Our latest Game Club ends today, as we've reached the final episode of Alan Wake. Let's talk about it.
A couple of thank-yous are in order, to all of you who have contributed to the discussion for the past week and to Mikko Rautalahti, one of Remedy's two writers of the game. As most of you have already noticed, I hope, Mikko's joined the Game Club conversation, with gusto, under the username MikkiRMD.
Some discussion points for the finale:
-I want to know what you all think of the ending lines, Alan Wake saying the lake is an ocean and Alice whispering for Alan to wake up. What do you think happened?
-I'm wondering if anyone shares my mixed feelings about the playable/non-playable elements of this final chapter. Most of the playable bits felt like standard game-climaxing action... a fight through more and more enemies until I had to shoot the core of a big boss. Not my favorite gameplay section, for sure. It felt as if the cliches of video game action-pacing were tugging the plot of Alan Wake off course. This isn't a game that needed a finale boss battle. And note that the non-interactive parts of this chapter kept clear of anything like that. The triumph of gameplay and story integration in this final chapter finally occurs when Alan is using his flashlight to turns words into objects. Here we have interactivity being used to explore Alan's confused state, to examine his relationship with words and the acts of creation and destruction. There is no failure state in this scene, which makes it a little more of a gimmick than a game. But it at least lets us participate in a final exploration of Wake's odd psychological state.
-I did love the New York bit that opened the chapter, by the way. Great use of some uncommon elements, including the lighting change with the sunglasses, the intentionally annoying sound prior to taking the painkillers and the live-action talk show segment.
-Finally, a small thing, but credit to Remedy for making the scrolling speed and direction of the game's credits interactive. It helped me make sure I didn't miss Mikko's name.
What did you all think?