Welcome to the thread for this much anticipated release. Originally unveiled in 2005, this game was certain to impress, even back then. Fast forward five years later and we are on the brink of a new psychological thriller which could really set a new standard in modern horror entertainment. Welcome to the world of Alan Wake. Also, thank you Torillian for permission with this thread.
Alan Wake, a bestselling writer, hasn't managed to write anything in over two years. Now his wife, Alice, brings him to the idyllic small town of Bright Falls to recover his creative flow. But when she vanishes without a trace, Wake finds himself trapped in a nightmare. Word by word, his latest work, a thriller he can't even remember writing, is coming true before his eyes. He somehow knows it's his story without any memory of writing it.
The story will play out in an episodic format, with a television show-style presentation. Remedy has confirmed that Alan Wake is only the first season of a bigger story, opening the door for future sequels.
Light plays a significant role in gameplay and strategy. The enemies, called dark forces in-game, are sensitive to light, encouraging the player to take advantage of environment light sources and placing significant emphasis on the flashlight as a primary weapon. Players also have the ability to set traps which illuminate when triggered, either damaging or temporarily immobilizing an enemy.
Alan Wake features a day/night time cycle, which is controlled by Remedy to create suspense and drama at any given time. During the day, players may interact with other NPCs to find out more about the town of Bright Falls.
VG Chartz 84 (counting is closed) out of 84 Reviews
GameRankings Overall Average: 83.88% out of 66 Reviews
Metacritic Overall Average: 83 (Generally favorable reviews) out of 99 Reviews
The Escapist - 100
A brilliantly told story, excellent voice acting, and an atmosphere so unnerving you'll sleep with the lights on for a month. If only it came with a bottle of instant amnesia so that you could play it for the first time more than once.Read Full Review >
Xboxygen: An incredible exciting and captivating adventure ... A must have!Jeuxvideo.fr - 100
"After two Max Payne revolutionized the action genre in the third person, Remedy tackles a genre which many had broken her front teeth on next-gen: The Survival Horror."HardGame2 - 100
"The maelstrom in which we live requires titles to launch studies with annual franchise, development and delivery deadlines sometimes very short, there is much pressure as the market development and sales results at minimum cost and time investment are powers that often unfortunately. It is rare to find artists such as Remedy, who devote sufficient time estimated to finish things masterfully, throwing them "when they are finished." It is certainly something exceptional to find this kind of games, of which no doubt Alan Wake is one of them in their own right."
Alan Wake is definitely art, and is well written enough to keep my wife and I on the edge of our seats from beginning to end. If I can admit something, and give Alan Wake the biggest compliment I can bestow, I’d tell you that I had a nightmare about the game the night after I completed it. No horror game has ever managed that feat or even come close. It may have taken them five years to kick it out of the door, but Remedy has created a masterpiece.Gamer365 - 95
"Stephen King once wrote: "The nightmares exist outside the realm of logic, the explanations have no fun, they are poetry antithesis of fear." A horror story, the victim is always asking, "Why?", But no explanation, and not Also, should be. The unresolved mystery to us than anywhere else in the story at the end we will remember this."Iltalehti - 95
The long awaited Alan Wake does not disappoint. This is an all-time best Finnish entertainment product and the absolute number one candidate for best game.
XboxAddict - 93
Now, you can chalk it up to the absolute rush of endorphins I've had simply by having this title in hand after a 5 year wait, but I found it very difficult to find fault in this title.
Xbox360Achievements - 92
Remedy set out to create one of the most intense and gripping story experiences of the year and they delivered on their goals with sublime ease. An utterly compelling cast of characters and the most engaging story we’ve experienced in years means that Alan Wake is a must buy. The best survival-horror thriller we’ve seen for quite some time. It’s more Resident Evil than Resident Evil 5 was! Move over Capcom, Alan Wake’s in town!
Planet Xbox 360 - 92
More than once Alan Wake reminded us of books, movies, and TV shows that we love and spend hours with every week; it helped merge the video game experience with those other memorable moments. For once a video game was able to show exactly what it means to create something that brings emotion to the gamer; on top of that Alan Wake was just damn fun to play.
MondoXbox - 92
If you're looking for a game with a great story, dense with mystery and suspense and capable of keeping you in constant distress for hours, Alan Wake won't disappoint you. It isn't a perfect game mainly due to the somewhat repetitive action sequences, but its core is in the fantastic plot and storytelling. It undoubtedly is a great and unique experience, and as such it's highly suggested.Read Full Review >
Play.tm - 91
Alan Wake is a good game. But as well as a recommendation, I'd suggest you take your time with the first play through, because it's a game you can also only really experience once properly. You will most likely play it more than once - but that first time is the real charm of the thing.Read Full Review >
Game Revolution - 91
In telling the story of a frustrated author, Remedy Entertainment has excised its own demons and brought forth a beautiful, eerie, exciting, unique, and intelligent creation from the dark depths of development limbo.Read Full Review >
Computer and Video Games - 90
While its not the generation defining game the epic development schedule might've hyped, Alan Wake is still a fantastic, 10-hour-plus play-it-on-the-couch linear action game - with brains required or not depending on your preference.
VideoGamer - 90
Remedy and Microsoft haven't made a perfect masterpiece, but Alan Wake may well be one of my favourite releases of 2010 – an escapade I'm going to remember for a very long time. It's a stunning action game, a superbly scripted adventure and a technical showcase for the now-ageing Xbox 360 hardware.
Meristation - 90
Alan Wake is finally here, and it's as good as we expected. Rich environments, great story, superb gameplay, many areas to explore, interesting characters... A great game that is not the ambitious project Remedy wanted it to be, but it's glorious anyway.
Destructoid - 90
Anything it could do to irritate the player is quickly made up for with a consistently striking character, intriguing cutscene, or thrilling stand-off against an encroaching force of possessed and gibbering mountain hicks. Alan Wake wears its own anomalous sense of style with pride and that alone earns enough credit to spend on inefficient dodging or unfair ambush attacks.
IGN - 90
Remedy's done a great job of mixing elements of written work, television, and videogames to create an experience full of scares, laughs, and thrills that's just as fun to play as it is to watch.
Worth Playing - 90
All in all, Alan Wake is a brilliant piece of storytelling and one that is going to stand out as an example of single-player gaming done right.
GameDaily - 90
The presentation creates a genuine survival/horror ambience that's hard to shake (without the need for excessive gore) and the gameplay shines (no pun intended).
SpazioGames - 90
An accomplished experiment in narrative: Alan Wake mixes a TV serial structure with a basic action gameplay, building its offer in entertainment with well crafted characters, twists in the plot (it won't be Stephen King at its best, but for an action-adventure game it delivers) and a cool atmosphere. Maybe not worth all the long time it took to come to us, but still a very enjoyable mix, and not one you should miss.
Vandal Online - 90
Alan Wake is an entertaining game experience, with and engaging narrative and full of nights of terror.Read Full Review >
Gamer.no - 90
Despite a bit of repetitiveness in the last half, Alan Wake is a spectacular, memorable experience. If you own an Xbox 360, you'll want to own this.
Official Xbox Magazine - 90
Ultimately, how much you enjoy Alan Wake’s rollercoaster ride depends on how invested you become in its sophisticated yarn. And it’s one hell of a story, capped off by a quiet, breathtaking denouement that makes good on the opening lines of Alan’s initial descent.Read Full Review >
Telegraph - 90
Remedy has created a superb video game that uses one of the best written characters in the medium all year to tie its plot, themes and gameplay together seamlessly. Thrilling, frightening and genuinely compelling, Alan Wake is a nightmare players will not soon to forget.
LevelUP: Alan Wake is a great title for those who are interested in games that have an excellent story;on a personal level, I can tell you that the narrative is a masterpiece that could be easily put on the table when discussing whether a game can to be art, and, if we add the excellent presentation that is up there with the greatest TV shows of our time, and the incredible visual effects, I can only recommend it widely. If David Lynch and Stephen King saw the story I'm sure they would be proud, we expect this to be the birth of a new franchise and eagerly wish that the DLC is of the same quality as the full game. I won't doubt Remedy again, Microsoft did well to get this title as an exclusive.
Totally360 - 90
Alan Wake is an absolutely fantastic title and it was definitely worth the long wait.Read Full Review >
Alan Wake, first announced back in 2005 and now in my reviewing hands, is the tale of a writer searching for the wife that the darkness of Bright Falls has taken from him. Already, you can see that Alan Wake has great focus on the powers of darkness, as well as the opposing power that is light. As Alan, players control the power of light in their hands in the form of a simple flashlight which, alongside a gun, may be all he needs to save his beloved wife, Alice.Read full review >>
MS Xbox World - 90
Remedy has done a cracking job with Alan Wake, providing a game that's solid entertainment of the survival horror nature from start to finish. There are some moments where the game does feel a bit 'samey' in terms of design, but with such an engaging and captivating story, you'll feel compelled to drive onwards and see it through to its conclusion.
Console Monster - 90
Despite it's flaws, Alan Wake is not a game you can miss out on.Read Full Review >
Multiplayer.it - 89
Strategy Informer - 88
Remedy have proved that they’re not just a one-trick pony, creating a game that’s starkly different to Max Payne but also deeply referential to it. The clever story, great voice work and presentation all work to sweeten an already sweet deal.Read Full Review >
Pelit (Finland) - 87
If there were a game version of Twin Peaks, it would be Alan Wake. The great Pacific Northwest is a magnificently eerie backdrop for a horror story coming to life. It paces the combat and slower moments well, and it's nice not to have to fight every fight: running away works just as good. The overdone narrator voice gets annoying at times, but luckily Alan's musings lessen towards the end of the game. [May 2010]
GameTrailers - 86
Alan Wake paints a vivid nightmare that you won't soon forget. It's the freshest take on the horror game in a long time, and every moment feels like it was painstakingly scripted. There isn't much fluff here. That said, the game is lacking in the frills that we've come to expect from a triple-A release.
GamesNation - 86
In spite of the inevitable signs the long development times have left on its gameplay structure, Alan Wake is still one of those titles every psychological action-thriller game lover can’t miss out. But it is also an intense story, with a dense atmosphere, that any videogame lover should at least try once.Read Full Review >
3DJuegos - 85
Alan Wake is an emotionally engaging thriller from start to finish; and it's compelling, different and unique too. An excellent third person shooter in its own right, but not particularly frightening or memorable in any way.
IGN AU - 85
Alan Wake is not quite the revelatory experience we hoped it would be, but it’s a solid and entertaining game that’s rich in atmosphere, with good combat mechanics and an intriguing story.
Gameplanet - 85
The game’s sense of scale is extraordinary and lovingly detailed. Not a single asset in any of the expansive episodic settings feels misplaced. At night, the mist, the shadows and the trees bleed together to create a game world that is equally beautiful and unsettling.Read Full Review >
A challenging and genuinely frightening experience...As a survival horror, Alan Wake succeeds admirably, and comes highly recommended. But as a self-proclaimed "psychological action thriller", it falls short of its ambition.
Game Informer - 85
If you don’t mind periodically revisiting game design from 1999, Alan Wake is an engaging horror mystery that brings the heart of Stephen King’s style of storytelling to the interactive medium.
GameSpot - 85
Creepy atmosphere, fantastic combat, and clever storytelling make Alan Wake's quest thrilling from beginning to end.
Cheat Code Central - 84
Alan Wake is an exceptional thriller that was a pleasure to play. That said, if you're a gamer that exclusively values action, you may find the combat to be too repetitive for your liking.Read Full Review >
1UP - 83
If anything, Alan Wake reminds me of the first Uncharted. It is a great, but flawed work (hello ugly daylight, quirky animations, and a script that mocks the viewer even more than Lost or Twin Peaks) that lays the foundation for what could be an absolutely amazing follow-up. I just hope it doesn't take another five or six years.
Sat here late at night with the trees outside silloutted in the moonlight and sat at my writers desk it seems a perfect time to reflect on Alan Wake. A game I undoubtably have mixed feelings about. A game I only played after dark and a game that I never played alone.
ActionTrip - 81
I really enjoyed the moody ambiance, in addition to the addictive gameplay mechanics, which, you'll have to admit is more important than pompous, fancy graphics...My biggest regret is that this didn't turn out to be a longer game, with more characters and a more intricate plot.Read Full Review >
D PAD Magazine - 80
Despite its flaws, it has class in abundance, which fans of any type of genre will surely appreciate.Read Full Review >
Eurogamer Spain - 80
Alan Wake lacks that little spark of genious that distinguishes a good game from a masterpiece, an H.P. Lovecraft from your average Stephen King.
GamePro - 80
It isn't perfect, but Alan Wake is a superb mystery that has plenty to offer. Gamers willing to put up with the minor inconsistencies will be rewarded with a rich narrative that's definitely worth experiencing.
Giant Bomb - 80
The game weaves a powerful narrative web around a core third-person action model that's largely satisfying even when its lack of variety becomes apparent in the later stages of the game. Even a thousand plaid-wearing axemen aren't enough to slow the driving momentum of these uncanny events, or make the game's foreboding forests one iota less unsettling.
Games Radar (in-house) - 80
Like slipping in and out of a nightmare, Alan Wake is a mixed experience. You'll adore the game's well-written characters and grow obsessed with the deeply intellectual story, but thanks to repetitive action and uninspired levels, reaching the end and solving the mystery can sometimes prove a bit tedious.
BigPond GameArena - 80
What Alan Wake is then is an outstanding piece of writing. The replayability will come from your drive to find all the manuscript pages you missed previously - you’ll need to put together each element of the story. You’ll want to just get lost in Alan Wake - and if you decide to pick it up, you’ll find it hard not to.
Official Xbox Magazine UK - 80
Alan Wake is a strange beast - a great story, told clumsily and strewn with odd characters saying vaguely unbelievable things in an earnest way that might or might not be a joke. However, as baffling as it can be, it really does hold its own, keeping you nervous, excited and rolling your eyes indulgently so regularly that it simply won't occur to you to stop playing.
GamerZone - 80
Alan Wake flip-flops between brilliant and mundane, a powerful example of gaming at its finest, and an average thriller. The environments are beautiful, and saturated in subtle allusions and symbolism. Pretty scenery can't mask grievances such as disappearing weapons and formulaic progression though. Alan Wake is rarely terrifying, but the mysteries and revelations of Wake's journey bear more than enough weight to pull you through the rough spots, and towards the extraordinary finale.
Gamer.nl - 80
Alan Wake is all about the story. It is told very well and constructed in such an intelligent way, that you want to complete the game in one blow. Even though the gameplay itself good, it’s not nearly on the same level.
Gamereactor Denmark - 80
An intriguing and gripping story steeped in an atmosphere so thick you can cut it with a knife, coupled with a cool gimmick for the action sequences. Excellent while it lasts. Not a lot of replayability, though.
games(TM) - 80
Its simplicity is also its greatest strength. The combat is fluid and utterly engaging from the very first moment, leaving Remedy free to build atmosphere, drama and tension through the stunning game-world and its oddball inhabitants. Granted, by the end we were wishing for another dimension to the gameplay, but only in the interest of elevating the experience from very good to legitimate greatness.Read Full Review >
"Alan Wake is a great game and is really worthy of your time and money. It offers a unique experience unlike anything else on 360. However, one can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed at the end of it all. For a game that spent so much time in development, Remedy has created a fine product that probably could have been so much more. That said, its stumblings are mostly forgivable and it offers more than a few scares and interesting moments to keep you coming back for more."
Eurogamer Portugal - 80
Quotation forthcoming.Read Full Review >
GamerNode - 80
Whether it cleverly incorporates literary technique or intentionally obfuscates meaning is a mystery, but inventive and effective gameplay mechanics combine with excellent art and sound design to make what is an enjoyable game, regardless of the intellect.
Total Video Games - 80
There’s certainly a feeling throughout the experience that what the game gives you with one hand, it quickly takes away with the other. Ultimately though, the survival-horror genre is in desperate need of a new poster boy, and Alan Wake just about fills that remit.
GameSpy - 80
Unfortunately, the most fitting literary comparison is that several long stretches of repetitive gameplay will make you feel like you're wandering aimlessly through the woods of an unedited novel.
Thunderbolt - 80
The Finnish developers have built a believable universe surrounded by a strong narrative, impressive storytelling techniques and enjoyable combat with a unique twist. It has its flaws with repetition, linearity and some poor presentational issues, but this is a world ripe for a sequel to improve upon every single aspect.Read Full Review >
Everyeye.it - 78
The great screenplay is overruled by clumsy and repetitious gameplay. The thrill is there, but too many flaws in the core experience make it a solely discreet game.Read Full Review >
Gaming Age - 75
It's no Heavy Rain, but for a game that intended to be loaded with atmosphere and digitize what playing a novel might be like, it delivers on all fronts.Read Full Review >
The Onion (A.V. Club) - 75
The narration is the centerpiece of a misguided effort to keep players from drawing their own conclusions. That’s a disappointment, given the enormous potential here.
MEGamers - 75
In this day and age, after games like Bioshock, Mass Effect and Heavy Rain that successfully blended high quality storytelling and solid gameplay mechanics, Alan Wake doesn’t exactly set new boundaries. By comparison, it comes off across as a derivative and dated affair.
Gamer's Hell - 70
Surprises that turn into expectations; non-adventuring; facial animations that can't keep up with the scenery and objects in the game world without weight physics: these are all elements, that if done well, would round out the game to make it the epic it was hyped to be. In the end, I feel safer in Remedy's woods than I do in the actual backcountry of Washington.Read Full Review >
Gamereactor Sweden - 70
Great eerie graphics and sound make for a chilling setting in Remedy's long-awaited psychological thriller. It's a shame the enemies are dull clones, that the gunplay gets old fast and that it never really gets scary.
Eurogamer - 70
Alan Wake is an accessible, undemanding game with a neat combat mechanic and decent visuals. It's just not a very original game, it's certainly not an exceptional one, and it's a shame it wasn't ready a few years ago.
Edge - 70
Ultimately, Alan Wake is every bit as compulsive and satisfying as the fiction on which it riffs, but it also runs the risk of being equally forgettable. It’s a game that delivers the requisite number of twists, turns and thrills, but the only real revelations take place on those scattered manuscript pages. As a franchise, Alan Wake’s future is assured – Remedy is already working on downloadable content and has plans for a sequel – but next time around the action will need to keep pace with the deft plotting.
GameCritics - 65
Five years (plus) in the making, Remedy Entertainment's Alan Wake is finally upon us. Having gone through several changes and an unusually long development period, one of the biggest question marks in recent video game history has finally materialized. Billed as a psychological thriller and positioned to be one of Microsoft's biggest titles of 2010, this 360 exclusive has a lot to live up to. Though the game can justifiably boast a few successful elements, it ultimately ends up being a case of too little, too late.
GameXplain - 60
"Possibly the best feature of the game is graphical. The art direction is nothing short of fantastic. Though most of the numbingly linear game takes place in locales that look identical, the Olympic Peninsula of the Pacific Northwest, it looks good enough (with the same feel as the real McCoy), and there's enough stunning beauty with excellent draw-distance, that the game creates some awe-inspiring moments just from the scenery, even after you've been running around the same thing for several hours. And that's with the sun up."
Guardian - 60
"The first thing that strikes you about Alan Wake is how scary it is. Not just by the usual computer game scariness triggers – dark, loud noises, voiceovers so gravelly they sound like they're being voiced by a throat cancer sufferer – but there is a promising amount of scary material here, right from the gripping opening dream sequence."
Teletext GameCentral - 60
For a game five years in the making this is a disappointingly trivial and repetitive actioner.
Wired - 60
When presented with an infinite number of possible resolutions, any answer is going to feel arbitrary. Alan Wake starts strong but finishes weak; neither the gameplay nor the story deliver on their potential by the time the credits roll.