It was surprisingly difficult choosing just five memorable moments from Alan Wake, because it’s one of those rare games that keeps upping the ante as the story progresses. I did it though, so that’s something. I eventually had to play through the game a fourth time, because I’m old and my brain hurts all the time, but that was a sacrifice I was willing to make. For you. It’s all for you.
These are the five moments that most defined my experience with Alan Wake. You might have different, possibly even superior scenes in mind, and if you do, I invite you to share them in the comments. But first, let’s kick this thing off, Barry style.
It Was Just a Dream
Alan Wake opens with some narration from the eponymous author, before making a sudden descent into a lucid nightmare. This is our first brush with the Darkness that causes all of the bad stuff that happens to Wake and the quiet town of Bright Falls over the next five episodes.
Alan meets the axe-wielding Hitchhiker — first with the hood of his car, followed by a more personal encounter when he leaves to investigate. Lots of questions are brought up in this brief introduction to the outlandish world of Alan Wake, questions that will eventually get answered, some more clearly than others, later on. Few games are willing to throw as much at the player as this one does, but I can’t think of a more fitting opener than one that’s populated by some familiar horror tropes, shadow twisters and a wise, floating marshmallow men who gifts Alan with flashlights that descend from the heavens.