What can I say about Alan Wake? Its an interesting game by the guys who did Max Payne, and it shows; Alan Wake is a story focused action thriller, much like Max Payne, but instead of being a neo-noir crime thriller set in New York City, Alan Wake is a supernatural thriller (though some people might call it horror, i'm a little hesitant to call it such, since it's not really scary) set in the fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington. Though it does have some shortcomings, ultimately, Alan Wake is a engrossing piece of fiction which does it's best to recapture the cinematic storytelling of Max Payne, and for the most part, it delivers.
The game is visually impressive, with lighting being both stunning and a key part of the gameplay, and models being fairly well detailed. The shadowy particle effects when the enemies show up is neat, and overall the game exudes atmostphere. The musical score is decent, though utimately forgettable.
Gameplay is probably the weakest aspect of Alan Wake, but it's still suprisingly solid. It has your standard set of third person controls, but what it adds is it's light mechanic. Enemies in the game cannot be killed unless they are weakened by light first. This can be from your torch (flashlight), a flare gun, or really any light source lying around. Enemies won't attack you under street lamps for instance, though often, to continue, you have to go out into the darkness and fight the enemies. there are some puzzley section in the game, but they aren't too difficult to figure out, but it's worth mentioning.
Where Alan Wake really shines is in it's narrative, but moreso how it tells this narrative. While at first narrration by a Stephen King-esque character seems like it wouldn't be quite so interesting, the delivery is great. When things start to go wrong in Bright Falls, the atmosphere compliments the narratation. It works quite well, and in additon, splitting up the game into segmented chapters also adds to the Twin Peaks feel to the game. The story has plenty of twists and turns, and the dialogue is written well enough to keep you engaged. While the ending is somewhat dissapointing, Alan Wake's story (moreso it's storytelling) is excellent and will keep you engrossed until the end.
If you like narrative driven games, or you like supernatural thrillers reminiscent of Stephen King or Twin Peaks, Alan Wake is definitely a recommendation.