I loved putting thought into games like Silent Hill and uncovering the truth, and the secret meanings behind everything. I can't say the same for Alan Wake. There isn't much thought to put into anything that has a major impact on how I see the story. The only things that are thought invoking are minor things that don't really impact the narrative but how you percieve smaller events in the narrative. So to me all this digging for answers is pretty useless. I still have the same opinion of the narrative as I had when I beaten the game.
The story felt lifted straight out of a few other sources. None of which I liked. It felt like any of the bad Stephen King novels, lost, and alone in the dark mixed together. The combat was also mediocre and beyond repetitive. Still, I walked away from the experiance pleased. It was nowhere near the best game of it's genre and despite the sea of problems I still left the experiance pleased somehow. That to me was the real mystery.
The combat and controls is quite possibly the best ever seen in a horror game. Name me another game like this that has better combat.
The problem is that it lacks variety.
Sure, shooting felt good and intuitive enough. But this game had perhaps the worst dodging mechanic in any game I've ever played. And even worse, it wouldn't let me change the controls to anything auqward. Seeing as how jumping was a rare movement I wanted to switch dodge to a + LS but it wouldn't give me the option. There was only one other control scheme and it was even worse. As far as controls in a horror game I would even take the controls from RE4/5, Dead Space (probably the best for this genre right now and was also scarier as in being scary at all) or even the latest Silent Hill. I know they aren't TPS but Condmned had better controls and so did Bioshock if you count it. Of course I would take the shooting in this game over any of those but the importance of the dodge mechanic and the lack of an intuitive way to perform it kind of killed it for me.
However I thought that for the sake of being a "horror" game the controls were absolutely sublime. Its not meant to be a shooter with dodge and cover. The fact it had dodge is a bonus which could have ruined the experience... RE5 didn't even have proper dodge.
Also, RE4/5 controls over this? Really? Stand to aim and shoot?
PS - I didn't find dead space scary at all. Didn't care for characters or the "BOO!" like scares much. With that said, alan wake wasn't scary either.
The reason I say RE4/5 is because your enemies were slow and you didnt need to have a dodge. Dodging is absolutely vital to alan wake. Exspecially when playing on the harder difficulty settings. So I found a key feature of the gameplay absolutely broken whereas in RE4/5 I found a key gameplay feature (moving while shooting) only a minor frustration.
Also, I haven't found a game scary since i played SH2 or 3 when they first released. But Dead Space had the much creepier atmoshphere to me. Dead space didn't scare me but it certainly felt like it was scarier by a large marigin and at least made me jump at the unexpected last sequence.
Still, all these complaints I've been throwing at Alan Wake mean little. I still loved it for some reason. lol