|Alan ain't afraid o' no ghost.|
Last weekend, Amazon delivered two new bright young things to Notre maison d’amour numérique: Alan Wake and Alice: Madness Returns. I spent the week mostly engrossing myself in the psychological thriller that is Alan Wake, and took a backseat to watch my girlfriend work through Spicy Horse’s sequel to American McGee’s Alice. Both games deal with eerie worlds in almost diametrically opposed ways.
Alan Wake plays like a television series – the game goes so far as to even be split up into ‘episodes’, whilst Alice: Madness Returns is a more whimsical affair, though its cute and colourful visuals look to belie a serious, blackened core of a story. Essentially, both of the protagonists in these games are disturbed by their thoughts, and suffer in varying degrees as victims of their own psyche. Whilst running and gunning certainly has a time and place in terms of good, clean fun, I have always found myself to be most drawn in by a good story, and if there can be even so much as a dash of suffering, I’m on board. Let’s take a look at Alan Wake first-off.