I dislike giving negative reviews to games, especially when the game could have been amazing. It’s like a movie you loved until the ‘wtf?’ ending, where you left the theatre mad and almost offended (ahem Babylon AD). The ending isn’t what irritated me about Wake.
What gets to me is how rushed it is.
Nonetheless, Wake merits my being perturbed, primarily because it had so much going for it: beautiful artwork, a writer as the protagonist, an eerie atmosphere and some interesting characters….that is, IF you had gotten to know them. Most of the game is not story driven, it’s run-the-fuck-into-the light or shine-the-bastard as you attempt to kill the irritating possessed townsfolk, who are more annoying then challenging. In the Darkness, you had the same sort of deal ( and in Bioshock) of using more then one method of killing your foe, but in Wake it is more time consuming. Had one time to check out more of the town ( when not looking for ammo or goods) and could speak with the citizens, the story would have unfolded better and had more oomph to it. Instead, you get some preamble, most of which is on your wife ( I would have liked more on the history of the town, on the clinic, Wake himself, all of which is minimal for a supposedly ‘story driven’ game). The mysterious dark force/chick gained more of a centre stage at the end, which was nice to see a little more character development.
When I play a game like this, I want to experience it. That is the whole point of something being ‘story driven’. Even if there is plenty of good ol’ shooting, I want Elder Scrolls style depth, not a mere walkthrough.
All in all, the game left me craving more of everything. More time hanging out in the wacko artist’s clinic, more time shooting the shit with Wake’s agent ( we was my fav part, and so were the aged rockers). I would have like to have foes that were enjoyable to free from their possession, instead of a plain old annoyance.
I hope that if/when there is an Alan Wake 2, Remedy will serve up even more of a story and maybe a better OST. Until then, I will give wake a replay (maybe).