Game Lens #10: Alan Wake

March 1, 2013

Game Lens is a gaming “photography” feature. I hack, mod, tweak, and stress games (and myself) to not only make them as beautiful as possible; but to explore their environments free of HUD, overlays, and physical confinements; and take interesting, high-resolution screenshots.

Alan Wake

“Your greatest enemy is the darkness” is a concept drawn from many survival horror games of the past. Alan Wake takes this idea very literally, with your flashlight being your greatest weapon, and your enemies seemingly part of the darkness itself; as it consumes everything around you. Every time you see a source a light, you know it’s a safe point; or it will be until the darkness consumes that too. A very tense game, and a very atmospheric game, unfortunately let down by cheap scares dampening the potential of it being a truly scary experience. I’m not an expert on the subject of survival horror games, and they are not normally a genre I get into, but Alan Wake certainly scratched my itch for something a little different, and it’s definitely a very polished game.

This also shows in its presentation and its art direction, which very effectively contrasts the use of light and darkness in it’s visuals, making for some very striking areas. Everything is nicely designed, and the game employs a nice use of colour. The day-time areas didn’t quite impress me the way the gloomy, blurry, foreboding night areas did though. Much like the Max Payne series before, made by the same developer, Alan Wake also has an exceptional attention to detail.

Although it took two years for the game to be released for PC (which would appear to be Microsoft’s doing), Remedy is undoubtedly a developer that cares about the PC platform. With their roots based in PC gaming, and the excellent first two games in the Max Payne series being designed by them with the PC in mind first, they definitely didn’t push PC gamers aside with Alan Wake. The PC release plays very well with mouse and keyboard (much better than I would expect from the type of game it is), comes with both DLC releases, and features noticeably better visuals than the Xbox 360 version, which I also played. They also added in a free camera feature in a patch for the amusement of anyone who wishes to try it, which means I didn’t have to tear the games files apart to try and find obscure debug commands!

Below you’ll find my best shots from my photo-tour of Alan Wake.

“Perilous by Night” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Witching Hour” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Something Out There” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“You Will Never Save The Clocktower” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Intruder” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“My Light and Salvation” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Boardwalk” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Artist’s Vision” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Writer’s Block” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Home Away From Home” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“First Impressions” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Alter Ego” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440

“Lonely Stretch” — Download: 1920×1080, 2560×1440


Settings & Tweaks: 2160p rendering, 2xAA + High FXAA, free camera.


Want more pretty pictures? Check out my Flickr here.