Review: Alan Wake

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Abriael:

masakoz:
This game looked shitty with multiplayer(remedy made a april fools joke vid about it).Why does every game have to have multiplayer anyway?It's that mentality that has ruined great games(bioshock 2 anybody).

Might want to read the whole sentence: "7-8 hours and no multiplayer" = very little content for the price of a full game. At the very least multiplayer options help adding some value when the single player is short.
For sure I don't want or need multiplayer with every game, but this trend of providing very little content in games is getting tiresome. I don't mean that every game needs 60-70 hours worth of content like Yakuza 3, but at the very least 15-20 should be the norm, and much less than that should definitely be frowned upon.
All this time in development to deliver less than 10 hours of gameplay is simply a new definition of lazy.

Depends. If the core gameplay is satisfying enough, it'd be worth replaying on the hardest setting(which should also unlock more tidbits and exposition about the story IIRC)

This is the only will buy game I have on my list.
And I don't even have a list!!

All i'm gonna say is thank fuck this aint a thing like heavy rain, after that epic dissapointment I had a horrible feeling this game would be similar but from the clips It actually looks pretty good (i'll reserve full judgement after I play it) this is why I own both consoles!

Sounds like that Secret Window movie. With zombie villagers.

Resident Secret Silent Window.

Aaaaaaand another solid 3-5 day rental. Thanks, Susan! Looks like hiding-under-your-covers-and-jumping-at-every-weird-sound fun of the finest variety.

Zombie Nixon:

Depends. If the core gameplay is satisfying enough, it'd be worth replaying on the hardest setting(which should also unlock more tidbits and exposition about the story IIRC)

Harder difficulty (which is just some changed statistics), collectibles and things that can be accessed only during the second playthrough can't be considered a viable replacement for actual content.
Quite the contrary, they're gimmicks developers use in order to artificially increase the gameplay without having to add any real content. In other words a the easy way out for lazy bums that can't manage to make a game that offers a decent amount of content for it's price.

"satisfying core gameplay" isn't antithetical to content. There are plenty games out there with satisfying core gameplay that encourage multiple playthroughs and that last much more than Alan Wake for each single playthrough, so this simply isn't an excuse.
Delivering less than 10 hours worth of actual content after 5 years in development is simply ridiculous, to be honest. Giving it a full score is the perfect way to encourage lazy developers to cut their games to the bare bones in order to save development money and resources and still sell them for the same price, or even worse, shift content away from the actual game in order to juice us further with DLC epiosodes (like Remedy seems to be doing).

Yossarian1507:
So yeah, Alan Wake is the first game, that makes me feel bad for not owning X360. I so want to play that...

For me it just makes me angry. There is no way I would buy a 360 for any one game particularly at this stage in it's 'life'. I can only hope they put this out on the PC. Given the way it was developed turning their backs on PC gamers is infuriating.

Tdc2182:
Yeah, its just that I only have enough money for one game. So I cant decide between a good story but not extremely much replay value, or a fun game that you can infinitely mess around on.

But thanks for the review anyway. The Escapist is one of the more trustworthy sites for games.

I guess it depends on how much you enjoy each hour of play. While I sunk many hours into WoW many of those hours kinda sucked. If something is very good I am willing to splash out on it a bit more. Like a nice meal now and then. That was my attitude with Monkey Island 5. Sure it was not as long as many games but I enjoyed some of the moments more.

Abriael:

Harder difficulty (which is just some changed statistics), collectibles and things that can be accessed only during the second playthrough can't be considered a viable replacement for actual content.
Quite the contrary, they're gimmicks developers use in order to artificially increase the gameplay without having to add any real content. In other words a the easy way out for lazy bums that can't manage to make a game that offers a decent amount of content for it's price.

"satisfying core gameplay" isn't antithetical to content. There are plenty games out there with satisfying core gameplay that encourage multiple playthroughs and that last much more than Alan Wake for each single playthrough, so this simply isn't an excuse.
Delivering less than 10 hours worth of actual content after 5 years in development is simply ridiculous, to be honest. Giving it a full score is the perfect way to encourage lazy developers to cut their games to the bare bones in order to save development money and resources and still sell them for the same price, or even worse, shift content away from the actual game in order to juice us further with DLC epiosodes (like Remedy seems to be doing).

I don't see any reference to the game's length in the review. I've heard people say the game clocks in at around twelve hours, which is at least decent. And the free DLC should add an hour or two on top of that(I'm not a fan of DLC, but if you spend $60 on Alan Wake you are getting it). Also, I'm pretty sure the developers restarted on Alan Wake from scratch in 2007, so the game's really only been in the works for three years, tops.

I completely agree with you in principle, I'm just not sure if awake qualifies as an example yet. But I'll probably buy it and find out.

It sounds top, and more than a little like the 360's timely answer to Heavy Rain. Let's hope it's similarly successful, and leads to the games industry giving a little bit more of a shit about storytelling. I'll be buying it as soon as I have the dough.

Is it just me or does Alan Wake look a lot like Michael Douglas?

Gonna be buying this as soon as I have the time to play it.

Great review. I'm really excited for Alan Wake, more than I have been for any game in quite some time. I had never heard of it until a few months ago so wasn't aware of it's long development. Anyway, the more I hear about it the better it sounds, I really wish there was more of this type of game. Hardly got any money this month but there's no way I'm missing out on my collectors edition :)

I'd really like this to come out on the PS3. :P

Abriael:

masakoz:
This game looked shitty with multiplayer(remedy made a april fools joke vid about it).Why does every game have to have multiplayer anyway?It's that mentality that has ruined great games(bioshock 2 anybody).

Might want to read the whole sentence: "7-8 hours and no multiplayer" = very little content for the price of a full game. At the very least multiplayer options help adding some value when the single player is short.
For sure I don't want or need multiplayer with every game, but this trend of providing very little content in games is getting tiresome. I don't mean that every game needs 60-70 hours worth of content like Yakuza 3, but at the very least 15-20 should be the norm, and much less than that should definitely be frowned upon.
All this time in development to deliver less than 10 hours of gameplay is simply a new definition of lazy.

lazy is when you make a game 4 hours long.10 hours for a game that takes a linear root like this one is alot of hours

masakoz:

All this time in development to deliver less than 10 hours of gameplay is simply a new definition of lazy.

lazy is when you make a game 4 hours long.10 hours for a game that takes a linear root like this one is alot of hours[/quote]

Are you kidding me? Aside the fact that i said LESS than 10 hours (every source I've heard from so far indicates 8 hours for a relaxed playthrough), 10 hours for any game is VERY little. Linear or not. It's basically 6 dollars an hour, which is laughable AND lazy.

It doesn't matter how long the game spent in development, why do you keep bringing that up?

Felt more like a tips and tricks video then a review. Didn't hear any mention of whether you liked the game or not. No mention of controls or anything else either.

CyanLink:
Felt more like a tips and tricks video then a review. Didn't hear any mention of whether you liked the game or not. No mention of controls or anything else either.

That's because it's a supplement, not a review. It's a companion to the written review.

I don't like the concept of this game.

SUPA FRANKY:
I was thinking of picking this up. The plot of the story and the tensions I've seen reviewers describe seem amazing. I've also judged the gameplay and it does look like a preety creepy game.

Now Alan Wake, or Nier? Dammit! I'm so conflicted!

I just bought Nier a few days ago, and it really is great. Don't trust the mixed reviews, it's just plain fun, with a good mindfuck for a storyline.

Though this review really makes me want to pick up Alan Wake too... I hope there'll be a PC release.

...and this game was originally planned to be a PC exclusive...

I think I'll just call a few guys and go play the PC version in Remedy HQ. Small country, everyone knows everyone.

5/5 stars?
I must have been playing a different game then...Or the reviewer didn't play many other games :/

AW is an OK game, but hardly anything exceptional srory-/graphic-/whatever-wise, i would give it a firm 3.5/5, especially considering how long it was in development.. Quite a disappointment if you ask me.

neojam:
5/5 stars?
I must have been playing a different game then...Or the reviewer didn't play many other games :/

AW is an OK game, but hardly anything exceptional srory-/graphic-/whatever-wise, i would give it a firm 3.5/5, especially considering how long it was in development.. Quite a disappointment if you ask me.

Played plenty of games, thanks. Yes, Alan Wake certainly has issues, but in my opinion, the overall experience is so excellent that the game as a whole is superlative. Your mileage may vary.

It's also worth noting, however, that we don't do half-stars.

I just bought an xbox 360 elite (I have to much expendable income and no savings). This will be the first game I get! Looks fantastic!

-Joe

So i'm not the only one who noticed that Alan Wake really sounds like Carth :P

Susan Arendt:
[quote="CyanLink" post="6.192997.6143534"]Felt more like a tips and tricks video then a review. Didn't hear any mention of whether you liked the game or not. No mention of controls or anything else either.

That's because it's a supplement, not a review. It's a companion to the written review.[/quote}

Fair enough.

Great review! So.... would you recommend this game? Because, I am highly tempted to buy it.

Ahh, I'm glad this is on the way. LoveFilm tweeted me this morning and said that I'm being sent it today. Should receive it today or tomorrow.. I hope Nightmare mode isnt stupidly difficult.

Horray for pre-orders arriving early!

I strongly agree with the majority of the comments in the review. So far I am really enjoying the game and I've had to tear myself away from it so I don't finish it in a single day!

The story is so engaging like any well plotted mystery/thriller and the overall atmosphere is consistently threatening. Combat works very well too; it can be very challenging and intense at times. I'm finding it a lot less 'Twin Peaks' than many have made it out to be. A few eccentric characters have popped up but it does not draw that much from the series.

Avoid getting caught up in all the 'how long is it?' rubbish. Simply buy the game and enjoy it. I'd argue it would be hard to find many people who do not want to persue this game's story. Here's hoping for a satisfying conclusion!

Those who ordered the collector's edition - Totally worth it.

Thus far, not impressed. The lip syncing is horrible, and the dialogue is... laughable... really.

"I looked at the water; it was deep."

We waited 5 years for Alan Wake to tell us that the water, of a giant lake, was deep...?

Also whenever an achievement pops up it takes away from the game experience.

Yeah... it's not impressive for me...

Ah relax, given the trend I'm willing to bet we'll see a Games for Windows port before the end of 2011.

Darmort:
Thus far, not impressed. The lip syncing is horrible, and the dialogue is... laughable... really.

"I looked at the water; it was deep."

We waited 5 years for Alan Wake to tell us that the water, of a giant lake, was deep...?

Also whenever an achievement pops up it takes away from the game experience.

Yeah... it's not impressive for me...

Really? Are we gamers really THAT shallow?

Ok so this got written a while ago but since I just finished Alan Wake a few days ago and didn't want to read any reviews before I finished, here I go:

The review's spot on, and great as always. Though I didn't have as much trouble with the QTEs as you might have had, Susan. In fact I especially liked...

Also I didn't find the game that scary. Ok maybe I should elaborate on that. There are games that screw with my head on the spot so much that I repeatedly get scared of moving forward. Alan Wake did not have that effect on me. Whether that was because I really wanted to know what happened next in the story or because I just didn't get the horror vibe from it that much, I don't know. What I do know however is that the suspense was there throughout the game, and there was practically always tension to be felt.

I would also add that eventhough Alan Wake didn't succeed in getting me too scared to walk around the next bend, it did however succeed in giving me the most screwed up dreams I ever had four nights in a row. Seriously that stuff was fucked up.

Can't wait for the summer DLC and the sequel.

Darmort:

Also whenever an achievement pops up it takes away from the game experience.

Yeah, that's what I thought would happen to me too. You know what I did? I turned off the announcements in the Xbox menu.

Pickard12:

Those who ordered the collector's edition - Totally worth it.

I know, only cost a couple euros more for me. It's great :D

SUPA FRANKY:
I was thinking of picking this up. The plot of the story and the tensions I've seen reviewers describe seem amazing. I've also judged the gameplay and it does look like a preety creepy game.

Now Alan Wake, or Nier? Dammit! I'm so conflicted!

Alan Wake. I've played them both and Nier doesn't deserve to lick Alan Wake's shoes clean.

I'm purposely playing this game slowly and only doing 1 chapter a night partly to extend the experience and partly because each chapter has a nice and clear beginning, middle and end and so it feels wrong quitting 1/2 way through. Played the second chapter and there are 2 things I really like so far.

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