Alan Wake is pure psychological thriller. It has a clever narrative, albeit with some plot holes, an interesting Twin Peaks vibe, unique mechanics, and a genuine sense of horror.
Players take control of the titular character, Alan Wake, and fight through a rural nightmare to save his wife after his writer’s retreat goes terribly wrong. There are interesting twists along the way, but the mechanics are what really heighten the horror. In order to defeat enemies, you must first burn away the shadows that surround them with either a flashlight or alternative source of light. It is at that point that they become vulnerable to damage. Racing against time to wind up generators or searching frantically for batteries may sound mundane, but the vulnerability they create blends well with the atmosphere.