Still, the action is competently executed, save for a few quirks. On occasion, Alan has to jump across gaps; this is dicy and results in more instant falling deaths than the game needs. And a crucial dodge move isn’t as responsive as it should be. It definitely adds to the suspense that Alan doesn’t handspring his way out of danger. On the other hand, when possessed loggers are popping up from behind ferns and swinging axes, you’d like him to duck on command.
Alan Wake is worth playing for the atmosphere and story. The game even sneaks in some well-placed humor. One brief shot of the bestselling author typing with two fingers is the sort of telling detail you’d expect from a real novelist. That’s when Alan Wake is at its best — when it’s illuminating.