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E3 2009: Alan Wake

Developer: Remedy | Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Action

Release Date: 05/18/10

alan.jpgI recall seeing Alan Wake many, many years ago when Developer Remedy Entertainment had no Publisher and no more than a tech demo to show the press. While I was impressed with what I saw way back then--we have seen virtually nothing from the game since then. Each year, an E3 passes by and Alan Wake is rumored to be shown but sadly--it never surfaces. E3 2009 changed all of this as the title ended up as one of the featured titles for Microsoft's E3 lineup. The results put it up there, in the running, for Game of the Year.

The trailer we were shown begins with Alan and his wife vacationing in a peaceful town in the mountains. Wake is a writer and is currently working on a Supernatural Novel. While vacationing, Wake's wife, Alice, is kidnapped and strange creatures begin to appear around his cabin. Alan Wake must solve the mystery and save his wife by locating the missing pages of his book. Wake must also survive the minions hunting him if he is to survive.

The story in Alan Wake jumps around from past flashbacks and future flashforwards. When the action does take place, Wake must use his flashlight or any other source of light to fight off the enemies and finish them off with his trust firearm You can really see the evolution of Alan Wake from the Max Payne series. (Remedy Software developed Max Payne and Max Payne 2.) There is a great deal of influence felt from the early Silent Hill games. I haven't felt this level of fear and uncertainty since playing Silent Hill 1 and 2.

As the demo progressed, Alan made it through a few waves of enemies and found himself deeper in a forest. The ground and trees began to shake around him and more enemies pop up. As you flash your light in their face, which is reminiscent of Doom 3 with the duct tape mode, the enemies begin to light up and can be defeated with shots as they are exposed to the light.

Our demo ended with Alan Wake barricaded in a nearby cabin with a bulldozer coming straight at the house. Alan wakes up to his wife whispering to him. The demo left me eager for the final product. Sadly, the game will not ship until Spring of 2010. But at this point, we have waited so long, what is another 9 months or so?

We will have more on Alan Wake as further details are revealed.

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By Kaleb Rutherford - 06/02/09
ESRB Details: - Blood, Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence - In this third-person shooter, players assume the role of a writer named Alan Wake who searches for his missing wife in a mysterious lakeside town. Players explore the town and surrounding woods, interact with characters, solve puzzles, and gather clues along the way. Players must battle humanoid enemies known as the 'Taken' by using various light sources (flashlights, floodlights, 'flahsbang' grenades); they can also use pistols and shotguns to kill the enemies. The Taken react to damage by disappearing in a flash of embers and shadows. Cutscenes also depict the Taken wielding axes and killing characters off-screen. In one sequence, a long blood trail can be seen leading up to a wounded character in a cabin. Some characters smoke cigarettes or reference alcohol and hangovers; one cutscene depicts two drunken characters slurring their speech while conversing (e.g., 'I feel like my brain is coming out of my nose. I'm gonna get the recipe off those kooks and be a, a, a booze millionaire!.'). Language such as 'sh*t,' 'a*shole,' and 'b*tch' can be heard in the dialogue.
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Screenshots for E3 2009: Alan Wake

E3 2009 Booth Photos

Pre-E3 2009: Brutal Legend