Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Alan Wake by Petri Alanko (Review)

Alan Wake is a complex score to approach. When it first starts off it stays pretty low profile. While I was listening I actually started to get aggravated at the fact that all I was hearing was dark ominous tones with no structure. However, patience pays off as this is a very slow developing score. Once it does fully develop and take off this score becomes an amazing noir filled dreary weaving of motifs that transports your mind into a cloud of mystery.

While strings and piano make up most of the score Alanko does add some percussion into the mix to give it the action side. Electronics are utilized to great rhythmic effect. The strings in the score are quite breathtaking at times. There is true heartache felt within the score and that can easily turn into adrenaline pumping action, which can easily turn into intriguing mystery. So, this score does have many faces indeed.

The album itself is packed to the brim with a 75 minute running time, which can lead to some “track fatigue”. Since the score has a very distinct style and slow played out melodies it can feel like it drags a bit. It’s very hard to pick tracks apart from the pack based off sound, but one has to remember this is a video game score. No matter how close the line between film scoring and game scoring is becoming one can’t forget how different of an approach game scoring is.

You will get the occasional long drawn out tracks, but the album itself does a nice job of giving the listener some sort of progression. I’ve heard game score releases that were just loops and loops, which thankfully this is not. Alan Wake is a very cinematic game so the score itself does become a journey in itself. I recommend the score. It’s definitely above what most video games scores are. Towards the end the score transcends into beauty with lush orchestrations. Is this score worth it? Absolutely. It’s a very unique experience that will take a little patience, but in the end the journey is a rewarding one.

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