As I mentioned a few entries ago, I have been playing the xbox 360 game; “Alan Wake”. Well, the other day I completed the game, and am now ready to give a full-blown review. So, hold onto your hats, cause away I go!
As I mentioned in my first impression entry, the game was fair but slightly ruined by poor controls. However, I do want to clarify now that, while the controls did take a bit of getting used to, once you were used to them, they were quite easy and comfortable, and to be honest, I can’t imagine playing the game any other way. So, the controls were great, graphics and sound was superb, the acting was wonderful and the story was enjoyable. Overall I would have to say Alan Wake was a pleasurable experience.
Although, pleasurable as it might be, it was far from perfect! I’ve given you the pluses, now it’s time for the negatives.
To begin with, the game felt like a long playable commercial for energizer and Verizon. I think I saw “Energizer” more times than I saw and heard the name “Alan Wake”. Perhaps they should have just called the game “And going…and going…”? I am seriously surprised that at some point the energizer bunny didn’t come beating his drum across the screen.
Next, the game is way too short! The game is divided into 6 “Episodes” which is basically 6 levels. each episode can be finished anywhere between 1 to 2 hours, depending on how hard-core you are playing and how throughly you are investigating the locals. However, what this means is, you could in theory beat the game in about 7 or 8 hours. Now, normally that’s not a huge thing, since most games feature an Online play mode, however Alan Wake doesn’t offer any online play. Your gaming experience is just those 6 episodes. Although more “Episodes” will be arriving soon in the form of downloadable content(More on this later)
Another thing I dislike about the game, is that many of the “Action” segments take place in the woods. Now during the first 2 “Episodes”, that was kind of cool! The woods are a scary, and creepy and offer plenty of places for monsters to hide. After awhile though? Come on! It gets old! There’s only so much running around trees a person can do before they start to lose interest! Once they get bored of the same repeating settings, then they are going to start getting bored of the game!
The next negative? Well, that would be the ending! Now, I am not going to include any spoilers for anyone, but what I am going to say is that the ending is lame. It’s one of the worst game endings ever. It doesn’t even seem like an ending at all really! There’s so much just left hanging and in the air, and what little excuse of an ending there is just leaves you scratching your head dumbfounded.
Now, granted! Maybe the ending wasn’t really an ending, but instead left open to leave room for the downloadable content. Maybe the “Huh?! Factor” will be resolved with the coming episodes. Possibly. However, I feel that it’s kind of a rip off. Like they sent out an unfinished product, expecting you to pay the amount that one would pay for a full length game, and instead they receive an unfinished game, and a code to get the next episode free, however the second DLC you are of course expected to buy. In essence, you have to pay AGAIN to finish the storyline that SHOULD have been finished in the final product! It’s ridiculous! It’s like they are trying to milk you out of more money than their game title is actually worth.
Yes, I know other companies have DLC as well, and to be honest, some of them I think are ridiculous, for instance the modern warfare DLC map package.However, some companies like Rockstar actually provide QUALITY DLC items! For instance Grand Theft Auto IV actually finished! It had an ending, then they released 2 other DLC packs that contained whole new storylines, that were connected to the first, but could be played separately and enjoyed and felt that you had a quality gaming experience with an actual ending.
Would I recommend the game? I would recommend renting it. Like I said, it’s a pleasurable game, but it’s also a quick game! You probably will finish it during a rental period and most likely won’t have a need to replay it since there’s no real online play to extend the replay value.