Setup: I’ll jump right into it. Nvidia Surround for this gaming is quite breathtaking. I came from playing Dead Space 2, which is nothing but enclosed corridors and mostly indoor environments. In Alan Wake, you are outdoors for 95% of the game. Therefore the scope and expanse of the landscape around you is amazing. This game has created the best immersion experience thus far in my young triple monitor setup. We’ll see how long that lasts, since I haven’t played Mass Effect 3 yet. I will also note that I played this with three GTX 480’s in Tri-Sli. I definitely couldn’t max it out with this setup, and the cards ran quite hot throughout my playtime, reaching up to 85c on the top card. But then again, all GTX 480’s run hot.;P
Gameplay – Score: B+ The gameplay in Alan Wake at first glance may seem like a standard third person computer game, but it comes with a twist. Your weapon? Sure you have handguns, shotgun, and batteries. Oh right, batteries you ask? The game core element is the way you use light to defeat the baddies. You do this with flashlights you get throughout the game, and collect batteries as the type of ‘ammo’ they use. It’s definitely something different, and quite refreshing if you’re tired of guns. Not only do you use flashlights, but you also use objects in the surround environment, which of course produce sources of light 7.62×39 bulk ammo . Such as street lanterns used for construction, flares, flash grenades, and a few more. With that said, you are able to use both the guns and flashlight for combat simultaneously, which gives great flexibility for those who may like one or the other.
Graphics – Rating: B As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the game is stunning no matter what display setup you have. The reason I didn’t score it higher is because SLI came broken out of the box, which many consider unacceptable if you’re paying your hard earned dollars to play computer game. I was a little bit more forgiving and chose to use a simple ‘work-around’ that enables SLI capabilities. Of course it comes at a cost. Their is a flicker distortion that occurs in the first 20 or so seconds or so once you enter the game. After it goes away all is well. Also, another sacrifice that this ‘quick-fix’ brings is the blur effect. Google ‘Alan Wake SLI fix’ and you should find it in details. Anyways, once you’re actually playing the game, the game is beautiful.
Story – Score: C The story in Alan Wake failed to captured my attention through most of my playtime. It was just too far-fetched for me, even though it just a “computer game”. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything. Just pay attention if you plan to even understand it… The games fun factor more than makes up for it though.
Conclusion: Alan Wake went down as one of the better computer games in 2010 when it released for the Xbox 360. Sadly, if you have already played that version, then I would recommend moving along. However, if you have played the Xbox version and would like to test it out on a three monitor setup, then I would highly recommend it! Like I said, it is my favorite thus far in Nvidia Surround. I use three 24” Asus monitors. Anything over that and computer game textures begin to get too pixelated, or so I’ve read. Then again, I’ve heard great things about Nvidia Surround with 27” monitors as well. Specifically speaking, the Planar 27” that goes on sale like, every weekend…