Alan Wake's greatest flaw, though, is the exhausting sameness of its level environments. While the major landmarks of Bright Falls – places like the diner, the trailer park, the mental hospital and the Wakes' haunted cabin – are fascinating to explore and filled with fun characters, the wilderness in between is dull, dark, dreary and even more repetitive than the previously criticized enemies.
Above: Honestly one of the more unique areasin the game
Endless miles of forest paths are punctuated only by the occasional abandoned shack, empty lookout tower and closed facility yard. Beyond the combat, you won't be asked to do much besides unlock doors, turn on generators, ride elevators or run up and down hills. And you won't discover anything particularly surprising or unexpectedly creepy in these sections… just a lot of trees and a lot of Taken. Sometimes the game provides you with a car, but always briefly and always with a very linear path to drive.
Unfortunately, these slogs through monotonous enemies and environments do make up the majority of Alan Wake. Fortunately, the combat and controls are satisfying enough to keep you involved, and the mystery of the story is easily enough to keep you interested. Even when you come across buildings and clearings you could swear you'd visited before, you'll keep pushing forward, desperate to reach the next important location with the next important plot development.