Alan Wake EP10: Nightingale, Agent Nightingale

By Josh
on May 9, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

And we almost made it through a whole episode without fighting any darkness-related creatures. Damn.

Oh well. At least we have coffee.

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  1. SyrusRayne says:

    Mumbles sounds pretty great using her shadow-abductee voice. I’m just saying.

  2. Chris B Chikin says:

    Mumbles invented the whole Steampunk Convention story to cover for the fact that she knows Gearfest is actually a methlab convention which she attends regularly for tips on hiding her other enterprises behind Target.

  3. el_b says:

    wouldn’t sleeping pills and coffee cancel each other out?

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “And we almost made it through a whole episode without fighting any darkness-related creatures. Damn.”

    Thats what you get for not listening to music at the end of an episode.

    Also Mumbles,youre such a nerd.I heard them say beer fest at first.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So in the next episode,will Rutskarn pour all the puns he has brewed in this one?

  6. Ateius says:

    Oh wow, writing. Okay, so the crew have already asked some of my questions (“Why does a small town have 50+ cops”, “Why are 50+ cops responding to a suspicious persons call”, “Why are they all opening fire for no reason” etc.) but I’ve got more, starting with “Why is the FBI here” and “No, seriously, what is going on”.

    Game, you have some explaining to do.

    • There’s only one FBI guy I think. And the reason he’s there is actually very simple:

      He was written into the manuscript and is afraid of what will happen if he doesn’t stop Wake from writing the rest of the manuscript.

    • Jingleman says:

      It’s possible, but implausible that there would be that many cops. We don’t know how many people live in Bright Falls, but it seems like a 4-5 cop town at most. However, the cops in question are from the county sheriff’s office, which generally serves more than one township, unless Washington does things differently from most other states. We don’t know how big the county is, or what resources might be available from other authorities when the FBI comes calling, like from state police, the Coast Guard (we’ll see them later), the parks service, and neighboring police departments.

      So, it’s possible, but it’s so unlikely and out of place that it’s pretty jarring. It comes down to whether you’re willing to forgive the ridiculously huge manhunt if it gives you an action sequence with some variety.

      • Amnestic says:

        Even if you grant that there could feasibly by 50+ officers with cars and “shoot to kill” orders in the middle of the night…it still doesn’t answer the question of why they’re there. Sheriff Ladyperson even seems to say this when she’s questioning Agent Nightingale about it and he’s all “I’M A FEDERAL AGENT.”

        Yeah, good for you mate, I’m pretty sure you still have to give a reason for a huge manhunt like this. I don’t think Nightingale ever gives a reason in that sequence (though it seems he does later, but not one which would be sufficient to other law enforcement agencies to warrant this deployment).

        Also Sheriff Ladyperson says “my deputies tell me” which implies more than one. I admit I don’t know much about law enforcement (even less about rural North US law enforcement), but it seems odd – to me at least – that this small town would have more than one deputy. Unless all the officers except the Sheriff are deputies I suppose, but…I dunno. I’m sure someone more learnéd can correct/confirm.

        • Zombie says:

          To play devils advocate for a second, she might only have one or two deputies who are just there to look after the town. I cant really think of that many towns with only one deputy and one sheriff. And looking at a map at Washington state counties (and tying not to laugh at some of the names. I mean, really, who names a county Walla Walla? or Klickitat? Skamania?) they look pretty big. So I guess they could call in a lot of people. Why would they do it for one guy? Thats were my devils advocate runs away screeming. But im pretty sure a federal agent can’t just show up and say “Hey, theres a guy out there, drop everything and follow me with your whole police force.” I mean, it seems stupid to call out all those people when they’re needed to guard jails, keep the streets safe in bigger cities/towns, or keeping drunk or high drivers off the road.

          • harborpirate says:

            They could have fixed all this by having FBI emblazoned on all the vehicles with the implication that these were all FBI dudes that showed up in the apparent task force that they brought out.

            Even putting Washington State Patrol logos on the vehicles would have been a better idea, implying an inter-agency cooperation that Sheriff LadyPerson was cut out of because she wouldn’t play ball.

            • Zombie says:

              Even then the question of “why are 50 FBI/Washington State Patrol officers going after 1 seemingly harmless guy?” comes up again.

              See this is where I think Alan Wake fails. It has the manuscript pages to fill some plot holes, but others, like the ones with Rose at the end of the episode, serve no real purpose. They could have taken those and explained why there are 50 cop cars in a small town trying to capture/kill a hack writer who really has done nothing. But then again I guess this falls into “Alan is a hack writer.”

              • Mr Guy says:

                Except that whole “A story needs to be true to it’s own logic. Otherwise it falls apart.” Which is why IMO this section is a failure.

                Seriously – you want a scene like this? You don’t NEED 50 cops. Have the FBI agent, and maybe 2 other cops. Have them chase Alan through the forest (maybe you have to move quickly, or occasionally hide in barns. Hey – a reason bear traps could be a legit hazard!). Maybe one of them could drop a flashlight and that’s how you get one. Maybe the darkness can pick up their car and throw it. The radio still works, and they call in the helicopter (which could lead to an interesting stealth sequence). You could search the car after they go up and find the flashbangs.

                A scary and suspenseful chase sequence is NOT a function of the NUMBER of guys chasing you. It’s a function of how close they come to catching you – how much you have to work to stay ahead of them. Eluding 3 guys who are actually GOOD at chasing you could be just as interesting as eluding 50 mooks who can’t even figure out how to point at things with a flashlight.

                • PurePareidolia says:

                  Also how the hell are the Taken killing armed FBI agents? they’re not that tough and the FBI guys are better trained than Alan is, not to mention they have flashlights so they should be better at fighting the Taken than he is. I mean, they must be shining their lights on the shadowy figures coming towards them if only to see who it is, some of them must’ve made the connection that light=effective.

                  This is another time having two or three guys chasing Alan, then taken by surprise and killed at the end would’ve been more plausible and effective.

                • Thomas says:

                  I just want to number check you guys, because as far as I can see we chose 50 as ‘a really big number’ rather than the number of cops there really were and now we’re debating as though it actually was 50 people.

                  To arrest Alan there were 3 cars with 4 visible policemen, including Nightingale. During the chase we see 2 burnt out police cars, 3 police people behind you with guns, a car that gets ahead of you a minute or so later, so presumably one of the first cars, with a suggested 2-3 people in it. Then another 2 people who are implied to be some of the first people driving ahead to cut you off.

                  So actually they never really do anything that needs more than 3 cop cars and say 5-7 people. The only ridiculous thing is the helicopter, which is ridiculous.

                  EDIT: Especially since the Sheriff says everyones been taken out and the scene where we see them taken out can really only be 5ish people tops

              • Jingleman says:

                Yeah, I think that’s the biggest plot issue in the game. The easiest fix would just have been for the FBI Agent to just say what he’s accusing wake Wake of doing, even if he was lying. At least that would explain why the other cops go along with it. Post 9/11, a federal agent screaming “TERRORIST” would probably work. Maybe even certain murder or kidnapping cases. Organized crime. Anything. As it is, the closest we get to an explanation is after Alan is in custody, when Nightingale says the manuscript pages prove that Alan is threatening the life of a Fed.

                The only other theory that explains why an enigmatic government entity in a videogame can make so much noise in a plot without actually explaining anything? Nightingale turns out to be G-Man.

          • Ben says:

            Most of those county names are names of native american tribes or other native american words.

            I hope in your search you found the best named city in Washington. George.

            On topic most of the counties in Washington are very big but very sparsely populated. King County, where Seattle is, has about 30% of the entire population of the State. King, Pierce and Snohomish counties have over 50% of the population in about 8% of the area. Look for example at Okanogan County, 5000 square miles with 40,000 people or about 8 people per square mile.

        • Mr Guy says:

          I can’t believe you passed on the opportunity to bust out “I AM AN FBI AGENT!!!”

          Internet, I am disappoint.

        • krellen says:

          All officers in a Sheriff’s office besides the Sheriff are deputies.

    • Hitch says:

      Well, wherever the cops came from they won’t be letting up now. They sent 50 after Alan Wake and they all ended up dead. They didn’t have a reason to begin with. But now we know why he’s shoot on sight.

    • Mr Guy says:

      He’s trying to find Laura Palmer’s killer.

      Seriously. That’s the best reason you’re going to get.

      • Ateius says:

        .. wait, whose killer? Who is Laura Palmer? I don’t recall this character being introduced. Or killed. What does this have to do with Alan? All Google can tell me is she’s a character from Twin Peaks which only raises more questions.

        Like “why did nobody hire an editor”.

        • Mr Guy says:

          One of the inspirations Alan Wake clearly has is the TV series Twin Peaks.

          The protagonist of Twin Peaks is FBI agent Dale Cooper. Agent Cooper is sent to “small sleepy mountain town” Twin Peaks to assist in the investigation into the murder of local homecoming queen Laura Palmer.

          Even in Twin Peaks, this is a pretty flimsy excuse for having an FBI agent around. Even if you assume the local sheriff needed help, that’s a job for the State Police, not the FBI. So why is there an FBI agent around?

          The answer, as it is in Alan Wake, is “no, YOU shut up.”

          • Klay F. says:

            Its the FBI, if you are familiar with the American media at all you’ll know that the FBI investigates whatever the hell it pleases. Thats why they get involved with basically every Amber Alert case thats ever been filed.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      “Oh wow, writing. Okay, so the crew have already asked some of my questions (“Why does a small town have 50+ cops”, “Why are 50+ cops responding to a suspicious persons call”, “Why are they all opening fire for no reason” etc.) but I’ve got more, starting with “Why is the FBI here” and “No, seriously, what is going on”.

      Game, you have some explaining to do.”

      You should look to “the crew” and yourself for answers, as you’re the ones making this complicated.

      First off, where you got the number 50 is beyond me. There are about ten cops at max. This is counting the ones who are visible while searching for you on foot, the ones in the valley, and the one or two flying the helicopter.

      Second, why they’re all responding. Recall the conversation via CB between Nightingale and Breaker. Nightingale says (and Breaker doesn’t deny) that she assigned the officers to him. ‘Why’ is anyone’s guess, but I would figure it’s part wanting them to keep an eye on Nightingale and part genuine concern for finding Wake.

      Third, I submit that their behavior is not all that unpredictable (Read: banality of evil). Taken with the facts that it’s not unheard of for cops who have to give chase to get carried away and become excessively violent, whatever any of them do is hidden in the forest so there’s even less reason to think of the personal consequences, “I was just doing my job/following orders” is a ready excuse, or simple utter confusion about who fired the first shot; it’s not that hard to conceive how this sort of panic would make small town police act before thinking. After all, a trained FBI agent whom one might incorrectly reason from the assignment Sheriff Breaker has faith in seems to be wanting him dead. There must be a good reason, right?

      Fourth, why is the FBI there? Well it never says exactly. But both the game and The Alan Wake Files suggest it’s more of a personal vendetta than official FBI business.

      And “No, seriously, what is going on” is not a separate question.

  7. Museli says:

    “You have the right to remain silent.”

    Hang on a moment, evil monster police officer, that was actually a half-decent combat taunt. You don’t belong in this game, my friend.

  8. Sagretti says:

    Ya know, I’ve actually been on the ET Ride, and I totally get where Chris is coming from. I’m not quite sure what it means when a sequence from a kid’s ride is as intense as one from a thriller video game.

    ET Ride Through

    Of course, I’d find Alan Wake a lot more entertaining if it was at all like the completely cracked second part of that ride. Parts of ET’s home planet are infinitely creepier than what intentional suspense can come up with.

    • anaphysik says:

      Oh my gosh! That ride! That ride was so frakking amazing! Rode it ~10 times when I was there! Just ridiculously fun!

      …Ahem, now if you’ll excuse I must go back to being a stoic grad student.

  9. Does anyone else find it hard to believe that it took so long for a cast member (Mumbles) to reference Kingdom Hearts in a game about a struggle between light and darkness?

    • Amnestic says:

      I’m more upset that I don’t think there’ll ever be an Alan Wake world showing up in any Kingdom Hearts game.

      Honestly? I think that could save it. And the weird facial animations would fit right in.

      • I think it would have that strange realism vs. cartoonism vibe that Port Royal (Pirates of the Caribbean) has in Kingdom Hearts 2.
        That level breaks my immersion every… single… time.

        At least it would still beat Atlantica from 2.

        • Amnestic says:

          Well you had a sort-of strange realism with the FF characters to begin with. Especially the likes of Squ- sorry, “Leon” and Cloud. This was more evident in KH2 than KH1, where the FF characters seemed a bit closer to Sora/Riku/Kairi in design. Subtle changes I guess.

          Honestly I kinda liked the PotC section of KH2. I thought the jarring design switch was pretty cool. It’s a whole other world (which in this case is more like an alternate universe/dimension) and I thought the design change really brought that across quite well. Better than a lot of other Disney worlds which kept the relatively samey colour palette.

          TRON was another world I think did it well because the aesthetics on everything was just so different.

          To each their own though, I get how it could be immersion breaking for people but personally I loved it.

          And yeah, Atlantica suuuuucked.

          • I’m not saying they were bad sequences. They grew dangerously close to just coping the movies instead of iterating on them, but they were good sections.

            I’m just saying that it was rather jarring (and somewhat amusing) to see such realistic-looking (for the time) character models for Jack Sparrow and co., only to have Sora (who looks like a Final Fantasy character), Donald, and Goofy thrust into it.

            And seriously, who the hell thought that a MUSICAL level was a good idea!? It was bad enough without it being so damn loud that I had to turn down the TV to nearly 0. The only reason I’ll play that level is for the magic upgrades and the Orichalcum+ need for Ultima Weapon, else I’d skip it.

    • anaphysik says:

      Bah. Wake me when one of them makes an Ahura Mazda – Angra Mainyu reference.

      • Milos says:

        Even though they are parts of an ancient mythology, for me those names will always firmly belong in Blade of Darkness lore first, then everything else second.

  10. Jakale says:

    Are you at all allowed to try and respond to the Sheriff on the overturned car radio? It clearly still works. Sure, she probably won’t believe the story of bullet proof darkness monsters, but they all have flashlights so it couldn’t hurt to give them a heads up about that. I just feel kind of bad leaving them in the dark, so to speak.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Short answer: no.

    • Zombie says:

      I dont see why you’d want to anyway. If he started taking to the Sheriff, then the FBI agent will most likly know where Alan is, because I doubt that there are a lot of recently exploded/utterly destroyed cop cars on the road.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        But HOW MANY did Alan pass on his little 15 minute run through the woods here? At least three, possibly four or five. And “knowing where he is” is very different from “showing up there with enough guys to surround Wake”. Which is at least “rather more than showed up at the trailer park — look how well that worked”.

        • Thomas says:

          A better suggestion is to say that he was too panicked. Technically he’s meant to be running for his life believing people are pursuing him. Although that doesn’t work for the last car I guess

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      He passed four vehicles. I would agree with the reasoning that he was too panicked along with the fact that, yes, getting on the CB would likely give away his position. Upon seeing the first car, they’re not far behind him. Definitely not wise to stop and basically tell them, “You know that squad car that just fell near our location? (Because you’re close enough too; you probably saw it) That’s where I am, come get me!” After all, at this point, it’s reasonable to assume no one knows there’s more than one wrecked squad car.

      The second car is also probably very visible to any of the police looking for him by the time he reaches it, as it’s sort of at the edge of a cliff with no trees or anything blocking a view from the valley. Wouldn’t take any time at all to see it if they decided to look for a squad car (as they undoubtedly would upon hearing him on the radio).

      And the third and fourth are probably because it seemed all the police had been killed already anyway. You can hear Breaker trying to reach them and getting nothing on the third one’s radio. No one left to warn. But just in case there is, there’s no way of telling her where Alan is without also telling them.

  11. Chris says:

    RE: Fireworks
    Have none of the cast watched Attack the Block?

  12. Milos says:

    That weird shot you mentioned at 1:58 could be their take on Ingmar Bergman’s merging faces thing. Apparently Lynch used it too though I doubt it was in Twin Peaks. But then again I’m most likely giving them too much credit… or not, considering how shoddily it was executed.

    As for your comment on the radio – I could never just walk past one. I would always listen to the whole thing even though I was very aware how tension breaking the whole thing was. I just couldn’t help myself.

  13. silentlambda says:

    It’s handy that flashbangs are filled with magic photons that emit super- light to kill the taken instantly, unlike any of your other light sources. Maybe they’re filled with the kidnapper’s cutscene- isotopes.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      You people just wanna ruin everything, don’t you? Make every weapon do the same thing. And then you complain about the supposed lack of variety of weapons *shakes head*

      How’s this:

      Remember killing “Barbara Jagger”? How’d you do it? She had a hole in her chest where her heart should be, and you got a great deal of light inside of this shell, which is all she was. Perhaps it’s the same for the other Taken? And exceptionally strong concentrations of light penetrate these holes (perhaps even through fabric, for those of you holding your magnifying glasses and saying, “Nope. No holes”) and kill them more quickly. Compare the light on Taken with heat on you and I. We’re just fine with moderate amounts of heat on us, weakened in some ways when we get uncomfortable amounts of it, and having too much within our bodies can kill us instantly. Just the same, getting a certain measure of light inside the bodies of the Taken will kill them in a millisecond.

      If that’s too boring for you (or for those of you who didn’t read the spoiler but are still wanting an explanation)…

      heart attacks! :P

  14. PurePareidolia says:

    So, instead of telling the FBI officer “She drugged me and Barry – I just woke up, but he’s still out of it on the sofa in there”, Alan says nothing and bolts for the woods. Because he didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s really obvious to anyone who would take the two minutes it’d take to check.

    Now how the hell did any of the cops get down into the valley before Alan did, given he was running away from them?

    Also I like how obvious it was that the voice of God was Thomas Zane, but I still wish he was portrayed as less powerful. Alan really hasn’t done anything on his own other than run around aimlessly, killing shadows and spazzed out fences.

    Finally, I’m thinking of making a title page for this, but there’s no really ridiculous imagery so far. Any suggestions?

    • X2Eliah says:

      Some sort of spazzing out with a flashlight in hand should be a thing in that imagery. Somehow.

      • Dave B says:

        Or Wake, with a flashlight in each hand, and another 2 or 3 strapped to his (ridiculous) hat. And two more duct-taped to his shoes.

      • IFS says:

        Cuftbert as Wake, reading a manuscript page and scratching his head while taken cast members (rutskarn, shamus, mumbles and chris, no josh since he is cuftbert) chase Barry around in the background.

    • marmakoide says:

      Alan mentions that if he get caught by the police, he will not finish in time his novel, a condition to get Alice back alive & in a single chunk.

      • Thomas says:

        Plus that he sensed some dark intentions on behalf of the FBI agent, that something wasn’t quite right.

        And he’d just read that in a manuscript page so he knew he was right :D

    • Klay F. says:

      You should make something based on the Heavy Metal Concert/ Children of the Elder God bit, as that is by far the most ridiculous part of the game.

      • Vic 2.0 says:

        It’d be another fail. Haven’t seen a single bit of valid criticism about this game yet, except that it gives you too much ammo.

        The Anderson farm scene was great! Just another of the unique environments this game will forever be known for.

    • anaphysik says:

      Perhaps:
      Cuftbert looking at a manuscript page, coffee thermos in hand, flashlights strapped to his bonnet. There’s a cop and a taken approaching from either side, and Cuftbert’s shouting “I didn’t even do anything me-ish yet!”

      You could even include some sort of blatant advertising, like him wearing a “Happy Pony Trails” shirt or something.

    • Indy says:

      Just the Alan Wake image with a bonnet as well? Simple but effective.

    • Even says:

      Well that all really depends. You could definitely get some comedy out of the light vs. dark theme, though to get the best out of it you’d probably need to have full of knowledge of the plot and the characters. There’s Thomas Zane and his diving suit of light which would easily look ridiculous in a different context. Barry’s “light armour” (bunch of Christmas lights wrapped around his jacket and a head lantern) which he dons later on would seem pretty obvious too. The game’s really heavy on symbolism when it comes to some of the key characters in the plot which should at least give you some ideas. There’s the ladies of light and darkness respectively, Cynthia Weaver and Barbara Jagger, both with their own obsessions. And who could ever forget about our beloved dime a dozen mooks, the Taken.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      “So, instead of telling the FBI officer ‘She drugged me and Barry – I just woke up, but he’s still out of it on the sofa in there’, Alan says nothing and bolts for the woods. Because he didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s really obvious to anyone who would take the two minutes it’d take to check.”

      1. Agent Nightingale is obviously screwed up in the head. Wake would be a fool to think this would make any difference.
      2. Any hindrances could cost him his wife, who is (to the best of Wake’s knowledge) being held hostage by a kidnapper who says if he doesn’t get the manuscript, she’d dead.
      3. Anytime there are three people and two of them are out of their minds on God only knows what sort of drug/poison (can’t explain what it is or who gave it to them) and the third is perfectly sober… that third person’s gettin’ locked up for a while.

      “Now how the hell did any of the cops get down into the valley before Alan did, given he was running away from them?”

      They weren’t.

      “Also I like how obvious it was that the voice of God was Thomas Zane, but I still wish he was portrayed as less powerful. Alan really hasn’t done anything on his own other than run around aimlessly, killing shadows and spazzed out fences.”

      What an odd statement. Zane did very little. I was far more inclined to ask why he wasn’t doing more.

  15. Kdansky says:

    I glanced at every episode up to now, with the sound off, just to get an impression of the game. Is it me, or is this the most boring game ever? You watch a cut-scene, then walk through some forests in the dark, have a bit of a pistol fight with darkness people, then find some ammo/grenades/batteries, and that is just repeated endlessly. If the best thing about a game are the parts when you don’t have to press buttons, then it should just be a film instead.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      I was thinking the same thing honestly.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yup,the fighting seems so boring.The parts in between do seem fun from time to time,but the fighting…

      • Kdansky says:

        No wonder some people ask for the fights to be skippable. I don’t ask for that. I ask for good games instead.

        Dear game devs: Don’t try to make movies. Try to make good games. There’s a reason everyone knows about Tetris, Pacman and Pong*. Because those games are good games, despite their age and simplicity. They are like Chess, or Go, whereas Alan Wake is more like having your pasta served by a ballet dancer while a pair of trained parrots are singing Beethoven. Sure, it’s “an experience”, but it’s really silly and doesn’t change the fact that overcooked pasta without sauce is just not worth eating.

        *As for current games that will become classics: Dark Souls. Every button press matters, and it’s the best game I have played for at least a decade.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I dont want it skipped,I want it better.Fewer but more interesting enemies.The light gimmick is nice,but its just a gimmick.One small gimmick cannot hold your entire game.

          Also,keeping story and gameplay separate is a really bad thing to do,and developers should stop doing it.Walking around and talking to people is fine and all,but that is just half(or less)of this game.The other half is fighting that adds nothing to the story,and that is bad.There have been what,4 combats so far that moved the story forward.

    • monkeyboy says:

      If the best thing about a game are the parts when you don’t have to press buttons, then it should just be a film instead.

      That should be carved in stone over every game company’s front door.

      • Thomas says:

        I seriously cannot disagree more. Hugely so. Like have you ever played Heavy Rain? Or any game with story focused sections, Max Payne 1,2 etc

        It is such a different experience playing these things instead of watching them, all the games listed above have a pretty sucky plot really but it works because game narrative is just that powerful.

        I think the opposite to be honest, if the best part of your game is just skill checks and memorisation then it can be entertaining ish but your the kid in the sweet shop whose licking the coins in the till, you haven’t even began to touch on a half of the things the medium can do.

        • Kdansky says:

          Why make a game when all your focus is on non-game-elements? That’s like writing a comic-book and using 99% of your space with text bubbles, or making a movie where you only get to read text against a static background. Heavy Rain as a film would be much more enjoyable than as a really clunky game.

          Max Paine on the other hand is a decent shooter with a plot that is only there to offer some back-drop. Playing paint-ball in the forest is more interesting than in an empty, featureless room, but it still is a game of paint-ball, and if your guns are not fun to use, the game will not be fun either. I don’t say that games must be devoid of context and flavour, but they must focus first and fore-most on mechanics. Or to put it differently: A good game is enriched by a good story, and can survive even a bad story (see Quake or Mario). A bad game cannot be saved by a good story.

          • SougoXIII says:

            Heavy Rain as a film would be much more enjoyable than as a really clunky game

            I would argue that the only saving grace of Heavy Rain is that it’s game. If you were to focus only on the plot and characters, you’d notice that Heavy Rain is one of most ridiculous thing ever written.

            • Kdansky says:

              So what you are saying is that we have lower standards for games, and that makes Fahrenheit acceptable? That’s not the solution, that’s the problem!

              • Thomas says:

                No, but that the elements of a game are able to make story things so much better that the stories you can tell with games can’t be told by films.

                Look there are two basic ways you can enjoy a game, either as a game, or as a narrative (and all sorts of mixes as the two) and we’re quite good at making them enjoyable as games but just at the beginning of exploring narratives, but of the two narratives can go so much deeper.

                You might not realise it, but the non gamey bits of Heavy Rain and Alan Wake and Max Payne and Arkhum Asylum are nothing like watching a film, all the walking you do around the places, the sense you inhabit the game completely changes it.

                Even FFX and MGS4, despite the narrative being through cutscenes are nothing like films because the story is intrinsically linked in how you travel from cutscene to cutscene.

                You can just make games games, but in the end your limiting yourself so much and the thing is although the best thing may well (and should :D ) be the story, what makes that story great is the game (regardless if they’ve made the game fun or not)
                Check out these short flash games
                http://www.kongregate.com/games/2DArray/the-company-of-myself
                http://www.kongregate.com/games/LemmiBeans/one-chance

                • Kdansky says:

                  Your example is FFX? That game where the gameplay is a really boring combination of random encounter grind and pressing X to continue to the next exposition piece of dialogue, yet what you do is utterly pre-ordained, and you cannot stray even a millimeter from the path that the developers chose, and you will see the exact same cutscenes in the exact same order, no matter how you try to play it?

                  That’s your “game where narrative and mechanics go well together”? Are you trolling me?

                  Final Fantasy tries SO HARD to be a movie, because that is what Japanese RPGs tried to do. See the Extra Credits on that topic. Alan Wake is basically a JRPG, and that boils down to: “Genre that has outlived its usefulness.”

      • ps238principal says:

        I would also like to offer some dissent to this notion. A game can have interactive bits (button-pushing, if you will) that you don’t want to participate in because the mechanics aren’t fun or are poorly executed. I don’t mind combat in a game (if it’s warranted. I don’t expect to haul around a BFG-9000 in a Sherlock Holmes game, f’rinstance) or physics puzzles or even running in terror through an obstacle course. However, if the devs have somehow managed to make the player-interactive parts, the murdering of dudes, the defeating of heckspawn, or the blowing up of blowy-uppy things overly repetitive, counter-intuitive, boring, or as fun as trying to untangle fishing line from the blades of a running lawn mower, then it’s not really the concept of pushing buttons that’s to blame.

        • Kdansky says:

          >A game can have interactive bits (button-pushing, if you will) that you don’t want to participate in because the mechanics aren’t fun or are poorly executed.

          Why in the seven hells would I prefer that to a game which just does not have these mechanics? Not having them is cheaper for the developer, and more fun for the player.

          My point comes down to literally: “If some of your mechanics are bad, cut them from the game.”

          And if that leaves no game, then you’ve gone wrong somewhere, and shoehorned something together that makes no sense. As for Alan Wake: Dear Esther doesn’t have any combat either, and it works (though I would not call it a game, but it’s still better than Alan Wake).

          • Thomas says:

            Okay I misunderstood a bit. It doesn’t work as a general principle because you can make fantastic narratives out of meh mechanics that are fantastic because of those mechanics but yeah in Alan Wake they could have taken away a lot of the combat and made it actually better. Although it would still be a game and if they tried to take away the game parts, despite being a good game it wouldn’t work as a film because the two things are fundamentally different.

            But even awful mechanics can make the game overall better. If they reduced the amount of fights it’s still better to fight than not fight because it makes the narrative make sense and give it pacing, even though what you’re adding isn’t really enjoyable. Of course it’s better if you spend time making enjoyable combat :D

    • Klay F. says:

      Welcome to modern AAA gaming.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      The combat was very addictive, to me. It was a new concept, in a new atmosphere, you could dodge, switch between your flashlight and guns, etc. It’s usually the main reason I return for every playthrough. Somethin’ different.

      And I’m never bored. If I thought I’d be bored playing a psychological thriller, I’d play a simple action game instead?

  16. Thomas says:

    I have to admit I’m really beginning to like this game, there was nice pacing here, a lot of things to kick it up and beats of chasing and watching and ‘oh crud stuff’s happening.’ The only bit where it went wrong is when you had to fight the Taken, I’m not even playing the game but just having them on screen is already frustrating as heck. And although the plot was stupid it worked because for once it felt like the game was going somewhere and doing something.

    One of the things this game was missing was a word that can describe it. Max Payne was a hard sell, but then you call it Noire and it suddenly all makes sense. I really don’t think this game is a campy homage, there’s nothing camp about it and they don’t make many humour pauses and homage isn’t quite right either, because whilst they’ve included and clearly wanted to include a lot of references in style to other things, it also wants to do it’s own thing and push on.

    It would have worked best as a twin-peaks adventure thriller thing. A mystery psychological adventure thriller (see what I mean when it needs a word?) And it’s clear some people on the development team were trying to make a horror game and they just needed to go the frick away because none of the parts where it’s trying to be scary work. It should have been about atmosphere rather than fear.

    They needed something to break up the narrative segments and give it a bit of variety but the combat just fails at that. They should have reduced it to one or two enemies a level and set-pieces rather than the clustery-mess they created and they needed to change the tone of the Taken, when they police were being attacked was a good tone but the Taken themselves are too much of a serial killer vibe when they needed to focus more on the mystery and weirdness. Black-blobs would have worked better because then you wouldn’t have the dissonance of obviously killing lots of people in a narrative focused game

  17. Newbie says:

    ‘Apparently lights can destroy matter now.’

    Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke, Dark Matter Joke.

    Show continues as normal… OH COME ON!!!

  18. Marlowe says:

    Does Agent Nightingale report to Clarice Starling?

    The pursuit of Wake through the woods by most of the police in the county reminds me more of Rambo First Blood than E.T. He’s been trained to eat things that would make a billy goat puke.

  19. Vic 2.0 says:

    :50 – It’s not that you’re wrong about Alan needing to be more suspicious in general. But, up until this point, he and Barry may have assumed that the dark presence was powerless/non-existent during the day. I mean, yes, we know that’s not the case because we (already vigilant and suspicious since we started the game) assumed it was “Barbara Jagger” in the diner and if not we do know now that it’s her due to the cutscene that closed Episode 2. Plus, they had no way of knowing someone under the darkness’ spell could talk – well, more normally than the Taken at any rate! They had to learn the hard way, I guess.

    10:20 – Props to Mumbles for doing a bit of apologizing! :P
    I’ll take it from here.

    First off, there’s nowhere near 50 cops on the scene. There are about ten cops at max. This is counting the ones who are visible while searching for you on foot, the ones in the valley, and the one or two flying the helicopter.

    Second, why they’re all responding. Recall the conversation via CB between Nightingale and Breaker. Nightingale says (and Breaker doesn’t deny) that she assigned the officers to him. ‘Why’ is anyone’s guess, but I would figure it’s part wanting them to keep an eye on Nightingale and part genuine concern for finding Wake.

    Third, I submit that their behavior is not all that unbelievable (Read: banality of evil). Taken with the facts that it’s not unheard of for cops who have to give chase to get carried away and become excessively violent, whatever any of them do is hidden in the forest so there’s even less reason to think of the personal consequences, “I was just doing my job/following orders” is a ready excuse, or simple utter confusion about who fired the first shot; it’s not that hard to conceive how this sort of panic would make small town police act before thinking. After all, a trained FBI agent whom one might incorrectly reason from the assignment Sheriff Breaker has faith in seems to be wanting him dead. There must be a good reason, right?

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