Alan Wake: Game Review

Image: Alan Wake: Game Review

There's something very Biblical about this battle between darkness and light

I saw Alan Wake come out years ago, and always thought I would play it someday. So, when Xbox Live did their monthly sale, I made the purchase. But in truth, I’d heard next to nothing about the game, all I knew was that it was a psychological thriller.

The Storyline

The game follows author Alan Wake as he tries to discover the mystery behind his wife’s disappearance during a vacation to Bright Falls, Washington, while simultaneously living out the events of a story he wrote, but has since forgotten! Throughout the story, Alan’s enemy, known as the ‘darkness’ hunts him, and protection can only be found using various forms of light.

Bright Falls is the perfect setting for this game. The fictitious town is surrounded by beautiful dense forest, and has its own power plant and train yard. All of which you visit and come close to death in!

The visuals, sound, and game movement in Alan Wake produced gameplay that was both terrifying and addictive. Now I’ll be honest, I’m not the best with anything horror! But, the twists and turns of this game created an immensely puzzling storyline  - in fact, the best storyline I have ever played.

Darkness and light

Alan Wake is trapped in his little world because of the ‘darkness’. He is trapped trying to succeed on his own and work his way through the problems he is faced with. However, he has complete faith in the light; he believes it will save him, he believes it will be his salvation.

As Christian guys and girls, we should have a similar faith in our God, while remembering our rescue has already happened! We can have faith that he HAS saved us, and faith that he IS our salvation.

John 3:16, possibly the most famous verse in the Bible tells us this:

‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’

The Bible tells us God is always there for us that no matter what we are faced with, if we give our problems to Him, he will support us and take care of us in those situations. In Psalm 28:7, it says:

‘The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.’

Whatever challenges you are facing right now, you’re not on your own! Just like Alan Wake, you have a mighty power on your side.

Who is this game for?

Rated M, this wasn’t a particularly harsh game for a mature gamer. There wasn’t an intense amount of gore, as all enemies disappeared into glowing dust when defeated. However, the horror aspect could potentially be devastating to younger minds. The darkness that is portrayed is so definite and seemingly real that I would not be surprised to hear about nightmares being caused as a result.

As a whole, I would recommend this game for people who are both old enough and mature enough to handle the combined aspects of the game. Aesthetically and aurally this game was brilliant – there was a clear cut message and complex storyline.

Played with the right mind-set, Alan Wake is a game that will keep you on the edge of your seat, while also reminding you to keep trusting in God when everything seems hopeless!

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