Alan Wake is one of those games you hear a little bit about, get excited, and then promptly forget it exists because it looks like it will never get here. It's also one of the few Windows Vista and 360 games that really take advantage of DX10 ... much to the chagrin of the PS3 camp, I'm sure. We've been hearing a lot of hype but no details about this game since 2005, so I'm happy to find this new article that finally sums it all up, beginning with the story:
Alan Wake is an American writer, and after meeting his girlfriend Alice, starts to experience strange dreams which he uses as material for his first book, a psychological thriller. The novel practically writes itself and becomes a best-seller, but Alice vanishes without trace after publication. Wake then starts to suffer from severe insomnia, and in desperation seeks out a private sleep clinic outside the small town of Bright Falls, Washington. However, here he begins to see glimpses of Alice, and horrible words in his own handwriting appear in his notebooks while he sleeps. Not only that, but there now seems to be something dark, something evil hunting him in the shadows of Bright Falls...
Now the gameplay:
Missions are built around a single linear storyline, so that the player always knows how to progress, but then there are other story fragments spread all around the world -- smaller games for the player to mess around with ... but while we allow for free-roaming exploration, we don’t want you to get lost or frustrated.
Check out the full story on CVG. Thankfully, this is an industry that learned a lot from Gabriel Knight 3 (ie: make the cat rub against the door to make a fake mustache with it's dropped fur). Still, it's unclear if the game is going to be extremely limiting and completely suck after you've played it through once, but it's from the guys who made Max Payne so how bad can it be?
As I flipped through the new shots, it's interesting to compare the oldest Alan images from the 2005 E3 to the ones. By the looks of it, they've either reconsidered the metrosexual faux hawk for a more 90's Mel Gibson look, or Alan goes into the general store for some hair wax and a scarf. More importantly, check out the new time progressed screenshots and the hitchhiker's car crash death: