Alan Wake Remastered: PlayStation owners can now experience the former Xbox exclusive for the first time!
On my gaming shelf, I collect the strategy guides for the games I have played and loved the most. Since 2010, one well-worn guide has been collecting dust but still has the post-it notes in it highlighting the beginning of each chapter’s walkthrough. That guide is for the game Alan Wake.
Admittedly, I have always preferred PlayStation games, but Alan Wake not only pushed me to buy it upon its release date with the strategy guide but also the Xbox 360 console it was an exclusive for.
It’s hard to overstate just what a technical marvel Alan Wake was. Solid gameplay mechanics were mixed with episodic chapters that featured superb writing. There was and still is a huge amount to enjoy with this game.
“Return to the mysterious town of Bright Falls in this remaster of the award-winning cinematic action game from Remedy Entertainment (Control, Max Payne), featuring overhauled visuals and new features.
Troubled author Alan Wake embarks on a desperate search for his missing wife, Alice. Following her mysterious disappearance from the Pacific Northwest town of Bright Falls, he discovers pages of a horror story he has supposedly written, but he has no memory of.
Wake is soon forced to question his sanity, as page by page, the story comes true before his eyes: a hostile presence of supernatural darkness is taking over everyone it finds, turning them against him.
He has no choice but to confront the forces of darkness armed only with his flashlight, a handgun and what remains of his shredded mind. His nightmarish journey to find answers to the mind-bending mystery he faces will lead him into the terrifying depths of the night.”
What made Alan Wake special, and frankly still does to this day, is that there hasn’t been an action/horror game since that can match its world-building, structure, intense narrative and tight gameplay.. The Evil Within came close, but Alan Wake surpasses that series with ease. It is arguably Remedy’s finest work and considering they have since produced some superb games like Control, Max Payne, and the criminally underrated Quantum Break, that is saying something.
So what actually made Alan Wake so good? First and foremost is the writing, reminiscent of Stephen King’s finest work. A taught and interesting narrative that, like the best TV dramas, tantalises you with a satisfying end to each chapter, but ends on a cliffhanger to push you on to the next. For its time the graphics were stunning, alongside a superb game mechanic that makes use of light and darkness as both a core mechanic and its central theme.
I first finished the game ten years ago, but the memory of the experience and the different locations, action sequences, story, shock and excitement are still fresh in my mind today. For any PlayStation owners who were curious about this game but never owned an Xbox, you are in for one hell of a treat!