First Impression: Alan Wake (PC) ~ Questioning Reality.

Alan-Wake-PC-_capa

Official website

While doing research for this game I found something extremely odd. The official release of this game is 18+ yet the limited edition is 16+. Oh well, that’s the least of my concern. I don’t remember writing this first impression, yet it suddenly appeared on my blog. Alright, strange. Now something similar happened to me like to Alan. But thankfully I published some content on a blog that wouldn’t harm me as much as it did to Alan. He ran through the dark woods. Seeing a shack with a computer. On there, he bought a game for a friend of his on Steam. In return, he was allowed to choose out of a few games out of the inventory of that friend. He choose the Alan Wake Franchise since that was the game that interests him. (Personal note: that’s how I got this gem :3 ). Yet the nightmare started there. Scary things beyond his imagination started happening. He wasn’t able to finish a book in a long time. That poor writer. He felt he deserved a break and he set out to have a vacation. When his wife betrays that vacation and actually had a plan to get him back to writing, a kidnap happened. And it actually gets worse from there on out. (Feel free to leave a comment about your views of this game and/or your opinion of this “review”)

Legit scared

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Out of the introduction you get the idea to where I wanted to go with this first impression. I actually wrote this first impression again since I actually found that it was too forced. This game is all about Alan’s latest horror book coming to live. Yet, he doesn’t remember writing it. He often sees visions of him writing it and talking insane. This all happens while he is looking for his wife.

If that doesn’t sound creepy already, well then just start playing the game. Only one or two games made me actually nearly “piss my pants.” One great example is Corpse Party. But this game just did it before I wrote this article again.

I normally talk about the story first in my reviews and first impressions. And I have to applaud the presentation of the story here. During the play, you find pages of the manuscript of the story Alan was working on. This hides information like character backstory or things that happen or even happened. This sounds already like a nice set-up for a creepypasta. But the thought of you writing the future yet not being able to control it is scary.

The story is amazing. It might get a bit confusing since it uses a certain way of making it thrilling that not many people like. It doesn’t explain a lot. But seeing that this game is heavily story based, does that destroy the replay value? Lucky us, no. You can replay the game on the highest difficulty to gain access to some parts of the manuscript which rewards players that go for the hardest of the hardest.

Creative burst

507604-alan-wake-xbox-360-screenshot-after-taking-the-last-enemyWhile playing this game, I got a vibe from a game. The gameplay felt a little bit like the latest Tomb Raider. Yet, this game is extremely far from it. But both games give off a similar survival and creepiness factor.

So, the story is extremely well done with rich and deep characters, what else does make this game worth it? I must have my reasons to back this claim up. I don’t post just for the fun on my Facebook wall that this is one of my favorite games on PC.

The graphical presentation of this game is just pitch perfect. Details everywhere. Crows that fly around, shaking screens, barely visible traps… The game is creepy when it’s supposed to be and the transition is seamless.

I heard a lot of complaints about the animation on several forums. Yet, I actually disagree. I think the mood of this game and it’s animation is well done. There were only two things that bothered me. One thing is the, according to the developer unfixable, bug at the start on the boat where the scene starts shaking if you have auto aiming on. (Which is an extremely big help by the way). And the second thing is how the animals in this game doesn’t look as smoothly created as the humans.

Finish me

Alan_Wake_Screenshots_Xbox_360_44

I have actually one complaint with this game. I don’t really get into it’s soundtrack. The sound design is extremely well done. And it aids a lot when you play this game with a headset that supports good stereo sound. The further you go, the more faint voices become. But the music in some places is so cheesy I just wanted to finish and leave the area.

Okay, I might have yet one other complaint. And that’s how this game uses one or two jump scares. It made me jump. And in my opinion that’s cheap. Good horror shouldn’t relay on jump scares. I don’t see a monster waiting in the bushes thinking to him or herself: “Let’s wait for a second and jump in front of him and roar a bit and then attack.” Nah, it’s too cheap. And that is actually addressed in this game. The camera often zooms out when enemies are behind your back and you are at low health.

Adventure fans like myself will have to get used to some things like automatic opening doors and the jump being actually human. Yes, don’t expect being able to jump to ledges higher then you can in real life. This adds to the game an awful lot. This makes me think big time.

So, I haven’t finished talking about this game but I’m running out of time in this first impression. I try to keep these article around 1000 words to have a quick read if you are interested in the game. So, this means that for my opinion on the gameplay, length, difficulty, controls and voice work you’ll have to wait for my full review. So, thanks for reading and I hope to catch you with my next article. I’m going back to Alan, helping him finish his journey. I have spare pants ready neko’s. Don’t you worry!

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About NekoJonez

I'm a Dutch video game blogger. I play old and new games. On my blog I give my opinion and views on them. These are my personal views. I say what I think. I also talk about more then just games. I talk and discuss the gaming industry or elements of games. To get to know me better, you should come on my blog. :) Keep the most up to date with me on my twitter: http://twitter.com/nekojonez Reviews, first impressions and more. Visit my blog: https://arpegi.wordpress.com/ http://www.arpegi.be/ Besides blogging, I also act on stage, have a job in education, play games and study to become a better IT guy.
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18 Responses to First Impression: Alan Wake (PC) ~ Questioning Reality.

    • Seraph says:

      If that’s where Alan Wake then where’s he sleep?

      Like

    • Kyle says:

      Alan wake is by far one of my favorite games of the past five years. I’ve bought it and gifted it about five times, just trying to spread the word. I can’t sing the praises enough for it. The characters, the writing, the setting, the presentation, all of it just came together for me in one tremendous package. If you’re into the franchise at all, definitely check out Bright Falls on Youtube. It’s a sort of prequel to the game.

      Like

      • NekoJonez says:

        Thanks for the tip man. I saw this game while was doing some research for some background info on this game. So, the PC version isn’t a port of that Bright Falls game?

        Like

        • Kyle says:

          Bright Falls is a live action short mini-series. Alan Wake on PC is a port of Alan Wake on 360. The PC edition also has two bonus chapters after the main story that are really good. And the expansion, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is kind of a capper to the main story. It’s very good, done in the style of a Night Springs episode.

          Like

          • NekoJonez says:

            Interesting. Well, since I don’t have a 360, I’ll watch a LP on it. Any you recommend?

            Like

            • Kyle says:

              I think you misunderstand. Alan Wake on the PC and Alan Wake on the 360 are the same game. If you’ve played one, you’ve played the other. So, Alan Wake PC and Alan Wake 360 are the same. Bright Falls(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boyGPvfA5B4) is a live-action short that leads into Alan Wake.

              Like

              • NekoJonez says:

                All hail to the derp Jonez! 😛

                Thanks for the correction buddy. I’ll surely do that.

                I’m so glad for this chat with readers of mine. Gives me a great feeling. ^_^.

                Do you know of any similar games?

                Like

                • Kyle says:

                  It depends on what you take from the game. If you like horror, there are a few really good third person series. Fatal Frame 1, 2, and 3 are masterpieces of Japanese horror. Dead Space 1 and 2 are really good survival horror games with a very compelling story. Scratches is a very spooky point-and-click adventure horror game. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is first-person and absolutely terrifying. As is Outlast. Penumbra: Overture and Penumbra: Black Plague are some of the best written horror games I’ve ever played. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is not as terrifying as Dark Descent, but it certainly is very haunting.

                  Lastly, while not strictly horror, Spec Ops: The Line is an amazing game that takes you on a journey through the madness. I guess you could call it psychological horror, and it is one of the best games of the last two years.

                  Like

                  • NekoJonez says:

                    Well, I enjoyed Corpse Party a whole lot as well. It’s such an interesting game. But thanks for the suggestions. If I can hunt down a copy of them, I might write a review about them .

                    Like

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