One Paragraph Review: Alan Wake

by Mitchell Dyer

Despite its larger faults — fugly facial animation and occasionally confusing story moments — Alan Wake is a hell of an experience, brilliantly balancing its light vs. dark theme with frantic firefights and atmospheric tension. The spooky small town setting, likable characters, clever foreshadowing and cliffhanger endings pulled me along so forcefully that I wrapped the whole shebang in one long, satisfying sitting. As someone who dislikes survival horror, the original combat — using light to burn shadowy shields from enemies before blowing them away — made the eeriness enjoyable without taking away from that paranoid sense of vulnerability.