we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Najibu's thoughts on Alan Wake

Despite a menagerie of things I had to do during the school break, I managed to finish at least one game out of the few new games I bought. That game was Alan Wake, a game that I think is one of the most surprisingly good game I've played this year.

The game plays like a mix between Resident Evil and Dead Space. I feel that Alan Wake controls better than the two games I mentioned and the result is a very satisfying shooter. Unfortunately, the game lacks variety to keep things fresh from start to finish thanks to a very limited type of weapons and enemies available in the game. The game could also use some more different settings as the bulk of the action will take place in the dark foggy forrest.

I find myself liking the game more for it's story more rather than the gameplay. The story is a well thought out one, but it's the superb story telling that really holds the game together. I especially liked the way how the game is broken into several episodes, similar to those mini series frequently aired on HBO. Each episode ends with a masterfully done cliffhanger that I find myself wanting to play more just to know what is going to happen next in the story. Each episode also begins with a quick recap of the previous episode. Honestly, I find it hardly necessary, but it's really cool so I'll give them points for that.

The game looks as good as any good 360 game but the lighting and shadow effects makes the game seem prettier than it actually is. My other complaint is the bad lip synching during the cutscenes. While not terrible, it's not up to the standard of recent games.

Alan Wake is a pretty short game - I finished it in under 10 hours, so that might keep some people off this game. My suggestion is either wait for the price to drop or borrow it from a friend. Heck, steal it if you have to (If you got caught, I won't be held responsible). The point is, despite its inherent flaws it is a game that should be played, if only to see how developer Remedy has taken story telling in video games to the next level.

For an in-depth review of Alan Wake, kindly watch this video review by GiantBomb's Brad Shoemaker.

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