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PC Game Review

Alan Wake


Format: PC
Remedy Entertainment
RRP: £29.99
Age Restrictions: 16+
Available 22 February 2012

There is nothing like a good holiday, and no one knows this better than New York novelist Alan Wake, who decides to take his family way to the sleepy town of Bright Falls. The town’s name belies the danger that he finds there, where reality and nightmare combine under the watchful eye of The Dark Presence…

Alan Wake has taken some time to arrive on the PC, although that odd journey wasn’t wasted time. When the game was originally released on consoles there was a lot of criticism about the ending, which subsequent DLC’s addressed. For folks who waited for the PC version, the good news is that you get all the downloadable content up front.

The game is an attempt to provide something other than the normal gaming fare, and on many levels it succeeds, though there is a suspicion that the developers might have, in their ambition, bitten off more than they could chew.

The game mixes reality with fantasy. When Wake's wife appears to be drowning his attempts at rescue find him awakening following a car crash. This blurring of the lines between what is real, set the game apart. It also emphasises light as a weapon against the ‘Taken’, your main enemy. Though they come in many forms, strengths, some can even teleport small distances, but they all have an aversion to light, so Wake has to not only keep his bullets supplied, but also the batteries for his flashlight.

If you think that this is all very reminiscent of shows like Twin Peaks or The Twilight Zone, this is further reinforced by having the game split up into six episodes. The difference here is the inclusion of the gun totting third person shooter aspects, which are as welcome as they are incongruous in a game which relies heavily on the old psychological scare tactic. In many ways the game does feel like a novel or show and this aspect it does well, successfully blending elements from two different forms of entertainment in the way that Uncharted nailed the action adventure film.

Throughout the game Wake also has to discover the pages of his latest novel; one he doesn’t even remember writing. There are a number of other collectable to pick up along the way, which leads to a satisfying level of game play.

Although, it is not perfect the fact that it dares to try something different should interest serious game players.


Charles Packer

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