This is not a "survival horror." Not even a "terror" game. There are no scares, unless you are afraid of the dark, and there's no terror unless you hate Stephen King books.
This is an action game with a supernatural component, an interesting (but simple) kill mechanic (use the flashlight to "light" the enemies, shoot them) and a bloody great told story, which jumps straight into the simple and fun Stephen King style and emerges with a really fun (and light) tale about dark beings, a missing wife and a forgotten writer.
This game is made by the same guys who did Max Payne, and it is written in the same, dense, metaphor heavy style. If you liked Max's monologues in the original Max Paynes (1 and 2), you will love Alan Wake's adventure. There are a huge load of references to the original Max Payne, there are references to the nordic mythology (Together with one of the best moments in the game), there are a really good radio broadcast and a really interesting "Night Springs" TV show (both of them continuously referencing what's going on in the game)... all together band up to create a great atmosphere, and to make Bright Springs (The semi incomunicated US village in which the game takes place) a live place, with lot of interesting characters and really well written dialogues, without getting too complex or too boring to hear.
The bad part is that gameplay wise the game is a bit repetitive: Light (let's calle them) dark zombie with flashlight, shoot, repeat. There are not too much different enemies but at least there are several different weapons to kill them, and, to be honest, the action feels right for the game: Just a good bang bang bang without too many options, but still, enjoyable.
I can (and will) criticize the lack of variety in the game: Its like a game coming from 2004-2007 with its linear paths, its waves after waves of "dark zombies", a little bit of exploration and some "hold the fort" moments. Really fun, but nothing we haven't seen before. One could think that, with a mechanic as cool as being able to "play" with lights and shadows, the developers could have done something more interesting than just using as a mechanism to "aim" to the "dark zombies" and preventing the player to go all "rock 'n roll" with the big hordes.
Still, the storytelling blends really well with the shooting sections: It does not distract the player when he is playing in the same way that the gameplay does not distract the player when the game is telling him part of the story, and this is something lot of developers should learn.
In short, Alan Wake is an average-but-fun horror themed shooted with a really nicely told story. It does not do anything new, or innovative, but what it does, it does it quite right.
So, yeah, thumbs up.