Alan Wake

Interview: Microsoft tells all about its upcoming psychological thriller

After delay upon delay, Alan Wake is finally almost upon us. And despite the psychological thriller's postponements, excitement surrounding the game seems to be hitting fever pitch.

CVG catches up with Microsoft product marketing manager Laura Disney to ask all about the game's impending release...

We're not used to MS bringing out 'psychological thrillers'. How does this genre work as a game?
While some players will of course prefer to label the game as a 'horror', Alan Wake is more about a strong atmosphere rather than typical horror elements like blood and gore.

It's unique and gripping story - heavily influenced by pop culture classics - is brought to life using techniques reminiscent of modern movies and TV shows. The goal of Alan Wake is create an intense experience for the player, and though 'psychological thriller' might not be a genre we are used to applying to games, Alan Wake is definitely not something you've experienced before.

What will make Alan Wake stand out against this year's crop of incredible games?
2010 is set to be a fantastic year for gaming, and Alan Wake will be no exception. The atmosphere of the game will create an immersive experience for the player, and the episodic nature will truly imitate the feeling of being drawn into your favourite TV show.

Elements of light and dark will also shape the game in mysterious ways leaving the player unsure as to where they are safe and where they are not...

Gamers have had a mighty long wait for AW. Why has the title taken such a long time to materialise?
Alan Wake is on track from a development standpoint and will play an important role in our Spring 2010 game portfolio. Remedy Entertainment have put a huge amount of work into the title and have really polished the game over the last few months.

As we are committed to delivering the very best and most innovative gaming experiences we can, our release will be driven by our own quality standards rather than a timeline.

Has its long duration in development hindered the game in any way - do any parts look 'dated'?
Throughout development, Remedy has continued to polish and refine Alan Wake to maintain its look and feel throughout. Remedy has a clear impression of what the gamers expect from a AAA title and have worked the make sure that this is evident in the final version.

What in Alan Wake will really blow gamers away?
The time Remedy has spent on Alan Wake is indicative of the final result players can expect to see. The storyline will run as a driving factor throughout the game, creating an atmosphere that captivates the player in a way that many straight-out horror games do not.

Alan Wake will blur the lines between video gaming and television, and play on the strengths of both to create something truly compelling.

Are you anticipating AW enduring as a franchise - with DLC and sequels in the future?
As Robbie Bach announced at CES earlier this month, the episodic nature of Alan Wake will see DLC become available for title later in the year. As for a sequel, we'll have to wait and see.