Alan Wake - “I am A. Wake."

5/9/2012 5:22:08 PM

Description: Alan Wake


If you suffer from achluophobia, aka fear of the dark, maybe Alan Wake isn’t the right game for you. In this third-person horror game, ported across from an Xbox 360 release back in 2010, the darkness is your deadliest enemy. You play the role of the title character himself, a novelist who hasn’t put pen to paper for over two years. Suffering from writer’s block, his agent decides it would be a good idea for him to spend a break away from the hustle of city life in the sleepy town of Bright Falls. Famous last words. In the first night he spends there with his wife, disaster strikes. His wife is taken by a strange supernatural force and Alan is thrust into a nightmare world…

Description: Alan Wake

Striking me as something of a cross between a Stephen King novel and an episode of Twin Peaks, the story is probably the best thing about the game. Some Hollywood big-shot should come along and turn this into a movie, it’s that good. Presented in the form of a television serial, with each chapter of the game introduced with a quick recap of the events that preceded it, the plot is both imaginative and original enough to keep you playing through until the end, including previously download-only chapters on the Xbox. Fans of the mystery/horror genre will be in their element.

As gripping as the storyline is, it would all be for nowt if the game itself didn’t follow suit, so it’s just as well it has been left soaked in atmosphere for 24 hours. Visually, it’s all a bit of a treat, with creepy, fog-filled woodlands and forest paths to explore with only your torch to shine the way. Your main enemies are demonic creatures called The Taken, who are manifestations of one of Wake’s unwritten manuscripts. To kill them you will need to blast them with your torch for a few seconds, lowering their defences and leaving the door open to shooting them with a pistol or shotgun. More variety when it comes to enemies would have been welcome, but The Taken are so sinister it doesn’t really matter too much.

Along with the combat, there are numerous little touches to keep the interest high while you explore each level (or chapter, as the game insists of calling them) including hidden items, pages from your missing manuscript that add background information on the storyline and television and radio sets that can be switched on and listened to. The television sets in particular are very well done. Featuring a special in-game show modelled after The Twilight Zone that plays away.Very cleverly done.

Description: Alan Wake

This game is all about the ambience, and with a gripping plotline to keep interest high, and graphics that ooze eeriness and that are incredibly detailed, you’re sure to get your money’s worth from Alan Wake. For a title that was originally released two years ago now, it sure took its time in making it onto the PC. Worth the wait, for sure, but if there ever is a sequel, let’s hope it isn’t left quite so long before it sees the light of day…


Price: $55

Manufacturer: Nordic Games


Required spec: Windows XP or later, Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz or better, 2GB RAM, 8GB HDD space, NVidia 8600+ video card, DirectX 9.0

Quality: 8

Value: 8

Overall: 8


After a wait of nearly two years, Alan Wake finally hits the PC market and doesn’t disappoint.

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