Alan wake came out on consoles in 2010 and was also promised to PC users, who patiently waited, 2 whole years extra to play the game. It's finally come out on PC and we've been lucky enough to play it. I use the term lucky lightly because its sort of a prison sentence, you come out of prison stronger than you were before, but only because of how grindingly mind numbing it is.
Not once did I see this much light in-game.
Now saying lucky is relative. The game is basically every Steven King novel ever, cello-taped to max Payne lost in a dark forest. Now I'm not a big fan of Steven King, mainly because birds are not scary, bulldozers don't come to life and small puddles of black tar aren't going to rip your legs off. The game is by no means bad, its just not really scary, getting chased by a possessed bulldozer only to run 5-10 feet to stand under a lamp rendering the bulldozer useless and all enemies harmless.
For some reason your enemies need a torch shone in their eyes before you can kill them. Its cool though, because if you light them up for long enough they suddenly start obeying the laws of physics and become susceptible to hot lead. Ammo is quite limited in supply, until you run into an entire dumpster full every now and then when a boss shadow decides to fight you. You get to use everything in the hick arsenal, a revolver, a hunting rifle, a flare gun, some shotguns, and flash-bangs. one thing about this game that REALLY gets to me is the fact that flares last about 5 seconds. Yes, it's just me nit picking, but its a well known fact that flares last for AT LEAST 15 minutes, or else no one would ever use them, what is the point of a light source that doesn't last? Its not like you need to do your seeing in short bursts occasionally once a week or so, seeing is GENERALLY an important part of having eyes. Also, what shitty flashlight only last for 20 seconds, and has the ability to boost it's power? I'd LOVE to see the committee that designed that idea. Yeap, lots of bright light in a short amount of time is JUST as good less light for a long time. It's not heroin, its light. You can't snowball a bag of photons. Just because Gordon Freeman has a shitty light source, doesn't mean I'm going to forgive you for having one too. YOU aren't a theoretical physicist, you didn't take down most of the combine, and kill a 4 - legged ejaculating testicle.
For some reason energizer, the battery company then decided that putting their products in the game that makes their torches out to be complete shit was a good way to do some marketing, because the first thing you think when playing this game is my god, this torch is the last piece of lighting equipment I’d ever spend my money on, making me wonder whether energizer actually had anyone play the game before they paid remedy to ruin their reputation to every gamer on earth.
Its a good thing gamers don't go outside. Thank god you can't see a brand name on the flares... Its a game mechanic I know and I probably shouldn't be pointing this out in a game where crows are absolutely deadly to humans, bear traps all have lights attached to them so that you can avoid them without even so much as glancing at where you are going and in which you get attacked by a bridge. Also a rail-yard starts throwing most of itself at you, only to be defeated by the use of flash-bangs... Yes, Steven kings fans are a crazy lot, especially when they shove all of his books in a blender and then pour them into a USB port and all over a game they made.
The game's graphics are pretty good, though not anything mind-boggling, they look about the same as Max Payne 2, a game from 2003, (way to go Sony and Microsoft) the lighting is fairly good, with only a few glitches with anti-aliasing. The part that lets this game down is that for something so story driven, the facial animation system might as well have come from quake 3 arena. the first time you see Alan’s wife talking to him, you figure that Alan must either be well endowed, or his wife mus be cheating on him, because her mouth hangs open at all times.
You start noticing that everyone in the game talks that way, leading me to believe that either the system used to provide facial animation is broken, or that this game is just an incredibly well choreographed gay parade, that was prefaced by a 'give Mandingo head' competition.
Now being a Steven King book, the story Is pretty good but unfortunately the game drags it's heels and after having played plants versus zombies it makes me wish that instead of being a regular zombie this game need either a pogo stick, or a balloon to get it to get a move on. the game spawns enemies as you move through certain areas, which basically forces you to move at a set, and incredibly slow pace, meaning that no matter what, the fastest you can ever kill anything is as long as it takes to accept that it's had enough light shone on it, and it is now no-longer bullet proof.
All this makes it drag really really badly, meaning that in the story driven game, you don't really get that much story, unless of course you read the pages of the manuscript, which tell you everything about the game but take forever to get through making the already too long game, longer. Also, since the main character is a writer, they obviously made him exactly as fit as one and he cannot run more than a few meters without stopping to catch his breath, making the game even slower.
Its the same thing as every other survival horror, your hero is unable to run because of a reason, for instance in Condemned you are just a slow because you're boring, in Dead Space you are slow because Sony says so, because engineers can't sprint, especially if they wear super suits, and here you're slow because your life is spent hitting a type writer while sitting on your arse all day (kinda like me). So of most survival games this one, with the most twisted story line, actually has the best reason for you being a worthless fighter, apart from the fact that you are an absolute ace with a firearm, and can get perfect kill shots while holding a big fat mostly worthless flashlight pointed at the exact spot you are aiming. Yeap, it makes a journalist feel awesome.
The game is by no means bad, its very atmospheric, its pretty suspense filled, the story is absolutely bonkers, but ruined if you've read so much as a chapter of Mr King's work, since its all rehashed Alan alla King with typical Rockstar game chunks.
If you are looking for a good horror story, then you've found a game that is 'scary' and is right up there with Condemned, Criminal Origins, and Call of Cthulhu.
Tl;dr Alan Wake is tl;dr. Steven king the video adventure.