Generally favorable reviews - based on 100 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 100
  2. Negative: 0 out of 100
  1. 90
    Remedy's done a great job of mixing elements of written work, television, and videogames to create an experience full of scares, laughs, and thrills that's just as fun to play as it is to watch.
  2. All in all, Alan Wake is a brilliant piece of storytelling and one that is going to stand out as an example of single-player gaming done right.
  3. In telling the story of a frustrated author, Remedy Entertainment has excised its own demons and brought forth a beautiful, eerie, exciting, unique, and intelligent creation from the dark depths of development limbo.
  4. It may not be a masterpiece, but Alan Wake is one of the best games we played on Xbox 360 in the last six months. Stephen King fans will love it.
  5. Alan Wake is an entertaining game experience, with and engaging narrative and full of nights of terror.
  6. 90
    With the gripping story, the chaotic gameplay and brilliant graphics, it is a game that stands out among the best games on the system.
  7. There are not many reasons not to buy this game – it’s a bit difficult to get used to at the start and the graphics aren’t as high quality as they could have been. Ignore these minor issues and buy this game – you will not be disappointed!
  8. Ultimately, how much you enjoy Alan Wake’s rollercoaster ride depends on how invested you become in its sophisticated yarn. And it’s one hell of a story, capped off by a quiet, breathtaking denouement that makes good on the opening lines of Alan’s initial descent.
  9. Remedy and Microsoft haven't made a perfect masterpiece, but Alan Wake may well be one of my favourite releases of 2010 – an escapade I'm going to remember for a very long time. It's a stunning action game, a superbly scripted adventure and a technical showcase for the now-ageing Xbox 360 hardware.
  10. An accomplished experiment in narrative: Alan Wake mixes a TV serial structure with a basic action gameplay, building its offer in entertainment with well crafted characters, twists in the plot (it won't be Stephen King at its best, but for an action-adventure game it delivers) and a cool atmosphere. Maybe not worth all the long time it took to come to us, but still a very enjoyable mix, and not one you should miss.
  11. Anything it could do to irritate the player is quickly made up for with a consistently striking character, intriguing cutscene, or thrilling stand-off against an encroaching force of possessed and gibbering mountain hicks. Alan Wake wears its own anomalous sense of style with pride and that alone earns enough credit to spend on inefficient dodging or unfair ambush attacks.
  12. Alan Wake is definitely art, and is well written enough to keep my wife and I on the edge of our seats from beginning to end. If I can admit something, and give Alan Wake the biggest compliment I can bestow, I’d tell you that I had a nightmare about the game the night after I completed it. No horror game has ever managed that feat or even come close. It may have taken them five years to kick it out of the door, but Remedy has created a masterpiece.
  13. If there were a game version of Twin Peaks, it would be Alan Wake. The great Pacific Northwest is a magnificently eerie backdrop for a horror story coming to life. It paces the combat and slower moments well, and it's nice not to have to fight every fight: running away works just as good. The overdone narrator voice gets annoying at times, but luckily Alan's musings lessen towards the end of the game. [May 2010]
  14. 90
    Remedy did an excellent job creating a brand new kind of action thriller. Alan Wake is an awesome game that grabs you by the throat and makes you scream for more.
  15. 90
    Alan Wake is an absolute masterpiece of great storytelling engrossed in a deep backstory, accompanied with brilliant complementary gameplay to an amazing degree.
  16. Alan Wake is finally here, and it's as good as we expected. Rich environments, great story, superb gameplay, many areas to explore, interesting characters... A great game that is not the ambitious project Remedy wanted it to be, but it's glorious anyway.
  17. Remedy have proved that they’re not just a one-trick pony, creating a game that’s starkly different to Max Payne but also deeply referential to it. The clever story, great voice work and presentation all work to sweeten an already sweet deal.
  18. If games can’t be called art unless they illicit an emotional response from their audience, then Alan Wake could easily take up a spot in the Louvre.
  19. The presentation creates a genuine survival/horror ambience that's hard to shake (without the need for excessive gore) and the gameplay shines (no pun intended).
  20. Finally, it's here, and I think it was well worth the wait. It's not perfection, but it's a solid effort and an excellent game that 360 owners should be proud to own.
  21. Alan Wake is arguably the best Psychological Action Thriller game on the Xbox 360 to date.
  22. 'Alan Wake' is a stellar experience that will live on in your mind days after the final credits role. The pacing, storytelling, and light based gameplay is astounding, making 'Alan Wake' any fan of narrative driven games shouldn't miss.
  23. In short, Alan Wake is exactly what ii says on the box, a “Psychological Action Thriller.” You’ll be grasping at straws for most of the game, trying to figure out what exactly is happening in this quaint little town.
  24. While its not the generation defining game the epic development schedule might've hyped, Alan Wake is still a fantastic, 10-hour-plus play-it-on-the-couch linear action game - with brains required or not depending on your preference.
  25. 90
    Alan Wake doesn't revolutionize the video game medium, but it will definitely get inside gamers' heads.
  26. 91
    Alan Wake is a good game. But as well as a recommendation, I'd suggest you take your time with the first play through, because it's a game you can also only really experience once properly. You will most likely play it more than once - but that first time is the real charm of the thing.
  27. Despite it's flaws, Alan Wake is not a game you can miss out on.
  28. It’s a horror game that doesn’t rely on clunky controls and denying the player supplies to produce tension. It’s an action game with pages of novelized story to read. Yet every element of the game is cohesive and feels right as you play it.
  29. Remedy has done a cracking job with Alan Wake, providing a game that's solid entertainment of the survival horror nature from start to finish. There are some moments where the game does feel a bit 'samey' in terms of design, but with such an engaging and captivating story, you'll feel compelled to drive onwards and see it through to its conclusion.
  30. Despite a bit of repetitiveness in the last half, Alan Wake is a spectacular, memorable experience. If you own an Xbox 360, you'll want to own this.
  31. 100
    Ultimately, Alan Wake is driven -- as is any good story -- by the impulse to see what happens next. It offers up a believable world, characters worth caring about, enjoyable combat and a narrative I wanted to follow.
  32. More than once Alan Wake reminded us of books, movies, and TV shows that we love and spend hours with every week; it helped merge the video game experience with those other memorable moments. For once a video game was able to show exactly what it means to create something that brings emotion to the gamer; on top of that Alan Wake was just damn fun to play.
  33. Now, you can chalk it up to the absolute rush of endorphins I've had simply by having this title in hand after a 5 year wait, but I found it very difficult to find fault in this title.
  34. If you're looking for a game with a great story, dense with mystery and suspense and capable of keeping you in constant distress for hours, Alan Wake won't disappoint you. It isn't a perfect game mainly due to the somewhat repetitive action sequences, but its core is in the fantastic plot and storytelling. It undoubtedly is a great and unique experience, and as such it's highly suggested.
  35. Remedy set out to create one of the most intense and gripping story experiences of the year and they delivered on their goals with sublime ease. An utterly compelling cast of characters and the most engaging story we’ve experienced in years means that Alan Wake is a must buy. The best survival-horror thriller we’ve seen for quite some time. It’s more Resident Evil than Resident Evil 5 was! Move over Capcom, Alan Wake’s in town!
  36. A brilliantly told story, excellent voice acting, and an atmosphere so unnerving you'll sleep with the lights on for a month. If only it came with a bottle of instant amnesia so that you could play it for the first time more than once.
  37. Remedy has created a superb video game that uses one of the best written characters in the medium all year to tie its plot, themes and gameplay together seamlessly. Thrilling, frightening and genuinely compelling, Alan Wake is a nightmare players will not soon to forget.
  38. Alan Wake is an absolutely fantastic title and it was definitely worth the long wait.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1036 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 122
  1. Jan 2, 2011
    I'm honestly aghast at all the people who think this game represents the pinnacle of good storytelling in a video game. If this is all writersI'm honestly aghast at all the people who think this game represents the pinnacle of good storytelling in a video game. If this is all writers have to do to impress the gaming world, then future game stories are doomed, and blowhards like Ebert will be right in saying that video games cannot be art. Just because you make a game play out like a movie or some hyper-dramatic television series, does not make it a good story; cinematic drama is not synonymous with a good story. Additionally, Alan Wake is grotesquely overwritten, failing to understand the power of subtlety, while beating the player over the head with cliched ideas of "light versus darkness". Was everyone too dumbfounded by the beautiful trees to notice that the human animation and lip-syncing is amateur for this allegedly high standard production? Environments, while pretty, lack the variety and meaning as they did in true masterpieces like Silent Hill 2 and Shadow of the Colossus. The game's plot-line is a contrived piece of crap. It has a pointless metaphysical idea driving it nowhere (i.e. I'm a writer writing myself out of my own story). It relies too heavily on other writers to build its shoddy sense of depth, which, despite its attempts, fails. If anything, I can call this game comedy for all the times the ridiculous commentary of the enemies made me laugh. I have to quote off a few: "Farmers are the opposite of hunter-gatherers"
    "Omega 3 Fatty Acids are good for your heart"
    "Fishing is both a sport and a hobby"

    Seriously, did anyone else pay attention to how ridiculous the enemies are? No, seriously, did you? You can't go five minutes into the game without troupes of enemies barraging you with corny dialogue. Add to this that Alan Wake himself can never shut up, and continually has to state the obvious (i.e. I had to turn on the generator, he said in a narrative voice), and you have a script that, if used for any other medium (such as a book or film) would be laughed at and regarding as juvenile. Ultimately the game lacks focus. It does not know what it wants or what it takes to get there.
    Full Review »
  2. GunGraveTZA(JackW.)
    May 18, 2010
    This game is truely a masterpiece. It has one of the most exciting and satisfying stories for any video game (and the ending isn't crap This game is truely a masterpiece. It has one of the most exciting and satisfying stories for any video game (and the ending isn't crap nor does it require the DLC, it just doesn't answer some questions clearly, and that's great as it opens up the ending to interpretation and makes it even more interesting), the gameplay is simple yet always fun, and the graphics are really wow for a game that's been in development for 5 years. Truely one of the best games of this generation. Full Review »
  3. Oct 19, 2011
    Alan wake is a very enjoyable game, I hadn't played it but saw that it had good reviews so recently got it on XBL, the game was not that longAlan wake is a very enjoyable game, I hadn't played it but saw that it had good reviews so recently got it on XBL, the game was not that long but it kept my interest, the plot and take on the storyline is a very interesting mixture. One of my favourite parts of the game is once you finish a chapter yoàu get an alan wake logo on screen and a song plays from start to finish it just adds an extra relief and a little while to relax before starting up again. Found the game to be like a mini tv series of which you are the main character, no doubt the intention of the producers and the gameplay, the story and gameplay mesh well together with the creative directing. There are a few niggles, the gameplay does begin to get repetitive by the end and I couldn't bring myself to replay the game, once through was enough. So.... Not perfect but an enjoyable gaming adventure, if you find it on the cheap it's worth picking it up. Full Review »