Halloween Gaming #3: Alan Wake (Xbox 360)

I remember following the development of Alan Wake for the Xbox 360 shortly before the game was released in May of 2010. I was pretty hyped for the game. Unfortunately, when the game did get released, I was preoccupied with other games, such as Final Fantasy XIII and God of War III, so Alan Wake just kind of fell by the wayside for me.

However, last year I was talking to a friend about good survival horror type games to play and he mentioned Alan Wake, which brought the game back to my attention. So this year for my Halloween Gaming I decided to play Alan Wake. I am playing the Games On Demand version (downloadable version) of the game, which I bought from Xbox Live earlier this year when it was on sale for about $10.

Alan Wake (Games On Demand)

And man, I am so glad I got this game. First, the graphics look amazing, especially during the daytime scenes. Okay, some the character models are a little “off” sometimes but overall the graphics and the level of detail in the environments are amazing!

The voice acting is great as well, especially the guy who does the voice of the main character that you play as, Alan Wake. In the game you can find manuscript pages and these pages, in addition to being collectibles, help flesh out the story. Not only can you read these manuscript pages, but there’s also some excellent voiceover work from Alan Wake’s voice actor as he reads these pages along with you. It really made me want to read all the manuscript pages.

You also run across radio shows and TV shows, which are collectibles as well. The radio shows are a good listen and add more story elements to the game. The TV shows are very interesting. I always stop to listen to the entire radio show and watch the TV shows whenever I encounter them. The game also has some great music. There are songs that play at the end of the radio shows and there are some really cool songs, including songs by Roy Orbison and Poets of the Fall, that play at the end of each episode of the game.

But the best part of the game is the atmosphere. The game’s small town setting and forest settings are great for a survival horror game. The daytime parts make you feel safe, but it’s only temporary, because you know that pretty soon it will be nighttime. And that’s when the “dark beings” appear…

I was a bit surprised that there is plenty of combat and shooting, and I was also kind of surprised when I looked at the rating for this game and found out that this game was rated T. But despite all the shooting there is not really any blood or gore. Yes, I do enjoy the mature content in games like the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series, but it just goes to show that you don’t need an M rating to make a great survival horror game.

As I write this, I just finished Episode 5. There’s one more episode to go, so I’m not done with the game yet. But so far, my favorite part is the beginning of Episode 5 where you have to “make it to the helicopter”. This was intense but totally fun at the same time. For those of you wondering, yes, I died maybe 3 times before making to the helicopter, so I didn’t get a certain achievement. I am playing the game on Hard though.

Anyway, I think the game sold pretty well, but apparently not well enough to warrant the development of a sequel anytime soon, although developer Remedy did make two DLC expansions and a downloadable game, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, for Xbox Live Arcade. That’s a shame, because I would love to see Alan Wake 2 get released. Remedy is currently working on Quantum Break, a third person shooter, for the Xbox One.

Alright, I’m going to go finish off this game. Have a great Halloween everyone!

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