Alan Wake vs Alone in the Dark: Same game, different quality

Similarity #7: Life-sucking puddles of black goo

Both games even have little slimy black puddles of evil-ness that must be destroyed unless you want evil health draining goo on your shoes.  That's not something you can wipe on the mat outside the front door.

Similarity #8: The endings... or lack thereof

I have no qualms with ruining the end of Alone in the Dark. The game will be celebrating its two year anniversary next month, and you can skip ahead at any time to see what is arguably either the best or worst videogame ending of all time. Basically, you mutter a profanity and walk away from the apocalypse… or you become Satan. It's confusing and nonsensical, and not much of a payoff for the eight or so hours of your life that you can't get back.

Wake, I will not spoil the ending for, but I will say it is almost equally confusing and nonsensical.

Similarity #9: Alan versus Alone

And we cannot ignore the most obvious similarity between the two games. The very reason you will find the games side by side on the shelf at Gamestop is because of their alphabetical proximity.  I am, of course, referring to the first word of the title of each game.  Alone?  Alan?  Those words are a mere three letters away from being the same collection of consonants and vowels! Do you really think that is just a coincidence? Actually – it probably is.

What about the rest, though? It cannot be denied that Alan Wake has a better premise, is better written, is prettier to look at and is all around more fun to play than Alone in the Dark. The titles were in development for a long time, and Alone in the Dark could have benefited from more, but it is unlikely, despite the many similarities, that Alan Wake ripped off Alone in the Dark. Wake certainly benefited from the negative feedback that Alone in the Dark encountered.  It undoubtedly allowed them to polish many of the elements incorporated into their game, but I chalk it all up to a case of good ideas are good ideas, no matter who is able to show them off first.

May 24, 2010

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  • philipshaw - May 26, 2010 10:51 a.m.

    Alone in the Dark did look good at one point but then I played it and it was awful. I haven't played Alan Wake
  • AFTERLIFEJOSH - May 26, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    I remember when they were both announced back at E3 05 and until Alone in the Dark came out, I thought they were the same game.
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  • elpurplemonkey - May 25, 2010 7:51 a.m.

    I really enjoyed the demo of Alone in the Dark and was sorta sad to hear about its crippling technical problems. I could tell it had rather neat ideas though. It seems like all of the main concepts of Alone in the Dark are in A.Wake (minus the looking in your coat instead of an inventory screen part.) I might actually check A.Wake out now.
  • WillisTron - May 25, 2010 1:53 a.m.

    Playing Alan Wake right now at the moment, and it's very addicting - very much like a good book
  • k1ng94 - May 25, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    I remember I preordered the special edition of alone in the dark. I regretted the purchase 10 minutes after playing the game. However I am super excited for Alan wake but sadly will have to wait a few weeks for all my gaming funds are going on Red Dead.
  • Cyberninja - May 25, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    are you guys going to make this a normal weekly feature because you guys already did kratos and max paine

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