Game review: Alan Wake

I finished this game on stream last Wednesday, and have only now gotten the time to write my review. What did I think of this game? Is it better or worse than Control? Does it exceed it? Or is it a setback? Be aware: spoilers!

Alan Wake - Wikipedia
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While on vacation in the small town of Bright Falls, a struggling writer must investigate the mysterious disappearance of his wife while events from his latest manuscript, which he can’t remember writing, begin to come true.

An 'Alan Wake' 4K remaster is coming to PlayStation, Xbox and PC this fall  | Engadget
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Alan Wake is a bestselling crime fiction author suffering from a two-year stretch of writer’s block. He and his wife Alice travel to the small mountain town of Bright Falls, Washington for a short vacation on the advice of Alice and Alan’s friend and agent Barry Wheeler. You play as Alan throughout the game, carrying a flashlight (if you can find one) and weapons (if you can find them and enough ammo for them). At some point, you do have the help of NPCs like your argent Barry and a cop named Sarah, but you go through the game alone for the majority of the game. No, let me rephrase that, for most of the game (93%).

Alan Wake - Walkthrough - Alan Wake - Nightmare Difficulty - Episode 2 -  Rusty
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I’ll admit, I struggled quite a lot with the enemies in this game. As Alan, you get a flashlight every now and then, having to find batteries to insert when the previous battery is completely drained, and you don’t have time to wait for it to fully restore the battery itself. The light only stuns the darkness, your guns still have to kill them. It takes quite a few bullets to kill them, and the harder/more muscular guys should be defeated differently, using flashbangs and your flare gun, having more firepower to it. Dodging is almost impossible unless you time it ‘just’ right. If not, you get hurt. They throw axes at you, and you can’t really dodge those unless you move out of the way into a different direction in time. Worst of all? When you need to sprint, he gets tired after about 20 seconds, slows down with his running, and the enemies kill you because they don’t get tired. Their speed stays the same, and thus you will have to restart the checkpoint. The sprinting mechanism is, by far, the worst game mechanism throughout the entire game, especially when you’re being swarmed by enemies and don’t have enough ammo, and no light nearby to escape to.

Alan Wake Remastered Review - Darkwood Dub
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At some points, you get to drive a car. This mechanism is surprisingly smooth, however, bumping your car too much, or into many enemies, will destroy it completely. That’s sometimes very annoying when you don’t have a different car nearby, and you get killed by the swarm of enemies you were supposed to try and avoid. But, driving over them is oddly satisfying, despite it destroying your car a lot quicker. Getting different guns throughout the game and losing them can be annoying, especially when you had lots of ammo left and enter a tougher section, where the game wants to try and show you that even Alan has to try and survive with less resources.

All collectibles in Alan Wake Remastered Episode 3 guide - Gamepur
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Throughout the game, you can find many collectibles. TV shows, which are by the way the weirdest ones I’ve ever seen in any video game. The acting is so bad, and those ‘episodes’ don’t make any sense. The radio shows are fun because I like the radio maker commenting on interviews and music. Then there are coffee thermoses you can collect, and I to this day still struggle to figure out what they do in the game, or what kind of advantage they house. You also collect the manuscript pages, telling the story, telling you with hints at what’ll happen in the next bit, and I liked that. I thought they were written pretty well as well. Then there are signs to find, not providing much but some history about the town and buildings, which is an okay collectible in my opinion. You also find chests, which house lots of ammo and even guns, and flares, which I love. Those chests were the best ones to find throughout the game because they actually helped you. And then you can also find can pyramids, again, not meaning much, but just destroying them for fun. Lastly, you can collect a few things in the DLCs, which I have no knowledge about as I haven’t played them yet.

Alan Wake on Twitter: "🛠️ Alan Wake Remastered received an update for all  platforms today. Remember to update your game! #AlanWake Read the update  notes here:" / Twitter
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There’s gonna be a sequel, in 2023, and I think I’d actually like a second game, despite having a hard time getting into it at the beginning. The ending is quite open, and it has left me and my community members wondering what it all means. We did do a little research on what it could possibly mean, but those house major spoilers, so I won’t explain what we’ve read in that article. But, about the game itself, the beginning was okay to get into the story, but once Alice disappeared, nothing made much sense. There was this Dark Presence, and you shoot shadowy men corrupted by this Dark Presence, trying to hold them off using light. Once you read the end of chapter 4/beginning of chapter 5, you finally start to understand who and what this Dark Presence is, and you finally know what you’re hunting to defeat to save Alice. Still, at the very end, when the game ends, your whole ‘understanding’ of the game collapses once more, and goes back to ‘what the hell just happened?’ That last bit was of course deliberately done for a potential sequel, but still. You’re back to being confused. What’s more, is that the boss fight was a bit of a letdown. The tornado was amazingly done, and well-designed, but the killing of the boss, the Dark Presence itself, to me was a bit too easy because you, for once, received a lot of ammo to try and destroy it once and for all. I think they could’ve done a bit more to that because some sections in the middle of the game were a lot harder to defeat than the boss fight itself. But, overall, I was still pleasantly surprised and do love the characters and their designs. Especially Barry. God, I love that NPC. I truly hope he comes back in the sequel, with way more to add.

End conclusion: yes, I recommend this game, but with a few negative aspects. I shall give Alan Wake, 4 out of 5 stars!

Love, Skye Lewis ❤

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18 thoughts on “Game review: Alan Wake

  1. Oh I saw you complete this and oh boy I was so proud of you. I know you got angry but I understand I mean I would of been pretty pisssd too. Can’t wait to see what 2023 holds for you

    Liked by 1 person

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