An American Horror: Alan Wake
As one of the most memorable games from my childhood, Alan Wake holds a special place in my heart. Developed by Remedy Entertainment, this action-adventure game was released for XBOX 360 and Microsoft Windows. Since its release it has remained soley on those two platforms which has killed me inside being that I made the switch from XBOX 360 to PlayStation 4 forever ago.
For those who aren't familiar with the game here's a quick summary. The game follows best-selling thriller novelist Alan Wake as he seeks to discover the mysteries behind his wife's disappearance while they were attempting a vacation in the small town of Bright Falls. As Alan Wake runs through this mystery he begins to experience events from the plotline of his latest novel. His biggest problem is that he can't recall writing the novel.
I think what was so memorable about this game was the way the developers set it up to play out like a television show. Each episode like level even contains plot twists and cliffhangers. For me, as a player, that was the first time that I had experienced a game quite like this. Reminder that this game released back in 2010. A game that sort gices me the same feel now a days is Until Dawn which has a very episodic flow to it.
The gameplay was very well done as well. With the feel of a psychological thriller and all the beauty of a cinematic action game, Alan Wake kept you going. It was six episodes of you, as the player, just wanting to know so bad what happens next. The game takes place in the small town of Bright Falls in various places. During the day things are calmer and non-combative. This gives you the moment to breath and just take in your surroundings while searching out clues.
In the game this darkness has taken over the humans of the town, and even some of the animals have fallen victim to this strange darkness as it seeks to destroy Alan Wake as he tries to get through the game. These people are known as the 'Taken,' and when they have been taken over by the darkness they become murderous and crazed. The vary in speed, size, and the damage they can take. Some of these creatures even have the ability to teleport short distances which adds to a nice jump here and there when they are coming after you.
When it comes to attacking the 'Taken' you must have light. The 'Taken' are protected by the darkness which allows them to continue to come at you non-stop. When the light touches them it makes them vulnerable and that is your chance to take them down with your weapon.
In a sense the whole thing sort of reminded me a Stephen King novel idea.
Something that I had been hoping for was a sequel to this brilliantly made game, but the developers scrapped the idea over time. I am excited that the idea for this scrapped sequel set in motion the inspiration for Remedy's next title, Quantum Break.
My hope is that eventually this game will be remade and released for all platforms. It would be so awesome, after nine years, to play through that amazing story once again.