Alan Wake EP25: Keep Your Head Down, Genius

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 6, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 260 comments

Link (YouTube)

Yes, the show is turning into a podcast with accompanying unrelated videogame footage. We just don’t have a lot left to say about Alan Wake. There’s about 40 minutes of footage left. I don’t know if Josh will break that into one episode or two. Either way, we’ll be wrapping things up this week.

We discussed The Stanley Parable in this episode. It’s a source mod game. You can get it for free here.


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260 thoughts on “Alan Wake EP25: Keep Your Head Down, Genius

  1. Zagzag says:

    So are you definitely doing Skyrim next, or have you not confirmed it yet? There were mutterings about Skyrim coming after this before this season had started, but I don’t remember anyone confirming it would be next. If I’m wrong please correct me though.

    1. Shamus says:

      We’re planning on doing Mass Effect 3 next, then Skyrim.

      1. WILL says:

        ME3 is going to be interesting, but you really should just skip Skyrim. It’s an empty game.

        Might as well go for the Witcher.

        1. Deadfast says:

          I agree, I think it would be interesting to see the crew take on The Witcher.

          1. X2Eliah says:

            Sadly, it will never happen. Shamus dislikes the main character too much.

            Well, that and both witchers are pretty long games, not good for SW-type of thing.

            1. Shamus says:

              Actually, me not liking the main character shouldn’t be a problem any more than me not liking Cerberus would keep us from doing Mass Effect 2. Ideally one of the other hosts would really like Geralt so we could have a good discussion about the guy.


              You’re right, the games are long. Josh suggested playing Witcher 2, since it’s a much stronger game overall and I find W2’s Geralt to be a lot more interesting. Even so, there are many, many hours of combat in there. Also, I think Josh would have to do extra work to block out the nudity to meet YouTube standards.

              That certainly moves it down the priority list.

              1. RejjeN says:

                You’ve probably thought of this already, but have you thought of doing Dark Messiah for Spoiler Warning? I don’t think Rutskarn ever finished his let’s play of it and it would be great to see the Boot Lord in action again :P

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  He did finish it.

                  What Id love to see is them playing prince of persia.BUt first they should finish half life 2.Or are they waiting for episode 3/hl 3 to come out to finish that?

                  1. newdarkcloud says:

                    Do you have a link to the completed Let’s Play? I didn’t know Rutskarn finished it!

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Well it is on his stream somewhere.Dont know when though.

                      Scratch that,its here:

                    2. Viktor says:

                      Ugh, he really needs to reupload to Youtube. Livestream is a mess to find specific videos at.

              2. X2Eliah says:

                Well, to be fair, that extra work would only come into necessity for about.. 10 minutes over the entire game or so, if you mean W2 – for the intro tent bit, then near the end of act one (and only if you choose very specific options), and one in a cutscene at act 3, which only shows if you played a certain act 2 (of the two that are in the game).. But yeah, ofc that is extra work.

                However, as for length being a con, well, isn’t Skyrim also a pretty, uh, long game? ;)

                1. IFS says:

                  It is a big game but none of the major storylines take more than a few hours. I could see them easily running through all the faction storylines and the main storyline in the course of one season (not saying they should, only that they could).

              3. Peter H. Coffin says:

                It’d be boring for you guys, but combat tends to be pretty amenable to the “yakkity sax” treatment. If that ends up meaning that there’s occasion weeks where there’s little enough material to make only three episodes, so it goes..

          2. newdarkcloud says:

            Of course. But first, I want to see Spoiler Warning: Alpha Protocol.

            1. AJ_Wings says:

              This game has totally excellent combat! Really really!

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                Excellent combat to watch someone else struggle with.

                To be fair, the game isn’t too bad when you play on Easy mode. Normal and Hard is a pain in the ass. I’m also lucky in that I have the Veteran background to use for replays.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Its not struggling at all if you pick pistols.

                  1. newdarkcloud says:

                    I made the mistake of doing my first playthrough on Hard as a Recruit specializing in Assault Rifles. It was NOT fun.

                    I’ve gone pistols ever since. Even still, some parts get very tedious.
                    Boss: “You’re in… over your head.”

                    1. Dragomok says:

                      I was going to ask you if that isa Stolen Pixels reference, but then I read it’s the first boss.

                      You know something is wrong with your taunts if people still use them to mock your design two years after it is nearly forgotten.

                    2. newdarkcloud says:

                      It’s both. Shamus wasn’t making that quote over and over for comedic effect alone. The boss actually DOES say over… and over… and over to the point you’re EAGER to kill his ass, regardless of whether or not his character actually deserved it.

            2. X2Eliah says:

              That would be interesting to see, imo. People are often saying that it’s such an amazing game, though I haven’t seen why when I was playing it.. A SW season might actually help clear that up.

              1. lurkey says:

                If you only played it once, you definitely haven’t seen it. For AP to show its strong side, multiple playthroughs are needed, when you can see how the game takes any decision of yours and seamlessly incorporates it into story, no matter how bipolarly your protagonist behaves. In fact, even that goes into the story. It’s sad the game had enough irritating components to keep people from experiencing something unique.

                1. X2Eliah says:

                  To reach multiple playthroughs, it should allow to get past certain boss battles to finish it in the first place.

                  That didn’t happen.

                  1. newdarkcloud says:

                    Like I said, the best way to play Alpha Protocol is to play on Easy. Otherwise, the actual gameplay gets really stupidly hard (and not the fun kind of hard).

                    Alpha Protocol’s strength lies in the story and how much it takes your actions into account.

                  2. lurkey says:

                    Do Hong Kong before Moscow to get an option to poison his coke.

                  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Yes,some bosses become impossible if you pick the wrong skills.And they can also become a cakewalk if you focus on pistols.Its a shame how broken combat is.

                    1. X2Eliah says:

                      One of those gatewalls was actually with a pistol build..

                      That one mission where you have to escort some (russian? japanese?) dude out of a burning building, where at front entrance he is attacked by swarms of enemies.

                      That place was one of the spots that was unpassable for me. If I wasn’t aggressive enough, the npc idiot would get killed within half a minute, and if I was drawing the fire on myself instead, well, I’d just outright die in about half a minute.

                      Might be something related to mouse acceleration making proper aiming impossible for me, might be just my absolutely bad skills that chose to manifest just in that one game..

                      But, just saying, “go with pistols dude” doesn’t seem to be a suitable answer in my case.

                      P.S. Btw, yes, what I just described is an NPC ESCORT BOSS BATTLE. You really can’t get any more wrong than that in terms of gameplay, short of introducing dias qtes.

                    2. Raygereio says:

                      Actually pistols won’t help you in that particular case. There are way to many enemies there for chain shot to save the day and you don’t really have the time to line up head shots.

                      From my experience running around like a headless chicken going “WOOP WOOP WOOP” with a shotgun blasting people in the face and occasionally kicking people in the face works pretty well (crazy Thorton is best Thorton).
                      Also I’ve done it fairly succesfull with a combination of assault rifles & grenades.

                      That said, even if you’re a Alpha Protocol master, then every now and then Surkov (the Russian NPC idiot) will decide he has had enough of life and will dive towards a grenade. So erm… yeah.

                      You really can't get any more wrong than that in terms of gameplay
                      Actually you can. Bosses will break gameplay rules and do crap like completely ignore your attacks or suddenly recharge endurance. I love the setting design of AP’s boss fights, but I want to have a very serious talk with whoever designed their gameplay.

                    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      I would love to help you out by telling you how I finished that one myself,but….for the life of me I cannot remember that level at all.Not even vaguely:(

                      Just goes to show what kind of game ap is when I cannot remember the fights,but I do remember plenty of the dialogues.

                    4. newdarkcloud says:

                      When I did that mission, I purchased an intel that gave me a Sniper Rifle on the building’s roof. It had unlimited ammo and was a one shot kill. That’s how I beat that particular mission.

                    5. anaphysik says:

                      “I would love to help you out by telling you how I finished that one myself,but….for the life of me I cannot remember that level at all.Not even vaguely:(”

                      I seem to recall liberal application of Kung Fu as part of my strategy.
                      (Martial Arts + Pistols + Stealth was a lot of fun. I especially like the ‘run at a dude, jump, and knee him in the face’ move. Plus I wish I got to use Point-Blank Shot more. *teehee*)

                      But I do think Raygereio’s onto something with the boomstick plan.

                    6. newdarkcloud says:

                      “Martial Arts + Pistols + Stealth was a lot of fun.”

                      I never actually used Martial Arts. I always switched Martial Arts for Sabotage. With a high Stealth, you don’t need HtH attacks and the hacking games got really dumb if you didn’t put points into Sabotage.

                    7. anaphysik says:

                      Well, I know that I specced 2 ranks into Sabotage as well. Anyway, I often savescummed hacks, so…. (Honestly, the eye-melting screen and extremely awkward controls almost necessitated it.)
                      (And lockpicking was just plain easy (which I nearly always mean in a good way, as I do now), as was the circuit-breaking.)

                      Besides, you’re missing the key point of it being awesome to flip out and kick people.

                2. anaphysik says:

                  I only played it once. In fact, I’m not really sure that I could play it differently were I to do a replay (I’m kind of weird with story decisions like that). I still enjoyed it immensely.

                  (I cared more about story; as far as combat goes, I’ll note that I did play it on Easy; although, yeah, some of those bosses were just stupid. That damn Striker should not have been in the game, or else that combat should have been better designed. Brayko, otoh, was awesome, even though he did kick my ass a few times – the scene was just too cool to mind ^_^)

                  1. lurkey says:

                    How did you savescum hacks? Is there a ‘save anywhere’ mod I am unaware about? Because motherloving checkpoints is the sole reason I played it 3 times instead of 33.

                    1. anaphysik says:

                      Actually, I was wondering about this myself after I wrote that; it’s been quite a while since I played, so maybe I was confusing that with how I savescummed hacking in ME/ME2…

                      Anyway, I think probably I just had lots and lots of patience for going through prior sequences (your saves put you at checkpoints) to get at the goodies behind the hacks; after all, in a lot of cases, they were dossier files and other cool stuff.

                3. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Not really.You can see it shining just on your first playthrough if you focus on the dialogues and story.

                  1. X2Eliah says:

                    Partly serious interjection – I would have loved to focus on the dialogues, but the game never gave me enough time in conversations to actually make any choices on what my own character would be saying :P

                    1. newdarkcloud says:

                      If I’m being sincere, I had almost no clue what I was doing and why until subsequent playthroughs.

                  2. swimon1 says:

                    The sneaking is pretty good too imo. The boss battles do suck tho there’s no getting around that one.

                    1. newdarkcloud says:

                      You can get around them (at least on Easy) by upping your Pistols and using Chain Shot to put several Steel Core slugs through their noggin at once.

              2. Raygereio says:

                A SW season might actually help clear that up.
                Doubtfull seeing as after a certain door, Shamus has a irrational hatred for anything Obsidian related and will likely spend the entire season cussing and frothing at the mouth (I kid ^_0).
                Also there’s the fact that Alpha Protocol’s greatest strength – choice – doesn’t become obvious in a first playthrough.

                Alpha Protocol’s gameplay isn’t the best. Other games have done third person shooting & sneaking better. This is very true.
                Personally though I’ve seen far worse and consider AP to be still very much playable. But some people just outright hated it. Mind you, some of those who hated it are retarded monkeys. I recall one video review in which the reviewer was plinking away with a pistol at an enemy way across the room from him and bemoaning the fact he wasn’t hitting anything. This even though he obviously had no points invested into the pistol skill, was standing way outside the weapon’s functional range and wasn’t using the game’s aiming system, but was instead mashing the fire key as fast as his chubby fingers could. But I digress; this isn’t about how crappy gaming journalism is.

                Alpha Protocol is praised for it offering huge ammounts of choice within it’s story. It’s still very much a linear plot, but what you do has consequences and I’m not talking about the crappy Mass Effect-style token stuff.
                A small example is that if you act completely professional toward someone, then suddenly flip out and get angry, they will notice this change and can accuse you of bluffing.
                Basically, past the flawed gameplay, you will find a good, well written and reactive RPG.

                Edit: boy was I Ninja’d…

                1. anaphysik says:

                  And yet you still said good stuff, so I hardly think being ninja’d should be a major concern.

                2. Tse says:

                  Does Shamus really hate everything Obsidian? I was left with the impression that he liked New Vegas.

                  1. Raygereio says:

                    Did you miss the “I kid ^_0”, by any chance?

                  2. newdarkcloud says:

                    Don’t you know!? Shamus hates video games and everything to do with them. The stubborn old man never did get over the fact that video games became more popular than Monopoly and uses Spoiler Warning as his way to get revenge. It’s isn’t just Obsidian, it’s ALL video games.

                    (Disclaimer: The above information may contain several falsehoods. There is also the distinct possibility it contains no falsehoods, but that’s less likely.)

                    1. Destrustor says:

                      What? Shamus isn’t old?

                  3. Shamus says:

                    Loved New Vegas, aside from the early bugs.

                    I admired what they tried to do with Alpha Protocol.

                    I loved the first third or half of Neverwinter Nights 2. (It’s been a while.)

                    1. ehlijen says:

                      Really? You mean the half with the plot door?

                      I preferred the pointless castle building to that (cause castle building is awesome even if pointless).

                    2. Shamus says:

                      I don’t remember how it all came together. It’s been a few years. I remember liking the home village and the journey TO the big city.

                    3. Chauzuvoy says:

                      I liked Act 2 of NWN2. Act 1 was too slow and disconnected from the main story. Act 3 is a bit combat-heavy, but overall solid, if you ignore the ending “cutscene.”

                      That said; still a better ending than ME3.

                      And Mask of the Betrayer is awesome.

                    4. zob says:

                      Well anything with an ending has a better ending than ME3 so that isn’t saying much.

                3. anaphysik says:

                  “A small example is that if you act completely professional toward someone, then suddenly flip out and get angry, they will notice this change and can accuse you of bluffing.”

                  Curiously: who does this to you?
                  (Played mostly professional with dash of suave where it felt right. Y’know, like a reasonable person.)

                  1. lurkey says:

                    Marburg. If you act cold pro with him before the Museum and then try to provoke him into fight to death, he’ll go something like “Hm. Something is off here. I think that someone as composed as you wouldn’t lose his cool in this situation, so I take it you are deliberately trying to piss me off and therefore I will not bite. Good bye, Mr Thorton”. Also, if you’re continuously nice to Madison and then be a jerk out of the blue, she’ll remark upon that. Also if you’re playing a flirty douchebag and try to reason with Parker in the end, he will assume you’re bluffing and dismiss your arguments.

                    1. anaphysik says:

                      Oh cool! Thanks!

                      (Was unlikely to get those kinds of things since I played a genuinely nice Thorton ^_^) (And who had also happened to meet all the prereqs for Analysis Flawed (or whatever that neat path was called))

            3. Even says:

              I wish this stupid game would only work on my machine. It just doesn’t want to boot because of Windows 7 apparently. Only fixes I found were some pseudo-wizardry level stuff messing with USB drives or something that I wasn’t convinced wouldn’t end up messing up my PC completely at some point. I can’t even freaking remember because the solution just felt so outlandish, stupid and irrelevant to the problem at hand and not really worth the effort for just one game.

              Worst part is the fact that it’s a 2010 game. And it probably won’t be getting any fixing update ever because what do you know, the publisher has ceased to give a fuck and Obsidian is busy otherwise.

        2. AJ_Wings says:

          I’m actually looking forward to Shamus’ rant on the Thieves’ guild quests. I still haven’t done those quests so I don’t how awful they truly are.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            That series he did was a good read. I hated that quest line.

        3. Rasha says:

          Dat ending rage… And suddenly I’m okay with a delay on the Skyrim season.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            Did you really expect the ending of Skyrim to be that good, after Fallout 3?

            1. X2Eliah says:

              I think he means ME3 ending rage being a good “lure” to delay Skyrim season.

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                Oh. Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing the rage at ME3’s ending. It’s a shame we won’t have the luxury of Rutskarn’s complete disbelief like we did with Mass Effect 2.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Ill bring on the rage for that way before the ending.In fact,as soon as they leave mars(if not sooner).

                  1. Raygereio says:

                    After Mars? I’ll start raging in the comment thread as soon as ME3 starts.

                    1. newdarkcloud says:

                      Oh, yeah. I hated several parts of the intro.

                    2. anaphysik says:

                      Same. So very much the same.

                      (You know what’s one of the worse things about it, too? I kept imagining how completely terrible it must have been for a newcomer to the series to watch that opening dribble, even though BioWare explicitly stated they’d designed it as the “perfect” place to start playing. It’s bad enough that it fails logically, narratively, emotionally, even simply dramatically – but that it also has to fail to meet even the (rather stupid) goal they specifically set out for it? Damn. I truly felt bad for anyone having that be their first intro to ME.)

                    3. Earlindor says:

                      I started raging halfway through the opening earth segment.

                    4. newdarkcloud says:

                      I think trying to cater to newcomers at the END of a trilogy is an inherently bad move. They have no stake in what happens to the people in the world like others who have had two games to grow attachments. Plus, it means that players with experience feel like the game is treating them like idiots. It just doesn’t work.

                      Of course, the opening had many other problems unrelated to that. I don’t want to go further until the ME3 season starts.

                    5. anaphysik says:

                      @newdarkcloud: I agree, and I have always agreed. My point was that the opening fails even in that regard. There is no manner in which it is good, IMO.

                    6. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Actually,there is one way in which it is good:The whole stupid cerberus thing in 2?Completely not mentioned by anyone.At least in the opening.

                    7. newdarkcloud says:


                      Out of curiosity, did you see Smudboy’s Bookends of Destruction series on the beginning and ending of Mass Effect 3. It goes into great detail about that.

                    8. anaphysik says:

                      @newdarkcloud: Oh yes, most definitely. Found smudboy’s channel back during the ME2 season of SW, and have watched ALL his videos on the Mass Effect series. I don’t agree with him on everything, there’s too much pedantry in the videos, and he focuses too much on plot logic than narrative sense – but I will say this: I generally enjoy his videos (he certainly gets likes from me), and what he is doing (in-depth analysis) is emphatically a Good Thing(tm).

                      I recall the Bookends vids on the ME3 beginning being pretty good; I should give them a second viewing.

                      (As far as ending analyses go, though, I prefer the narrative-focused one from MrBtongue )

                    9. Daemian Lucifer says:


                      Now I hate both you and smudboy.I have blissfully forgotten that beginning text crawl that made me so angry the first time I saw it,and yet here you are,reminding me of it.Ugh…Guess its better this way though,because Ill be more calm when the spoiler warning gets to it.

          2. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I imagine there will be a break between seasons as usual and the ME3 season will last a while, and according to the wiki the hailed “explaining the ending” DLC is coming out during the summer.

            Think about it…

        4. Deadyawn says:

          I’m inclined to agree with you here. Skyrim is fun but I don’t think it would fit spoiler warning very well. and having never played any witcher game it would be interesting to watch that. But whatever, its not like whinging in the comments will ever actually get us anywhere.

          Also “Yes, the show is turning into a podcast with accompanying unrelated videogame footage”. To be fair that happens at the end of most seasons. Videogames are just long and esepecially with ones that have a lot of repetitive combat like alan wake or bioshock you do run out of commentary.

          And on a sidenote: I would be offended by mumbles impersonation of the average twentysided reader except that its probably accurate.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            I’m sure the Skyrim season will be similar to New Vegas and it’s DLCs.

            *Crew does the main quest for awhile.*
            Josh: Let’s do *insert guild quest*.
            *Crew does guild quest and then goes back to main quest.*
            Josh: *I want to do this guild quest and will troll you until we do it.*
            *Shamus let’s him has his way because it’s been established that this happens when Josh trolls him.*
            *They do another guild quest and then eventually wrap it up.*

      2. McNutcase says:

        I got the impression from Chris’s Twitter feed that he was researching Mass Effect, and assumed it was for the next season.

        What on Earth is Spoiler Warning coming to, with a host that does research and plans to talk about the game that’s being played?

        1. Thomas says:


          1. newdarkcloud says:

            Hard to believe, isn’t it. Chris is violating a central tenant of Spoiler Warning: He dared to look something up.

            1. False Prophecy says:

              I knew there was a reason why my librarian soul likes him.

            2. Atarlost says:

              What are you talking about? Rutskarn is always looking random stuff up.

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                Thing relevant to the game. NOT lizard penises.
                I STILL have nightmares about that.

                1. Destrustor says:

                  Rutskarn’s dolphin lover voice? I love Rutskarn’s dolphin lover voice!

        2. Zombie says:

          What is this blasphemy you speak of?! Speaking about the game we’re playing instead of ranting about things?! Stone Him!

      3. dovius says:

        ME3 is gonna be interesting, it’ll be the first SW season where I haven’t played the game you’re doing beforehand.
        Plus, apparently the game is really good besides the occasional control issues and the ending, so gonna be fun to see your opinions on it.

        1. anaphysik says:

          Honestly, I think the (completely justified, IMO) rage regarding the ending has obscured the large number of other weak points throughout the game; we saw a similar effect with ME2’s ending as well.
          SW is really good at noticing the flaws happening before their eyes (and saving the ending rage for just the ending), so hopefully next season we’ll see some great criticism from the crew on all of those obscured points.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I share your opinion.There are plenty of things wrong with 3 way before you even get a glimpse of the ending.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              But we’ll get to that later.

          2. dovius says:

            Really? Huh, this is gonna be more interesting that I expected.

            Damnit, now I’m just looking forward to the new season even more.

            1. anaphysik says:

              Yeah, should be pretty fun ^_^
              That’s the upside to the bad elements of the game. We get to lap up all that tasty SW bile. Err….. well, metaphorically tasty.

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                I’m sure the team has already ordered some new bags of bile just for the occasion.

      4. Jeff R. says:

        I’d actually like to see Skyrim done in the style of Rustkarn’s other Elder Scrolls LPs: rather than a sprint to the ending, trying out every major side questline and then abandoning them at the moment where they become too stupid to go any further.

        Any chance Mumbles will un-veto an Arkham City season now that she’s played it?

        1. Amnestic says:

          Abandoning questlines once they become too stupid? Looks like they won’t even start the Thieves Guild then.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            To be fair, the Thieve’s Guild was alright at first. It was somewhat dumb, but not immersion-breakingly stupid. Then it just takes a nose dive all of the sudden.

            1. Klay F. says:

              Well at least at the START of the TG questline you get to do things an actual thief might do….

              1. Merzendi says:

                IMO, the Thieves Guild would be ok if they just changed the name to the Skyrim Mob or something along that vein. You’ve got normal petty crime, extorting for protection money, taking over a business, and suddenly hunting down someone who thought they could leave the fold. Even becoming a Nightingale could be kinda justified by saying that you’re being made a Made Man/Woman/Whatever of Nocturnal.

        2. Mumbles says:

          I would be up for some Arkham City. I think it’s open worldy enough for us to dig, but I know Josh will never play it so don’t get your hopes up.

          Also, I guess the big problem I have with doing Spoiler Warning about a Batman game is that it’s going to be 80% of me wanting to talk about how great everything is and 20% everyone else making fun of me for it.

          1. Destrustor says:

            Are you sure it wouldn’t be more about 50/50, with both parts happening simultaneously over one another?

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            “I would be up for some Arkham City.”

            You would?Glad you changed your mind.Now this needs to happen.

      5. HBOrrgg says:

        Do’h! And Spoiler Warning continues its tradition of not actually playing any games I have for another season.

        Unless anyone wants to try and sell ME3 to me? All I keep hearing is that the combat is boring while the story starts cheaply and ends stupidly

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          The combat actually isn’t that bad. I had fun playing it for the most part, exception being a certain cheap ass boss character.

        2. Even says:

          I’d describe it as ME2 combat tweaked and enhanced. It’s still the same chest-high wall peekaboo fest, but the game attempts to spice it up with a more wide variety of enemies and tricks. Some of the bottom tier mooks get grenades which at least on harder difficulties force you to switch position every now and then and generally the AI seems much more aggressive in maneuvering and trying to surround you which does occasionally force you to adapt your tactics accordingly. The arsenal is a lot bigger and reminisces ME1 a little bit with upgradeable tiers and weapon mods, which was nice enough change from ME2.

          So I guess it depends how much you hated or enjoyed ME2 combat. The changes do make it more interesting, but not necessarily that much harder, unless you play on Insanity.

          1. HBOrrgg says:

            Never played the first or second one.

            Sigh, maybe I’ll get my younger sister a video game for her birthday this weekend. . .

        3. anaphysik says:

          Oddly enough, the thing I enjoy most about ME3 is its multiplayer, which is really just 100% combat.


          1. Fnord says:

            It seems like multiplayer combat ends up feeling significantly different from single player, and more dynamic. Mobility and situational awareness is more important (and cover, especially of the chest-high variety, being less important).

            1. Even says:

              “Mobility and situational awareness is more important (and cover, especially of the chest-high variety, being less important).”

              First hand experience would beg to differ. Playing on Gold you’re kind of obligated to keep your ass behind cover most of the time perhaps with the exception of Vorcha characters with maxed regeneration and infiltrators. Need for mobility is generally very map and objective dependant. For your standard waves, the only things that encourage you to keep moving is if you’re getting swarmed, surrouned from multiple sides because of the somewhat stupid spawn mechanics or you’re dealing with a special mob that by its nature forces you out of your current position. I agree situational awareness is important, though it kinda comes with the territory anyway if you care about staying alive at all.

              “It seems like multiplayer combat ends up feeling significantly different from single player, and more dynamic.”

              That it is, and I think it’s mainly due to the difference of playing with actual people. Since you can build and equip your characters any way you want, the possible team combinations are fairly limitless. All in all, I’d say it’s fairly fun for what it is.

              My main gripe about the multiplayer is having to play with the RNG in the store. It’s good enough that they don’t force you to use real money, but it just still isn’t all that rewarding when you keep getting everything else but the thing you were interested in. It’s kinda self-defeating for character advancment when you have no guarantee to ever get the piece of gear you may want. Wanting to try out new classes can be equally frustrating when the RNG keeps giving you the seventh Turian Soldier unlock, even though you already unlocked the last cosmetic thing by the fourth time and the class is at max level anyway (it gives you only experience for that class and unlocks a limited amount of appareance options if you already had it unlocked). By the time you’ve unlocked everything you want you’re most likely just too sick of the game to be able to enjoy any of it anyway.

              1. Fnord says:

                Well, still mostly playing on Silver. And mostly as an infiltrator. So that explains that. But you may be right that the main difference is the actual people, and the different race/class thing.

                Situational awareness I noticed because it’s NOT required in single-player, generally. All the enemies come from more or less the same direction, and you’ve got the minimap anyway. Plus enemies really don’t do a lot to try to advance and overwhelm (with a few exceptions) or outflank (though that’s perhaps an artifact of map design).

              2. anaphysik says:

                Um… my experience has been that if you’re bunkered down and not moving around in Gold… then you’re farming White/Geth. Or you’re dead.

                (Hard for me to compare SP with MP. SP I’ve only ever played on Casual (in all three games, mind you), whereas I play MP on all 3 difficulties. An oddity: Play vanguard in SP; can’t stand vanguard in MP. Actually, I pretty much eschew all the biotic classes in MP. Hm. Welp, salarian infiltrator, human/geth engineer, and batarian soldier it is!)

                1. Even says:

                  Well I did say it’s wholly map/enemy/objective dependant. Some maps you just can’t avoid getting surrounded, some of the special enemies just come at you so fast you have no choice but keep moving until they’re dealt with and all but one of the objectives require you to move around the map. Yet there are times and waves where you can fairly easily hold a spot with some teamwork. With the Geth Engineer you can even do it solo to a degree by using the turret for distraction. With a max damage & shields turret distracting the enemies while spamming them with incapacitate + AoE specced Overload and then finishing them off with the Mattock, I can keep a good amount of lesser-mobile mobs at bay with little effort.

                2. Even says:

                  And to clarify one thing: You’re better off keeping in cover then running around with most classes on Gold. Moving around is one thing but you can’t really ignore the importance of sticking to cover unlike in Bronze/silver where you it gives a you lot more leeway.

                  1. Even says:

                    “where you it gives a you lot”

                    Note to self: Proofread your freaking posts before clicking the button, idiot.

                    1. anaphysik says:

                      Mario a-says: It a-gives a-you a-lot a-more a-leeway.

    2. Ambitious Sloth says:

      I got ninja’d by Shamus himself so everything I said below is irrelevant.

      I think they also muttered about doing Mass effect 3 before the start of this season. Though that was more of a hot topic back then and I don’t know if they have as much of a drive to now.

      So probably one of those two or another game neither of us are expecting.

    3. Daimbert says:

      To jump on to the suggestions, if you can do PS3 games you MUST do “Catherine”. It’s a relatively short game that’s pretty innovative. I think that it should be played once … no more than that, but once [grin].

  2. Lunok says:

    Stanly parable was pretty cool a little weird but pretty cool.

    1. Dragomok says:

      I would say it was AWESOME. Every minute of it feels like it was created by someone who really understands game design.

      Not to mention that The Stanley Parable has a narrator that is nearly as great as the one in Bastion.

      1. Klay F. says:

        And then theres this.

        EDIT: Gah, stupid me. Serves me right for not checking out Shamus’ link.

      2. TMTVL says:

        Ooh with all this buzz I really want to play it, but it requires Half Life 2 so that’s definitely not happening.

        1. anaphysik says:


        2. X2Eliah says:

          Yeap, that. (Not that I’m opposed to HL2 – I have it on steam, ofc. It’s more that I am not willing to undergo a 5+GB download for the hl2/sdk thing on my relatively slow internet).

      3. Alex says:


        Spoiler Warning just did an entire season about this. About how having an annoying voice-over narrate/spell everything out for you makes for a lame experience. It undercuts any discovery the player might feel, it treats the audience like a bunch of idiots, and it stops being novel about 5 minutes in.

        I don’t know about this Stanley Parable from experience, but I don’t understand why Bastion gets a free pass for doing the same thing.

        1. Shamus says:

          In the Stanley Parable, the narrator is integral to the experience. To slightly spoil it: He narrates what he EXPECTS you to do, and you can choose to follow the narration or not. Sort of. It’s complicated.

          I mean, if there are two doors in front of you and you know nothing about either of them, then it doesn’t matter (to you) which one you go through. But if you’ve got a narrator SAYING that you’re about to walk through the left door, you’re suddenly making a choice. But the choice isn’t really which door, but whether or not you want to follow the voice.

        2. Dragomok says:

          Parable’s Narrator is more of a vital character and integral part of the game rather than vessel for expositions and obvious explantions. (Spoilers for Parable in the next sentence.) The game is based around either defying or complying with Narrator’s instructions.

          EDIT: Grr, botched spoiler warning tags. Well, at least they’re redundant, since I was ninja’d by Shamus himself. I apparently forgot to refresh. Oh well.

        3. anaphysik says:

          At its base level, Bastion’s narration is good because it reinforces the game’s tone rather than undercutting it.

          (On top of that, it’s well-acted, well-written, isn’t part of a poorly-thought-out ‘character in a story’ plot (and yet still manages to address character ‘death’ better/at all), gives exposition on the world rather than redundantly explaining the plot, and is even used for a legitimate plot twist at the end (made possible by who the narrator is). Plus, DAT VOICE.)

  3. Mr Guy says:

    Was that sarcasm at the start of the video? I couldn’t tell…

  4. Thomas says:

    So right at the end of the game, hours and hours too late, we finally get an explanation for the airplane and it’s completely rubbish. Basically ‘the Darkness decided to throw two things around’

    The page didn’t even make sense as far as I could tell. The earth groaned at them being thrown but didn’t notice? No-one else noticed?

  5. Zombie says:

    I can barly watch this. Its not you guys, but this game. It’s frustrating to watch Josh play, I can’t even think about what it must be like to play it. But I have to thank Spoiler Warning, this game was at one point in or around my top 15 on my Steam Wishlist. It is now no longer on said list.

    1. X2Eliah says:

      That’s true for every game they show off, isn’t it? If it’s not already bought, you sure as hell won’t buy it after going through the entire season..

      1. Viktor says:

        I bought Mass Effect 2 because of them. After they pointed out the issues with the main plot, I was able to go through ignoring all of that and just focus on the good points.

        1. anaphysik says:

          Me too!

          (Though I still rant about it whenever I’m in the mood for ranting, of course.)

          1. Supahewok says:

            Not only was I able to enjoy ME2 after Spoiler Warning, they also convinced me to get New Vegas, which has become one of my Top 5 Games of All Time, Period.

            1. Sleeping Dragon says:

              I actually replayed both ME2 and NV due to SW seasons, I’m hoping for some nice mods before the Skyrim season as it will probably be a good motivator to get into the game again.

              As for Alan Wake… yeah, the core gameplay is just not fun, combat is as tedious in practice as it looks on the show, the few sequences of platforming just don’t work well with this engine and pretty much all the fun bits you might as well watch here.

        2. False Prophecy says:

          Well if I remember Shamus’ infographic (posted either here or his Experienced Points column, can’t recall), it’s only the parts of ME2 that have anything to do with Cerberus or the Collectors that are bad. The recruitment and loyalty missions are pretty good overall.

          1. anaphysik says:

            My major problem with ME2 is that even of the stuff that is lots of fun, very little of it has any sort of narrative relevance to the overall Mass Effect series. So while large portions of it are highly enjoyable (and even well-written!), they are ultimately hollow.
            Obviously not everything needs to be narratively relevant (e.g. Garrus wasn’t in ME1, but he was still pretty awesome), but when the majority of the game isn’t…. well, ugh.

            (Note that narrative-relevance and plot-relevance are different. E.g., Tali is plot-relevant in ME1 because you need her recording to proceed with Saren’s trial – she’s the key to a plot door. Tali is narratively-relevant in ME1 because she’s the only quarian we see, and offers crucial perspectives on the geth (and opinions which Shep can agree or disagree with), one of our primary antagonists in ME1.)

            For the record, parts of ME2 that I consider to be highly narratively-relevant:

            ->Legion. all of Legion.
            ->Wrex on Tuchanka
            ->Tali’s loyalty mission (i.e., actually boarding the Migrant Fleet and meeting the Admirals)
            ->Mordin and his loyalty mission (though I actually think this is a bit weaker than the others since it does serve to once again muddle our picture of what exactly the genophage does (of course, ME3 goes ahead and makes it even more inconsistent….))

            1. Dragomok says:

              The worst part is that at least two(*) extremely plot-relevant missions are sold seperately.

              (*) I’m not actually sure if the title character of Lair of the Shadow Broker is all that important to the plot, but the events of Arrival are the reason why Shepard is… I can’t remember the correct term… out of duty?

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                Actually, they never really do anything with the Arrival. Even if you didn’t know about it, you can explain the intro as “You’re working with Cerberus”. (They didn’t, but they could have.)
                Lastly, in the ending, they seem to have completely forgotten about Arrival. You probably know what I’m referring to.

                And the event of Lair of the Shadow Broker are part of the game, but truthfully I wished they did more with it. I thought that Cerberus taking over Liara’s new lair was complete bullshit. Nice job almost completely invalidating the best DLC ever, Bioware.

                1. Mumbles says:


                  1. X2Eliah says:


                    Anyways, it’s hardly “everyone”.

                    1. newdarkcloud says:

                      What are you talking about? As she’s quick to remind you, she’s “a very good information broker”.

                  2. Amnestic says:

                    You could argue that everyone knows she’s the Shadow Broker because – as X2Eliah said – she wasn’t very good at it. All those years since Shepard left her, she’s still just been a naive young girl putting on a brave face to the galaxy and trying to play tough. She’s smart, sure, but the pressure gets to her and she slips.

                    More likely though it’s just a plothole/oversight.

              2. anaphysik says:

                1) First Arrival made the entire plot of ME2 look absolutely stupid. (why should Cerb/Shep bother with the minor Collector problem when all the Reapers are just days away? why is Harbinger doing anything with the Collectors that might attract Shep’s attention (besides killing Shep) when all its buddies are just days away?)

                2)Then upon reflection it made the entire plot of ME1 look absolutely stupid. (Why would Sovereign bother with the Citadel ploy when there’s this Alpha Relay they could use?)

                3) Then when ME3 began, it made Arrival look completely stupid. (So the Reapers are here anyway? What was the point of destroying the Alpha Relay? Hell, what was the point of the Alpha Relay?? 6 months is nothing to a Reaper!)

                4) Then upon reflection, Arrival actually makes the beginning of ME3 look stupid. (Hey Alliance, what happened to that trial you promised us? Also, you know the Reapers are coming at yet you still lock down Shep for 6 months? (And not just nominally but for real?) Batarians got steamrolled by the Reapers before ME3 even began, so what was that war you were worried about Hackett, hm?)

                5) Then Arrival simply goes ‘trolololol’ when ME3’s ending swings around. (KABOOOOOM!)

                It’s just one enormous cf of stupid.

                (Anyway, I was talking about narrative rather than plot. Harby-tan’s human-smoothie machine has more narrative relevance than LotS and Arrival, and we all know how pitifully stupid that ploy’s narrative relevance is….)

                1. newdarkcloud says:

                  “What was the point of Mass Effect 2?”

                  1. anaphysik says:


                    (And that reference makes me a silly man, I know.)

            2. Fnord says:

              I thought it was going to be “building the team” that would help you defeat the Reapers in 3. But no. It’s all tangential. And even the characters who do carry through to still be important don’t really build on what was done in 2.

              The best (or least bad) is Mordin; I can buy the whole change of heart thing, even if I don’t really think they did a lot to sell it.

              Garrus is back. But apparently all of Garrus’s character growth happens off-screen. He’s got this whole character arc going on, from cop to vigilante to task-force commander. And we don’t see it, or really even the reasons why it happens, even if we can piece it together. Everything important that Garrus does happens between games when we’re not around.

              Tali and the quarians actually tie in pretty well. Shame they’re connected with the geth. Regardless of what you do with Legion and Tali, the quarians are at war (which does make some sense) and the geth are back in the Reapers’ hands (which is justified, but still makes Legion’s storyline in 2 pointless). And then, Legion goes on to keep the Reaper code to improve the geth, despite explicitly rejecting that the desire to do that in 2 with “geth create their own future”.

              1. anaphysik says:

                Indeed. Wrex, Mordin, Legion: My favourite characters, all of whom feel like their characterization was murdered in ME3. Considering all of them go way OOC when something rather tantalizing is dangled in front of them, I’d almost believe that it was intentional. Except there’s no external theming to that. And it’s stupid and goes against core ideas in the ME series.

                (Wrex totally forgets all his thought regards changing krogan culture when a genophage cure is dangled in front of him. Now he just wants to make tons of babies and take over worlds.

                Mordin now just wants to a dramatic heroic death scene so he can feel all fuzzy and atoned inside. Even though his role in the genophage problem is not causative but complacent.

                They both entirely forget about the krogan being unable to control their breeding habits, and why the genophage was instituted in the first place. This forces a false choice between ‘completely unrestricted breeding’ (which on top of causing future unrest, won’t even come fast enough to help practically in the war) and ‘senselessly betray close friends.’ Curing the genophage is good only if you replace it with a non-stupid means of population control (the mechanics of the genophage are heavily muddled, but in general they are bad (piles of stillborns, fertility rates not even across females, some seemingly completely infertile, etc.))

                Geez, one frickin’ line like “Don’t worry, Shepard, I’ll be sure to institute a culture of voluntary birth control in my people – control your birth rates or I’ll headbutt you, you pyjak. Ha!” would have at least helped. Mordin developing a krogan birth control regime that Wrex approves would have been better.

                Legion forgets precisely what you just mentioned. This is especially egregious when the geth could have simply followed the example pioneered by Legion him/itself and create more high-geth-count individual platforms.

                In fact, that would’ve been a great choice – upgrade using Reaper code, enhancing geth forces and bringing actualization to large numbers of platforms, at the cost of comprimising traditional geth morals and at the risk of something going wrong in the future; or transform the geth collective into Legion-like platforms, diminishing combat value but allowing for individual actualization on the geth’s own terms. Or even a third option, where the geth really do retreat into a isolationist megastructure. (And a fourth, where Daro’Xen really does enslave the geth, that bitch! Really, the quarian-geth conflict is really poorly handled in ME3; at the very least, they could have at least allowed for a large number of outcomes to make up for its sillyness.)

                1. Fnord says:

                  You don’t even need to add more outcomes (though it certainly could be interesting). Just leaving the choice between the two (plus the best option of both), and simply making the geth that join you regular, non-Reaper-enhanced geth. It could even explain the weirdness about the geth war assets possibly being worth the same or less than the quarians, despite the fact that the geth were winning until you showed up.

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        Not necessarily. I mean they seemed to at least enjoy the season on Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the Half-Life 2 special. They also had tons of praise for New Vegas.

        But they do always, at some point or a another, tend to rip a game to shreads.

        1. Zombie says:

          Yeah, I bought Deus Ex: Human Revolution while it was on sale after the end of the season. In fact, it was on sale the day the last episode came out……. CONSPERICY?! I think so.

      3. Fnord says:

        Yeah, despite the tendency to accentuate the negative, Spoiler Warning convinced me to pick up New Vegas at the next big Steam sale, and I’m happy I did.

        The Bioshock season made me play somewhat further into Bioshock. which I already owned but hadn’t finished, but I still didn’t finish it.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      American nightmare,on the other hand,improves the gameplay considerably.You should add that one to your wishlist.

      1. Klay F. says:

        It really is amazing all the ways American Nightmare improves upon Alan Wake. The combat is actually enjoyable, Wake himself is more likable (because he isn’t running his mouth 24/7), they brought in the Night Springs narrator to narrate the game which makes the story more enjoyable, the live action cutscenes are absolutely top-notch (Ilkka Villi is one amazing actor), and the manuscript pages (which sadly, Wake still reads aloud) no longer reveal story points, but instead elaborate on things that are happening in the background.

  6. Mr Guy says:

    Everyone loves the Mumbles. She is a terrific athlete.

  7. Mr Guy says:

    Also, since someone has to mention it, and I guess it’s me this time…

    The “abandoned town” actually is explained by (IIRC) a sign on the side of one of the buildings – it was a mining town that got abandoned “almost overnight” when the mine shut down.

    And the reason someone bothered to put up a sign commemorating the town being abandoned in an abandoned town in the first place is “no, YOU shut up.”

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Maybe one someone who lived there actually liked it and was sorry to go? They could have come back to reminisce, and put up the sign. It does happen from time to time.

      And yes, this kind of thing really exists in the Pacific Northwest.

      1. Lord Nyax says:

        Yup. I live in rural Washington, and dying towns just comes with the territory. It’s because the early Washinton economy was focused almost entirely on natural resources. Mining and logging, specifically. A lot of towns grew up overnight, and then died sudden deaths when the mine/sawmill shut down. Most of the small towns that are left have a similar story, but they found some other way to survive. My own hometown, Mineral, used to be an arsenic mine, then became a sawmill town, and now holds on to life as a popular sport fishing destination.

        1. Zombie says:

          Why would you mine for arsenic? And for that matter, How does one mine for arsenic? I thought it was something found in plants.

          1. anaphysik says:

            Uses for As: car batteries, GaAs, insecticides, paints, pigments, and (perhaps ironically) even in medicines.

            There’s a few common arsenic sulfide minerals. Realgar (no relation to Kal) is the one I know of, which is a sweet translucent red xtal that sort of crumbles into a yellow powder.

            (My bizarre American-British English hybrid spelling is now officially weird. My brain says I should type “sulphur” and not “sulfur” but type “sulfide” and not “sulphide.”)

          2. Lord Nyax says:

            To be fair, the mine didn’t last very long. I’m pretty sure they were looking for gold in the first place but all they found was arsenic. When life gives you lemons…

    2. Tzeneth says:

      Did you remember to say this in your head in the correct voice?

      1. Mr Guy says:

        You can’t control me!

  8. newdarkcloud says:

    First off, I will say that I found it funny that the group was wondering what Alan’s plan was, then they got to the part where Alan admits in the narration that he had no plan whatsoever and was just going off the Cuftburt, like Josh usually does.

    Also, for anyone interested, Sam Lake recently recent a tweet with a link to a blog. The blog hints at a possible sequel to Alan Wake.

    1. Mr Guy says:

      It’s a game that takes general location, re-using some specific places and introducing some new ones, with essentially the same mechanics, but this time YOU’RE the one in the big impractical diving suit.

      I bet no one’s ever made a sequel like that before…

      1. Zombie says:

        Nope. Never happened. It would also never be a sequal to one of the best 1/2 a game I’ve ever played. Shame on you for thinking of that.

        1. bit says:

          Hey, Bioshock was at least 2/3 of a game long.

          Also, I’m playing Bioshock 2 right now, actually, and am REALLY enjoying it. It fixes a lot of the problems with the pacing and flow of the combat, and although the story isn’t as impactful overall, it lacks Bioshock’s later-third’s stupidity, and has some very interesting ideas behind it and some really cool characters.

          The little sister’s are a huge timesink that will really annoy you later on, but they’re TECHNICALLY optional. Still, I do recommend not letting the idea of, “Sequelitis” Cloud your judgement, it’s a fantastic buy for the $15-20 it probably costs now.

          1. Deadyawn says:

            I was pretty skeptical at the outset but after playing it a bit recently I was pleasantly surprised. I haven’t beaten it yet though so everything could still go belly-up I don’t know.

            Oh and I’m playing on the PC just FYI. It really is amazing how much better the mechanics are compared to the shitty mess that was the first game.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              Bioshock 2’s gameplay was really good, but I think it’s plot was much worse than the first game. It didn’t help the Communist Lady’s voice was almost physically painful for me to hear.

          2. Zombie says:

            I actually did play Bioshock 2. The weapons felt like they packed more of a punch in 2, and look cooler. I felt like the art team were told “Get Drunk, smoke something, and think up some stuff for the weapons. And if they look anything like a weapon from the last game, unless its the drill, your fired. And were taking your arms if you get fired.”

    2. Even says:

      There’s also this.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Oooh,thats cooool!

    3. MatthewH says:

      Here’s what I want to know: he’s got a magic clicker that will turn the sun on.

      Why isn’t he turning the sun on?! Sure, we could keep fighting in the tunnels I suppose if you really wanted to, but why aren’t we using the “Cue the Sun” button, Cristof!?

      1. X2Eliah says:

        Because that wouldn’t be sporting to the poor Taken.

      2. Mr Guy says:

        That’s not how this goes, Wake.

      3. newdarkcloud says:

        That would have been an awesome gameplay mechanic and I agree with you.

        But “The story was be true to itself”… something, something, bullshit. I’m in complete agreement that this section was completely useless.

  9. Moewicus says:


    Dear Rutskarn,
    I bought you
    a horse, it
    gallops like
    a scallop:


    actually yes,
    there is a manuscript page
    on which you read Wake
    jumping into the lake
    with the clicker
    and liquor
    please excuse my
    atlantic accent


    i forgot where
    this poem
    was goin

  10. JPH says:

    The beginning of this episode is the funniest thing of all the things.

    1. JPH says:

      Addendum: Actually, this whole episode is awesome.

      I’m surprised you guys discussed free arthouse source mods and none of you mentioned your own Elevator: Source adventures.

      For anybody who’s curious about Dinner Date, it’s $3 on Steam. I bought it during a Steam sale and still haven’t played it (I have dozens of indie games on Steam that I haven’t touched).

      1. Zombie says:

        I saw a playthrough of it. It was….. wierd. There is almost, I dont want to say gameplay, but I have no idea what to call what it did. You really are just pressing the buttons he wants you to push to move the story forward, and then nothing really happens at the end……….. I get it now. Its a big comentary on Game Developers! Or am I overthinking it?

        1. JPH says:

          Just played through it right now. I actually really liked it.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well they didnt mention it because theyve played it for everyone to see.It would be redundant to mention something that tveyve already played,filmed and uploaded for everyone to see,on this blog,where we are watching alan wake now.

        1. JPH says:

          When Rutskarn said “so while we’re talking about arthouse indie non-combat source mods,” I was so expecting him to then say “has anyone checked out Elevator Source? I heard that game was amazing!”

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            But that would be trolling!

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              Because Rutskarn has never ever taken the time to troll the cast.

              1. X2Eliah says:

                Exactly! He was meta-trolling by not trolling!

  11. RTBones says:

    While I have enjoyed this look at Alan Wake, I am glad its coming to a close (as, i am sure, the cast is), and glad I didnt buy it. Put simply, I would have tired of the combat and at some point, just given up and quit. Not rage quit, mind, just plain ‘meh’ quit – Josh takes quite the bullet for our entertainment.

    As to ME3 – this should be entertaining, especially given *regards the room* this crowd, the great game, the ending controversy, and the fireballs, lightning bolts and psychiatric bills that I’m sure will ensue.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      I have to agree with that. I’m glad the series was beginning to wrap up almost the moment game fatigue began to really set in with the cast. Any longer and it would become the second coming of the Bioshock season.

      1. Deadyawn says:

        Except without vita-chambers and therefore even longer.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          “Now I can die and get some health back.”

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Sadly,I got the game way before theyve even announced it.So I had to play through it in order not to waste my money.Fortunately,however,the dlcs improved my opinion of the game a lot.So much so that I got american nightmare as soon as possible.That one I dont regret.

  12. mixmastermind says:

    I gotta say, Radiator was pretty damn good.

    1. PurePareidolia says:

      I remember playing the first and second and, if nothing else thinking the second was pretty good

  13. ps238principal says:

    The first thing that came to mind when I heard there was a junkyard crane “puzzle” was “oh, just like Full Throttle.”

  14. Even says:

    Well, I hope you’re still not gonna hold it against anyone for just pointing out something you missed in the episode.

    1. Shamus says:

      No. I know I didn’t really finish the point I was making, but the idea is this: Over the years I do accumulate a few criticisms along the lines of, “You said this story was terrible and that it was written by John Writerman. But in the credits John Writerman was the designer and Joe Authorman was the writer. Therefore you are wrong and the story is awesome.”

      So when someone tries to leverage a factual inaccuracy to invalidate an opinion, I do sort of read them in the voice of the Comic Book Guy. I don’t do it on purpose. It just sort of happens.

      1. Alex says:

        That’s something every adult needs to work at. We can’t just assume someone we disagree with sounds like some sort of goblin. We have to learn to hear the message more than the voice that’s delivering it. Otherwise we-

        OH SON OF A


      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Maybe you guys should take a page from SF Debris’s book and start with “And we are players with an opinion”.

  15. dovius says:

    Hey! I take offense to that!
    I sound much more like a whiny brat than that, Mumbles!

  16. Hitch says:

    It’s taken 25 episodes, but I’ve finally figured Alan Wake (the game) out. The Taken are manifestations of darkness. Coffee is dark. The Taken come from the coffee thermoses you’re carrying around. If you didn’t pick those up you could run straight through the game without any combat. But the designers know that gamers are incapable of not gathering any collectable presented to them. Also manuscript pages. You keep asking, “Why would Alan write bad stuff happening to himself?” If you leave them alone it’s like he never wrote them, so it doesn’t happen.

    Obviously, I’m typing this as a joke. But just thinking about it, it might make an interesting game-play mechanic. Can you resist standard gaming tropes to keep yourself out of trouble in a game? “Here you go player. Check out our fine assortment of collectables, side-quests, and mini-games. Or you could ignore them all, if you have the willpower.”

    1. X2Eliah says:

      Sounds somewhat similar to Amnesia – dark descent’s monsterspawning systems. Iirc & afaik, it had a mechanic where monsters would spawn when you’d light (certain? certain number of? random? idk) lanterns in the environment..

      Or maybe not that, but there was some sort of monsterspawning mechanic that was directly tied to player not just going through the game without solving the insanity mechanic.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Mumbles,how do you type with boxing gloves on?

    1. Mumbles says:


    2. Destrustor says:

      She dictates the words to her enslaved minions.
      Using her fists.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Oh my god,it all makes sense now!Mumbles is Diamanda Hagan,only not irish.

  18. Tse says:

    Isn’t it supposed to be “random videogame footage playing ON top of it”? English is not my native language, I might be mistaken.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Either one is correct. American English is fairly loose when it comes to things like that.

      1. Tse says:

        I thought it was either “on top of it” or “over it”. Didn’t know “over top of it” was possible.

        1. BlckDv says:

          You must accept an implied “the” for the later usage, “over the top of it” is understood to mean the same as “on top of it” in the context of layered recordings. Implied words can be a hot button for some guidelines on style in English, so hopefully I’m not igniting any tinder here.

        2. anaphysik says:

          Tse, as a native English speaker I would state that “on top of it” connotes a higher ‘register’ (sort of like a more formal or ‘correct’ tone). “Over top of” is certainly understandable to a native speaker, but still ‘wrong.’ Basically, saying “over top of” is being loose with grammar – whether or not that is a problem is a matter of prescriptive versus descriptive language norms.

          “Over the top of” would mean something different, anyway – roughly, “above.” It is still sloppy, though, and to my ears sounds very stilted.

          So I would say your assessment is correct. Of course, we both still understood Shamus’ intended meaning, so does it matter if he was ‘wrong’? ^_^

          1. Shamus says:

            I’ve been following this discussion and it wasn’t until this point that I realized everyone was talking about something *I* wrote. I thought this was one reader correcting another. (The threading is less obvious in the moderation screen.)

            Going back and re-reading, that sentence did feel a still awkward. I changed it.

            1. anaphysik says:

              That’s actually pretty funny ^_^ Using the moderation cp to follow threads must be awkward, eh?

  19. Amnestic says:

    So between last week’s episode run and today’s episode I downloaded and replayed all of Alan Wake on PC plus the two additional DLC bits which got folded into the PC version. I found that the combat actually allowed you a lot of running away IF you had flares for emergency moments. Without them (such as during the early sections of the game or when your supply is limited), it’s a lot harder to run away from Taken. It was pretty rare that I’d be forced into a gunfight that I didn’t choose myself (though it still happened) short of boss battles. This might be different on the 360 though because being able to use the mouse to fast aim at Taken behind you seemed important for it.

    Having now played the two bits of DLC, I’m a little sad that you won’t be doing it on Spoiler Warning since they do correct some of the problems (although they add at least one bit of truly obnoxious platforming so…yeah) that the main game had though I may be more inclined to find it decent because it gets a bit mindscrewy and I’m a complete sucker for that sort of thing. I think that’s what AW should have been from the start though.

    I’m hoping you guys consider holding on to them for maybe a one-off special sometime in the future. They’re fairly short. 1-2 weeks of episodes at most each assuming you don’t get stuck on combat sections. And if you did that then the “Previously on Alan Wake” segments will actually refresh your memories too! Bonus! :P

    I’m hopefully gonna be picking up ME3 tomorrow. I don’t wanna miss out on next Spoiler Warning :3

  20. ENC says:

    ME3 huh? Maybe I’ll get to see the ending finally I as I thought the first half was abysmal and gave up anyway, then I was told the whole game was received well until the ending so I figured it must be the worst ending in the existence of video games.

    I also suggested chronicles of Riddick but I guess there isn’t enough story in that game considering SW usually focus on more narrative-driven things.

    Maybe Psychonauts from the humble indie bundle then?

    1. bit says:

      Mandatory second for Psychonauts. It’s short, enjoyable to look at, would be a nice change of pace from the grittiness while still having some very interesting ideas (And flaws) behind the gameplay and plot.

      Do iiiiiiiiiiiit.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I played Psychonauts and really enjoyed it the first time. However, whenever I go back to play it, I always stop halfway through because I’m reminded of The Meat Circus and I can’t go through that again.

  21. Alex says:

    Mumbles: Just read every comment as if it were narrated by Morgan Freeman.

    Or Gilbert Gottfried. Either way works.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Not Gilbert Gottfried. If Mumbles is anything like me, that will cause her to want to kill the person closest to her.

      1. Alex says:

        Alright, fair enough.

        How about George Takei?

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          I can live with that.

          1. Zombie says:

            Any guy that takes time to get Trekkies and Star Wars fans to unite against Twilight is an awsome guy in my book. He could narrate my life story.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Oh my.

    2. Littlefinger says:

      Not, as I first read your comment, narrated by Gordon Freeman. Because that would be weird.

    3. JPH says:

      Personally, I have a nasty habit of reading every line with the voice of Deckard Cain.

      Diablo 3 has not helped with this.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Hello my friend.Stay awhile and listen.

  22. WILL says:

    I propose a challenge then – EYE : Divine Cybermancy. It’s a short indie game that has negative infinity budget, but it’s weird, just straight up bizarre.

    The challenge is to try to figure out by the end of the game wtf it was even about.

    It’s also really hipster.

    1. Mr Guy says:

      I plan to make a game based on John Cage’s 4’33”

      See, all games are a harmony between time spent playing the game and time waiting for the game to load.

      My game takes that balance to the logical extreme. It’s all loading screen with no gameplay. Very edgy. Pushes the boundaries of what games can be.

      Now all I need is a kickstarter to raise $100k to fund development.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        You know,that actually is a good idea.I mean we already have a 4’33” like webcomic,so why not a video game.

    2. PurePareidolia says:

      I keep trying to get through it but damn if it isn’t exactly inviting.

      Every time I load it back up I go “who are these people and do I care?” followed by “I forgot, therefore no”.

      Then that’s followed by an hour of subpar combat, broken stealth, infinitely respawning enemies and occasional moments of unintentionally hilarious dialogue.

    3. Deadyawn says:

      That game is…I don’t even know. It’s just…wierd. Really, really weird. I can’t get the hang of it to be honest. I tried at first but then I just gave up and ran forward shooting everything. And then I went insane (apparently, there’s some sort of sanity meter in it). I’m not sure I could actually recommend it. It confuses me.

  23. TraderRager says:

    Would Metro 2033 be too dark (As in, the Gamma levels) for Spoiler Warning?

    It’s a game I really enjoined, but it has plenty of things ripe for criticism… Only problem is you would have to be able to see what the hell was happening on the stream.

    1. Ambitious Sloth says:

      That’s really nice idea for a season, but usually they’ve done games that have come out more recently versus older games the main exception I think being Bioshock which was a few years old by the time they played it. Even then they did that mostly because it was one Mumbles was already pretty familiar with and it was her first season.

      1. Amnestic says:

        Going by non-specials:
        ME1: Released Nov 2007 (May 2008 for PC). Spoiler Warning started Jan 2010.
        Fallout 3: Released Oct 2008. Spoiler Warning started May 2010.
        Bioshock: Released Aug 2007. Spoiler Warning started Aug 2010.
        ME2: Released Jan 2010. Spoiler Warning started on Nov 2010.
        Fallout New Vegas: Released Oct 2010. Spoiler Warning started Apr 2011.
        Assassin’s Creed 2: Released Nov 2009 (Mar 2010 for PC). Spoiler Warning started Sep 2011.
        Deus Ex Human Revolution: Released Aug 2011. Spoiler Warning started Jan 2012.
        Alan Wake: Released May 2010 (Feb 2012 for PC). Spoiler Warning started Apr. 2012.

        So I think Bioshock (Aug 2007->Aug 2010) was the largest gap, not counting Season λ (Half-Life 2).

    2. ENC says:

      I considered suggesting Metro 2033 too, then i thought it was too sparse with its narrative.

      Sure, it is a short game (6-10 hours), but most of the exposition isn’t spoken, it’s experienced, and a lot of it is quite repetitive.

      I’m still going for Psychonauts as I just got it with the newest humble indie bundle and I had no idea how great it was, it gave me the same feeling the first time I played Half-Life 2 and Abe’s Oddysee.

      I wouldn’t mind them doing older games like 5-10 years but I highly doubt they would as the fanbase would be none too happy with the graphical quality of it (So many people say ‘graphics don’t matter BUT no games that look older than 3 years, I honestly do not care).

      Although the game has to have a lot of narrative in it to be considered, something like Limbo would be a no go as there is exposition to it at the beginning but it is very mellow.

      1. Amnestic says:

        I don’t think graphical fidelity is an issue for Spoiler Warning. They were planning the original Deus Ex (2000) until Shamus’ PC got possessed by some sort of eldritch abomination and KotOR1 (2003) was on the table too until they found out that the cutscenes wouldn’t get recorded which meant a bunch more work for Josh’s post-recording editing.

    3. Deadyawn says:

      Biggest problem I can see is that its a crappy unstable PC port and there might be trouble with it if they also have to stream it and record it.

      Good game though.

  24. Dante says:

    So, when do we get to see the Alan Wake and Ruts fan fiction?

    1. Lame Duck says:

      When we’re being punished for our sins in the fiery pits of hell.

      1. Zombie says:

        Not even the Devil is that cruel. At least, I would hope not.

    2. Volfram says:

      I can’t believe I missed this when writing the post immediately below it.

  25. Volfram says:

    RE: “Rutskarn loves Alan Wake” the correct word is “lust.” “Love” is entirely over-and-mis-used in modern society when people actually mean “lust.”

    Can we get someone on some Rutskarn/Alan Wake slash fiction?

    The light of my flashlight played across the dark foliage. I’d been walking for hours after crashing my last car due to the game’s horrible driving physics, and hadn’t found another one.
    “Do not stop chain with hands!” A gravelly voice echoed out of the darkness, and an axe flew past my ear. I turned my light to face the Taken when the bulb flickered and went out. Suddenly, flash of light surrounded the area and vaporized the Taken.
    A boy walked up to me and put his arms around me.
    “Alan,” he whispered in my ear.
    “Keep your head down, Genius.”

    1. CalDazar says:

      I like how Rutskarn is a “boy” as if he’s not yet into his teens.

        1. Volfram says:

          My impression is that he looks young, based on comments about the RPG marathon, his photograph of himself on his own site, and the fact that during Season 5, Shamus makes the comment, “Rutskarn, remember that you both live in California, and [Mumbles] is bigger than you are.”

          Besides which, I turned 27 two weeks ago and I still self-identify as a “boy.”(doesn’t hurt that people seem to estimate my age between 22 and 23)

        2. CalDazar says:

          He’s at least 13.

          Seriously I was under the impression that the number you say was roughly his age, but that’s hardly a boy any longer.

          1. X2Eliah says:

            You guys are taking this way too seriously.

          2. Volfram says:

            20 sounds about right. I was trying to give Alan a “creepy pedo” vibe.(or as an actual fanfic author would have put it, “forbidden young love”)

  26. Earlindor says:

    I have to say, I’m really looking forward to next season and the one after!

  27. WILL says:


    You should play Mask of the Betrayer

    Seriously guys it’s awesome.

    1. Chauzuvoy says:

      I agree. But they’d need to play NWN2 in order to get most of it. And I’m just not willing to put Shamus through that.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Not really actually. There are a couple of references NWN2, but that’s it.
        MotB’s story stands perfectly fine on it’s own.

  28. CalDazar says:

    This is just endless combat, I forgot that Alan narrated things for a while it had been so long since anybody said anything.

    I’m tired of anything to do with ME3, so not looking forward to that.

  29. Jake Albano says:

    Oh gosh, the minecart. I was so ready to ride that thing the rest of the way to my destination. I even thought the developers did a good job placing it; right when I don’t even want to go on any more, they were cutting me a break.’

    And then it lasted for like 200 feet.

    And I was all :|

  30. zob says:

    I wish you could find a way to do System Shock 2.

    1. Zombie says:

      But they we might put all our points in flower arranging instead of macramé! I could just see Josh doing that to……

  31. guy says:

    What Alan is planning seemed pretty clear to me, though having not finished the episode or played the game I might be completely off-base. But between what he says about knowing he needs to get to the edge of Caldron Lake with the Clicker and the manuscript page that you picked up shortly after it blotted out the sun, it appears Alan intends to get to the source of the Dark Presence and trigger the Clicker, crippling it. Then I guess he intends to write in its death scene before it can recover enough to stop him.

  32. Vic 2.0 says:

    Love this episode. This is where the word ‘thriller’ in ‘psychological thriller’ becomes BOLDED ;)

  33. The Truth says:

    I LOVE the combat in this game. Very satisfying. It’s one of the reasons I came back to it something like seven times!

    0:20 – First criticism is disingenuous. You give mention to the two things the beginning and end have in common, and give no mention to the plethora of things that have spiced up the gameplay (such as that long-ass bridge of poltergeists you had so much trouble with [You’d think with all the repetition you’d have gotten plenty of practice by now] and the field of fire with ships sticking out of the ground and possessed monster trucks trying to flatten you). You have… a way with words. Nicely done.

    1:10 – The Taken at the “turret” spotlight do not stand still so you can mow them down. The light fazes them, but if you take it off of one group of them for a couple seconds to try and kill the others, the first group will definitely advance.

    I like how you guys end this spiel with pointing out how Josh keeps dying. That would imply the combat isn’t so repetitious. If it was literally the same ol’ thing, he’d have it down by now. Like… He’d know how to DODGE the little freaks?

    There is coffee in this episode; you’re just missing it.

    6:40 – You’re not SUPPOSED to know what you’re going to do when you get there. Good grief, have a dash of mystery in your psychological thrillers from now on; they taste a lot better that way.

    Alan knows exactly what you know – that he’s supposed to take the clicker to Cauldron Lake. Thassit.

    7:05 – “Right, so we found shotgun ammo so we could get a hunting rifle, that makes sense”

    You were supposed to already have a shotgun from earlier in the episode… where you were just running forward not looking for weapons/ammo. And it DOES make sense that the game would give you a choice between the two.

    9:55 – You’re nit-picking about the game shutting off the lights on you again? Is it really that difficult to write it off as the dark presence trying to kill everything it sees you using, with the story implication that you do it just in time but the gameplay preventing you from having an actual time limit (which I’m sure you’d bitch about too)?

    13:15 – “You didn’t tell Barry any plan.”

    To quote from the cutscene in the beginning of Episode 6, “I’m going back to the lake to finish this. I’m going to write an ending to the story in the manuscript, on my own terms, to make it all right.”

    You guys were just talking over it (surprise surprise). And you DID keep the gun this time. Even had some flashbang grenades. Stop making up shit!

    14:25 – The weapons just laying there foreshadowing an attack can be easily attributed to Zane, who had the manuscripts with him and therefore knew about where Alan would be, as well as if he’d be attacked there. It’s actually pretty neat how even stuff like this can be explained in this game, particularly because tons of games leave weapons and ammo just laying around with no story explanation in sight.

    17:20 – So now we’re trying to suggest there aren’t any ghost towns that look like that in the Pacific Northwest. Well, Google Images would like a word with you. In the meantime, you should know that the devs for this game actually took a trip to various locations in the PNW just so they could get ideas for the scenery.

    That’s why everything you keep finding in the game and saying ISN’T in the PNW, actually is.

    And how are you gonna complain about the narrating of obvious facts in the game, and then turn around and complain about the lack of it?

    18:40 – “This is what you could come up with as a way to get here, Alan, is to take this rickety old mine cart?”

    …Did you see a better way?

    …But uhh, yeah, they could’ve made it possible for him to duck, I guess?

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