Short Game Review: Alan Wake

Alan Wake is a horror story about horror stories. You play as the eponymous writer, fighting people possessed by a malevolent darkness, armed with lights and some guns. The gameplay generally involves dodging creepy dudes and pointing a flashlight at things to weaken them before shooting them (kind of like what Alone in the Dark did with fire, only this game probably fit that name better). It is pretty cool the first hundred times or so, but it does get repetitive.

The game was marketed heavily upon the strength of its story, though, and it does indeed do a better job making believable characters and back story than most games, with a plot that kept me wondering what would happen next. Ultimately, it does a worse job with facial expressions and lip sync than a game so focused on story really deserves, and some niggling loose ends in the plot are really bugging me—but perhaps I’ll get my answers in the DLC. Overall, I’d say it’s worth playing, but might be even more fun to watch someone else play (especially if they don’t bother hunting for all the stupid, worthless collectables).