After a hefty development period, Microsoft’s psychological thriller was met with mediocre fan fair thanks to a certain cowboy stealing all the limelight. Credit where credit is due, that game was pretty damn good but my choice of Alan Wake is because of how it made me feel when playing. I wouldn’t say I was scared per se but rather totally creeped out and sadistically wanting more. Oddly though, the game’s hero is actually a bit of a jerk and it’s his supporting cast that make the connection to players. People like the quirky Barry Wheeler who toned down the seriousness enough to keep the game from being an all-out spook-fest. But the best and most complete aspect of Alan Wake is the quant forest retreat of Bright Falls where the game is set. A remarkable use of lighting with the outstanding level of detail made Bright Falls feel so incredibly real that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was modelled on a real town, one that would be a nice place to visit. That is once it has sorted the problem with ghostly possessed townspeople of course. But then all you really need is a torch and a handgun and you’d be set. The combination of the two plus all the other various weapons on offer made for some unique and pleasurable combat, burning off the enemies’ shield with the torch and finishing the job with a firearm. There was a really nice feeling of weight behind the shooting as there was in your foe’s melee attacks and a healthy dose of enthusiasm with every shot. The story may have gotten quite convoluted towards the end but to Remedy’s credit, the implementation of episodes styled as if Alan Wake was a TV show was a clever way of keeping us all interested. Not to mention the real episodic live-action prequel marketing campaign before Alan Wake‘s release. Microsoft wanted this game to be an event and a bigger deal than it turned out to be but I think it’s great and urge people to support the game late into its life, that way we may get a sequel after all.