What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Alan Wake is rated "Teen" rather than "Mature." There is violence and a little blood, but it's not as graphic or sustained as other video games with shooting. Plus, our hero is a fundamentally good man who typically prefers to flee whenever possible and only fights his evil, supernatural assailants when absolutely necessary. That said, he does wield a weapon and shoot at enemies, some of which are possessed people.
What's it about?
If David Lynch and J. J. Abrams ever collaborated on a video game, the result would likely resemble ALAN WAKE, a strange single-player adventure about a bestselling author in the middle of a dry spell. To overcome his writer's block, Alan's wife, Alice, brings him to a small north-western town called Bright Falls (think Twin Peaks), but Alice soon disappears without a trace. After awakening from a blackout, Wake discovers he has written a new manuscript depicting the events happening around him, but can't remember what he put down on paper -- until he starts finding sheets strewn throughout the town that fill in some blanks and foreshadow impending danger.
Is it any good?
This 10- to 12-hour story-driven horror game delivers plenty of thrills and chills. Played from a third-person perspective, Wake must explore the once-idyllic town in which he finds himself, talk with many memorable residents to gather clues, and work together with allies such as the town sheriff and his agent to battle supernatural foes. Combat focuses on using light to defeat the creepy things that go bump in the night. This includes weapons (such as flash grenades) and tools (flashlights and flares).
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how games like Alan Wake envelop the gamer in an atmospheric tale dripping with suspense, memorable characters, and an interactive world to explore. What's different about the story in this game as opposed to other games? It's clear the developers were influenced by other media, such as movies, books, and TV shows. Should more game designers look elsewhere for inspiration?
Families can also discuss the difference between battling normal humans and possessed humans. Does this make the violence seem less visceral? Or do you pity the possessed all the more because they've been taken over and have no control of their actions?