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on 22 March 2013
I always avoided this game after seeing quick gameplay footage on youtube as I assumed it was only about walking around shining torches at 'people', which in a way it was, but when I finally gave in and gave it a go, it was surprisingly immersive. The game is played out like a TV show with each chapter ending like a cliffhanger and beginning with the 'Previously on Alan Wake' followed by a cut scene showing you what happened so far to jog your memory, again, just like a TV show which was pretty cool to see.

As for the story itself, it was good overall, although slightly confusing towards the end. I won't spoil anything but I guess it's one of those 'interpret as you see fit' type stories. I liked the little details during the game when you aren't being chased down by shadows and demons such as turning on a radio to hear the local DJ talking about you being in town (you're a famous writer) and a local calling in to tell the radio station that they just met you moments earlier, which you do in the town diner who is a NPC (Non Playable Character for all of you non gamers out there). As this story is pretty much about 'what the hell is going on around here', any thing to help you get a better understanding is worth waiting around for i.e stopping to turn on a TV, listen to a radio on the table to hear what the fire is up ahead in the forest as part of a local broadcast, talking to a person sitting in the diner etc

The ONLY bad thing I had to say about this game is the fact that it's predictable at times and also can be repetitive, but what games aren't these days? If you like story driven games over Call of Duty style 'run and gun' games, this is a very good game. Overall it was a good experience and definitely worth the price.
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on 28 April 2011
After being fed up with watching misguided new developers destroying my favourite horror series, Silent Hill, I welcomed picking up something new in Alan Wake, and I absolutely was not disappointed.

The game feels fresh and different right from the get-go with its episodic quirks that rapidly become familiar, the distinct narrative style of the protagonist, the kooky backwater twilight zone-esque feel of Bright Falls, the bold and daring use of light and dark to carve a path through the sprawling environments. Although not strictly a horror game, Alan Wake certainly had chills running up my spine with its clever use of the dark and creepy sound effects, and its shadowy villains frequently materialising out of nowhere to give you a good jump. Making a game pitch-black and letting the gamer fumble around in the dark is easy but stupid; I'm pleased to say that Alan Wake is much more intelligent, ramping up its perpetual threatening atmosphere.

The gameplay is, when you strip it down to its core, fairly simple, and despite the occasional branching path to go pick up a secret crate of supplies or something similar, your path through each episode is also linear. Where Alan Wake excels, however, is in not making it FEEL linear. The environments seem huge, and feel like living, breathing mountainside forestry. When you're running panicked from a mob of enemies through a thicket of trees, it's easy to feel like you're lost and disoriented. Linearity is not necessarily a problem in a game - most games are linear when it comes down to it - so long as the gamer never feels like they are on rails. Alan Wake's six episodes are meaty and feel full of exploration, poking through eerie abandoned buildings and dilapidated town houses in beautifully rendered environments. The combat rapidly becomes intuitive, although I was a little disappointed by the lack of challenge in it as the game is very generous with ammunition.

I'm knocking off a star for an anticlimactic, vague ending and run-up to the ending, and the overuse of 'I've lost all my weapons . . . again' scenarios. Which may seem harsh, but the story was great and original, and the lack of a satisfying ending was a big disappointment for me! Maybe the extra notes in Nightmare Mode and the DLC shed light on stuff, I don't know. Shouldn't NEED it to make sense of the complete game that I have bought though.

Either way, these niggles are minor, and Alan Wake is a fantastic game that demands your attention. And it's going so cheap now it can't be anything but a bargain!
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on 29 April 2012
Picked this up for about a fiver. Remember the hype when it first came out (which put me off) but find, several years after its release, an intelligent game which set a bit of a blueprint for LA Noire. Its very cinematic and borrows heavily from Twin Peaks and The Mouth of Madness. The combination of gameplay and cut scenes and the episode structure work really well and keep you playing just a little longer.
The only negative point is a the repetitave nature of the gameplay and the interaction with the baddies (the Taken). However, these sections require some skill and provide some genuinely scarey moments and add to the overall sense of foreboding.
Final comment - well worth a go. For only a fiver I was prepared to drop this after a few goes but find myself eager to crack on and get to the end.
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on 27 June 2013
Alan wake is considered to be a survival horror game. I myself do not see this. There are moments of pure terror and horror that can give you a fright but overall this game is more of a thriller, with added elements from all different genres. The horror only comes when the enemy is not shown by the game as being there, for example normally when the taken appear on the game, time slows down to show where they are coming from. Sometimes this does not happen and can cause a scare. However the best part of this game is the suspense as you play through, whats going to happen next and so on. There are a few flaws in the game which i believe to be problems, but can easily be rectified in future developments. But first on with the story.

In episode 1, you get a feel for the character, what the game could be about, and the controls itself. Hear lies one of the first flaws, the dodging mechanism. The dodging mechanism is shoddy at best, not knowing if its going to work, not really dodging the taken and leaving you in a more vulnerable state if its successful. As the game plays through you get the sense that the suspense is already building and you feel as if enveloped by the story being produced.

As the episodes continue the story progresses and keeps you satisfied with gripping moments, and impressive cut scenes. This game acts like a TV show which i believe is one of its strong points and stands out in the gaming market. I know walking dead has recently been released, but after reading reviews that turned out to be a disaster and cannot compete with this.

Towards the end of the game you encounter the second flaw, the length of the story. The story length is frankly not long enough to keep gamers satisfied in the long term. The dlc is good but also doesn't extend the game by much. Another flaw is the replay-ability of the game. Once completed, apart from having to collect those final manuscripts, there is no sense of wanting to play the game more than once i have felt. You know the story, you know how it turns out in the end, where to go and what to do. This is definitely on of those games that would be put on the shelf for many years until you perhaps forget what the story was like.

However with these flaws in mind the game is still very good and stands out in the current market even a couple years after release. Anyone who has not tried this game should as its a very good experience andone you would enjoy, even if it was for a short amount of time.
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on 14 August 2012
ALAN WAKE is an intriguing survival-horror adventure set in a "Twin-Peaks"-like North American setting. Graphics: excellent, especially the lighting fx. Sound: uncomfortably eerie - the music is effectively minimal. Gameplay: Alan Wake fights his shadowy foes using light, for the most part utilizing the beam of a flashlight to keep them at bay before he pops their twisted souls with more conventional weaponry (eg. handgun, rifle, etc). Alan Wake is a vulnerable protagonist, and this creates a believable tension as he moves through the well-scripted gameworld which echoes a long and disturbing dream. Slick and compelling.
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on 27 March 2011
i bought this game thinking it looked okay. boy was i wrong! this is one of my best games i have bought in a long time for a bargain!

the only word to describe the graphics is A-MA-ZING!I thought when i swicthed my xbox on it was like a movie the way it starts of like 'it all started with a nightmare' and then you drive into a hitch hiker, he looks at the the car and then all of a sudden he looks back and the hitchiker is gone. he then walks down and the guy stands in front of you. you then get a torch and a revolver and you get to kill him. i was like COOL!

im already on level 2 'taken' and im at a part where you get to drive over all the taken (people who have been possessed by the darkness) and youn drive back to your house and you have to kill all the ravens and........

to cut a very long story as short as i can, he has a nightmare then it comes true and he goes to the wrong hol cottage, his wife and him have a big argument and he goes out in a huff, and she screams 'AAAAAAAAAAAALAN! HELP ME!' he goes in and she is gone! she goes underwater and then he wakes up in a car crash and all he can remember is she is missing. then he is looking for her and he wont give up un til he finds her.

5/5 from me, great game would recomend to anyone who loves scary games like ghost hunter and co.
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on 17 January 2013
"Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there's little fun to be had in explanations; they're antithetical to the poetry of fear."

I've played horror games before. Games like Resident Evil, Dead Space (and their ilk) really don't frighten me at all. Something jumping out and going "BOO!" can be startling, but the suspense is shortlived as it becomes expected very quickly. For me, movies like Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" have always been more terrifying than (for example) Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

This type of horror isn't for everyone. There isn't fantastic amounts of gore, zombies ripping you apart and not a great deal of sudden, instantaneous shocks. Most of the horror comes from the suspense and perception of the environment, the setting and the mood. The fact that even the most inane objects can be (and often have to be) considered threats that you might have to deal with. Hell, it got to the point that when the kids had gone to bed and I turned off the lights and turned on the game, my wife would start pleading with me to not play it in front of her. At times even I was pleading with the game "no more please, just let me get to the next building" while running dangerously low on ammo, batteries and health, knowing that at some point I would get attacked again (I was playing on the harder settings, mind). Watching the shadows around you bend and ripple in a surreal fashion at these times was just daunting...


1) The storyline is excellently done and is most of the reason to play it through to the end. The creators of the game spent a lot of time making a story that works as anything else - and it works.
2) The graphics are a good quality and make for excellent viewing as you play.
The music and sound effects are pitched perfectly for this.
3) The bad guys aren't uber-tough to beat. For some people, this is a bad thing. But since the game is more about the psychology than it is about anything else, having bad guys would detract from the atmosphere of the game.
4) The commentary by the NPC's actually sounds believable. The quotes by "the Taken" often add a rather surreal sense of humour to the game as well.
5) The "weaponry". Unlike most games the most dangerous weapons you can get are flares and flash bangs, which are extremely few and far between. Which makes a fantastic change from blowing people up with fireballs or RPG's.
6) The suspense factor is incredibly done (for a game). From the flashlight that consumes an awful lot of battery power (but you need it to kill the bad guys) to the animation as the "Taken" creep up behind you so you know you're going to be attacked, the whistling of the wind through the trees, the indistinct blurry nature of the "Darkness" obscuring otherwise ordinary objects - it's beautifully done. Oh, and don't forget the (sometimes) insane risks you'll take just to grab one more page of the fabled manuscript...


1) It's not a free-roaming game. If you want a game with the kind of freedom like Fallout: New Vegas or the Elder Scrolls series, this isn't the game for you. It is rather linear, which is personal preference really.
2) The action can be a tad monotonous at times. For a game that focuses on the psychology of the game, the kill rate you get at the end of the game is colossal. Sometimes this works amazingly well - when you're down to your last battery and you can count at least nine "Taken" swarming towards you as you desperately run for the nearest street light, it's incredible. The relief you get when you suddenly find a flare to keep you protected for just a few seconds more is beautiful. At other times, not so much fun.
3) There's only six chapters. While each of the chapters is reasonably long in its' own right, I loved the game so much I wanted more.
4) Fear from suspense, like any kind of fear, can only last so long. By the time you get to the point you might confront the "big boss" of the level head-on, its' really not thats scary. Thankfully, at that point, you want to find out about the story enough to go for more.
5) Re-playability factor. The story is excellent, the gameplay works nicely, but once you've been through it all you've felt everything you were going to feel playing it through. As a result, it becomes difficult to play again in the near future just because some of the magic is gone. I should point out that this is a problem with all horror books, films and games and isn't unique to Alan Wake.
6) The animation as you dodge an attack by the "Taken". Initially, it looks wonderful when you see it the first couple of times and adds to the tension, but seeing it again and again just slows down the gameplay.

That's it. Overall an excellent game and one I'm really happy I bought and will probably play again sometime soon. I hope you like it as much as I did!

P.S: For the love of God, learn to tell the difference between animal traps and pages of the manuscript FAST...
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on 17 December 2017
Not sure what the big deal was about this game. It's not the worst by a long stretch. But the sound effects, general cheesy storyline and multiple cut to film scenes made me stop playing about a third of the way into the game. Maybe it's just me.
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on 20 September 2012
The storytelling in this game is one of the best i have ever seen, set up like a TV drama it really captures your attention from the very start. The game works in episodes and at the end of each episode they give you a preview of whats happening next time and at the start of each episode it gives you a reminder of what happened last time. The charachters are unique and never seem to blend. The way the story questions Alans sanity at times always keeps you on your toes all the time, not sure of what to believe. Its one of the best storyies i have ever seen in a game and the way its told never makes it boreing and it will keep you glued to your tv throughout the entire game( which is qiute long). The DLC (downloadable content) is also as enthralling as the main game as well but the latest piece is yet to be realised. The downside of this game is that the combat is sometimes a little repetitve and the game can feel a little annoying, haveing to fight in order to move on with the storyline. You can tell that the creaters ahve tryed to make every engagement with enimies as varied as possible but it still does sometimes creep up. Overall its a game i would suggest that people who love the story of the game and even those who dont. Its something that should not be missed.
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on 1 August 2011
this game dose what alone in the dark failed to do after along wait for alone in the dark i was so disappointed in every thing about it if you have played the game you will no what i mean but not alan wake its every thing alone in the dark failed to do but anyway i think this is one of the best from 2010 its one for my collection great craphics game play is very good i didint get round to playing this game till 2011 im glad i got this game it has a good movie type story to it dont want to say to much about the story in case i spoil it i have allways been a fan of these type of thriller games they dont come around that often but i think they are geting more popular if your into these type of games then i would have to say its one of the best thriller games i have ever played there's even going to be a second game to this guming out and i heard its not being culled alan wake 2 but anyway you should get this game i cant wait for the second one
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