May 19, 2010

An Early Postcard From Bright Falls

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 2:02 pm

Alan Wake
I’m only three chapters into Alan Wake and I’m already a happy camper in the town of Bright Falls. That could still change before I reach the ending, and I’ve found a few things that are entertaining for the wrong reasons.

For instance, as Alan explores the woods of Bright Falls at night, sudden gusts of darkness will sweep in with violent winds that give a heads up to imminent danger. Of course these are triggered when the player reaches a certain area, and being a curious jerk I’ve spent too much time walking back and forth to trigger it on occasion, like a kid continually pressing his foot against a squeaky floorboard.

While sinking deeper into the spiraling mystery the game offers, I’ve also had the chance to become addicted to a television show within the game – a Twilight Zone knock-off called “Night Springs” that must be good, because I’ve completely stopped to watch two episodes in full – the entire concept of Quantum Suicide is gold by the way.

Alan Wake
It seems worth mentioning that some of these elements, while not directly related to the game’s primary focus, have stuck with me so far. I’ve noticed that several early reviews weighed the development time for the game against the results of the final product – I wasn’t aware we were ranking games based on the time it took to make them, and I probably will disappoint those hoping to make a trend of that angle. But what’s really disappointing is that those who have possess a very linear view of game content, as if anything beyond the central play of the game hits them like flies at a picnic.

I will say that small embellishments within the game, even early on as I am into the mystery, have already separated the title from other releases that are so set on the primary pitch that they lose subtle opportunities to invite gamers into the world they mean to create.

It’s not just an issue of attention to detail either, but more of the way in which you can see plenty of additional elements that were undoubtedly spawned during a process that dragged the developers into the evolving landscape they were creating – leaving a game that lavishes in the details and eccentricities of the larger culture club it belongs to.

This post is also a convenient way for me to drag my feet on a longer writeup just yet, because the game is at least good enough to make me want to linger within Bright Falls as long as I can this week.


  1. I’m waiting for the Limited Edition to drop in price, preferably to the $49.99 price point that the normal edition is at.

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — May 20, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  2. Is it good enough to get an Arcade for it?

    Comment by EdEN — May 20, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

  3. Dude… you should have an Arcade unit anyways! So many good games on the Xbox 360 that aren’t on other consoles! Do it!

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — May 20, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  4. I second Ujn’s vote. Funny to remember when I absolutely did not want a 360, and now I’ve come around a lot on that console. As for Alan Wake, given that you’re a married guy, it’s probably the best game I’ve seen in quite awhile for sucking in pedestrians to watch it – very good prime time television type flow to it.

    Comment by Jamie Love — May 20, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  5. The fact that the units tend to die every so often and that I already own a Wii and PS3 and not have much time to play videogames is what usually says NO to getting a 360. Maybe a slim model will be announced at E3 with reworked innards that doesn’t like to burn if light entering from a window hits it.

    Comment by EdEN — May 20, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

  6. That’s most of what kept me from getting one for awhile. Eventually I just wanted to play games like Dead Rising and Bullet Witch bad enough to take the plunge, it’s about a year old now and seems pretty happy, I’m honestly more shocked by what happened to my PSP.

    Still I won’t ever disagree that the hardware issues have set new benchmarks for disgraceful even if we’ve all seemed to accept it.

    My original argument remains, you should play Alan Wake ;)

    Comment by Jamie Love — May 20, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  7. I’ll probably borrow a 360 from a friend and give Alan Wake a rental. Purchasing a console is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of the question at the moment.

    Comment by EdEN — May 22, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

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