I was all excited to play ALAN WAKE, which creeped the heck out of Hunter when he played it. And it is certainly a very, very creepy game.
But after playing through Episode 1 (of 6), I don't feel drawn to play more. It has great tone and scary visuals. The combat sequences are alarming. But in terms of gameplay there don't seem to be a lot of choices. I did almost no investigation, unless you count scrounging for batteries and ammo. Essentially the game shepherds you from one encounter to the next, while the ubiquitous voiceover tells you what Alan Wake is thinking.
Basically, I felt like I was watching a movie, in which I occasionally got to do fight minigames. And videogames don't make great movies. The visuals aren't up to having the characters actually "act".
I'm surprised that the game got such awesome reviews. TIME thought it was the best game of 2010. I have to confess I'm with Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson, who said, "All the same, there's a weekend's worth of fun here for action-adventure fans who aren't too bothered about innovative concepts and varied gameplay, and don't mind a lot of repetition. Alan Wake is an accessible, undemanding game with a neat combat mechanic and decent visuals. It's just not a very original game, it's certainly not an exceptional one, and it's a shame it wasn't ready a few years ago."
I'm late to this conversation, but I felt exactly the same way about this game. Alan Wake oozed with atmosphere, and started off with some genuinely creepy moments and situations.
But as time, and consequently levels, droned on, it felt more chore than enjoyment. I SO wanted the game to keep delivering, but it just fell short. In fact, so short I stopped playing it, with no intention to ever finish.
But they were so close to creating that creepy, atmospheric world that I wanted it to be.
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