Thursday, June 4, 2009

PLAY AT E3: Alan Wake

Alan Wake is on screen behind closed doors at Microsoft's booth.  They're showing a condensed version of the experience.   Alan Wake is a best selling writer but he hasn't written anything in two years, his wife takes him on a vacation but she disappears.  A thriller he doesn't remember writing is coming true in front of him.  They've focused a lot on the mood and feeling and pacing.  "Previously on Alan Wake" summation of the story.  Now he's with his agent.  The voice acting is well done and the facial animations are very detailed.  Barry is a bit of comic relief.  He reacts to the light.  He also reacts to the lights being switched off.  The time of day and weather is used to change the environment and drama.   Light is more important than guns even.  The light blooms through the trees as a helicopter flies by.   Wake is trying to find the missing pages to figure out the rest of what's going on.   A page found starts a cinematic.  These pages have "a disturbing habit" of coming true.  You can hear gun shots and yells.   Someone is crying out for help as an empty car careens deadly into a fence in front of you.  What caused this occurrence?

The gun doesn't hurt the attacker, instead the light allows you to hurt the enemy.  Alan Wake fights the forces of darkness with light.  Great effects as the enemy blows up in sparks.   Sound design and narrative add to the drama.  An unknown force is lifting objects, hurling them at Alan.   The locals have been taken by the darkness.  The camera and action slows down to show an enemy attacking but that doesn't mean you can react, you are already attacked.  Alan Wake starts a generator to create a safe haven of light.  Shooting an enemy with a flare gun created a burst of light that pushes enemies over a cliff.  The darkness even takes control of a bull dozed that demolish the building Alan is in.  Enemies pour out of the darkness, leaving an ally in light as a trap almost.

An NPC dies and the facial animations portray a lot of the drama.  Running from another construction vehicle in a car, you run down enemies who are in a weakened state from the headlights.   More pages are found at a light house.  The light house shuts down and Alan realizes that he has sprung a trap.  A "To Be Continued" card is displayed.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really cool... The way you talk about it reminds me of the game "Obscure" (light hurts enemies.