Alan Wake Updated Impressions

We tune in for another cliff-hanger episode of the upcoming 360 horror game Alan Wake.

We've been led to believe that in the upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive Alan Wake, the light is your friend. This horror thriller set in a small American town pits the title character against a mysterious darkness which has taken over the townsfolk (and the occasional inanimate object), and the only way to break through an enemy's darkness shield is with light--any form of light. All of the gameplay we've seen so far of Alan Wake, therefore, has focused on Alan using flashlights, flares, and other dark-dispelling tools to vanquish his foes. But it seems light won't always be Alan's friend, as the latest demo Remedy Games rolled out behind closed doors at TGS showed.

What's New: In the new level demoed by Remedy, Alan is on the run from FBI Agent Nightingale. Nightingale is convinced that Alan is actually the one responsible for all of the bad events which have overrun the sleepy town of Bright Falls, Washington, and has dispatched the town's deputies on a manhunt to track Alan down. This level takes place in a creepy forest at night, with Alan having to make his way along a rocky path as deputies' flashlights sweep the forest for him.

While previous levels we've seen of Alan Wake had the main character sticking as close as possible to any light source, this time around Alan was forced to avoid light at any cost. At one point, Alan had to carefully sneak underneath a wooden bridge while two deputies patrolled on top, waving their flashlights around. Soon after, one of the deputies set off a flare high in the sky, allowing them to see Alan and to start firing their weapons on him. Flashlight-less and weapon-less, Alan had no choice but to run until he was once again lost in the dark of the forest.

Of course, Alan's enemies aren't limited to humans. Later in the level, Alan had managed to make his way up a path overlooking the forest, while below you could still see the deputies' flashlights searching. Suddenly, the whole forest seemed to get darker--this was soon followed by the deputies' screams as they were attacked by an unseen assailant. Our demo driver continued to take Alan up the path, when suddenly a police helicopter appeared and trained its large spotlight directly on the hapless fugitive. The police started firing from the helicopter, forcing Alan to seek cover. But again, the unknown evil infecting Bright Falls appeared, manifesting itself as a large group of bats from the surrounding darkness. These bats then attacked the chopper, forcing it to crash-land in the forest below.

If you thought Alan was scot-free at that stage, then you'd be wrong. Possessed villagers then appeared behind Alan, with two more climbing up the sheer cliff face behind him to trap him. We'd love to tell you how he gets out of this one, but as has become the standard with the episodic cliff-hanger nature the team at Remedy is trying to infuse Alan Wake with, the demo ended with the words "To Be Continued" appearing on the screen.

What's Different: Remedy demonstrated how it plans to switch gameplay around at times during Alan Wake, with a "seek dark" objective in this level as opposed to the "seek light" objective it has showed off previously. And while we didn't actually see it, our Remedy reps tells us there will be daytime levels in the game. These day events will allow Alan to interact with the various townsfolk of Bright Falls, as well as get into some scary situations inside darkened buildings.

What's The Same: The game still looks great, making outstanding use of lights and shadow to create a compelling mood. Adding to the tension was the excellent audio, which ramped up the excitement because Alan could hear the deputies searching for him but could not see them. A good surround system or top headphones may be a must for this game.

What Impression The Game Made This Time: It’s moody, atmospheric, and exciting and made us want to see more. And we should have more on Alan Wake soon, so keep it locked to GameSpot.

Written By

Randolph is the managing editor of GameSpot, and needs more time to play games.

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Discussion

63 comments
Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

One of the most promising games of 2010. At least to me it is.

readmatt007
readmatt007

Cant wait for this one a must buy for me

bnazty23
bnazty23

I am so excited about this game, I have been waiting for it for about three years now. All I have to say is that if they have taken this long the game better be good. I don't mind the long wait as long as the developers get it right then it will be worth the wait. I would much much rather play a finished polished game a year late than an unfinished rushed mediocre one next month.

yves74zh
yves74zh

Hopefully the game comes out before they run out of money... 4 years on one game can't be economical!

Optimus_Prime83
Optimus_Prime83

We are all going to Enjoy the Storyline and memorable moments of the game ~

Thomasdeleo
Thomasdeleo

Honestly, how has anyone not heard of this game?? It's been in development for more than 4 years.

AllisLostnow
AllisLostnow

I do not envy the situation the developers at Remedy are currently in. Because of the immense amount of time in development this game will be released with such high expectations. Either way, I have faith it will exceed those expectations. Hopefully we will find out soon enough.

meateater79
meateater79

This very much reminds me of the first Silent Hill. Looking forward to hearing more of this one.

BigGhost_AJT
BigGhost_AJT

Usually I prefer video to text because I'm more of a visual person. Yet I must say this is the most exciting hands-on I've read. So looking forward to this game.

YoungDab
YoungDab

What happened to Fear Effect? That game wa$ amazing.

ForsakenWicked
ForsakenWicked

I want this game so bad! It is a first day buy for me.

The_Mad_Hatter
The_Mad_Hatter

i hope they pull through, the game has been in development forever

100starz
100starz

Never heard of this game. looks like it could be interresting.

SyStem-code
SyStem-code

how come i didn't know about this game !!!! I am so going to buy it good good

SmartGhost
SmartGhost

I saw a small preview like everyone else has and all i can say is cant wait

real-guitarhero
real-guitarhero

theres many different ideas in this game which are probably going to make it quite special!

gauty
gauty

this game came as a surprise to me from e3 and has raised my curiosity levels pretty much. hope to see more on this game.

channel0
channel0

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

C_N_R
C_N_R

I expect a lot from this game. Looks like it's going to deliver.

EmporioLove
EmporioLove

horror games rock. This looks like a goodie!

zaz0o0o
zaz0o0o

looking forward for this one

ptysau
ptysau

The reason why I'm still clinging to my Xbox!.. It's taken sooo long, it has to be good!??

MC_Bally_Who
MC_Bally_Who

I hope this doesnt turn out the way Alone in the Dark did, that had huge potential. This game sounds promising though :) its good to see actual survival horror games being made, (as in not RE5 Survival Action 'HORRROOORRRRR' -.-)

DAZZER7
DAZZER7

Looks like its going to have an interesting story and pace to the game. I'm certainly intrigued at this point.

johnkio111
johnkio111

It will turn out to be a huge dissapointment....:(

techzilla77
techzilla77

@mattg90520 I got both systems and I can't agree with you more. Me I'm not gonna blog blog about something I don't have it's stupid. Alan Wake looks good. So does its comparison Heavy Rain. Without certain system exclusives it would be no reason for me to own both if I can buy the same games on one system only. I hope Alan Wake does live up to the hype though the screenshots look great so far.

YoungDab
YoungDab

Looks like a silent hill 1 remake.I will get this tho,I really missed the "authentic" horror genre for games.

strider33612
strider33612

This game has been in the works for a long time. I hope it dosn't disapoint!

8smokes
8smokes

This game looks awesome!

maximo
maximo

Cant wait for this one

WTFitsPauL
WTFitsPauL

Heavy Rain still looks good compared to this

mattg90520
mattg90520

whats with all the hate for exclusivity among games? god, be thankful if you have a 360. if not, then im sure there are amazing sequels on whatever system you have. furthermore, if you dont have a 360, why are you reading about alan wake and not some cool exclusive on your own system?

louisplat
louisplat

I only own a 360 and love the exclusives like Gears of War, Fable and Crackdown but I wish I owned a PS3 for Uncharted and The Last Guardian

3Z3K13L08
3Z3K13L08

Going to get this and Heavy Rain, both look fantastic!

ChidoriBoyU
ChidoriBoyU

i'm so waiting for this game it's gonna be awesome

mamad_raiss
mamad_raiss

"Intrakitt Posted Sep 24, 2009 10:19 pm GMT +3 What spotty6? Are you kidding? How bout Splinter Cell: Conviction, Crackdown 2, Halo: Reach, Mass Effect 2, and most likely Gears of War 3? I think next year is going to be a great year for the 360." Also you should add Fable 3 , At least one hardcore game from Rare (most likely a Perfect Dark sequel) , An exclusive game from the developers of Ninja gaiden and DOA , PGR 5 from turn10 ,another JRPG from mistwalker and some 1st party and 3rd party unknown exclusive games add to several natal games. This is going to be a relaunch of xbox360 next year.

rpgnutt
rpgnutt

im getting this no waits!!!-shrubs-i agree as soon has they say 360 exclusive the game is no more good i own a 360 and hopefully ill own a ps3 to just so i can play every exclusive out there.

1r3ap3r
1r3ap3r

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

-Shrubs-
-Shrubs-

It's funny how people can't be impressed with a game once its a 360 exclusive...

Braddah_B
Braddah_B

This game is looking awesome, but why make it exclusive? I have a 360 so there's no problem, still a great looking gamew like this should be shared with all.

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

sivasiba2: Hah I agree, Max looks waaay too much like Sam Fisher in his new game...and Brazil? Seriously? I think that is going to be one game Rockstar shouldn't have touched.

Shinkada
Shinkada

I've got a bad feeling this game's plot will be a Silent Hill 2 clone... Believe me when I say I hope, HOPE, I am wrong. It's just a gut feeling and mine aren't too reliable, though, so my interest isn't dead quite yet.

Weddum
Weddum

"360 game Alan Wake". I remember back when this game was first announced it was a showcase for Intel's Core2 Quad CPU's, and at that time was believed to be a PC exclusive. Now its just simply "360 game" with no mention of PC at all. Some PC gamers must be feeling seriously annoyed by now about the direction this game has taken. Needless to say though, game still looks awesome. Just hope the PC version hasn't been abandoned.

Jason_Morris
Jason_Morris

Crikey, I thought this'd gone to the big vapourware line up in the sky!

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

What spotty6? Are you kidding? How bout Splinter Cell: Conviction, Crackdown 2, Halo: Reach, Mass Effect 2, and most likely Gears of War 3? I think next year is going to be a great year for the 360.

blaze_adeel
blaze_adeel

here's the reasom why i bought my 2nd xbox wow !!ca wait for this one