Alan Wake: Episode 1

Alan Wake: Episode 1

I’ve been making an effort to go back and play some games from my pile of shame recently, and one of those games for 360 is Alan Wake. I heard plenty of good things about Alan Wake over the years and it’s got good reviews, so I figured it’s high time I played through it. I appreciate the TV-esque presentation they’re going for with Alan Wake. Each level is billed as an episode, complete with “Previously on Alan Wake” lead-ins in the second episode and on.

The game opens with you playing as Alan Wake in a dream that is essentially a tutorial. Right from the start, I knew that combat wasn’t going to be this game’s strong point. Point flashlight till not black (not at all racist) and then shoot till dead. There’s a dodge button, but it’s also the run button, and trying to get away from the Taken (the name given to the enemies, not the Liam Neeson movie) is a pain in the ass. And whenever you start to run at all, Alan jerks like he’s trying to dodge an invisible enemy. It’s goofy.

The story is the selling point here, right? It’s supposed to be a cool horror story about an atypical video game character. Alan is all that likable, his wife’s fear of the dark is stupid, his manager is a walking city dweller stereotype and all the country folk are dicks or axe-wielding enemies. From this description, you’d think I hate this game, but it’s not that bad. It was talked about like it’s an A level game, but so far, I’m giving it a B-. Let’s see if it works its way up to a higher grade.

Published on May 26, 2014

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