Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Alan Wake - so horrible but oh so good!

March 21, 2021 | Games

Before playing through the latest DLC for Control (Remedy's another game I've previously hyped in my blog), I learned that the storyline would have Alan Wake content in it. Because I hadn't played Alan Wake, and not wanting to miss anything relevant in the amazing story of Control, I decided to play through Alan Wake first. I had heard the name Alan Wake, but I did not know what the game was really about. 

After reading some info and starting to play, I understood what was meant when referring to the game as a psychological thriller. My heart was racing, and I tried to hide behind my controller while running through the creepy forests with eerie enemies spawning through the mist. Remedy did such an amazing job with the game, I can't remember any other games I've played, that made me feel so scared and anxious. I loved it so much! Incredibly well-designed and implemented game!

One small problem of sorts I encountered was that the amount of ammunition was usually quite limited. And I really suck at aiming, there's no getting around that fact. So, more than once, I ended up without ammunition in a very creepy place with no safe haven (light spot) in sight. This feature made the game feel even scarier. Whenever there was an unlimited supply of some bullets, I usually ended up running back and forth a few times so that I could actually kill some monsters and have some bullets left for moving forward. One of the most horrible monsters were the bigger dudes because they just wouldn't go down!

Knowing Control and Remedy's style, I expected the story to be great, and it really was. I loved the story. I couldn't wait to play more, to find out more. The missing Alan Wake pages worked so well with the gameplay itself and I also liked how well the radio shows were made.

I was glad to see that there was also some daylight in the game. Daytime made the environment a bit less creepy, but the monsters were still horrifying. It was also fun trying to run down enemies with my car. I soon found out that I wasn't very good at aiming with the car either. And I rarely managed to get enough speed to actually do any damage, more often it was me yelling "Don't you come near me!" while trying to drive around the roads and fields, and monsters catching up to me thanks to my bad driving.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare

I also played through Alan Wake's American Nightmare. The audience the game was aimed for, was quite different from the original game. American Nightmare wasn't nearly as creepy and dark as the original but the game was still really fun. I have to admit I was a little disappointed in the lack of horrifying darkness, but the reduced scariness also allowed me to focus on something else than just being constantly afraid. One of the things that were different in this game, though, was the functionality of the safe haven. You just couldn't chill in one and catch your breath. You had to keep going whether you liked it or not.

The awesomeness of the Finnish references

Just like with Control, I really enjoyed the Finnish references in Alan Wake. I don't want to write many specifics here, in case you want to experience them for the first time yourself. I also liked that we got to meet the characters behind the Old Gods of Asgard. I may be a bit silly but I really enjoyed the radio show where they were talking about Poets of the Fall reminding them of Old Gods of Asgard. I got a good giggle out of it. And there was nothing more enjoyable than shooting those monsters while Poets of the Fall was playing. Someone has posted this part of the game on Youtube. Check the video out to get a glimpse of what it felt like.  The ending of the video also shows how amazing those safe havens are.

And after playing both Control and Alan Wake, I found myself Poets of the Fall to listen to. I had heard maybe a couple of their songs before hearing them in the games, but now I seem to listen to them quite regularly. It's actually quite weird to listen to music and get flashbacks to playing games. But at the same time, it's an amazing feeling.

If you haven't played the game yet, you should!

I still have the Nightmare difficulty to try of the original game, and I was able to get about half of the achievements on the first play. I love getting achievements and trophies, so I will need to play the game again at some point to get more. I can also imagine that I missed some great content while running around in panic mode, so replaying the game sounds like a good idea. Maybe before Remedy's next game, I should play both Alan Wake and Control again. And I probably will.

If you haven't played the game yet, I really recommend it. You won't regret it! If my words aren't enough to convince you, there are a lot of reviews available online that say the same thing. Go give the game a go and see if you will be as terrified as I was.