Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alan Wake Is Great Episodic Gaming

Summer is here and a lot of videogames are hitting the shelves.  I'd heard nothing but good things about ALAN WAKE since it came out last month.  My wife picked it up for me for Father's Day and I finally got my 12 year old off the 360 on Monday.

I haven't had much time for gaming even though it's summer and I'm not currently teaching at OU.  Last summer was eaten up with family issues (I ended up learning way more about roofing and installing new kitchens than I'd ever wanted to know).

I have dedicated this summer to my writing and am having a good time with the stories I'm currently working on.  God, I do love writing, creating, and watching characters.  Imagination is my favorite opiate.

Anyway, as a result I haven't been reading as much as I would like, or playing games at all.  But Monday I sat down with ALAN WAKE, and I have to say that it's one of the greatest games I've ever played.  The actual fighting isn't much different than many of the games I've played, but the SHEER CREEPINESS of the overall storyline is compelling.  Not only that, but the designers were geniuses because they broke the game into installments like episodes of a television series.

So far it's been my experience than the episodes play out in an hour or so (some people may get done more quickly, but I enjoying seeing what happens if I win AND if I lose in certain sequences -- you learn more about he game that way).  The time is perfect for when I want to vege out in the afternoon for an hour and then get back to the writing for the evening.

Not only that, but the game has the bonus feature of really juicing my imagination again.  I don't know where ALAN WAKE is headed for sure, but I'm having a blast with the journey.  I love the twists and turns, and the uncertainty of how things are progressing.

If you haven't played or picked up the game, I encourage you to do so.  It's one of the most innovative I've seen in a long time, and the natural stopping points are fantastic.


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