GetDotted Domains

At GetDotted, a 1 year .co.uk, .uk, .me.uk or .org.uk registration is now just £1.95 ex VAT.

Search Domains Now

Viewing Thread:
"[GAME] Alan Wake"

The "Retro Game Reviews" forum, which includes Retro Game Reviews, has been archived and is now read-only. You cannot post here or create a new thread or review on this forum.

This thread has been linked to the game 'Alan Wake'.
Mon 17/01/11 at 08:58
Regular
"Carpe Diem"
Posts: 154
In a world of gamers hungry for annual releases, Alan Wake is a definite oddity. Five years in the making, this delay-heavy title was finally released to a public rife with expectation. It promised a whole new standard of story; an unrivalled atmosphere set to redefine it's very genre. A rebirth of survival horror. But for all it's time in the development oven, is Alan Wake a must-have thriller experience, or will it just end up sending you to sleep?

It's literary inspiration is apparent immediately; an opening quote from Stephen King gives way to a foggy and familiar dream sequence. It's not long before your exploring dark forests, battling enemies and being introduced to a suitably head-scratching plot. Any concerns about dated mechanics are swiftly forgotten; as despite it's lengthy development time, Alan Wake still manages to feel fresh. It's controls are smooth, the crisp lighting and graphical flare a faultless backdrop for the often intense combat. What follows is a dramatic journey through a world which; whilst not as shocking as some of it's competitors, is thought provoking and refreshingly polished.

Alan Wake is a troubled writer. A renowned novelist, his writers block has compelled him to move to the small town of Bright Falls, where he hopes inspiration will once more find him. Alone in the town apart from his wife Alice, the two are quick to avoid the stares of the locals, and find their secluded lakeside retreat. It is here that things start to go wrong. An argument between Alan and Alice reveals an unstable and hallucinating protagonist, who soon realises his wife has gone missing. Setting out to find her, Alan travels to the wilderness of the isolated town, and the twisted narrative begins. It's an interesting and somewhat labyrinthine plot; charged with mythology and ultimately open to interpretation. It's also full of literary references; a Misery esque adoring fan and the clearly Twin Peaks inspired town to name but two. All in all, Alan Wake's plot is both exciting and abstruse; worthy of analysing and yet never intruding on the action. It's abstract nature may not be for everyone, but it's wealth of characters and masterful atmosphere is just as involving as the novels it references.

As a survival horror game, Alan Wake is almost entirely free from the early stigma's of the genre. Combat is fluid and engaging; built around an original and rather energizing concept. Enemies must be dazzled by light; usually by aiming your flashlight at them, before any damage can be inflicted. After this, foes can be tackled with a smooth shooting system more reminiscent of a third person action game. This two-way manoeuvre between gun and flashlight works wonders for intense confrontations; for boosting the light drains your batteries, and stronger enemies take longer to dazzle. Thankfully, a number of life saving gadgets are usually available to help your fight; turret-like searchlights will brighten whole areas; whilst the powerful flare gun will kill enemies outright. This heavy use of light and darkness is present throughout the entire adventure; health is regenerated by standing under light sources; and during the day no enemies are present at all. Indeed, the adventure game-esque daytime scenes are a noteworthy contrast to the high action night sequences. During the day you will meet the townsfolk, explore locations and even drive through the town's outskirts. This change of pace is both welcome and engrossing, allowing variety and glances at the world away from Alan's fevered nightmares.

During the game, collectible pages from an unwritten book are hidden around the environment. Upon finding one, Alan will read the page aloud; telling fragments of a story he can not remember writing. These pages, while undoubtedly interesting in themselves, are somewhat peculiar as a gameplay mechanic. The passages will often give minor spoilers, detailing in writing segments of story which are just about to come up in-game. Thankfully, finding such pages is always optional; so those wary of spoiling surprises should not be overly put off. Other than this, combat is broken up by occasional puzzles and an intriguing assortment of explorable locations. Puzzles are not particularly challenging, though help to break up chunks of gameplay from simple linear progression. Later on, enemies change from standard shadowy-humanoids to poltergeist objects and even possessed vehicles. These encounters, though sometimes a little over the top, are every bit as exhilarating as they seem, making for a edge-of-seat action experience unexpected from the genre.

Graphically, Alan Wake yet again delivers with an admirable attention to detail and polish. Lighting is especially stellar, casting an eerie and compelling semblance to the game's many environments. Things such as particle and texture effects are expectedly high quality, though facial animations are somewhat less believable. Still, the game's greatest aesthetic achievement is it's sense of authentic and genuine atmosphere. Outdoor locations react with realism to changing weather; whilst the daylight town feels alive and accordingly quaint.

Adding to this is, of course, an excellent soundtrack with an unusually original licensed score. In-game radio stations and chapter endings play assortments of suitable songs, from fanciful folk tracks to rousing rock tunes. Ambience is also worthy of a mention; the feeling of realism greatly helped by genuine rustling and animal noises. It may not have the screeching soundtrack of it's more schlock-happy cousins, but it's mixture of music and quality effects make sure it's far more memorable.

As a whole, Alan Wake is an enthralling adventure with a superb attention to detail. Narrative led and thrilling to play, this cinematic survival horror is sure to excite all fans of the genre. With a 15 hour main campaign, plus new difficulties and a wealth of DLC, Alan Wake is certainly worthy of the asking price. It may not have the revolutionary aspects that the development time dictated; but it's gripping plot and varied gameplay guarantee it still stands above it's peers.

9/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 17/01/11 at 08:58
Regular
"Carpe Diem"
Posts: 154
In a world of gamers hungry for annual releases, Alan Wake is a definite oddity. Five years in the making, this delay-heavy title was finally released to a public rife with expectation. It promised a whole new standard of story; an unrivalled atmosphere set to redefine it's very genre. A rebirth of survival horror. But for all it's time in the development oven, is Alan Wake a must-have thriller experience, or will it just end up sending you to sleep?

It's literary inspiration is apparent immediately; an opening quote from Stephen King gives way to a foggy and familiar dream sequence. It's not long before your exploring dark forests, battling enemies and being introduced to a suitably head-scratching plot. Any concerns about dated mechanics are swiftly forgotten; as despite it's lengthy development time, Alan Wake still manages to feel fresh. It's controls are smooth, the crisp lighting and graphical flare a faultless backdrop for the often intense combat. What follows is a dramatic journey through a world which; whilst not as shocking as some of it's competitors, is thought provoking and refreshingly polished.

Alan Wake is a troubled writer. A renowned novelist, his writers block has compelled him to move to the small town of Bright Falls, where he hopes inspiration will once more find him. Alone in the town apart from his wife Alice, the two are quick to avoid the stares of the locals, and find their secluded lakeside retreat. It is here that things start to go wrong. An argument between Alan and Alice reveals an unstable and hallucinating protagonist, who soon realises his wife has gone missing. Setting out to find her, Alan travels to the wilderness of the isolated town, and the twisted narrative begins. It's an interesting and somewhat labyrinthine plot; charged with mythology and ultimately open to interpretation. It's also full of literary references; a Misery esque adoring fan and the clearly Twin Peaks inspired town to name but two. All in all, Alan Wake's plot is both exciting and abstruse; worthy of analysing and yet never intruding on the action. It's abstract nature may not be for everyone, but it's wealth of characters and masterful atmosphere is just as involving as the novels it references.

As a survival horror game, Alan Wake is almost entirely free from the early stigma's of the genre. Combat is fluid and engaging; built around an original and rather energizing concept. Enemies must be dazzled by light; usually by aiming your flashlight at them, before any damage can be inflicted. After this, foes can be tackled with a smooth shooting system more reminiscent of a third person action game. This two-way manoeuvre between gun and flashlight works wonders for intense confrontations; for boosting the light drains your batteries, and stronger enemies take longer to dazzle. Thankfully, a number of life saving gadgets are usually available to help your fight; turret-like searchlights will brighten whole areas; whilst the powerful flare gun will kill enemies outright. This heavy use of light and darkness is present throughout the entire adventure; health is regenerated by standing under light sources; and during the day no enemies are present at all. Indeed, the adventure game-esque daytime scenes are a noteworthy contrast to the high action night sequences. During the day you will meet the townsfolk, explore locations and even drive through the town's outskirts. This change of pace is both welcome and engrossing, allowing variety and glances at the world away from Alan's fevered nightmares.

During the game, collectible pages from an unwritten book are hidden around the environment. Upon finding one, Alan will read the page aloud; telling fragments of a story he can not remember writing. These pages, while undoubtedly interesting in themselves, are somewhat peculiar as a gameplay mechanic. The passages will often give minor spoilers, detailing in writing segments of story which are just about to come up in-game. Thankfully, finding such pages is always optional; so those wary of spoiling surprises should not be overly put off. Other than this, combat is broken up by occasional puzzles and an intriguing assortment of explorable locations. Puzzles are not particularly challenging, though help to break up chunks of gameplay from simple linear progression. Later on, enemies change from standard shadowy-humanoids to poltergeist objects and even possessed vehicles. These encounters, though sometimes a little over the top, are every bit as exhilarating as they seem, making for a edge-of-seat action experience unexpected from the genre.

Graphically, Alan Wake yet again delivers with an admirable attention to detail and polish. Lighting is especially stellar, casting an eerie and compelling semblance to the game's many environments. Things such as particle and texture effects are expectedly high quality, though facial animations are somewhat less believable. Still, the game's greatest aesthetic achievement is it's sense of authentic and genuine atmosphere. Outdoor locations react with realism to changing weather; whilst the daylight town feels alive and accordingly quaint.

Adding to this is, of course, an excellent soundtrack with an unusually original licensed score. In-game radio stations and chapter endings play assortments of suitable songs, from fanciful folk tracks to rousing rock tunes. Ambience is also worthy of a mention; the feeling of realism greatly helped by genuine rustling and animal noises. It may not have the screeching soundtrack of it's more schlock-happy cousins, but it's mixture of music and quality effects make sure it's far more memorable.

As a whole, Alan Wake is an enthralling adventure with a superb attention to detail. Narrative led and thrilling to play, this cinematic survival horror is sure to excite all fans of the genre. With a 15 hour main campaign, plus new difficulties and a wealth of DLC, Alan Wake is certainly worthy of the asking price. It may not have the revolutionary aspects that the development time dictated; but it's gripping plot and varied gameplay guarantee it still stands above it's peers.

9/10

Freeola & GetDotted are rated 5 Stars

Check out some of our customer reviews below:

Many thanks!
You were 100% right - great support!
First Class!
I feel that your service on this occasion was absolutely first class - a model of excellence. After this, I hope to stay with Freeola for a long time!

View More Reviews

Need some help? Give us a call on 01376 55 60 60

Go to Support Centre
Feedback Close Feedback

It appears you are using an old browser, as such, some parts of the Freeola and Getdotted site will not work as intended. Using the latest version of your browser, or another browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera will provide a better, safer browsing experience for you.