Another day, another game for us to review, this time we have a brand new standalone experience ‘Alan Wake’s American Nightmare’. Spoiler Alert* Following on from the original game that sees Alan rescuing his girlfriend Alice from the Darkness*Spoiler Ended, the game moves on, this time to the City of Night Springs. This whole game takes place in a fictional TV series, episodes of which we were able to appreciate in the original game.
Night Springs is based around the hit TV series from the 60s The Twilight Zone, if you looked into Alan Wake you would know that he worked as a writer for the TV Series. As our main character arrives in good old Arizona so does his doppelganger Mr Scratch, your main goal is simple, defeat your doppelganger and get back to Alice, but is it as simple as we make it out to be. Mr Snatch has trapped Alan within a sort of Time Warp, something like ‘Groundhog Day’ the movie. While Alan is trapped in this event you will meet some interesting characters and villains, as well as some very detailed yet interesting locations.
Alan wakes in the City of Night Spring just in front of him is his trusty torchlight, you reach down to pick it up and then decide to make your way down to the motel, that is seen in the distance. Along the way poltergeists will try and block your way by putting obstructions in your path, you can use your torchlight to destroy these objects and clear the way. You may not be able to see any humans around, but we can guarantee that there will be, the question is, will they be ones that have been subdued by the Darkness or are they there to help you or hinder you. The Darkness consumes the souls of humans and they call themselves The Taken, the only way to kill the Darkness is by using your torchlight to burn away the Darkness from inside the subdued, then shooting them.
The original game lacked in weapons, Remedy has created this game to be pure action so what do you expect when we say “There are a load of new weapons to use”.
So what have Remedy given us to play around with this time? Well some of our new artillery includes the use of a nail gun, a powerful shotgun, you may try your luck with the UZI 9mm or an M14, these are just some of the new weapons that Remedy have added to Alan’s latest outing. You get back your faithful flares and flash bangs that take down enemies super-fast and can help take care of groups and also give you a brief yet short amount of time to lick your wounds and rest before you must carry on.
While on your adventure you will find lost pages from Alan’s latest manuscript, I would highly recommend collecting these pages as they will allow you to unlock all these awesome new weapons and trust me you will need them. Now The Taken has got a new range of Darkness enemies to kick your arse with; including ‘The Splitter’ that has the ability to split in two whenever you shine a light at them, the ‘Bird Man’ an enemy that will turn into a flock of birds if attacked and ‘The Granadier’ this enemy throws grenades at your hide. Finally one to watch out for is an ogre carrying a huge @~%@ off circular concrete saw. There is also one other thing, something I personally have only gotten used to ‘Spiders’, not the small type, the giant over the top science fiction grown type ones that could eat you for breakfast.
So we have the new weapons, we also know now know that American Nightmare is all about kicking arse, more action orientated, so what is the combat like? Well Remedy has brought back the faithful cover system from Alan’s original outing; they have also improved the aiming system and altered the character animations to make them smoother and more lifelike. The slowdown effects are glorious to watch, and when the game returns to its standard speed, with a gun in your hand, watching you blast the living crap out of that enemy, that is trying to take you down, is just awe-inspiring. The controls are easy to pick up and play with no real issues that I could find that hindered my overall gaming experience. I only found that the rinse and repeat effect of taking enemies down got to be a little tiresome, but I also understood that this was the concept behind the games core structure, so any major changes to it would make the game less like an Alan Wake franchise.
I always like to look at the quality of the game in my reviews so let’s move to graphics, the game has moved away from the games original location of the Pacific North West to the baron wastes of Arizona; Since this game was made at a later date have things really improved? The locations still give a sense of fear and keep you on the edge of your seat, the characters have had an overhaul and look a lot more realistic and finally the narration and acting are just spot-on.
Why so cheap?
So the price tag of this game must mean something, since it’s not the graphics, sound and gameplay, so why so cheap? Well the story mode is only 5hrs long maximum; it is still rather a lot of fun though. There was only one real downside, the developers did over do some elements by constantly repeating or should I say recycling elements throughout the game. When you have completed the Story Mode, chuck yourself in to the Arcade mode, a ‘From Dust till Dawn’ type game mode, tackling endless amounts of enemies that progressively increase in difficulty as you progress through the stage and of course there are a number of maps to check out, to keep you entertained.
Alan Wake American Nightmare is a great improvement on the original game and I really hope to see more Alan Wake games from Remedy in the future. The story may be short, but the graphics, the sound and the gameplay keeps everything alive and well worth playing over again if you feel like it. If not then you can always test your skills with Survival mode and the constant horde of enemies to take down. For the price tag of an estimated £11.99 this game is well worth picking up and playing, if you’re a massive fan or just a standard fan of the original game, you are missing out on something glorious here, go and buy it now.
PC System Requirements also Available on XBox 360
|Minimum:OS:Windows XP SP2
Processor:Dual Core 2GHz Intel or 2.8GHz AMD
Memory:2 GB RAM
Graphics:DirectX 10 compatible with 512MB RAM
Hard Drive:8 GB HD space
Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible
Processor:Quad Core 2.66GHz Intel or 3.2GHz AMD
Memory:4 GB RAM
Graphics:DirectX 10 compatible or later with 1GB RAM
Hard Drive:8 GB HD space
Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible
Disclaimer: All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.