In October of 2008 I went to my local game retailer to pick up Dead Space on the day of release. I had been pretty hyped about the game considering the graphic novel that had been released periodically before the release of the game not to mention the film that was to be released slightly after the release of the video game. Back to the story at hand, I bring the game home and pop it in to my Xbox 360. I still remember the first time I watched the intro to the game and thinking “okay this isn’t too scary so far”. I mean it wasn’t like the beginning of the original Silent Hill; I didn’t have knife wielding mutant zombie babies cornering me in an ally. Then I actually started playing, here I am walking in to a dark corridor no weapon in hand and I have some monster I have never seen before jumping out at me. I freaked out, paused the game, I was completely frightened. I played through the first half of the first level of Dead Space and couldn’t take it. I put the controller down shut off my Xbox and never picked up the game again, until I played Alan Wake.
Alan Wake is a game I have really been looking forward to. I am a huge fan of Stephen King and I saw this game as a Stephen King novel, just in video game form. I was rather timid about my purchase though, Dead Space being the last thriller/horror game I played I honestly didn’t know if I could play it. I was rather conflicted the entire time that I was driving toward my local game retailer. Alan Wake’s story had me very intrigued I just didn’t know if I had it in me to play through a horror game. Apparently I did.
While Alan Wake didn’t scare me as much as Dead Space the environments were very reminiscent of any nightmare you might have that included a wooded area.
Alan Wake’s story is what really made me continue through it while being completely terrified of my surroundings. I knew there was something that was going to pop out at me while walking down this path in the woods or through a line of log cabins, but in order to get the next piece of the story I had to get through it, gripping my controller as if it were the last thing I would ever hold on to. The “episode” structure of Alan Wake was also a huge help. By the end of every episode I was always trying my hardest to not turn off my console and when I finally reached the end it was always a huge relief, but not once did I stop playing until I had finally gotten to the conclusion of an episode.
On Monday June 7th I watched the ending credits of Alan Wake. Shortly after while sitting here trying to wrap my head around the ending of this great game it occurred to me that I had no new games to play, but I did have one that I had never completed. I am currently at the beginning of chapter 3 in Dead Space and really enjoying myself, playing a chapter at a time.