Alan Wake’s American Nightmare Review
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is a downloadable game that takes place after the events of the first Alan Wake. Alan now has a new enemy and a new problem. His stories are being edited by his evil alter ego. Is this novel worth picking up or should you wait until it hits the bargain bin?
It should be noted that I played through the first Alan Wake so I knew all the odd things that take place in the game. If you have not played the first game you might be a bit lost if you are just coming in.
The first scene shows Alan hunting his enemy Mr. Scratch. They are fighting in the darkness around Night Springs. Inevitably Scratch wins and puts you at the start of the game. You awake in the canyon and need to find a way to stop Scratch permanently. He will not make this easy though because he sends waves and waves of shadow creatures at you throughout the game. Scratch is a physcho and if he is not stopped he will take over as Alan in the real world.
After you make it past the canyon you have attempt to disable the spawn point of the enemy. This is done by Alan rewriting reality since this is all part of the book he is writing. The whole game is about this. You finding the right parts to rewrite reality and kill Scratch and save everyone in Night Springs. Once you are able to find the pages to you book you can then attempt to stop Scratch. The page that tells you how the book ends only comes out in fragments though so you eventually have yo go back through and get another page of the book.
It is not a hard story line to follow but if you have not played the first game you will likely be confused.
The gameplay in Alan wake is fairly simple. You need to shine a light on an enemy until he loses all his darkness. Then from there you need to shoot him until he is dead. Now on the first few enemies this is really simple, but as you go through the game the enemies get harder and harder. Eventually they split into smaller weaker forms and just swarm you or they come in really strong forms that take a whole battery to bring down. Other then the flashlight thing it is pretty much a third person shooter with no cover system(Not that one is needed). There is also a dodge ability that plays a pretty big roll. Basically you can dodge any enemy melee attack with it if you time it right. If not expect to be hit multiple times and die.
You also end up with various weapons and tools. Anything the emits light breaks the darkness shield on enemies from flares to flash bangs. They also have a multiple guns you can unlock if you find enough of the manuscript pages throughout the game. This is not needed to beat the game but some of those weapons are way funner then the basic shotgun and handgun combo.
The game is mostly go collect this then fight of a wave of enemies and get to the next objective. Basic but it gets the job done.
This is just the horde mode of the game. You are given nothing but a pistol and put into a level. The level has supplies all around and you just need to go find them. The objective is simple, survive until the sun comes up. You have a timer and once that timer hits 0 you win. While this is going on though waves of enemies will start to swarm you harder and harder. The game gives you a break in between rounds normally to restock and heal up but sometimes it is not enough time. I would normally run and gun through the easier ones but I am not really a fan of this mode when I have to play it alone.
They have plenty of levels and achievements to unlock for this mode so if that is your thing you will enjoy it. I feel like this mode will be hit and miss with people and it was a miss for me.
|Graphics and Sound|
This is a downloadable game and it still looks a lot like the original Alan Wake game. That is not a bad thing since it is not a huge game so I really have no complaints about the looks. There are a few scenes that are done live action and the actors are fairly solid so that only helps the games case. The world around you also gives off the creepy vibe with the shadows and darkness which is essential for this type of game. I did not notice any funky animations or weird graphical glitches either so that is a plus.
Sound wise the voice acting is pretty good. The guy who plays Alan/Scratch does a very good job of making you feel like Alan knows how to fix everything. The rest of the voice actors also portray the WTF is going on role fairly well so that is a bonus. You do not really need to deal with the extra people for a ton of time but you do have to speak to each of them multiple times. The interaction between Scratch and Alan can be amusing as well. Towards the end I really did want to put a bullet into Scratch
The sound effects are done well. Everyone weapon sounds well and enemies growl and gargle like deranged shadow freaks should. There are a couple of moments when background music is playing and it does the part well but for the rest of them game you will be hearing crickets and other random desert noises. It is for the better though I do not need no music holding my hand in a game that is meant to be creepy.
Fairly solid on both fronts here. Could of been better but since it was a cheaper downloadable game it gets the pass from me.
Now for the nit picking. The game only has 3 areas to explore. This would not be a problem if they were bigger OR if you did not have to go through them and do the same thing multiple times! Yeah it gets easier each time but I really do not need to go back to the motel 3 times. Leave me there longer and put in the rest of the areas longer and don not make me repeat the same things!
I order to get the good weapons you need to spend time finding the manuscript pages. I do not like that simply because I feel like if I don’t I miss out on all the game has to offer. I never did end up getting that last shotgun nor did I want to spend more time finding stupid book pages.
As stated above if you are new to the series you may want to play through the first game first. If not just keep an open mind and you should enjoy yourself.
For the price Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is a pretty solid game overall. If this seems like this is your type of game or if you just want to check out the world of Alan Wake this is a good way to do it. Go download it if you need to kill sometime during a weekend.
|out of 10|
The game is presented very well from the live action to the voice acting. Very few complaints here
Graphics look just like the original. Not a problem since it is not a full blown sequel
|8||Soundtrack & Sound Effects:
Pulls off the creep vibe pretty well. Voice acting is good also.
Any vet of Alan Wake can jump right in. New players will not find it difficult either which is good.
You can look for more manuscript pages or do arcade mode after you beat the game. If you really want you can also beat it on the hardest difficulty.
If you are looking for a somewhat creepy game or some sort of new action game this is an easy buy.
This review is based on a retail copy of the PC version of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare