“… PaJamieez completes the entirety of Alan Wake and knocks another game off his list. But even as another weight is loosed from his shoulders, other worlds wait on the horizon. Before the he embarks on his next journey, PaJamieez contemplates his latest trial…”
You’d Love This Game, You’re a Writer
Friends have told me to play Alan Wake because I’m a writer. Joke’s on them; I’m only a writer when someone pays me for my work. So when I started playing Alan Wake, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to identify with this character, and I was mostly right. The New York apartment, the critical success, the blowing off of loved ones to get a written piece done- the life of Alan Wake is something I couldn’t identify with. No, Alan Wake the writer wasn’t as relatable as Alan Wake the man. His insecurities were my own, and when those insecurities manifested later in the game- let’s just say I’d be lying if a few of those one liners hit a little close to home.
Next Time on Alan Wake…
Never the less, Alan Wake’s character development is an engaging balance of failure through successes. Sometimes, in between the running, puzzle solving, and fighting for your life, the player gets a glimpse into his relationship between his wife and his best friend. Alan’s always trying to do the right thing, but sometimes it comes at the expense of others. Alan Wake (the game) always knows that there’s time for drama, but it isn’t afraid to express its comedic moments along side its mysteries. Some would say that the game is actually a parody of prime time television shows like Twin Peaks. If the Night Springs collectible story items didn’t give it away, the game’s pacing surely makes that impression known.
The narrative moves like a television mini series. Each chapter begins with a “Last time, on Alan wake” montage, and ends with a different 90’s inspired band playing out the credits. Those end cards are a really great change of pace from all the nonstop action of games like Tomb Raider, as I felt there was never a good time to just take a break since the sense of urgency was constant. Alan Wake however, gives the player time to think about the last chapter. Truth be told, I welcomed it.
Night Springs and Things
The weird stuff really comes out in the DLC and expansion, both of which take place after Alan Wake (the game) ends. If you haven’t played Alan Wake by now. Spoiler Alert: Alan survives Bright Falls. The downloadable DLC covers this journey as two additional episodes and the game starts getting weird. I mean REALLY weird:
The DLC offers a great back drop for the expansion and even cleans up some loose ends of the plot, while introducing newer plot lines, including the inevitable introduction of
Mr. Scratch, the psychopathic manifestation of people’s public perception of Alan Wake, twisted into reality with by the power of Calderon Lake. In fact, American Nightmare is all about the hunt for Mr. Scratch, as you try to break out of his Groundhog’s Day like trap.
While American Nightmare’s story is certainly a protraction of the first game, it can certainly stand alone. The introduction gives enough context for it to exist in its own vacuum. The expansion offers a tightening up of the combat system, which was a bit clunky in the original, is now on par with Resident Evil 4. I know it’s a bold statement that is likely to draw ire, but the combat was so satisfying, I didn’t mind diving into the arcade mode; a big deal when you’re trying to get to the next game. Each weapon feels weighty, and effective; even enemies that were designed to be bullet sponges took just enough effort to be satisfying. Dodging is tighter, the flash light doesn’t take long to recharge, and new types of enemy are thrown at you.
Overall, the experience of playing Alan Wake was pretty satisfying. It was my second, third-person-action-adventure game that I played within a month’s time, and was a good follow up from Tomb Raider. It definitely sets me up for the change in pace my next game is going to be.
Blog / Library / General Updates
- Alan Wake
- Alan Wake DLC
- Alan Wake: American Nightmare
- Gigantic (beta)
Hey Guys! Thanks for following me along my Steam journey, I’ve been having a great time exploring the games in my Steam Library. (It gives me something to write home abouIt’s honestly a great change of pace since I got off my Guild Wars 2 addiction. t.) I basically get to play games and make stuff at the same time. Speaking of which, I started messing around with video capturing and editing software. I downloaded Lightworks over the weekend and recorded some Alan Wake game play. I’ll post it on youtube when I have edited to be as hilarious as possible.
The Steam Library didn’t get updated: (Thank goodness) but I did manage to get into the Gigantic beta. I don’t know what I can talk about regarding that game’s NDA, but I can probably tell you that the installation requires Microsoft/Xbox account. You should already have one if you’ve ever been on Xbox Live, but for those that don’t, you will have to add another password to your key ring. I played the intro and man, it’s pretty neat. I’m still fighting with the controls though, since I usually play my PC games with one of these.
Over all, I think I’m hitting a groove. I still get my day to day activities done (Make dinner, clean the apartment, laundry.) and I’ve started going to the gym again. Though, my social life has taken a large hit. All for the sake of progress!
Next Week: Alien: Isolation