Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Zorine does, as she drinks all the coffee in town.
Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.
And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.
This review was submitted by Zorine Te. If you’ve played Alan Wake, or just want to ask Zorine more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Alan Wake (360)
Alan Wake is a thriller game – a nice blend of adventure, action and a load of suspense. The mystery is enough to keep you deeply absorbed…
Environments: Let’s be honest here – the 360 console was released 5 years ago. So don’t go expecting Final Fantasy style graphics here. Even so, the level design is beautifully detailed and the environments left me oddly yearning for a countryside holiday. Character design is realistic and the distinction between what’s safe and what’s not is made obvious through well made design choices.
Soundtrack: The voice acting is great. Alan’s broodiness was well-represented. The principle cast was also fantastic. It’s a shame it was a little spoiled by a lack of sync, which I will get to below.
Innovative: The effort to be different was something that really shone through in this game. Unusually enough, the storyline follows some characteristics which would be conventional in a novel, but that’s just what makes it so pleasing. I really, really wanted to play through the entire game in one sitting when I started – the story had pulled me in that deep, and had been that suspenseful.
Storyline: The strongest point of the game is its narrative-driven storyline. It is deep, and I have heard others refer to it as TV-pilot worthy. High quality story telling doesn’t come with a lot of games, so I was very happy to enjoy this whilst it lasted.
Lack of Lip-Syncing: It’s not a serious issue but it’s a pet hate of mine when a serious moment is ruined by meaningless lip-flapping. I was busy trying to stifle a few laughs when I really should have been gripping the controller with sweat-filled palms.
Punishing: I am an OCG (obsessive compulsive gamer), so collecting the hundreds of items to shed light on every angle of the mystery to the story was frustrating, to say the least. Missing manuscripts is particularly punishing as you often can’t backtrack.
Clunky: This has probably got more to do with my own personal preferences then any choices made by the developers, but there were moments in the heat of battle when the camera got awkward.
With detailed level design, in-depth characters, innovative gameplay and a slew of cultural references to other writers, Alan Wake was definitely a treat. Piecing together the story is half the fun.
Reviewed by: Zorine Te
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.