This is my first review I have ever done on any game so if there are any mistakes, please tell me.
Alan Wake is a third-person horror game released by Remedy entertainment. It is all about a famous writer Alan Wake whose wife mysteriously disappears in a small town call Bright Falls. The story consists of six episodes which takes about 1.5 hours to finish each. So on whole the whole game is about 9 hours which is not very long. The two DLCs add more to the single-player campaign though. It took a long time to develop (About 5 years) and even took 2 years more to come to PC. My review on this game will be based on 3 aspects – Story, Graphics and Gameplay.
As a horror game Alan Wake has quite a gripping, scary, mysterious story which will keep anyone interested throughout the game. It’s one of the biggest plus points of Alan Wake and trust me I have played many horror games but this one is the most realistic of all. The story doesn’t unnecessarily stretch a long way which many games do. Everything you do feels right and has a specific purpose. The twists and turns at the end of the episodes keeps you excited to look more into the story of the game. I especially liked the way every episode started and ended. Each episode starts with a “Previously on Alan Wake” (except the 1st one) and each episode ends with a good song on which I celebrated my progress. I have never experienced this in a game and it is kind of like watching a show (and not a movie) in a television where there are several episodes and seasons. Even if I stop gaming for a day or two, I never forget the story; the recap sequence always reminded me of what had happened. But the ending did not satisfy me and was very complicated; I certainly expected more. I can quite surely tell that there will be a sequel to this game as it actually did not finish the story.
Frankly I was quite amazed at the graphics Alan Wake can offer. I own a GTX 570 and even if I didn’t turn everything to the fullest I can say that it look DAMN good. The hilly landscape looked very real and the waterfalls and the river below shined gloriously in the moonlight. The forests looked dense enough to get lost. I feel I could use a vacation there too (certainly I will be leaving before night ;-). This high graphic intensified the scary atmosphere of Alan Wake. It is very well optimized and I cannot believe that Remedy made such a good port of original Xbox version. The FPS kept itself steady at 60Fps but it can be more since I used EVGA Precision to cap my FPS. I don’t know about others but there was no glitch throughout my play. It is equipped with many latest features like SSAO, FXAA Antialiasing and tons more. You can even set the FOV (Field of View) in the controls option. It looked as good as Max Payne 3 and nearly as good as Crysis 2. Ha Ha seems like the 2 years wait really paid off. Great work Remedy!
The third-person view is quite good for the game as the player often gets attacked from back but still the close camera and side-view annoyed me. I often got hit from the back. It wouldn’t be a big loss of health on easy or normal difficulty but on nightmare it is very difficult. It would have been better if they made it like in Max Payne or in GTA. Maybe other gamers won’t agree with me but still I guess a bit far camera would have been better. Well the game mainly follows focusing the light on ‘Taken’ (Dark) persons until the darkness flees and then shooting them with a pistol or a shotgun (sometimes directly with a flare gun or flash-bangs). The technique is innovative and I especially liked the light requirement but over time it gets repetitive and boring. The blurry vision when attacked by ghosts can be annoying to some but I liked it and accepted it as a part of the Dark power’s magic. Driving is a pain in the ass. The handling is not good and it takes a huge time get the car to reverse. Well I guess Alan is a writer, not a racer :-P .But you don’t need to drive very frequently which is a relief. Dodging attacks is difficult especially when it comes from back. However the combat is still quite fast and fluid and will not disappoint the gamer. BTW It’s not an open-world game and there is not much to do except collecting some coffee thermos and listening to radios and TVs which is good thing as it would have reduced the interest over the main storyline.
A good story, great graphics, quite good gameplay should be the main reason to buy this game. I have bought it and it has not disappointed me a bit. Those who have a liking towards ghost and think there are brave enough to fight them off must get this game. Even who haven’t played any horror games this might be a good entry. It is a tough game to put down once you’ve started. It provides the challenge, the humor, the fear, the questions, the answers every good horror game needs. Remedy has done a terrific job in bringing (and improving) the great visuals of the game. The atmosphere feels alive and the mountains and forests look pleasant in daylight and equally scary at night. It is a game which you will want to keep playing until you’ve looked into and answered every dark mystery. The camera and the gameplay maybe issue for some but that shouldn’t stop you from playing this astonishingly good game.