Alan Wake was a triumph in videogaming. It had emotion, excellently written and performed dialogue, and also offered a new, twist on the horror genre. How does American Nightmare stack up?
As an Alan Wake fan, my expectations for this were quite high. The original had a compelling story that left me wanting more, and an uncompromising level of dread and tension that didn’t let up until the credits rolled.
So, is Alan Wake’s American Nightmare any good?
The answer is yes. If you liked the original.
AWAN is more of the same in terms of game play, with a few tweaks to the camera and a slight increase to the pacing of firefights with Taken. There are loads of guns to collect, which alter your play style significantly. You will want the enemy up close when you use a 12 gauge, but will want to whittle them down from a distance with the pistol. The new weapons allow for a more action oriented experience.
The light mechanic that worked so well in the previous game makes a return, so you will need to use light to destroy a Taken’s darkness shroud before you can dispatch it with whatever you have handy.
There isn’t as much tension in this entry to the series, but it’s obviously going for a different mood, with a grindhouse feel to the area and narrative as opposed to the claustrophobic environs of the first game.
The storyline is a little tricky to explain, but you should play Alan Wake before this if you want to make sense of it. Let’s just say it will have you confused at least once. I don’t want to spoil the game for anyone, so I’ll just say that this is more of a spin-off than a sequel.
A new feature outside of the story mode is arcade mode, which challenges you to stay alive for ten minutes against increasingly difficult enemies. Chain successful attacks and dodges together to earn multipliers to increase your rank on the leaderboard. This gets tricky as new enemy types come into play. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything here, so I won’t go into too much detail.
There’s a fair bit of replay value to be had if you like the game, too. Unlockable weapons, story snippets and flares all await the explorers amongst us. Add that on top of the lengthy 6-7 hour campaign, and you’ve got great value.
All in all, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is an excellent game and easily worth the 1200 points. Get yourself a flashlight and get comfy. It’s going to be a long night.