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Sunday, 18 July 2010

MY BLOOD WAS BLACKER THAN THE CHAMBERS OF A DEAD NUN'S HEART

Finally thought an idea for THIS SUB CALL -->


and it involves a kid, an old EC-style comic, and demonic superpowers. It might also get a bit hackneyed whilst potentially breaking the fourth wall and acknowledging the trite nature of such things, not to mention have a sort-of 'feedback loop' of image/narrative. Ooo very mysterious!

In other news, I've been playing ALAN WAKE on the EGGBOX. It looks lovely, very moody and atmospheric, with mist-shrouded woods being the main area the game takes place in. Which is getting a little boring, as the town of Bright Falls (where Alan, a horror writer, goes on vacation) seems to have a sinister history. I reckon I'm about halfway through the game, if not further, so hopefully things will change a bit.

The controls are bit frustrating as, like in Silent Hill, it often pays to just leg it rather than try and fight the creepy enemies (in this it's darkness-shrouded people) but it would help if Alan could manage to sprint for more than three seconds before getting hopelessly knackered. This is even more annoying when the enemies are bloody fast and have remarkably good aim with their thrown sickles and axes. This isn't 'tense' or 'scary' just 'bloody annoying'. I also get to have a good chuckle at the character models, who look as if they've had strokes in every cut-scene.

But it's not all dodgy survival horror - there are some nice Lovecraft hints, some (heavy-handed) King references, and even a nod to August Derleth (thanks to the Twlight Zone-style 'Night Springs', which can be watched on televisions in the game). AND there's some pretty good music utilised throughout the game, not least one of my favourite Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds songs, Up Jumped the Devil.

At this point, it's unclear quite what's causing all the weirdness in Alan's world (though there's a suggestion of In The Mouth of Madness writer-writes-reality type shenanigans going on) and if I remember other reviews, the game ends without properly explaining itself...an idea given further credence by the second and latest Alan Wake DLC (Downloadable Content, awkward acronym fans!) which states "Now Alan knows what he's up against..." - but I'm certainly intrigued. Ironically, Alan's writing (which is found throughout the game as manuscript pages) is a bit poor, but the game itself is pretty finely crafted. FANCY THAT!

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