The folks at Microsoft announced Alan Wake back in 2005, hyping how the game would change the face of gaming. Wish they let us know we would have to wait five years for the game, during which Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto IV and Modern Warfare have already changed the face of gaming multiple times over. Nevertheless, Alan Wake is here, and although there isn’t much face changing, it’s still a great, unique experience unlike many other games out there.
You play as Alan Wake, a best-selling author with writer’s block that is encouraged by his wife to take a vacation to Bright Falls, a small town that seems tucked away in the Pacific Northwest. But as soon as they arrive, things get a bit weird. His wife disappears, and while searching for his wife, he ends up in-between reality and some sort of dream world, a world he created through his writings.
The plot would make for a great Hollywood thriller, and the action makes for a great video game. You control Wake through third-person controls, and as you make your way through dark forests, you come across these zombie-like folks who have been possessed by the Dark Presence, a sort of evil energy tormenting the town. Your weapons are a flashlight and a gun. To weaken the possessed folks, you must shine the flashlight on them and then take them out with the firepower. But you need to be careful because the flashlight batteries run out quickly and ammo is scarce. There are also some puzzles to solve to move forward in the adventure. Although the game play may be a bit repetitive, it doesn’t feel like it since you’re so immersed in the story and the superblooking environments. There’s no doubt that Alan Wake will be one of the standout games of the year.