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post #31 of 117 Old 05-08-2010, 08:44 PM
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So my friend who used to work at a game store still knew someone there so I could pick this up early today.... I'm three chapters in and I have to say that this just surpassed Splinter Cell as my current (though admittedly still early in the year) GOTY pick.

I'm absolutely loving it. The atmosphere is perfect, the game is both creepy and scary at times (without any of the cheap scares you got from say, something like Doom 3 back in the day), and the story is really good so far, and almost perfectly executed / voice casted, etc. Oh, and the music is absolutely perfect (loved the use of Poe at the end of 'episode 2'), and the miniature TV show and radio DJ are great as well.

Only two nitpicks I had are that the lip syncing is atrocious and that it took me a little while to get used to how far to the side of the screen your character is (and so walking forward actually looks diagonal) but I can understand how they had to do this so you can see the light in front of you better.

And it's a little weird to go immediately from the action of the previous 'episode' to "Previously on Alan Wake". To me, it'd make more sense if it at least gave you the option to quit or continue there. I mean, the reason it's needed on TV is that there's a week between episodes. When you just finished the episode and then move directly to the next one, it's really a waste.

Out of curiosity, for those of you who played it already, did you read each manuscript page as you found it? I do, but it bothers me a little that there's slight spoilers at times. But then I rationalize it by saying that it makes sense to the story that he'd be reading about these things and confused by them before they happened at times. I don't know, I haven't been able to make a decision on that yet.

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post #32 of 117 Old 05-08-2010, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

And it's a little weird to go immediately from the action of the previous 'episode' to "Previously on Alan Wake". To me, it'd make more sense if it at least gave you the option to quit or continue there.

Agreed. It makes for a natural break in the action, and the "previously on" bit would let you get caught back up to speed after a day or two off. Instead, they just dump you straight into the next episode. It's a minor complaint though.

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Out of curiosity, for those of you who played it already, did you read each manuscript page as you found it? I do, but it bothers me a little that there's slight spoilers at times.

I really liked this aspect of the game.

Some of the events you read about happened in the past already, some will happen in the immediate future, and some happen far in the future. But it's very rarely clear which one it is. I love that about the game. Adds to the sense of suspense and gives you one of the most unusual approaches to character development I've ever seen (in a game, novel, or film). The closest thing I can think of is maybe the movie Memento (from which Alan Wake borrows some other plot and structure ideas). And once you finish the game, this sense of temporal disorientation gets even crazier. So good.

I've started playing on Nightmare difficulty. Makes it a totally different game. You can't really stand around and fight since it takes so many bullets to kill the enemies. A lot more strategic escaping, distracting, and slowing enemies down. I really hope this game does well enough to justify a full-blown sequel. As good as this game is, it would greatly benefit from some tweaking here and there in the design (more varied enemy types, more open level design, etc).

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post #33 of 117 Old 05-08-2010, 10:02 PM
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I really liked this aspect of the game.

Some of the events you read about happened in the past already, some will happen in the immediate future, and some happen far in the future. But it's very rarely clear which one it is. I love that about the game. Adds to the sense of suspense and gives you one of the most unusual approaches to character development I've ever seen (in a game, novel, or film). The closest thing I can think of is maybe the movie Memento (from which Alan Wake borrows some other plot and structure ideas). And once you finish the game, this sense of temporal disorientation gets even crazier. So good.

If you haven't seen it before, you might enjoy In the Mouth of Madness by John Carpenter. It uses the technique of a horror writer's manuscript shaping reality pretty effectively. It also has a similar plot idea where a dark force takes over a town of normal people. Not literal darkness like Alan Wake, though. Like most John Carpenter films it's fairly cheesy, but it's not too bad.
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post #34 of 117 Old 05-08-2010, 10:24 PM
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I think I like the manuscript idea more with the pages that don't reference Wake directly, as the ones that do seem to have more spoilers than the rest. But like I said, I do agree that it fits well with the story, and yeah, it does help give the feeling of confusion and delirium that the character is supposed to be feeling.

I think (so far at least) that this probably is my favorite horror/thriller game since Eternal Darkness. RE4 was great, but was much more about just blasting the hell out of anything you see. The Silent Hill remake on the Wii was the closest to doing it right that I've seen in a while, but I didn't like the entire helpless feeling in that game (as there were no weapons, you had no choice but to run). This does the creepiness perfectly, while still having you feel like survival is actually in your hands.

Edit: Oh, and one thing to keep in mind while playing is that it liberally borrows from pretty much every book and movie in the genre. However, the fact that a real psychological thriller is so rarely done in videogames more than makes up for that, so it still feels fresh.

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post #35 of 117 Old 05-08-2010, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrisg View Post

If you haven't seen it before, you might enjoy In the Mouth of Madness by John Carpenter. It uses the technique of a horror writer's manuscript shaping reality pretty effectively. It also has a similar plot idea where a dark force takes over a town of normal people. Not literal darkness like Alan Wake, though. Like most John Carpenter films it's fairly cheesy, but it's not too bad.

Sounds right up my alley. I'll definitely check it out.

I've read the Lovecraft stuff that I assume it's based on (In the Mountains of Madness, and whatnot). Lovecraft has a bunch of stories like that where artists' or writers' work comes true (or seems to). And to play literature dork for second, if you look at the history of horror and gothic fiction, it's a pretty common idea. It's in Stephen King, Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray, etc, etc. Yet another reason why I think Alan Wake is such a well-written game.

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post #36 of 117 Old 05-13-2010, 04:15 AM
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Wow. Only a 84 so far on Metacritic. Not the elite game I was hoping for.

Actually, I could sort of tell that this wouldn't be my thing. I appreciate Remedy making it an action....but maybe they shouldn't have. I mean, a cover-based, shoot em up game is one thing. But, in the dark, with a flashlight and pistol (or shotgun) just seems sort of boring. Yeah, I know, Bioshock was similar. But, the episodic nature of this one is a turn off, too. Whatever the case, not quite feeling this one.

Sports games not rated in the 90's on Metacritic is one thing. But, games that come out every 2 or 3....or 7 years, to be in production so long, and still "come up short" is just crazy, IMO.

Oh well, looks like I saved $60!

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post #37 of 117 Old 05-13-2010, 06:23 AM
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I'm stoked about this game!

To those of you who have played it.... how's it stack up against Dead Space? Esp. in the audio department.

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post #38 of 117 Old 05-13-2010, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by LAKE4742 View Post

Wow. Only a 84 so far on Metacritic. Not the elite game I was hoping for.

Rather than blindly trusting the Metacritic average on this one, I'd choose individual sites whose opinions you trust. There's a definite critical divide with this one (similar to what happened with the first Assassin's Creed). Some really love it. Others, less so. Half of the sites on Metacritic have actually scored the game in the 90s, but some notable sites gave it lower scores, and Metacritic adds some of its own secret weighting mojo to those. Regardless, the deciding factor seems to be whether or not critics buy into the setting and whether or not they get tired of the core mechanics or not.

Me, personally, I think it's the best game of the year so far, but it does have a couple of small flaws (the environments and enemies start repeating in the last two episodes, and the story goes bonkers in the game's final hour or so). Even if you don't buy it, you should absolutely play it.

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To those of you who have played it.... how's it stack up against Dead Space? Esp. in the audio department.

In terms of audio design it equals (and often surpasses) Dead Space. And the technical quality of the audio is pretty much on par with Dead Space. Voice acting is decent. It has some of the best uses of licensed music ever in a game. And the score is top-notch. Audiophiles will not be disappointed.

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post #39 of 117 Old 05-14-2010, 05:31 AM
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^Thanks^

Whoa! That's impressive. I think Dead Space is the best audio I have ever exp. in a game. I must have this Alan Wake, and it's creepy noises.

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post #40 of 117 Old 05-14-2010, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

In terms of audio design it equals (and often surpasses) Dead Space. And the technical quality of the audio is pretty much on par with Dead Space. Voice acting is decent. It has some of the best uses of licensed music ever in a game. And the score is top-notch. Audiophiles will not be disappointed.

I now, must buy this game. Dead Space is still one of my favorite games ever because of the sound design. That game freaked me out. First time you meet the Alien that can't be killed. That was awesome!

From the sites I read and like, It has scored well. The minor complaints I have heard don't bother me at all. Most say it is a must buy.

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post #41 of 117 Old 05-15-2010, 07:04 AM
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I hate the audio engineering in Dead Space. It has overly compressed dynamic range and plenty of digital clipping. There is no real benefit for games to do this other than appeal to brute loudness crowd.

Listen to the original Alien(s) films and you understand better that having dynamic range improves the scares considerably because when there is a stinger in the soundtrack it far more potent and effective.

I sure hope Alan Wake uses prudent sound engineering techniques so I can enjoy the experience more rather than wincing from ears hurting half the time.

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post #42 of 117 Old 05-18-2010, 07:53 AM
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Updated my post one page one with my final review--hope it helps some of you out.


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post #43 of 117 Old 05-18-2010, 08:44 AM
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I played a couple of chapters last night.

WOW!

I've never had chills running down my back like this in a very long long time. Certainly not from playing video games. The story really sets you up for deep immersive experience that envelopes you.

The atmosphere, music is just great. I LOVE the way Taken just appears with a whispy cloud, so CREEPY!

Really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to some more tonight.
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post #44 of 117 Old 05-18-2010, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hopefully everyone chimes in with their opinions of the game. Deep in RDR right now but I will play this!

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post #45 of 117 Old 05-19-2010, 04:34 AM
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I picked this up yesterday along with Red Dead Redemption with a deal at FS. I was on the fence about Alan Wake since it was being released along side RDR but decided to get both. I am in the mood for a good single player experience so I shelved RDR for a bit and jumped into Alan Wake last night.

Only 1 episode in but I find it a great game so far. Graphics are excellent except for most of the cut scenes. To me it looks like they used older textures and such for their cut scenes. Lip sync is terribly off in most of them so far. Beyond that I find the controls are very good and that Remedy did an excellent job of keeping them tight and easy to get used to.

The story is interesting so far albeit a complete Stephen King novella (he is mentioned in the first scene actually). The action was a little slow in the 1st episode but I think that is for the gamer to get used to the process of destroying enemies. If you are looking for a decent 3rd person shooter where you can actually move as you shoot (you listening Resident Evil?) than I would recommend this title. For me so far I would rate this an 8.9/10 I will post more as I get a chance to move through the episodes.

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post #46 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 06:13 AM
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Played through chapter 1 last night, overall very enjoyable game. Engine is pretty nice, looks great except for (as some have mentioned) cut scenes take an image quality hit for some reason and facial/lip sync animations are soooo bad. Maybe I'm spoiled by having just played Heavy Rain, but the bar has clearly been raised for this kind of motion capture and animation, having facial animtions that look like holiday nutcrackers tends to take you out of the moment on occaission. I've read some people complain of screen tearing but I have yet to see any, so I'm wondering if this isn't an issue for those flying the Jolly Roger?

Story seems decent, little humorous touches here and there are nice, combat is engaging but not overly difficult. The randmon radios, TVs and manuscript pages work pretty well, but I think they are telling of a game that at one time had a much grander scope and someone finally stepped in and said FINISH THE GAME.

Sound is as impessive as people are saying and used to great effect, maybe the best sounding game on the 360?

Controls are... good enough, I don't feel like I'm having any problems doing what I want with the game, but the limited number of control options combined with the (at times) marginal animation and motion capture make it feel like there is an issue, but I think it's really dropped frames in the animation and not a control problem. Once you get the hang of dodging combat is good fun.

Overall a solid buy, too soon to tell if there is any replay value. Achievements are reasonable and I got 7 in chpt 1 and I wasn't even working at it like I do in some games. I got this game for $24 since I have some WorstBuy Rewardzone certs to burn so i feel pretty good about the purchase, time will tell if I would have been glad to pay $60 for this game.

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post #47 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 09:53 AM
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Where is the best deal on this game new? I want it but not at $60
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post #48 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 10:55 AM
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Some clunky play mechanics along with an interesting story and mostly well done presentation. I was honestly expecting much more from this game but it has my interest enough to where I'll see it through (even though it has been fairly repetitive so far it's still entertaining in a strange sort of way).

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post #49 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savageone79 View Post

Where is the best deal on this game new? I want it but not at $60

Amazon hasa good price, $49 with $10 GC.

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post #50 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 02:11 PM
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Thanks!
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post #51 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 02:15 PM
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When you hit episode 3 after that it's all monotonous. Only the last episode it picks up.

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post #52 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 03:46 PM
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Played this one for a couple of days and then brought it back to the video store. Just got a little same-old-same-old after awhile.

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post #53 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Poolshark69 View Post

I picked this up yesterday along with Red Dead Redemption with a deal at FS. I was on the fence about Alan Wake since it was being released along side RDR but decided to get both. I am in the mood for a good single player experience so I shelved RDR for a bit and jumped into Alan Wake last night.

Only 1 episode in but I find it a great game so far. Graphics are excellent except for most of the cut scenes. To me it looks like they used older textures and such for their cut scenes. Lip sync is terribly off in most of them so far. Beyond that I find the controls are very good and that Remedy did an excellent job of keeping them tight and easy to get used to.

The story is interesting so far albeit a complete Stephen King novella (he is mentioned in the first scene actually). The action was a little slow in the 1st episode but I think that is for the gamer to get used to the process of destroying enemies. If you are looking for a decent 3rd person shooter where you can actually move as you shoot (you listening Resident Evil?) than I would recommend this title. For me so far I would rate this an 8.9/10 I will post more as I get a chance to move through the episodes.

Yup I did the same thing - I still got RDR in the cello, I'm still undecided about that game.
Now I played Alan Wake (first episode) and I'm really getting into it, great atmosphere and great sound. Got to play this in the dark with the surround sound cranked up.

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post #54 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 04:43 PM
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just about to finish ep3, really like the game, it is nice to play something different for once.. it is nice not just spraying bullets everywhere and kill guys... would recommend this game... since it is just SP do what i am doing, beat it and trade it in and get 30 dollars for it...
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post #55 of 117 Old 05-20-2010, 11:17 PM
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beat it and trade it in and get 30 dollars for it...

Or, even better, do what I did. Beat it and sell it via Ebay (or Amazon or Craigslist) for $45.

You break a kitten's leg whenever you trade in a game to Gamestop.

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post #56 of 117 Old 05-21-2010, 04:34 AM
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Or, even better, do what I did. Beat it and sell it via Ebay (or Amazon or Craigslist) for $45.

You break a kitten's leg whenever you trade in a game to Gamestop.

Or you use Amazon's trade-in service, less of a mess than eBay and you only bruise a kittens feelings when you use their service.

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post #57 of 117 Old 05-21-2010, 08:52 AM
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I've only had the opportunity to play through the first episode, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and found the sound design to be excellent. Frankly I am shocked that both RDR and AW both have dynamic tracks with little or no distortion due to over compression or clipping.

Most games I have to leave the volume relatively low to be comfortable but these two actually came closer to the levels used for movies. Big plus.

For example in the lumber yard, the river actually sounded like a river as it trickled and flowed in the background and the stacks of logs actually settling and creaking was sweet, partly due to the subtly. When things get loud it actually startled me.

So far the sound design is getting two thumbs up. Same for RDR thus far. Sure wished other developers followed the practice of shear constant loudness does not equate to better.

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post #58 of 117 Old 05-21-2010, 09:22 AM
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Or you use Amazon's trade-in service, less of a mess than eBay and you only bruise a kittens feelings when you use their service.

How do their trade ins compare price-wise? Because, you know, bruised feline emotions are so cute.

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post #59 of 117 Old 05-21-2010, 11:39 AM
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I agree with what others have said. I played through episode 1 and this game has me hooked. Amazing sound design, best I've ever heard in a video game and it sets the mood perfectly. Pretty good week for games on the 360, this and RDR are both great games.

PSN ID: RollTide1017
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post #60 of 117 Old 05-21-2010, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

How do their trade ins compare price-wise? Because, you know, bruised feline emotions are so cute.

Very reasonable, slightly less than eBay but always more than GS.

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool. -Lester Bangs
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