Crispy Gamer

Outlook 2010: Alan Wake

Alan Wake
Evan Narcisse

Evan Narcisse:
Despite the fact that a writer makes for an unlikely action hero, my own experience makes me predisposed to like Alan Wake.

People will bitch about how long the game's been in development, but I'm still excited for the level of psychological depth it promises. Alan seems like a guy who has already lived a life, who's really got something to lose. He doesn't have one of those clich?d "special hero destinies." He just wants to find his wife.

The neurotic animations and shadowy enemies I saw at E3 felt believable -- like the real world with a filter of terror laid over it. The way Alan stumbles as he runs, and the notes of panic in the voice work, resemble how an average person might react to the unbelievable. Using light as weapon not only makes for a cool combat mechanic, but serves as a good metaphor for the act of writing. A writer can bring things to light or pull an audience into dark corners.

I also like the episodic television show structure. Who doesn't want to creep around their way through a videogame version of "Twin Peaks"? Alan Wake's strong thematics and creative pedigree -- Remedy brought us Max Payne, after all -- give me hope that it will be worth the wait.

Kyle Orland

Kyle Orland:
I've been excited about Alan Wake ever since I first saw it back at a Microsoft Europe promotional event in 2006. Back then, the dynamic lighting and environmental effects helped add atmosphere to the annoyingly expositional storytelling on display. Since then, though, as I've seen the game go through delay after delay, part of me is dreading the product that will finally come out of such development hell.

True, developers sometimes need a little extra time to put on that final bit of spit and polish, but more than three years of spit and polish seems a little excessive. Alan Wake's long development time suggests to me that Remedy may have had problems translating its vision for the game to the screen. Maybe Remedy got it in the end, but it's just as likely Microsoft forced it to stop before the game became a Duke Nukem Forever-style piece of vaporware. We'll see.

Our Outlook for the first half of 2010 continues...