Stay Out of the Forest - New Alan Wake Details
2005 seems like forever ago, and, in gamer years, it is. But 2005 is when Remedy debuted its psycho-survival, horror game “Alan Wake.” Since its E3 introduction the game had fallen off the map, suffering numerous delays and risked the possibility of transcending into the realm of vaporware. But “Wake” finally decided to show up for this year’s E3, and left a lasting impressions on the minds of many with an onstage demo at Microsoft’s E3 press conference. Despite that impressive demo, many questions remain, and Matt Leone over at 1up decided to get some answers from Remedy’s managing director, Matias Myllyrinne, and head of franchise development, Oskari Häkkinen.
During the interview Myllyrinne acknowledged that the game was once an open world, allowing players to roam freely over the Pacific Northwest setting. However, that decision was changed to make the game more linear and create a sense of claustrophobia for the player as opposed to being able to run freely away from danger at any time. Myllyrinne noted that in an open world “we just weren’t getting the kind of dramatic impact that we wanted since we didn’t control everything.”
Another question that came up pertained to item management and whether or not Wake would always have enough ammo at his side. “You don’t want to frustrate the player with inventory management,” Myllyrinne said “but sometimes it’s nice to kind of turn the tables and to make sure that, you know, maybe you’re in a bad situation where you don’t necessarily have all the resources at your disposal.”
Personally, I think this is a good thing. If you’ve read my “Resident Evil 5″ review (and I know all of you have) you know that one of my biggest complaints is how much action was thrown into the survival horror experience, and introducing such a change of gameplay halfway into the game really ruined it. For me, throwing players into a world where ammo is scarce goes along with the overall theme of survival horror, and does wonders for adding to the atmosphere of the game. “Clock Tower,” “Sanitarium,” “D”; These are all classic horror games in which the player had little to no ammo available, and they are all some of the scariest and most memorable horror titles out their.
Finally, Häkkinen spoke on Wake’s ability to use light to fend off his enemies saying “Wake believes that he can will his light source. When he’s in a state of panic or fear and his friends have been taken, he doesn’t really understand it. He’s an everyman, but inside his state of panic or fear, he believes he can will his light source to burn brighter and thus burn away the darkness quicker. Is it all in his head or is it reality? That’s up to the player to decide.”
Sounds like Alan Wake is shaping up to be one hell of an introspective mind*!%$, and I’m loving every bit of it. It’s been almost half a decade since the world of Alan Wake was introduced to us all, but if the developers can continue to focus on the psychological aspects of Wake’s journey and keep him from morphing into an ass kicking Dwane Johnson in the face of terror, the wait will have been well worth it.
Check out the full interview here, and scope out some “Alan Wake” gameplay below.