Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gameplay -Alan Wake


Alan Wake is an author.  This would normally be something mentioned casually as background in any other video game, but not Alan Wake.

The story of Alan Wake only works because he is a writer.   Another version of him is narrating the events of the game and leaving the pages around for Alan to find.  These pages tell of future events or of events that happen while Alan is in a different area.  As a result, Alan (and the player) can predict what will happen. 

It certainly heightens any tension that the player can feel. Quite a bit before we meet a chainsaw wielder, we read about him.  Agent Nightingale is introduced a chapter before he actually appears via a manuscript page.  It's also deliberately a piece of McGuffum. Alan is sent looking for the manuscript by several people as a way to rescue his kidnapped wife. Alan himself notes it makes little sense.

Many other series do have notes from the past - If you don't listen to the audio logs in Bioshock then you'll be very confused at some points of the plot- but because they are written by the literal author of the story of Alan Wake, the pages take on a new meaning.  One that makes you sit up and pay attention.

We can ignore some of the audio ramblings in Bioshock.  We can not ignore these pages.

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