Alan Wake to "Blur Lines Between Games and TV"

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Alan Wake to "Blur Lines Between Games and TV"

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The upcoming Alan Wake will be the closest thing to a TV thriller gaming has ever seen when it comes out (supposedly) later this year - according to Microsoft, anyway.

First announced back at E3 '05, psychological adventure Alan Wake has been lost in the mists of development hell for years, becoming one of those titles that's second-tier only to Duke Nukem Forever in terms of vaporware jokes. Now, it looks as though it's finally coming out this year, what with them actually showing off the gameplay at E3 '09. The game stars a bestselling novelist named, well, Alan Wake, who travels to a remote town with his wife to get inspiration for a book, but things go wrong in a manner reminiscent of shows like Twin Peaks or the works of Stephen King (to name a few).

Comparisons to Twin Peaks and Lost are completely intentional, however, as Microsoft product marketing manager Laura Disney told CVG - Alan Wake is intended to be the closest thing that gaming has to a top-class TV thriller. "Alan Wake is on track from a development standpoint and will play an important role in our Spring 2010 game portfolio," said Disney, noting that Remedy had been polishing the game tremendously over the past few months (considering that they've had five years to work on the damn thing, one would hope it'd be polished).

"The time Remedy has spent on Alan Wake is indicative of the final result players can expect to see. The storyline will run as a driving factor throughout the game, creating an atmosphere that captivates the player in a way that many straight-out horror games do not ... Alan Wake will blur the lines between video gaming and television, and play on the strengths of both to create something truly compelling."

My first instinct is to be snarky and say that "video games are already on your TV, duh!" But you know what? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and take it seriously - it's obvious that Microsoft is poising Alan Wake as a challenger to the similarly line-blurring Heavy Rain, though how the more traditionally "game-like" Alan Wake stacks up against the "interactive novel" of Quantic Dream's PS3 exclusive remains to be seen.

Okay, okay, I can't go completely snark-free: It's good to see that Remedy is striving to blur the line between something other than "released game" and "unreleased game" for once.

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I'm betting on Heavy Rain in this battle.

Come forth! Bet on who you think will be the winner! It all goes to charity!

I commend you for having the testicular fortitude to take a verbal crack at this game. You've made my day, sir :)

I won't complain. If it's a good game, it's worth playing. And if it will include cinematic intensity etc., that can only be a good thing, right?

So long as they don't forget the game portion of the game.

yes cos games that are made to be like tv has never been done b4

I hate TV... So I guess I won't be checking out Alan Wake, since TV is the last thing my games need (unless you count the TVs in Bloodlines... particularly with a Malkavian)

oh snap!

Looks interesting...ish.

Frankly, Alan Wake doesn't look anything like Heavy Rain, comparing the 2 isn't right.

It just sounds like some kind of publicity stunt on Microsoft's behalf, really.

Hubilub:
I'm betting on Heavy Rain in this battle.

Come forth! Bet on who you think will be the winner! It all goes to charity!

As in rivaling TV or a top notch thriller my vote is on HR too. As in 'the better game' I really don't know. I have high hopes for both,altough I'm not sure how much I'll dig the HR gameplay structure.

how pretentious. i swear, if i see another game that trys to be something other than a game then i will... get slightly annoyed :\

Hubilub:
I'm betting on Heavy Rain in this battle.

Come forth! Bet on who you think will be the winner! It all goes to charity!

I think that this game will probably sell better (It has guns, and we all know people like guns), but Heavy Rain will probably be better cinematically.

Heavy Rain keeps reminding me of Indigo Prophesy. Alan Wake doesn't.

To me it's pretty clear where my 1st preference lies and it aint with the game that had me doing quick time events in the past.

I'm still looking forward to the game, but I think I'd much rather it be presented as a game than something that "blurs the line between games and TV". Unless they're using that as a roundabout way of saying they're planning to run this as episodic content, it doesn't even have any real meaning.

To date, it is a rare occasion that a DLC release for a game I've 'finished' can drag me back in. All episodic gaming means to me at the moment is that the game I buy is going to have an unsatisfying cliffhanger ending, an extended wait between "episodes" that will kill my interest, and that they expect me to pay far more on the dollars/hour scale than a normal game does. I'm down on episodic gaming.

I do have a limited edition Alan Wake faceplate on my 360 though, courtesy of the Escapist editors :P

sephiroth1991:
yes cos games that are made to be like tv has never been done b4

Complete words and sentences are a valuable tool when trying to express yourself. Try harder.

Hubilub:
I'm betting on Heavy Rain in this battle.

Come forth! Bet on who you think will be the winner! It all goes to charity!

I got 600,000,000,000 kredits[1] on Heavy Rain.

[1] That's as much as 1 Swedish krona

RanD00M:

Hubilub:
I'm betting on Heavy Rain in this battle.

Come forth! Bet on who you think will be the winner! It all goes to charity!

I got 600,000,000,000 kredits[1] on Heavy Rain.

I see what you did there

[1] That's as much as 1 Swedish krona

I like Alan Wake better than Heavy Rain, and will probably get the former before the latter.

That said we've already seen the entire "Interactive Movie" thing back when CD Rom first came out, and I'm not a big fan since I like more control. I still remember things like "The Daedalus Encounter" starring Tia Carrera [SP]

Truthfully the whole "interactive novel" thing seems to be a way of saying "interactive movie" while trying to avoid the stigma that term achieved.

My concern about both is that while having a degree of control I'm going to spend more time "watching" the game than playing it.

*loses all interest for the game*

If they're advertising as "close to tv" then I don't care.

I'm buying a game, dammit.

Hubilub:
I see what you did there

What did I do there?

RanD00M:

Hubilub:
I see what you did there

What did I do there?

Make fun of your bad economy.

Either that or I just make fun of Iceland too much.

Is it still going to be episodic? If it is, it's probably gonna be following the Half Life 2 approach of "the next part when we can be arsed."

I thought that was Heavy Rain's job?

Hubilub:

RanD00M:

Hubilub:
I see what you did there

What did I do there?

Make fun of your bad economy.

Either that or I just make fun of Iceland too much.

When I said kredit,I was referring to space kredit.
Although our economy does suck at the moment.

RanD00M:

Hubilub:

RanD00M:

Hubilub:
I see what you did there

What did I do there?

Make fun of your bad economy.

Either that or I just make fun of Iceland too much.

When I said kredit,I was referring to space kredit.
Although our economy does suck at the moment.

Yes it does.

Yes it does...

This just in: it won't sell.

How? By being old and doing little worth of note?

Oh snap.

I'm still looking forward to Alan Wake even if they'll go forward with this blurriness thingamajig (and if it comes out on PC as well). I'm curious about the story. It has potential to be something really awesome.

Hubilub:
I'm betting on Heavy Rain in this battle.

Come forth! Bet on who you think will be the winner! It all goes to charity!

Aye, much agreed. Cant wait to see what will happen with Heavy Rain!

"blur the lines betwen games and tv" too what end?! Why are they trying to mix two different forms of media again? they will be suprised im sure when it doesnt sell. People are looking for a gaming experience or a cinematic one. People who want to game will be annoyed at how long the spent watching it and not interacting (MGS4 syndrome) and people who want to watch a movie will get pissed off pushing the button every few minutes to keep on watching? Its the same reason I dont read books on my tv screen.

I'm interested, although there's never been any proper developer hype for this game so its hard to focus my attentions on it. I always love to jerk over a stellar in-game story though, so I'll be keeping my eye open.

I bloody hate the "Tonight on Alan Wake" thing though - I don't need that. Just make the load screens look TVish or something, I dunno. That intro will get real annoying, real quick.

Ow, TV thriller?
That's... that's... Alone In The Dark fucking MUCH?

There's an elephant in this thread and his name is Nathan Drake.

From what I can tell, Alan Wake is just Uncharted with a thriller atmosphere rather than a globetrotter one. Comparing Wake to Heavy Rain seems like picking a fight with the experimental risk taker rather than the box-office and critical heavy hitter, even if the latter seems the more obvious and arguably appropriate comparison.

Just sayin'.

Virgil:
I'm still looking forward to the game, but I think I'd much rather it be presented as a game than something that "blurs the line between games and TV". Unless they're using that as a roundabout way of saying they're planning to run this as episodic content, it doesn't even have any real meaning.

To date, it is a rare occasion that a DLC release for a game I've 'finished' can drag me back in. All episodic gaming means to me at the moment is that the game I buy is going to have an unsatisfying cliffhanger ending, an extended wait between "episodes" that will kill my interest, and that they expect me to pay far more on the dollars/hour scale than a normal game does. I'm down on episodic gaming.

I do have a limited edition Alan Wake faceplate on my 360 though, courtesy of the Escapist editors :P

sephiroth1991:
yes cos games that are made to be like tv has never been done b4

Complete words and sentences are a valuable tool when trying to express yourself. Try harder.

ok then

Trying to finger qoute blur the line between video games and TV has been attempted before with games like Alone in the dark and Siren. However this has only led to episodes being used for chapters. The problem i find with games trying to "Blur the line between video games and TV" is that they are basically trying to combine a interactive media with a non-interactive media, this means that either there be alot of boring dialog and recap moments which will sacrifice gameplay or it will sacrifice story in favour of gameplay. I don't mind a game trying to be immersive like a compelling TV series but trying to combine the two just seems to spoil the game for me.

how was that? better...worst...banana

Hubilub:

Yes it does.

Yes it does...

RanD00M:

Although our economy does suck at the moment.

Norway says hello, Sweden! :D

Kidding, sorry..

Well, OT:

Blurring the lines between games and tv? What does that even mean?

Tv isn't very interactive, while the entire point of a video game is to be exactly that. How can you possibly make a compromise on that? It's supposed to be a game. You don't need to sacrifice that in order to make a thriller.

And episodic releases? Might work, but people are still waiting for Half Life: Ep 3, right?

hmm, blurring the lines between tv and games... hasn't Kojima been trying to do that for years with MGS? the main difference between a game and tv is that you control the action, so are they just going to make an entire game of cutscenes with QTEs?

Sounds similar to Heavy Rain.

I've honestly never heard of this game before.

Oh, another pretentious game. New challenger for another severely-underperforming game that the customers "didn't get"? You bet so.

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