31 Days Of Horror Games: Day 5

Here’s another classic for you.

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When most people think of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and its relation to video games, Deadly Premonition is rightly first to come to mind. The inspiration is obvious, but a solid, respectable partner should be Alan Wake which, while primarily drawing from Stephen King’s body of work, has plenty of the small town mystery and oddity of the television series. The town is, as is said, as much a character as the characters themselves.

Alan Wake does a lot of interesting things in revealing its story. Before Telltale hit success with its episodic release style, Remedy took an already complete game and paced and divided itself akin to a season of a television series. Playing it feels like binge-watching your favourite Netflix show. It makes for a game that, while spooky and weird and thrilling, is actually quite pleasant and relaxing to play.

Alan Wake is also one of the only games I can think of that actually uses audio log/note mechanics in ways that actually benefit the story in natural ways, both that being told and experienced. To be an author is to draw from around you, until truth and fiction become sometimes disturbingly hard to separate. What happens when life around you starts to resemble the things hidden away in the written word? How do you process your responsibility in how stories affect real people?

Alan Wake is, unfortunately, no longer available on PC legally (Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is though, on GOG and Steam). You can get a Xbox 360 copy which is also compatible on Xbox One.

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Rito

Professional grump. Writes media criticism at WURRWALF.net. Whines on Twitter a lot. Likes rice.

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