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05-22-2017

Alan Wake

Video games are great at providing settings that push the boundaries of the imagination. Underwater cities, ruined space stations, hellscapes and heavens. They're good at bringing large cities to life, the hustle and bustle of great metropolises filled with car chases, danger, and excitement.

What is rare though, are the games replicating the places I've lived. Small towns that are down and out, left behind by the post-industrial economy. Empty streets and rural roads giving way to spooky forests. The uneasy tension of a small community dealing with problems bigger than them.

Alan Wake is one of those rare games. From the first moment to the last, I believed in the town of Bright Falls. I felt the same mixture of amusement and pity looking at their Deerfest floats as I do looking at the small, slightly pathetic parades hosted in my hometown. I know I've had coffee at a diner just like the one in Bright Falls; establishments blurring the line between being purposely anachronistic and poorly maintained. And I've read all the same books as Alan seems to have. I'm sure I can't be the only one who felt an immediate connection to the game's setting, a home-sickness for a place I never lived in but definitely know.

That familiarity is just one of the reasons I think you should go and get Alan Wake before it's gone for good.

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