Sunday, August 8, 2010

Alan Wake Semi-Review: I...JUST...CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Alan Wake has an 83 metacritic score. Yet the only thing I can think about when I read through this list is how many of these publications are even more than full of it, or have seriously never read a decent book or seen a somewhat good movie. I think this for one sole reason: I couldn't play through Alan Wake.

What Alan Wake does is take a narrative, which by itself is pretty decent (my younger brother played through the entire game and liked it, up until the end), and undermines every line of dialog, ever cinematic and every action on screen by telling the player that he/she is a complete idiot. After two full levels, I was offended enough and ripped the disc out of my 360, promptly put it back in it's Gamefly envelope, and it's now sitting in my mailbox.

I don't know where the hell Remedy gets off on describing every little detail as a thought Alan has. We don't often get to read the minds of people in real life, nor in film or books, or even most stories of any sort. Sure, there are exceptions, and often those exceptions work great. Here, it doesn't. Not only is Alan a criminally dull participant in his own game, he's blessed with an enlarged Prefrontal Cortex which transmits his thoughts at the worst opportune moment. Had I wanted to play a game that told me everything that was happening, I'd have let my brother come in and tell me what to do, when to push buttons, when to fire, etc.

The reason I just can't take it anymore is because not only is the narrative effectively ruined by Alan, the actual writing is pretty awful it itself. The book he wrote, from what I gathered in two chapters, is crap. Much of the dialog is garbage. Characters are, besides for Barry, not characters at all, just graphically designed automatons. I don't know what's worse, that the most anticipated narrative-driven title about a writer is poorly written, or that the writer himself is equally bad.

Perhaps my old editor's mantra was true: there's no such thing as a bad writer, only a bad editor.

Point being, I couldn't finish the game. I barely got past the second chapter. I don't want to play any more, and refuse to. I don't see how so many "reviewers" could have liked Alan Wake...then again, I guess I do.