Will the real Alan Wake please stand up?

March 4, 2010 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment

Who is Alan Wake?

That’s a very good question. Like others, I was intent on figuring out the question on a stranger’s t-shirt, up until I saw the sale at Costa Blanca. A couple hours later, I had the nagging thought that I’d forgotten something and vaguely remembered “Who is who?” Definitely unsuccessful. Fortunately when I was surfing the net, a trailer on the right-hand of my screen showed up. Now normally, the commotion and buzz we usually get from billboards or TV commercials, and now our websites, is easily tuned out. Our mind has adapted to ignoring external stimulus in the hopes that we may actually finish researching for our college paper. The video clip started anyway with the words “Who is Alan Wake? – Psychological Thriller HD” at the top. Such as any other individual, I was interested in what actors would be playing (Please let it be Shemar Moore!) Here’s the trailer, take a look:

Without the identification that it’s a game anywhere in the trailer, other than ‘Remedy Game’ (which disappears rather quickly, I was completely sure of it being a film produced by Microsoft’s Game Studios for theatre as opposed to just Microsoft and XBOX 360. Several comments on different YouTube links identify the game as having a “suspenseful plot and storyline”… combined with its cinematic and hyper-realistic qualities, you’d almost assume that they were intending on a film.

Post-Geek Girl dinner, I can inform you of exactly why they’ve decided to take games down this path.

Still, games only meet the most basic needs of the reptilian brain (that which we share with animals like cats and dogs): survival, hoarding, dominance, and mating.  However, times are changing and gamers understand that people would like a deeper connection with these games, like what they can achieve with film. In an hour and a half, we can create stronger intellectual and emotional responses to a film because of the plot, the cinematography, and the appeal to our more developed brains. Now, a movie like Alan Wake involves love, loss, and cultural relativity (the small town which he moves to) along with the feelings of a caveperson. He is a best-selling suspense author who escapes to a small town to recover from the mysterious disappearance of his fiancée after he fell into a coma. From thereon in, all of his storyline nightmares come to life and he must fight to investigate the disappearance and keep himself alive.

The XBOX 360 gave an interesting description for the game to be released May 2010:

“Set in the deceptively idyllic town of Bright Falls, Wash., “Alan Wake” immerses players in an intense and expansive cinematic world that enables players to roam freely in hyper-realistic, dynamic and interactive environments. “Alan Wake” is mission-based with a deeply engaging and suspenseful story line unveiling new twists and profound character revelations at every turn. Players will unravel the riveting plot through multilayered character interactions, unique problem-solving and intense combat against terrifying enemies. In this nightmarish world, Alan Wake must use a variety of weapons to survive, including his most powerful ally against the creatures of darkness — light itself.”

Love, loss, cultural relativity, weapons, light versus darkness, and multilayered characters… How could this not appeal to everyone at the Box Office?

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