Remedy's episodic action game is almost out for Windows.
The real world tale of Alan Wake's journey to PC is almost as tangled as the supernatural in-game story. This action thriller from Remedy, the studio that created Max Payne, was originally announced as a PC game. After a span of years without any significant information on the project, reports surfaced saying that Alan Wake on PC was cancelled. Then Alan Wake on PC was definitely cancelled.
According to a Microsoft representative at the time, "Some games are more suited for the intimacy of the PC, and others are best played from the couch in front of a larger TV screen. We ultimately realised that the most compelling way to experience Alan Wake was on the Xbox 360 platform, so we focused on making it an Xbox 360 exclusive." Sorry for bringing out the reviled 'comfy couch' argument, but it still irritates me to this day, and I couldn't resist posting it again to show how utterly, completely false it is.
Alan Wake PC Version Video Commentary
Anyway, Alan Wake launched for Xbox 360 in 2010, five years after it was first announced. I reviewed it for IGN, and loved it. I also wrote a really terrible sub heading for that review, which I'm also sorry for. In late 2011, Alan Wake was officially re-confirmed for PC, this time without Microsoft's involvement.
Alan Wake was not the open-world style of game that was originally promised. Aside from in a few larger environments that let you poke around in corners for collectibles, progress is linear the whole way through. The combat system is simple fun, but unlike Max Payne, story is the bigger draw. Alan Wake feels like a really good X-Files game, told in television-style episodic chunks, that ditches Mulder and Scully's inexplicably ineffective flashlights for one that's integral to combat. It's pretty, well-paced (aside from some pointless vehicle sequences), occasionally frightening and never loses its camp humor value. The attention to detail in the environments is superb, and though you don't pick up many weapons, little feels useless.
Watch the embedded video to see how it runs. You can buy it on February 16 on Steam, which will include The Signal and The Writer downloadable content packs.