Only in the dark does a flashlight prove to be soo useful.
How many of us had a fear of the dark as a child? What if that darkness could breathe life to crazy axe-wielding people who chase you down as you try to run toward the light. Now imagine a cabin on a lake, spooky abandoned farms, lonely forest roads, and a mysterious town surrounded by darkness. You try to escape…but you can’t…this is what childhood (and adulthood) nightmares are made of. And this is why it’s so hard to awake from the nightmare of Alan Wake.
Set in the fictional Pacific Northwest town of Bright Falls, the eerieness set in during the first few moments of the game as I was introduced to the ‘darkness’. Any horror movie fan would appreciate this survival horror tale complete with many moments that will make you jump out of your seat.
I recently spent some time in a small secluded town which, except for the fact that it’s on an island, reminded me of Alan Wake. It also reminded me of Twin Peaks but way smaller and minus the cool diner, falls, etc etc.. In this island town, not picking up hitchhikers means you’re a snob. Weeeird…
Although my time spent with Mr. Wake was not while on this island, my trip to this place inspired me to write this quick blog on the game.
(side note: I left my Alan Wake copy to my friend who is currently living on the creepy island and even he wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to play it while he was there… ALONE…in the DARK… LOL. )
Playing the game on Hard was frustrating at times because of the number of enemies that showed up every time I was in the forest. I’m sure Nightmare would have introduced even more darkness at once. I have to admit that I had a small annoyance with the combat. Sure, you can avoid their attack if you press the button with the right timing but when you are surrounded, there’s no escape. I later learned to just avoid the swarms of enemies when overwhelmed and make my way to the light at any cost.
Combat aside, I really enjoyed playing through each episode. Using light of any kind from flashlights to flare guns against the darkness was brilliant. Another element I thought was pretty cool was the player is shown parts of Wake’s past like in his city apartment. The player can then control Mr. Wake in that setting and once complete, the story transitions back to the present day nightmare.
The soundtrack for the game is pretty good as well. It was nice reward getting to hear a new song after finishing each episode.
It’s a beautiful looking game with an immersive story. Play it in the dark or in the light. It’s up to you. But definitely worth a play.
And also, be sure to watch the prequel live-action short webisodes, Bright Falls, before playing!
Recently finished the first DLC ‘The Signal’ for the game. I didn’t get as many achievements as when I beat the full game but I’d have to play through the entire chapter again since my last save point was just before the boss.
Saw this bridge at the old growth forest on my way home from the island. Doesn’t it resemble destruction in Alan Wake?
Looking forward to the last DLC, ‘The Writer’! Can you help the writer, A.Wake, awake from the nightmare once and for all? LOL.