I never really understood the collectibles every game now has to have, but Alan Wake may well have the least sensible implementation so far. I may be forced to draw another comic on the same subject since it’s just so nonsensical. He is chased by some omnipresent darkness and axe-wielding semi-zombies and for some reason is compelled to collect coffee thermoses. Really? Why do they add these things? Is it not clear that they are detrimental to the feel and atmosphere of the game? Yes, I know I don’t have to collect them, and it’s not like I’d been constantly scouring my surroundings for them, but I felt stupid even collecting the obvious ones. And I know there are gamers who just gotta catch ‘em all.
That said, I really liked Alan Wake. It’s an exceptional game and you should play it right now. It’s not without its faults though, and the gameplay itself isn’t anything special. It’s a well made shooter but where it really shines is the story and atmosphere, Alan Wake is nothing less than ambitious. There’s just too much of that shooting. I really wish there’d been more daytime scenes in the town with talking and such, and that the game had prolonged its sense of mystery and horror longer before turning into an action game. At its best it gives a glimpse of how magnificient games could really be, but just doesn’t go there itself. It’s a shame, but it’s still something gamers should experience.