The Warrior Of Light has his work cut out for him in this great yet tedious encounter with the forces of darkness.

User Rating: 7 | Alan Wake's American Nightmare X360

The original Alan Wake was one of the few titles I considered to have been original in its installment into the not-so-vast library of Xbox 360 exclusives, not to mention the survival horror genre which has been dying out in the past few years. The game follows the original protagonist "Alan Wake" into a world where he's believed to be trapped by his doppelganger who is slowly taking over his life in the real world, Alan believes that by following a series of manuscripts that are apparently written by him he'll be able to finally find a way to escape that world and return to his wife, although he has no memory of the time of writing or the content of these manuscripts.

For anyone who has played the original Alan Wake, this game will seem vastly familiar in terms of controls, weapons, and enemies. Your enemies are the shadowy figures only known as "Taken" who are people that have been supposedly devoured by the darkness and thus have turned aggressive and will be the most common enemy in the game. The Taken come is different shapes, forms, and sizes which in turn require different methods for defeating them.

The arsenal you come across throughout the game offers some variation in terms of fire-rate, power, effectiveness and availability, some weapons are better used against a certain type of Taken than others, its up to you to find out which is which, although there are some weapons that the game can definitely do without. Lets not forget your most important weapon which is the flashlight that needs to be used to destroy a kind of darkness "barrier" around the Taken before they can be affected by ordinary ammo, you can also use it to blind them which will in turn slow them down if you're feeling overwhelmed.

Alan can also dodge enemy attacks which will result in a slow-mo dodge animation if the player is successful in pressing the sprint button at the right time, you'll find that dodging is a smooth and responsive way to escape from enemies throughout the entire game.

The games' visuals are great, very close to the retail version, although its an XBLA game so it's understood that there would be an itsy-bitsy downgrade in graphics.

There are around 53 manuscripts to collect through all 3 acts of the game, you'd want to collect them for the fantastic narrative of Alan Wake and because you'll encounter chests that can only be opened when you have a certain number of manuscripts. There are also the occasional TVs & Radios that you can interact with for the sake of character development.

Now on to the bad things. The most annoying thing I would say would be the repetition. There are a total of 3 acts and in each act you will visit the "same" 3 areas, I thought this was a bit lacking on the creative side, and only an attempt to try and prolong the game. even though they shorten the time you stay in each area every time you visit it. It was made to seem that this repetition was part of the main story, where Alan was stuck in a kind of time loop that kept repeating until he did the right thing at some point in the game.

The enemies are thrown at you in a manner close to a horde mode, where you reach an area, and you have to defeat a wave of Taken, the further you go, the more difficult and numerous they are, but nothing a few dodges and well timed flares can't take care of.

I played the main story on nightmare difficulty which proved to be a total cakewalk, that was kind of disappointing as I do enjoy myself the occasional challenge.


Besides the main campaign, you're given the chance to play survival mode, a mode where you have to survive for 10 minutes until the sun comes up in 5 different maps, the maps are also repeated for Nightmare difficulty survival mode. before time runs you'll have to face off waves of Taken and accumulate points by first raising your multiplier which is increased by defeating the Taken and successfully dodging without taking damage. The survival mode isn't as easy as the main story, but with a little persistence and knowledge of the maps, it will also be pretty easy.

The Good :-The Bad:-
  • Great Visuals.
  • Awesome Narrative.
  • Smooth responsive Controls.
  • Horror Factor is still there.
  • Repetitive.
  • Too Easy.

Considering all factors in the game, I give it a 7/10.

Thank you for reading my review of Alan Wake : American Nightmare :)