Alan Wake – PC/360
The more astute amongst you may note that Alan Wake did not come out this year, which for 360 owners is a true statement. Feburary this year, however, brought about the PC release, and with it my ability to finally play this Twin Peaks inspired survival-horror/adventure/mental fest.
Alan Wake was one of the few games that I wish I had owned a 360 for. Everything about it, from the surreal nature of the environment, the unnerving nature of all of the peripheral characters.
I am glad to say that all of my hopes for the game were validated. You will not have played another game like this last year, and possibly ever. The constant unsettling atmosphere, where you are never sure how much of what is happening is actually occurring or just in Alan’s mind. The dedication to the TV show concept, with each new chapter beginning on a “Previously on Alan Wake” and ending on a title card (a theme in two of my top 5 games this year) only adds to the effect they very successfully create.
On top of the gameplay, as a technical achievement it is a very impressive feat. I do not own the most powerhouse of PCs, yet the stunning lighting and environment work were shown in full force without affecting performance. This really is a stunning looking game.
I would highly recommend that if you are going to pick this game up you also get the 2 pieces of DLC “The Signal” and “The Writer”. When the core game arrived at its conclusion, there was very little in the way of resolution. “The Writer” especially rounds the story off in a much more satisfying way