If you're in the mood for a Twin Peaks-style, pseudo-Resident Evil experience, then Alan Wake can be nabbed off Grainger Games (which I'm hoping isn't Harry Potter-related) for just £14.99.
I reviewed Alan Wake in May, and while I simply loved the visuals and atmosphere, dripping with polish, I found the maddeningly repetitive combat, overly linear progression and poor writing to be major setbacks to an otherwise solid title. Alan Wake isn't for everybody. It's surprisingly old-school, but if you're in the market for an atmospheric, narrative-driven experience, Wake delivers.
Set in the idyllic resort of Bright Falls, all pine forests and jagged mountains. Alan Wake, a popular novelist who's suffering from a bad bout of writer's block, is on vacation with wife, Alice, hoping to rekindle his writing instincts. But when Alice disappears, and Alan begins to discover pages to a manuscript he wrote years ago, the scenes he envisioned coming to life before his very eyes, he realizes overcoming his artistic boundaries may be the least of his problems.
Visually, Alan Wake is spectacular. Even the beam from Alan's trusty flashlight is incredibly, filtering through tree-foliage, casting shadows and whittling away the fizzing cloaks of 'Taken' foot-soldiers. Ah, the 'Taken'. Bright Falls residents, claimed by the town's dark force, feeding on Wake's stories. 'Taken', at first, are terrifying foes, emerging from the gloom, living shadows wielding axes and pitch-forks, impervious to bullets, vulnerable only to light.
But then repetition seeps in, and the once iconic villians become a stale sight. It doesn't matter how many emerge. They're boring to fight endlessly, only effective in sparing numbers. Even the 'bosses', possessed vehicles like trucks, fail to deliver, simply advancing forward and reversing, totally devoid of personality or, truthfully, threat. Alan Wake fails to vary the formula, and as engrossing a stroll in the moonlit forest may be, doing it for the twentieth time is anything but indelible.