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ALAN WAKE (2010)

ALAN WAKE <span>(2010)</span> artwork

ALAN WAKE (2010)

Type VideoGame

Ratings Info Contains strong threat

Cut All known versions of this work passed uncut.

  • Suitable only for 15 years and over icon15

Ratings info

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

ALAN WAKE is an Xbox 360 psychological action thriller game. It concerns a best-selling American writer who is on a working holiday in the small town of Bright Falls when his wife disappears without trace. He finds himself trapped in a nightmare which seems to be following the plot of one of his books, although he can't recall writing it. It has been classified '15' for strong threat.

The gameplay involves Alan Wake using a variety of weapons - including handguns, shotguns and an axe - to defend himself against the 'Taken', which are aggressive zombie/undead woodsmen wielding axes, scythes or chainsaws. These enemies can also be repelled with light from torches, flareguns etc. Other supernatural agents, such as flocks of possessed crows, and sudden tornados, also attack Wake, who must solve puzzles to access different locations, start electricity generators or watch vital TV broadcasts.

The strong threat arises from the almost constant level of tension in the game, as Wake (who is usually alone) is almost continually under threat of attack at night from the looming, aggressive Taken. The sound effects are evocative, adding significantly to the feeling of threat, with discordant music, unexplained noises in the dark woods, disembodied sounds of babies crying and the sound of Alice calling from afar, or sometimes screaming for help. The constantly unsettling tonal aspect to the game - rather than the actual violence itself (which is almost always just implied, with no sight of injuries or blood) - means it is too disturbing a classification of '12', where BBFC Guidelines state that 'Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained'. However, the lack of sadistic or sexualised threat of any sort makes it permissible under BBFC Guidelines at '15' where 'strong threat and menace are permitted'.

Only mild language is heard during the game.


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