Game People Calling: Alan Wake, the People Have Spoken


It’s been a revelation being part of The Escapist because it’s a place where everybody can have their say. Staffers, columnists, readers – we’re all offered the same platform. This sort of community rule is much more unusual that you might expect, especially in hardcore gaming internet land.

Rather than introducing a new writer I thought I’d share a range of opinions on Alan Wake. Here are the opening and closing paragraphs from seven different perspectives.

Mark’s Story Gamer review:

Alan Wake is a linear but beautifully executed horror thriller with a real sense of place and tremendous atmosphere. The plot may be hokey, but Alan’s headlong flight through the dark is an unforgettable gaming experience …

The sense of a wilderness that you can get lost in may be largely illusory. The game is actually fairly linear, albeit disguised by the width of the environments through which you are subtly channeled – but that sense of being lost in a bad bad place, that sense of heart-in-mouth tension as I dashed for the light is something special.
Played at night, in a quiet house, with the lights down low, Alan Wake is a strikingly atmospheric game.

You won’t necessarily want to play it after dark – but you should.

Adam’s Soulful Gamer review:

Alan Wake took its time, and the quality is telling. But, for all you know about the game’s mechanics, it’s not until you look it in the eye first hand that you appreciate what makes it quite so exciting …

Alan Wake is an unusual game for a few reasons, but the most impressive is that Remedy has taken its time to get this right. I’m looking forward to playing the additional download content that has been promised, as well as a second full episode after that. I simply what some more reasons to spent time back in Bright Falls.

Dom’s Perpetual Gamer review:

Alan Wake gets the light and dark gunplay right before worrying about the fear factor. And it is the jubilation of shooting fun that stayed with me more than the zombies …

It is a good game. But as well as a recommendation, I’d also suggest you take your time with the first play through, because it’s a game you can also only really play properly one time. You will most likely play it more than once – but that first time is the real charm of the thing.

Dark and light, impressive writing and an intricately planned experience make Alan Wake much better than I thought it might have been.

Alex’s Scared Gamer review:

Alan Wake works because it feeds our shared fear of the dark. Rather than cheap shocks, this is a creeping, insipid horror, and I enjoyed every moment of it. Suspense, foreshadowing and lighting are all expertly used to create an inescapably dark atmosphere …

Alan Wake is the horror game of a generation. It may not be the scariest, but its haunting use of relatable fears we all harbor leaves an impression more lasting than its peers. It created an experience that locked my attention. And for the entirety of the week, I was unable to escape.

Sinan’s Returning Gamer review:

Alan Wake could have been all-important for the Xbox 360. But falling short of expectations, it’s a game as waylaid as me, while still provided an old-fashioned thrill.

Coming away from it, I knew it could have been so much more, possibly even one of this generation’s most important games. Maybe that will happen in due course, but this first outing is not nearly on par with Twin Peaks. It was worth the wait, but in the waiting I had dreamed this into a much better game.

Jen’s Considered Gamer review:

Alan Wake wants to be emotive and psychological. It constantly barraged me with smug references to other works of fiction in the hope that I would compare the two favorably. But in the end this is fun to play, but by no means unsettled me as a person.

Solely as a game, Alan Wake is enjoyable. It offers some terrific moments to participate in. But as an emotive experience, it’s severely lacking. It’s too clichéd to offer any real surprises. Throwing someone into a peculiar, confusing world should be a terrifying experience, yet Alan Wake turns this into something mundane and a little shallow.

Catherine’s Soundtrack Gamer review:

Alan Wake has a soundtrack that mixes alt-rock, psychedelia and pulp-twang with Petri Alanko’s haunting orchestral landscapes. Although more noticeably uneven than when in game, it actually creates a more pleasurable and less earnest listen …

Like the game, that started with open world ambitions, the soundtrack dials things down sensibly. It’s when it revels in the TV genre, rather than trying to be too filmic, that the album really delivers. When it does, it has the sound of a series that will be around for some time to come.

What do you think? As with any community it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing with everyone, but that your voice is heard. Perhaps there was an opinion there you could get on board with, or maybe they have all missed the point for you. Either way – and here’s the genius of our wonderful internet communities – you can add your perspective right here.

Game People is a rag tag bunch of artisans creating awesomely bizarre reviews from across the pond.

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