Alan Wake was one of those games I never got around to on my Xbox 360. After three Red Rings of Death, I decided to give up on the console and, by extension, any exclusive games I had yet to play on it. Within the past few months, the recently released (2021) remaster of Alan Wake was offered up on PlayStation Plus, so I figured I’d give it a shot with the next game releasing on my birthday. I must say, despite all the curiosity I’ve built up over the years, I was rather disappointed.
And all of this would be fine and dandy were everything else top tier, but that isn’t the case. The gameplay is two-pronged; the gun combat can be enjoyable, but the traversal is irritating. Eliminating a group of enemies by shining a light on them until they’re weakened is a unique mechanic that takes a bit of strategy to manage (particularly when there are more enemies on screen). Shining a light on an enemy not only briefly stops/slows an enemy, but eventually allows Alan to eliminate them. Using a flashlight, flash-bang grenades, flares, and flare guns to cast out the darkness can be exhilarating. In some instances, however, it can be frustrating. Whenever the game decided to spawn enemies behind me without a visual or audio cue, I wasn’t frightened, only annoyed. Nothing like getting hit by an axe out of nowhere. This happens frequently throughout the adventure but isn’t as egregious as the poltergeist props in the game. Oh boy. At some point in the story, random things fly at and attack Alan. It wasn’t a fun mechanic to navigate and I hope to never see it in another game again.
Objective Assessment: 5/10
Bonus: +1 for flashlight/gun gameplay. +1 for some catchy soundtrack songs.
Penalties: - 2 for everything else.
Nerd Coefficient: 5/10
Posted by: Joe DelFranco - Fiction writer and lover of most things video games. On most days you can find him writing at his favorite spot in the little state of Rhode Island.