Tech Analysis: Alan Wake

The emergence of Halo: Reach and Alan Wake looks set to change things. We took a look at Bungie's latest beta test last week, and today our gaze shifts towards Remedy's five-years-in-the-making survival horror epic, Alan Wake. Digital Foundry's love for Nordic games and their developers is well documented and an initial look at the Remedy game merely reinforces our belief that game-makers in this part of the world seem uniquely equipped to produce stunning titles, each with their own distinctive, impressive tech.

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SonySoldiers4889d ago

this kind of tech will be a thing of the past.

ProjectVulcan4889d ago

I think the problem here is extended development time. Who didnt gasp and rub their eyes when they first saw the realtime engine demonstration of this game five years ago? Five years is a long time in this industry. Those five years were never going to be completely kind, and the protracted development and switch to 360 from an engine built up with heavy PC multithreading took its toll. After all, this game originally boasted about quad core support at an intel expo, and dedicating a core for physics and such.

The end result is an engine that was designed for open spaces, heavy geometry, heavy CPU threading on monstrous Pc quad cores.....delivering a low resolution geometry framebuffer on xenon. The game is clearly not bad looking, but its not on the bleeding edge of games developed and released recently, exclusively from the start with console specific hardware in mind.

El Botto4888d ago Show
thor4888d ago

Yeah I remember that tech demo where they were showing off the "power of quad-core technology." It's obvious that it had to be stripped down from that because, well, the 360 doesn't have 4 cores! It could have been great on PC.

Redrum0594888d ago (Edited 4888d ago )

i think this game should be givin a break, they took 5 years to develope this game which shows to the dedication that the devs took on this game, which is the reason why i own a PS3.
I know i may get many disagrees and im honestly not trying to bash, but my impression on 360 games are that of "rushed and gimped unfinished" due to microsofts greed(not confirming that its true).
so seeing a dev take this long on a game only makes me feel more respect for them, thats exactly what i want a dev to do; think more about the quality then the fast cash.
i actualy might give this game a try, one thing i do hate is a rushed game only to make quick cash.
I have no problem waiting for GT5 so i think some ppl need to chill out on this game.
And as far as my impression on microsoft, im sure im not the only one who thinks this of them.

Edit: im sure that some great 360 games would have been better if Microsoft wouldnt have interfered.

IdleLeeSiuLung4888d ago

That is funny, because Alan Wake which Remedy spent 5-6 years on is funded by MS.

Redrum0594888d ago

yes i can believe that, but they funded the project and stepped the hell out of the way. remember, if microsoft wants to, thay couldve had this game out 2 years ago. but the graphics wouldnt be as good and many other thing wouldve been missing if microsoft were to do such thing.

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Traveler4888d ago

Well, I still think it looks great. I agree not as good as some of the better PS3 exclusives like Uncharted 2, Killzone 2 and God of War 3, but still very nice to look at. Plus the whole atmosphere and gameplay seem fun and kind of fresh.

jalen2474888d ago

You were singing a different tune months ago.

Its good to see you come back to reality. LOL.

MGRogue20174888d ago Show
raztad4888d ago

I read the full "analysis". The tone is praising the atmosphere, although the technical aspects of the game are clearly disappointing for such a hyped game, come on: 540p with screen tearing. Typical DF. I wonder if the upcoming UC3 was 540p and no v-synced it would get the same kind treatment due to its "atmosphere", or the PS3 hardware will be to blame.

Biggest4888d ago

It's funny to me how atmosphere is to gaming what congeniality is to ugly women.

IHateYouFanboys4888d ago


the technical aspects of the game are clearly NOT the disappointing parts. did you *really* read the full analysis? if thats the impression that you got from it then you have some comprehension problems. the technical side of the engine is the games strong point - the lighting, the draw distance, the 4xMSAA....the way it all works together to make the lower resolution virtually unnoticable, and to make it look better than nearly all the current natively 720p games.

did you even watch the video? you can barely even tell when a frame is torn. they even specifically stated this lol:

"Where Remedy does deserve kudos is in the fact the game maintains 30FPS to the point where dropped frames are mostly unobservable to the human eye. This gives the game a smoothness and uniform response rate that can only work to the player's advantage. It's also interesting to note that the darkness and muted colour scheme in Alan Wake also serves to diminish the impact of screen-tearing. The effect vanishes in the vast majority of the daytime scenes, as you would expect when engine load diminishes - the requirements of that astonishing volumetric fog system, for example, aren't so much of an issue in these scenes."

showing your true fanboy colours yet again.

Inside_out4888d ago (Edited 4888d ago )

Alan Amazing...the sign of a great game...when all the critics try to yell over the vast majority of good reviews ...Alan Wake is untouchable...No game this gen of gaming even comes close...Look at all the PS3 crowd on every AW thread showing there ignorance over and over...it's bad, trust me...lol...

Digital-fraud does an awful lot of ASUMMING in this piece...anybody notice that...lets take a look shall we...

In regards to the resolution..." Not to discount the VERY PERTINENT points Remedy raised in there statement, the frame buffer is put together from a range of different elements, each with their OWN specific technical make-up and resolution and this has a BIG ( HUGE...lol ) bearing on the overall image quality".....Digital-Frau d...that's why Remedy makes games that matter and these fools try and figure it out....They couldn't understand the console busting fog, LIGHTING and shadows so they glossed over it....LMFAO...

Much like all the negative reviews, people want to gloss over the obvious...this game has incredible graphics and knock you off your seat atmosphere and thrilling moments....They ( DF ) spent numerous paragraphs SPECULATING on open world this and that...look for the " It seems " and " chances are" type of introductions to there OPINIONS...opinions BTW that are often wrong...lol...chk the archives...they've been straighten out many times, including by Remedy for those that remember...

Alan Amazing..only on 360...chk out Gamespot review for a INCREDIBLE peek...

Biggest4888d ago

I watched some of the videos and saw something very cool about the "lighting". The Energizer flashlight moves less like a flashlight and more like a light saber. What's up with that, cez? Is Alan Amazing a Jedi warrior?

But don't get my comment twisted. I am still going to play this game. I just love people like cez of rage and their inability to see life.

Inside_out4888d ago

Sad little dude aren't ya...You hate this game, 360 and M$...but you want to play it...is this kid for real...saw your past posts, bought a " used " 360 for this game...LOL...you need to move on kid...this game is gonna ruin you...but, but it's bad...flashlight like a light saber...OOOKaaay...

Alan Amazing...only on 360...genre defining...the best blend of story, game play and graphics this gen on any system...on the planet, in the solar system and around the entire universe...Just ask " biggest "...he bought a 360 just to play it...lol...

JokesOnYou4888d ago (Edited 4888d ago )

"A combination of high levels of anti-aliasing and high-quality scaling easily cloaks Alan Wake's 960x540 framebuffer. These shots, with their bright and clear polygon edges, should expose any basic 'gotchas', but image quality remains very high. More pixels is always good, but concentrate rendering resources elsewhere and a low framebuffer need not be an issue."

"There's also the fact that the engine itself is capable of rendering some phenomenal draw-distances. Some of the shorter engine-driven cut-scenes (for example, Wake on a rope-bridge, with the view panning out) show some stunning vistas, and there's also a mountaintop look-out complete with telescope that allows you to survey the environments."

"According to Remedy, the engine itself is capable of rendering with a 2km distance. We can well believe it. After the initial action scene at the start of the game, Alan Wake's story switches back to his arrival in Bright Falls via ferry, accompanied by his wife. While many sections within the game give us some idea of just how far this engine can generate beautiful scenery, this small episode - taking place in daytime - with no atmospheric effects obscuring the view, perhaps give some idea of what the tech can do."

-Wow, I really liked this tech analysis, no bull, just the facts for all to see Remedy did an awesome job making Alan Wake one of the most visually stunning games on ANY console to date. It seems Eurogamer's biggest complaint is that they were hoping for more innovative use of the light & dark mechanic because its so beautifully rendered and its odd how they keep bringing up the PC cancellation at every turn -yeah, OK so ANY dev could do more with ANY game on PC. I think they scored the game waay to harshly but great tech analysis none the less.


Ju4887d ago (Edited 4887d ago )

Great analysis, indeed. It doesn't hide away that all this is only possible with a SD+ frame buffer (<500k pixels) and frame tearing all over the place. Not worth mentioning, it's on the box, so no need to bring that up, huh ? /s

This was a tech analysis not a review. And no, IMO, it's not the most stunning game. Very atmospheric, good combination of technology and art direction to use artistic composition to max out limited resources with a very good result, non the less.

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Hanif-8764889d ago ShowReplies(1)
Nicholas Cage4888d ago

vulcan project you are 100% right bubbles.

Sarcasm4888d ago Show
Paradise4888d ago

The graphics are probably the best we've seen on the 360. The mouths still freak me out.