Alan Wake Review
I suspect this might have something to do with the pacing. The game is divided up into six episodes. It’s meant to feel like a television show, complete with the “Previously on Alan Wake…” refresh at the start of each new episode. The problem is that the first two chapters are tedious. I was flat-out bored and stopped playing the game for a little over a month. It felt like the same thing over and over - wander through a forest, kill an enemy or two, collect a coffee thermos here and there, and repeat.
To be honest, I didn’t plan on ever going back to Alan Wake. It’s the free downloadable content that had me give the game another shot. I’m glad I did. At first, it was a chore to keep playing, but after the fourth episode, you couldn’t get me to stop playing.
I think the appeal comes from seeing Alan Wake’s world literally fall apart around him. There are amazing scripted sequences, where it feels like the surroundings are being torn to pieces and all you can do is run. It’s also nice to see more characters introduced. The sheriff in particular makes for a fun cooperative play. She really helps you out at times and has surprisingly good aim. It feels like you get to know the town by the end of the game, which is pretty satisfying, as well.
But it’s a shame that Alan Wake has such a slow start. If it could have added some of those dynamic escape sequences early on, I think Alan Wake could have been a lot more enjoyable. It’s a game that will test your patience during the first few hours… but if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded.
My other main concern with Alan Wake involves the story. The game is very cryptic, to the point where it’s just frustrating. The dialogue, too, isn’t always top notch, and some of the lines are pretty cheesy. Still, it does have a few interesting twists and turns that will keep you interested in what’s happening. The problem, again, is that these twists don’t come until too late. The story at the beginning of Alan Wake is slow - it takes more than half the game to pick up in pace.
The learning curve, frustrating story, and cryptic story make Alan Wake a game that starts off a little bit boring and a little bit frustrating. Once the pieces fall into place, however, Alan Wake delivers an engaging, enjoyable experience. I only wish it could have delivered some of those great moments earlier on.
If you’re like me, and stopped playing, I suggest you give Alan Wake another chance. It gets better with each episode, I swear. I think you’re going to like where the game goes.