Talk Amongst Yourselves

Illustration for article titled Talk Amongst Yourselves

Start the new week right by talking more about video games. Right here.

Confused about commenting on Kotaku? Read our FAQ.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



Five of Six chapters of Alan Wake finished. I'll be doing the final one tonight.


*Possible non-story spoilers ahead*

So far, it's been an incredible game, one of the best this year if you ask me. Only three complaints:

1. Too many "Hold off the enemy while you wait for X" situations. These always seem a little lazy to me in any game, but there are quite a few of them in Alan Wake.

2. The setpiece battle on the Old Gods' rock stage seemed a little silly to me. It's a pretty serious game, and that took me right out of it. I'm alright with Barry being the occasional comic relief, but that sequence didn't just break the tension, it killed it.

3. Too much ammo! Alan Wake is yet another horror game that fails to really scare me. Obviously I still love it, because the plot and writing are Grade A, but I never really feel afraid. Survival Horror is one of the only genres where I think holding the player's hand is a bad thing.

In Alan Wake, I always have enough ammo. And sure enough, if I'm running low, there's a supply box around the next corner! I think the horror aspect of a Survival Horror game is ruined if the player is always able to defeat the enemy. As soon as that's true, it becomes a question of skill instead of a question of fear. It's incredibly important that the player be put in situations where he needs to run away.

My favourite example of a successful Survival Horror game is the indie title Penumbra (Which some of you may have played recently, it was in the Humble Indie Bundle). Penumbra does not give the player any guns at all. You have a dull mining pick, and your character is not a superhero, you swing it feebly and clumsily. In almost every situation, you need to find a way to escape or hide. That's where the tension comes from in a horror game. If you can drop any opposition with a few gunshots, you have no reason to fear it.


Despite those gripes (Mainly the horror one), I still love the game. Even if it doesn't "scare" me, it has still gripped me. Very much looking forward to finishing it tonight, and then the subsequent DLC releases down the line.