Alan Wake (2010)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


Alan Wake (2010) is a critically acclaimed psychological thriller that combines action-adventure gameplay with a deep and engaging story, set against the backdrop of a mysterious small town.


Alan Wake is a psychological thriller action-adventure game that blends intense atmosphere and storytelling with combat mechanics.


“Alan Wake” is a 2010 action-adventure game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The game’s narrative follows the eponymous character, Alan Wake, a bestselling crime thriller novelist. The plot unfolds as Alan tries to unravel the mystery behind his wife’s disappearance during a vacation in the small fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington.

The game begins with Alan and his wife, Alice, arriving in Bright Falls for a vacation. However, Alice disappears under mysterious circumstances, and Alan finds himself experiencing events from the plot of his latest novel, which he cannot remember writing. These events come to life in the form of shadowy figures known as “The Taken” that attack Alan.

Alan soon discovers that he is living the plot of his latest novel, “Departure”, which is coming to life around him. The novel tells the story of a writer who changes reality with the power of his words. Alan doesn’t remember writing this novel, and the manuscript pages are scattered throughout the game world for the player to find.

The game’s core combat mechanic is “fighting with light”, which involves using light sources to burn away the darkness protecting The Taken before they can be harmed. This mechanic underscores the significant role darkness plays in the game.

In terms of structure, “Alan Wake” is similar to a thriller television series. The game is divided into six episodes, each containing plot twists and cliffhangers. The story continues in two special episodes, “The Signal” and “The Writer”, which were released as downloadable content (DLC) in the same year.

A unique aspect of “Alan Wake” is its transmedia storytelling. A six-episode live-action web series called “Bright Falls” acts as a prequel to the game. Additionally, several related books expand upon the “Alan Wake” story.

Despite its initial development as an open-world survival game, the team at Remedy Entertainment reworked “Alan Wake” into a more traditional linear game with an episodic approach. This change allowed the team to better support the planned narrative structure and reuse previously created open-world assets.

Upon release, “Alan Wake” received positive reviews from critics and has since garnered a cult following. The game is often praised for its visuals, sound, narrative, pacing, and atmosphere. It was awarded the first spot in Time magazine’s list of the top 10 video games of 2010.

“Alan Wake’s American Nightmare”, a stand-alone spin-off, was released in February 2012. A cancelled sequel became the foundation of Remedy’s next title, “Quantum Break”. In 2019, Remedy released “Control”, which takes place in a shared universe with “Alan Wake”.


The game features Alan Wake, his wife Alice, and other characters such as Barry Wheeler, Wake’s agent, and various townsfolk of Bright Falls.


Alan Wake combines third-person action with exploration and puzzle-solving elements, with a focus on the ‘Fight With Light’ combat mechanic to defeat darkness-possessed enemies.


Alan Wake is a memorable experience that stands out for its unique approach to storytelling and atmospheric gameplay, offering a blend of action and psychological thrills.

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