Review: Alan Wake: The Writer

Review: Alan Wake: The Writer

The Writer provides a fitting ending for the story of Alan Wake.

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Looking forward to ending it off myself, glad to see its getting a fitting send off though

I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

Alan Wake was only ever enjoyeable to me for the story and the unique deliverance. The combat always seemed average and a bit repetetive, and I never felt the game fully capitalised on its great atmosphere to ever actually supply tension. Might have to pick up this DLC pack though, if it brings the story to a good conclusion.

"The Dark Place", is that seriously what it's called? Never played the original, never will.

Azure Knight-Zeo:
"The Dark Place", is that seriously what it's called? Never played the original, never will.

That's probably because it has no real name, only what those who encounter it call it, and trust me when I say that the name is probably the most fitting you'll find.

As for the original, it was actually pretty good, though I felt the last few sections explained too much for a game that prided itself on being mysterious. Gameplay can probably be described as Dead Space where the method of killing is now break down a barrier rather than cut off the limbs. However, it mastered a bit more scare tactics than "Jump out of the closet" such as having something move in the bushes or in the foreground but not actually be there, having truly unexplained events happen, possessing objects (reinforcing a faceless terror rather than a physical one), taking away your weapons while enemies are about, and sucessfully using its focus on limited light in dark areas to work your nerves. I'd say it's at least worth a rental, as most of its core is really good, though it trips here and there.

Anyone wanna spoil the ending for me in a private mail?

I traded the game in long ago.. maybe in a day or so I will search youtube for the 'real ending'.

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

Ahh, okay. That makes it a lot easier to swallow. Once I get some decent cash flow again (took off Comic-Con weekend, shhh don't tell anyone), I'll be picking this up.

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

The signal is free? it said it would be free when I entered the pre order code for Alan Wake but I still have to pay for it for some reason, you sure it's free? Also I hope they make an Alan Wake 2

Quiet Stranger:

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

The signal is free? it said it would be free when I entered the pre order code for Alan Wake but I still have to pay for it for some reason, you sure it's free? Also I hope they make an Alan Wake 2

Not sure what the deal is now, or with used copies, really.

Quiet Stranger:

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

The signal is free? it said it would be free when I entered the pre order code for Alan Wake but I still have to pay for it for some reason, you sure it's free? Also I hope they make an Alan Wake 2

It is possible that your code expired, as some games do that now. Forces people to buy the game while it's still full price.

On Topic: I had NO IDEA this was out! So glad I check this website every day. Thank you Susan, as I am currently downloading The Writer while I type this. And the fact that you like the ending so much gives me a lot of hope. I didn't care for the ending in the original game because it left so many things undone. I will be tearing through this the moment it's finished downloading (71%...72%...)

Sniper Team 4:

Quiet Stranger:

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

The signal is free? it said it would be free when I entered the pre order code for Alan Wake but I still have to pay for it for some reason, you sure it's free? Also I hope they make an Alan Wake 2

It is possible that your code expired, as some games do that now. Forces people to buy the game while it's still full price.

On Topic: I had NO IDEA this was out! So glad I check this website every day. Thank you Susan, as I am currently downloading The Writer while I type this. And the fact that you like the ending so much gives me a lot of hope. I didn't care for the ending in the original game because it left so many things undone. I will be tearing through this the moment it's finished downloading (71%...72%...)

Let me know what you think!

Thank god we live in a day and age where we need to buy proper endings to games now.

AC10:
Thank god we live in a day and age where we need to buy proper endings to games now.

Awww man. You just reminded of HL2 Ep3. :(

It's good to know that a well made game finally reaches a well-deserved end.

AC10:
Thank god we live in a day and age where we need to buy proper endings to games now.

This is exactly what I was thinking while reading the review.

I enjoyed the game enough to play through it twice and was kinda hopeing for a different ending when beating it on Insane (or whatever the hardest difficulty was). When that didn't happen I just assumed there would be a sequal.

Quiet Stranger:

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

The signal is free? it said it would be free when I entered the pre order code for Alan Wake but I still have to pay for it for some reason, you sure it's free? Also I hope they make an Alan Wake 2

The Signal is only free with a new copy of the game. With used copies, the download code may or may not still be usable. If you purchased a used copy, you may be out of luck.

<--Resident 'Alan Wake' expert.

Aqualung:

Quiet Stranger:

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

The signal is free? it said it would be free when I entered the pre order code for Alan Wake but I still have to pay for it for some reason, you sure it's free? Also I hope they make an Alan Wake 2

The Signal is only free with a new copy of the game. With used copies, the download code may or may not still be usable. If you purchased a used copy, you may be out of luck.

<--Resident 'Alan Wake' expert.

I bought a brand new (pre ordered it too) collectors edition for Alan Wake and when I finally went to download it, it said I had to pay (for the Signal)

-Herp derp disregard-

Quiet Stranger:

Aqualung:

The Signal is only free with a new copy of the game. With used copies, the download code may or may not still be usable. If you purchased a used copy, you may be out of luck.

<--Resident 'Alan Wake' expert.

I bought a brand new (pre ordered it too) collectors edition for Alan Wake and when I finally went to download it, it said I had to pay (for the Signal)

If you purchased a new copy and there wasn't a download code in the game case somewhere, it could have been a mistake in the manufacturing process, or your country might not be supported by XBox Live and thus it wasn't bundled with the game. If so, try this thread for more information.

If you tried using your download code before The Signal was actually released, try this thread.

And if the download code you got simply didn't work, try contacting Microsoft services while providing them with your code, and they can try to set you up with a new one if your excuse is valid.

I hope that helps.

Finished it yesterday. The ending pissed me off SO bad. Damn cliffhangers, there better be an Alan Wake II!

The only spoiler I saw was that the apparent annoying fat dude in the red vest dies but from what Iv'e seen the ass had it coming anyway. Good review by the way.

I'm a little sad to hear this will be the end, but Alan Wake styled itself after an episodic sci-fi/fantasy drama in the vein of a lost/heores/invasion. And a lot of those shows, while they have their fans, die young. I'd hope a sequel is made that improves upon the original but all told, I'm happy there's an ending in the least.

Susan Arendt:

Sniper Team 4:

Quiet Stranger:

Susan Arendt:

Mr.Pandah:
I haven't picked up the game yet, but when I do, are you trying to say I need to pick up The Signal as well and then this? Or should I just grab The Writer and tell The Signal to take a hike?

Well, The Signal is free, so no reason not to get it. And if you enjoy the combat of Alan Wake, then you'll probably have fun with The Signal, as it does have some very well-designed sequences.

The signal is free? it said it would be free when I entered the pre order code for Alan Wake but I still have to pay for it for some reason, you sure it's free? Also I hope they make an Alan Wake 2

It is possible that your code expired, as some games do that now. Forces people to buy the game while it's still full price.

On Topic: I had NO IDEA this was out! So glad I check this website every day. Thank you Susan, as I am currently downloading The Writer while I type this. And the fact that you like the ending so much gives me a lot of hope. I didn't care for the ending in the original game because it left so many things undone. I will be tearing through this the moment it's finished downloading (71%...72%...)

Let me know what you think!

I finished the episode just now. MUCH better ending. I sent you a message about what I think of it, as I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who reads this.

*sigh*

So I got both this and The Signal yesterday and beat both (my code for The Signal still worked, thank goodness). And...well, it definitely was a better ending, and it feels much less abrupt. But I had so many questions at the end of the main game and none of them were answered. There's that tantalizing conversation on the bridge, but then...that's it. So. Freaking. Frustrating.

Well, actually, I take that back. One of the questions I had was answered, but only halfway. All the others, though? Nope.

That being said, it was definitely a much better-paced DLC than The Signal, and I definitely think it's superior to that in almost every way. Not that The Signal was bad, mind you, but it was just one fight after another with a tiny bit of dialogue. I just dislike these types of endings, and I'm noticing that more and more games have them these days. And yes, I get that in this case it fits with a lot of themes from the game, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.

I loved alan wake all the way through, and whilst the signal was a slight let-down, the near constant onslaught of enemies was intensely frightening, and it also made you feel genuinely as if you were in "hostile territory" as such.

Which brings me to the writer. I must say, it's probabally the best part of alan wake so far. It's got alot (although not all) of revelations, insanely trippy enviroments and sequences, and the "words have power" gimmick being used to a truly great degree.

But the story's end...well...
(ruins only the nature of the ending, not the ending itself, but still...)

On a side note, one of the main things that made alan wake scary for me was the feeling of the dark presence in the world, through methods besides just showing taken and pools of darkness. When the wind suddenly picked up, blowing the mist around the trees as if the darkness was in the air itself, I often became instantly tense, setting me up for a bigger scare when the taken did make an appearance.

And BTW, Barry Burton for best "So annoying it's good" character, and Thomas Zane for best "Yoda-style cryptic advisor" character!

The Writer was pretty cool. There was a fair bit of story development and the new environments were pretty interesting. But just like at the end of the main game and the first DLC, the important questions were again not answered. It's obvious they're saving it all for Alan Wake 2. That's ok, as long as that game doesn't get cancelled or something! The Alan Wake story really deserves a proper ending.

"...it's a very fitting ending to Alan Wake". Am I the only one here old enough to remember when games used to come with endings and you didn't have to pay extra for a conclusion?

crotchdot:
"...it's a very fitting ending to Alan Wake". Am I the only one here old enough to remember when games used to come with endings and you didn't have to pay extra for a conclusion?

Times have changed - some stories are more interesting when told over a number of games; there's nothing wrong with this new system.

I see your point, it's just that...
[please send $10 to see the rest of this comment]

 

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