Monday, March 21, 2011
In Which I Finish A Video Game About A Writer
So I finally finished Alan Wake, the video game where you play a writer's-blocked super-star author who has to find his missing wife in a small Washington town where creepy shit happens. It took longer than expected to finish because we all got wrapped up in Halo: Reach again. But we finally took a break from that and went back to Alan Wake to finish up the final chapter.
It's a clever game. The MC, Alan, and his wife rent a cabin to try and help out with his writer's block. They spend less than 30 minutes at the cabin before the lights go out and Alan loses track of his wife. Then he wakes up in a crashed car, alone, with no recollection how he got there.
Throughout the game you have to collect manuscript pages of a new novel Alan apparently wrote, that he has no memory of. The manuscript is about real life events.
It's kind of funny because the game writing is good and believable, but Alan's supposed to be this spectacular writer, and the manuscript pages are just full of writing 101 mistakes:
All telling, no showing
POV shifts (and I mean, some of the pages are from Alan's POV, 1st person, and the others are from other characters POV, 3rd person)
Even my non-writerly siblings groaned over how bad Alan's writing was.
For reals, the game creators could have hired any writer just to fix up the manuscript pages. I could have made a few tweaks here or there and they would've been much better.
Still, that said, the game was fun, and creepy. Apparently in this game world, Authors go to hollywood-esque parties all the time, and have hollywood-esque agents. Also there's a crazy FBI agent who's chasing Alan and everytime he comes across him he calls him by a different writer's name. So like:
"Shut up Steven King"
or "I finally caught you, James Patterson".
Which I found clever.
So, it missed the mark on actual good writing, and for accurately portraying a writerly life, but it was still fun and entertaining. And the soundtrack was fantastic.
Check it out, if you're a gamer.