Based on the positive reviews that Alan Wake received I blindly purchased Alan Wake for the 360. I purchased Red Dead Redemption the same way. I love RDR.
This is by no means a fully fledged review of the game; just the initial impressions of a spoiled gamer (spoiled by the goodness that exists out there).
I really liked the approach the team took with the narrative, and how it takes you through the game not only in cut-scenes but also in gameplay. But, I felt it was a little heavy handed in some places, taking some of the surprise out of me discovering things. The engine is fantastic. Some of the visuals are simply stunning. But, I experienced small game pauses when data was being loaded, which I assume must have been enemies or a new segment of the world being loaded/unloaded. C'mon guys, really? Our DS games don't even do that! I appreciate the amount of script and acting in the game, this is something I really like about RDR too (I use present tense because I am still playing RDR), but in Alan Wake the acting felt like acting for the most part and not natural. The concept of the enemies was pretty cool, the axe murderer angle is pretty freaky, but I found the repetition required to kill the first 20 enemies made the experience dull and ironically left me wanting to just sit back and watch the movie... oh wait, this is a game. Hehe.
Overall I was impressed by many of the things accomplished in Alan Wake, but I simply lost the desire to continue playing it. This rarely happens to me, I like to give games a chance. But, I guess I was expecting something different and expectations can be a products' enemy sometimes. The reason I mentioned RDR above is due to the hype that I had heard about the game before playing it myself, an it lived up to that hype. With all of the positive buzz around Alan Wake I was expecting something more than what I experienced.
For me, Silent Hill 2 is still the King of psychological thrill.