Although I became a little bored with the original & didn't finish it, I downloaded this game today simply because it was on offer :) After a fair few hours I'm still enjoying it. It's simple light hearted fun & the graphics are extremely easy on the eye & quite realistic for an arcade game. If you want a break from massively immersive games that take over your life but don't wanna go back to platformers then this is a good bet for the money. Some of the action has been really exiting so far without being too intense. I'd say it's a great game for those times you don't wanna think too much. The 'Alan Wake' style is cheesy yet kind of endearing & I'm glad I decided to get it - kinda makes me wanna give the original another try. The bit of Kasabian worked into the action is a nice touch too, in fact the atmospheric sound in general is very impressive.
Night springs eternal in this enjoyable yet uneven non-sequel.
- Light, self-referential tone
- Entertaining interplay between Alan and Mr Scratch
- Lots of collectables
- Arcade mode is a lot of fun.
- Too much ammo diminishes the challenge and intensity
- No "Previously on Alan Wake" for new players
- Fetch quests feel like chores.
2010's Alan Wake was a pleasant surprise for players looking for a scare, in part because it delivered thrills and chills without falling into the typical survival horror mold. Sure, it had its share of axe-wielding maniacs and more darkness than you could shake a flashlight at, but the game succeeded because it eschewed jump-scares and horrific imagery in favor of a quieter, smarter brand of terror. Now, the story of Alan Wake continues, sort of. Alan Wake's American Nightmare isn't the full-fledged sequel fans may be yearning for, but it is an enjoyable return to the troubled world of the titular writer, where fact and fiction are often impossible to distinguish.
Bear in mind that this is not a direct continuation of the original Alan Wake. Instead, American Nightmare is presented as a stand-alone episode of the franchise's famed Night Springs TV show--an episode that just happens to star the estimable Mr. Wake. In the show, Alan is cast as the champion of light who must find a way to defeat his dark doppelganger, the nefarious Mr. Scratch. Although it's fun to see these two jawing at each other, you may find yourself wishing that all of this conflict was building toward something directly related to the core narrative of the series.
While Alan Wake featured plenty of exposition and explanation right off the bat, American Nightmare thrusts you into the action with little in the way of either. Although there's a Rod Serling-esque narrator that occasionally chimes in to push the story along (albeit slightly), even diehard Alan Wake fans may feel a bit lost for the first 30 minutes or so. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because part of the game's charm lies in slowly unraveling the narrative via the still-important manuscript pages and the occasional discussion with the three living women that you meet. The proceedings get a bit less murky as you progress, especially after it's revealed that you'll be exploring the same three areas multiple times throughout the course of the game.
Though going back to the same locales again and again may sound gimmicky, it's actually handled deftly from a narrative perspective, which prevents it from feeling like a crutch used to artificially extend the length of the game. It's a good thing the gimmick works as well as it does because most of the game revolves around simple fetch quests that would have been downright boring if repeated in full over and over. It also doesn't help matters that the wide-open Arizona environments aren't as conducive to tension as the dense, shrouded Washington woods that helped set the tone of the first game.
Alas, while American Nightmare is technically a stand-alone story, those unfamiliar with the underlying mythology and backstory of the series won't get nearly as much satisfaction out of it as those who completed the first game. It's a shame because a simple "Previously on Alan Wake" video could have provided the necessary details to get the uninitiated up to speed, and the lack of such details is an especially glaring oversight given the first game's episodic structure. A number of references are made to the characters populating the first game's world, and quasi-appearances are made by Alan's agent Barry Wheeler, as well as the washed-up metal band Old Gods of Asgard. Although American Nightmare can be enjoyed by anyone, a history with the franchise helps to make it a more enjoyable ride.
A lot better than the original in some ways, worse in others. Loved the original's tone, but it never felt scary so much as, well, silly. Glad this one realized that.
Pretty fine game with light and dark moments. There were things that bothered me (ammo, animation, go there pick that) but also many things that surprised me (darkness graphics, open areas, atmosphere). Alan is still great, and I would give him lesser score, but it's about three times cheaper than the original. So easy 8,0 and for Alan Wake and atmoshperic action lovers it's a must have.
Thanks, It was a good review from the game. At this time, I can't play American Nightmare but it helps me to remember my 2010 favorite game and wishing to repeat it again.
This Review is totally wrong. I bought the game and is excellent also have de first one and the history is totally different that the history of the firs game for what do you need Previously on Alan Wake. You will not get recognized putting low reviews.
wow wish this was an actual physical release. I loved the original just hope it eventually comes to disc though that seems unlikely.
"Too much ammo diminishes the challenge and intensity" i agree, there was ammo everywhere. You could actually just sit around and wait for the ammo to respawn again and i also notice they dumbed down on the facial expressions but its still a good game and a lot of fun. aahhh and watch them fix all that for us for the PC release with enhanced edition and enhanced graphics. Damn I love being a PC player
looking back into SP portion of the game. I fell that it needs to step up on difficulty. More frequent random taken encounter with each chapter spawns harder taken, well at least i have a chance to use the all the ammo.
Mkeegs79 im with you a 7.0 for an arcade game that looks this good?? your right this is gamespot if u had more guns and it was fp mode it get an 8.5 lol
@boxinghelena It does remind me of Uncharted, because it's feels like you're controlling a movie as you move along.
Yeah, I could find ammo when I already had nearly all my ammo still. I never ran out of bullets in my weapons even when I cleared an area. A 7 is too low but this is Gamespot so it figures. The site with reviews by jaded gamers.
@dxBIGBOSSxb you sir speak the truth. All of you people should watch Angry Joe's reviews, found on is webpage and on Youtube. He actually gives realistic ratings, where 5 is considered average and a 7 would be considered a good game.
@DeeDoubleYou - thanks, I guess I'll just restart it. I wonder what the downvotes were for, it's not like I said the game was bad. I was just wondering if other people encountered this bug and had found a workaround.
@grognard... Yeah I had that happen I tried like 6 times and it would freeze up every time. I'd have to restart my box. I ended up having to restart the game from scratch. Only took about 45 minutes to get through it again since I was able to skip most of the cut-scenes I already watched.
I think this game was alright not that good as well but just great somehow for me it was kind of short took me a while to complete the game.
So far I'm loving the game. If you liked the original like I did, you'll probably enjoy this one as well. I agree that since ammo is not really an issue, there's not much of a challenge. The challenge lies more in finding the manuscripts I find. And it's still pretty scary when you get attacked, because sometimes you can't hear them coming from behind as you get attacked from the front.
"Too much ammo diminishes the challenge and intensity" i agree, there was ammo everywhere. You could actually just sit around and wait for the ammo to respawn again and i also notice they dumbed down on the facial expressions but its still a good game and a lot of fun.
seriously $15 for a 5-6hrs of SP, added 5 maps for survival mode (2 difficulty modes). Its worth all your penny.
@dawnofhero: "This game reminds me of Uncharted, but with a completely different setting and gameplay mechanics." So... It doesn't remind you at all of Uncharted?
This game reminds me of Uncharted, but with a completely different setting and gameplay mechanics. If I had a 360, I'd buy this and the first Alan Wake.
I got it on launch day and I have to admit, GameSpot is right on with the review. We know it's an arcade game, but there is a lot of things missing. The FIRST thing I noticed was how TERRIBLE the voice overs are . . . It's painful to listen to honestly. Too much ammo, not enough terror but that's what Remedy was going for with this game so it's not a downfall, just a fun change. I really enjoyed Alan Wake, and I am enjoying American Nightmare as well, it's different; but for the right reasons. It's not a sequel! It's just some good ol' American fun!
Has anyone else had this lock-up the second time you go back to the original map and try to talk to that lady again? It keeps doing this to me!
@Mkeegs79 I might be wrong, but I think they're trying to reinflate the ORIGINAL concept of gaming scores. 10 years ago, you might not believe it, a 5/10 to most games meant it was average to many reviewers. Today we kind of lost touch with our sense of scoring, and a major inflation has saturated the gaming industry making anything below a 9.0 not worth getting. Chances are I'm dead wrong, but it would be nice to be right. Maybe people will actually start buying 7s and above more often, instead of 9.5s and above.
Is it just me or does Gamespot really seem jaded considering so many games they have scored less than a 8.0.
I'm going to buy this for sure but I do hope to see a "Alan Wake 2" sometime in the future. Even if we have to wait a few years, rather have that then these Alan wake titles that have nothing to do with the main story.
I understand its an arcade game, but what i dont understand is that it costs $60. Game devs, not everygame has to cost $60!!
The original Alan Wake is great. It just goes to show that the Call of Duty appeal has to be glued on to all video games, even of a different genre to appeal to a broad audience. By this, I mean, do you really have to try and sell Alan Wake with a nail gun on the front cover?! Because somehow, Alan Wake holding a nail gun representing a sub-machine gun just screams badass. Buy me now. The gaming industry is degrading itself with these so-called publishers, with a rod up developer's if they don't do what they say mentality. It's getting tiresome /rant
May be interesting i do hope they do make an actual sequel to alan wake or another game similar i loevd the whole episode feel it had.