Time magazine has named Remedy’s horror shooter Alan Wake 2010’s Game of the Year. Our own Mat C also thought highly of it, as the above review indicates. Time talked about the game’s inherent maturity and complex storyline, even using the word “Hitchcockian” at one point:
Lots of video-game covers have a bold M on their lower left corner, but none have felt as mature as Alan Wake does… Its mix of meta-awareness and Hitchcockian suspense make Alan Wake a unique and fun experiment and one of the best games of the year.
During the first week it looked like Alan Wake would be an unmitigated sales disaster, but its 31-week tail saw the game climb to a reasonable 830,000 units worldwide. It’s clearly not the numbers Remedy or Microsoft hoped to turn, but it should (hopefully) be enough to keep the Finnish developer in business. These guys created Max Payne, they deserve to survive.
I still haven’t played Alan Wake. I must one day rectify that.
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I liked Wake. I liked it a lot. Did I like it enough to agree with a GOTY prize? Probably not.
Incidentally, if Time’s praise for Alan Wake lies in its maturity and the plight of its characters, I’d actually place Heavy Rain as the better of the two. Its overall story arc is better, it’s more intriguing, more interesting, its murder mystery theme is more intense and Wake’s problems are almost an insignificance compared to those of the hopeless and desperate Ethan Mars.
Just my two cents, mind.
I loved both Max Payne and its sequal (although much scaredy of Max Payne: The Threequal from Rockstar) and never quite understand why it comes in for bashing from some quarters.
Which was all the more depressing when Alan Wake was declared as a “couch experience” and not for the intimacy of the PC by Microsoft Truth & Reality Definition People’s Propaganda Department.
I really wanted to play Alan Wake. Sorry, there’s just something in my eye. It’ll pass.
Wait a second. Hang on. Hold up here, now. TIME is putting itself forward as the world authority on games? That’s like saying Roger Ebert gets to define what art is. Man.
There is *no way* I’m buying an Xbox to set alongside my barely used PS3.
…I tried to play a shooter on the PS3 one day and couldn’t get past the first bad guy.
Time’s not trying to be more than it is: an outsider looking in. Otherwise Black Ops or Red Dead Redemption would’ve been #1.
I applaud Time for doing its best to judge (without judging) as a news magazine outside the industry. Sometimes it offers us surprises like this… games that deserve a second (or first) look.
If only Alan Wake was a mixture of Max Payne’s gameplay and Heavy Rain’s story. But its’ not. As a game it’s pretty average. Awesome visuals, great voice acting, fantastic setting. But the game in the end boils to run and gun and let’s say it’s not the best at what it is.
The story… I love Sam Lake. I loved what he did in Mac Paynes even though some of the noir style was on the verge of caricature. I cried when Mona bought it. But in Alan Wake he’s far from being his best. The main character is unlikeable, the plot is a forced sub-Stephen King mixture of several novels and TV shows, the finale of the game is insulting (unless you buy DLC, which I didn’t) and the actual writing grated against my brain… It’s still an impressive looking, comfortably played game but it’s less imaginative in its story and game mechanics than in the setting and visuals…
So, game of the year it isn’t, clearly. But nice try, Time.
I’m with Steerpike on this one. I certainly don’t agree with Wake as Game of the Year, but it’s refreshing to see a publication from outside the confines of our industry not produce a usual suspects list.
Red Dead Redemption wouldn’t be far away from being at my top spot, in all fairness. There were certain elements of that game that I adored. Others, not so much. The whole flower picking thing is possibly solely responsible for it not being an automatic choice. Great to see Limbo on Times’ list, too.