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on 8 June 2012
I am not a massive fan of linear, repetitive, mindless shoot 'em up games with no real story, no character development, and obvious lack of effort by game developers to rush something out to the shelves in order to make a quick sale.

Alan Wake is none of the above.

I happened upon this game accidentally, while looking for other XBOX games for my new console. It was a suggested title after researching Deadly Premonition, which apparently has hints of inspiration from the TV series Twin Peaks, one of my all-time favourite TV shows. After further research, I find out that the same is said for Alan Wake.

From the start of the game, you are thrown into a kind of compulsory tutorial in the form of a dream sequence, giving you a hint of what you will be facing throughout the course of your adventure. This gives you an idea of how to handle the combat scenarios and how to deal with your surroundings in general.

The characters that you soon go on to meet are all extremely diverse - cliché small town American inhabitants, but diverse and interesting nonetheless. Stay on your guard though, some will have your best interests at heart - others will not.

The primary focus of the game is the search for Alice, Alan's wife who disappears under mysterious circumstances, and the game's developers have done a great job in making sure that you actually care about your main goal, by adding enough character traits that make you warm to her, and by adding enough mystery and intrigue surrounding her disappearance.

The game comes in episodic format, a six-part adventure which feels like you're playing part in a TV mini-series. The wonderful result of this means that there are often gripping cliffhangers at the end of each part. After playing an "episode" to the end, with the intention of coming back to the next one later, I found myself glued to the game and playing it well into the next part.

There are a number of high adrenaline scenes, which really do get your heart pumping, as you are surprised by one enemy, or relentlessly attacked by several. Playing this game by night, with the lights off, is not for the faint hearted, but is guaranteed to increase the atmospheric impact.

The only minor problem I would be bold enough to note is that the battle sequences can sometimes become a little repetitive, and you may find yourself longing for the respite of daylight. What would have made this game perfect in my eyes would have been the addition of more puzzles to solve along the way. However, there are enough variants of enemy to keep the fight scenes interesting, and enough different weapon types to give you a variety of ways to defend yourself against the hordes of mysterious attackers.

Overall, Alan Wake is an inventive, well written, imaginative, creepy, and fascinating adventure with stunning graphics and an outstanding soundtrack. I urge anyone who is interested in this genre to grab their copy immediately. After researching this game before purchase, I was so confident that I was going to enjoy it that I bought the Limited Collector's Edition. There is also a Prima guide available to help you along, and avid collectors may be more interested in the two-book bundle version, which comes with an extra book detailing background information behind the five year development of this excellent game.

As with all popular releases, further merchandise is available, such as a book based on the game, and the full length eighteen track soundtrack available on CD. The CD that comes with the Limited Collector's Edition of the game is only ten tracks long, and gives you a mere taster. The same can be said for the soundtrack CD that comes with the Limited Edition of the PC version of Alan Wake, which is only thirteen tracks long.

Alan Wake is a game that will keep you coming back for more, and after completion, you'll want to play it again, possibly on one of the higher difficulty settings if you're feeling masochistic. The two downloadable content episodes add further depth to the story (The first one is available free with the Limited Edition Pack for XBOX, and both are available free with the Limited Edition for PC), and the recent release of the stand-alone game Alan Wake's American Nightmare, makes me think that there are still many more good things to come from the world of Alan Wake.
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on 2 March 2011
If anyone reading recognizes the title of this review, hat off to you and your taste.

Trust me, if you recognized the review title, you will think this game is worth every penny - and I agree with you.

Alan Wake has been a long time coming, and sadly it did lose a lot of my respect before it's release when they announced it was going to include the usual 'DLC episodic' rubbish. I really hate this trend. Anyway, that aside, on to the game.

In a nutshell: very intriguing sci-fi adventure, fantastic atmosphere, fantastic graphics, fantastic characters. Gameplay is nothing new, a few shoot and run levels but they break up this otherwise perfectly paced masterpiece.

Alan Wake is a troubled and stressed author with a lot of crazy fans. He takes a holiday from work with his wife, and they head to a sleepy mountain town called Twin Peaks. Sorry, I mean Bright Falls. And that right there is why I love this game so much. The same kind of quirky characters, the creepy goings on and the absolutely terrific atmosphere and story are 100% perfection in my eyes here. Gameplay is not so much about shooting, as it is about exploring and following the story through some of the fantastic characters in here. Graphics and such are top notch, same old same old.

It really is a great game. I don't want to spoil anything, but if you are a fan of Twin Peaks you will fall in love. Wonderful adventure and a very intriguing story.
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on 3 March 2013
Stunning game, very atmospheric, extremely well written and paced thriller, it was like watching a classic Steven King mini series or Twilight Zone episodes. One of my favourite games that's for sure.
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on 18 January 2014
Alan Wake is a best selling author, married to his loving wife Alice. However after suffering from writers block for two years, Alan has slipped into deep depression and its putting his marriage on the line.
In an attempt to inspire him & save their marriage, Alice takes Alan to Bright Falls. A small town overlooking a beautiful mountain range & a lake, however everything is not as it seems at Bright Falls.
When Alan awakes from a car crash, having written a book with himself as the main character he begins to search the town & solve its mysteries in search of his missing wife.

Alan Wake is a deep & thought provoking work of fiction, its story is engaging & extremely well written. Tense & exciting from beginning to end with an episodic structure to the game that only picks up pace the further you delve into the mysteries of Bright Falls.

This limited edition contains: Hardback Book style box, alternative artwork on game case, soundtrack CD & making of DVD, Alan Wake Files hardback book & content DLC codes.
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on 1 August 2011
I highly recommend this game for many reasons such as the excellent storyline, superb soundtrack and intelligent learning curve. Alan Wake is a single player game involving a subtle blend of lateral thinking and extreme violence. The game has many themes that older gamers will notice and appreciate and plenty of achievements to keep you hunting through the dark. In a word i think this game is a masterpiece, as for the limited collectors edition it is well worth buying. Since its release another downloadable content (dlc) has been produced (which i have purchased and can also recommend); you get one dlc free with this pack which also comes with two bonus discs containing avatar awards, in game commentary, documentaries and soundtrack. A hardback book is also included to round off your understanding of Bright Falls. The whole thing comes smartly disguised as a book.

Buy it now Xboxers, sit in the dark, turn up the volume and run for the light.
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on 17 May 2010
I pre-ordered the collector's edition and I recieved the game on the day of release. I was really pleased with the edition as it came with a bonus disc which unlocks themes, gamer pictures and avatar awards. The game itself to me is addictive. Sure it may get repetative at times, but don't most games? The only thing that I think ruins the game slightly for me is the lip synch, this problem is meant to be fixed with the DLC when it's released. I hadn't heard about this game untill the begining of May (2010), i bought this game on impulse as it kind of looked like silent hill, which i enjoyed the series. I like at the begining of each episode "previously on", this adds a nice effect to the game. There isn't much of a fear factor to this game, but hey, i'm not playing so close to the TV :). I can't wait to see a sequel of this game if there is one. Final verdict: Good game, well worth playing and well worth the collector's edition
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on 15 October 2010
Well what a nice tidy special edition for a game. My review here is for the packaging and not really the game, but as far as special editions go then your in for a treat. Its nicely presented in a fakie Hardback book cover making you feel part of the story immediately, a cosy Hardcover book detailing the events of the background story and a bonus disk which is relatively interesting. Also included is a code to receive the first DLC for free! What could be better than that? Well if the DLC was actually worth downloading, it might, it seems like the developers decided to reuse the same environments just with slightly modified environmental effects. The second DLC is much better. The book really does answer a few questions that you will certainly have whilst playing the game.
Overall the game and its extras draw together a brilliant story, well worth the money if your willing to put the time in.
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on 16 May 2010
OK, i have played up to chapter 4 and am loving the game so far, the story is gripping, how it switches from the story telling to the cinematic and how the enemies can't be hurt unless you shine your torch at them, there are loads of unique weapons such as grenades and even a flare gun, however with all of these good points it could have been better.
For one the missons are can be very simple (find a phone lol) and dont require much effort at all. Another thing which could have been improved is the fact that you are told when the enemies are coming which is ok, but i feel it would be much scarier if you weren't and the aiming can be quite hard to get used to.
So all in all a great game, def worth playing and the achievements are at all hard to gain and if you get the collectors edition you get a bunch of goodies including a great alan wake book and CD
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on 27 December 2012
Great CE. Includes the game and a book in nice packaging. Finished the game but this sits on my bookcase looking very cool and a constant reminder of what an awesome game Alan Wake was!
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on 23 October 2010
Have just bought this from a high street retailer for a very good price. The graphics are excellent, plot line good and very moody setting. As other people have commented shades of Stephen King and Twin Peaks ( the lamp lady is a take on the log lady ).
Am only starting Episode 2 today but is shaping up to be really brilliant. My other half is very impressed with the overall standard of the gameplay, graphics etc.
Get the limeted edition if you can as 2 bonus discs are included. Very good value.
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