This is important as conventional weapons do nothing to stop foes until they've been completely drained of the darkness. Initially the combat seems a little tricky, with the left trigger used for shining the torch and the right for firing your weapon, but within moments you'll be draining Taken and dispatching them with a shotgun in one fluid, explosive sequence.

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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: 513 6
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