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Alan Wakes

Alan Wake sure looks prettyWhile the gameplay is still shrouded in mystery, Remedy’s follow-up to the Max Payne series and its first foray into the horror realm has finally poked its head above ground again for the first time in a very long time. The last time it surfaced, we saw mere seconds of the game at E3 along with the announcement it would be PC and Xbox 360 exclusive.

This time we’ve been blessed with a bunch of new screenshots (see ‘em here, probably of the PC version) as well as a real time video (here) demonstrating the game’s technology and environment at an Intel press conference yesterday.

Since it’s been a while, the story of Alan Wake is essentially as follows: Alan Wake is a horror novelist who gets his ideas from the nightmares he’s had since meeting his wife for the first time. One day she goes missing, and the nightmares stop. Soon, Alan finds he can’t sleep.

Unable to write, Alan starts scouring the countryside for his wife and runs across someone who looks almost identical to her in the sleepy town of Bright Falls. Creepier than that, he starts having nightmares again, only this time he isn’t sure what’s real and what isn’t as his nightmares start to become reality once it gets dark.

Alan Wake sure looks prettyThe game is set in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s this open, mountainous countryside that the demonstration at Intel’s show initially focuses on. The environment is huge and seamless with the best real time lighting I’ve seen in an open setting. They demonstrated the dynamic weather and day cycle, and it all looked amazing. Finally they showed a tornado chewing its way through a trailer park, and the ensuing physics were most impressive.

The screenshots have some really nice close-ups of Alan himself as well as a few examples of the weather and day cycles.

It’s a shame that we’ve still not seen anything in the way of gameplay, but these screens at least confirm that there’ll be driving and gunplay involved.

Given Remedy’s track record, this is another one to keep a close eye on. It’ll probably disappear from view again for a while, but next time we catch sight of it, you’ll hear about it right here.

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Jon Condit

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