Review: Alan Wake: The Signal

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Review: Alan Wake: The Signal

The first batch of DLC for Alan Wake is a pretty big letdown.

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Hey is it just me, or is there an error with the video? i cant play it... Sry for the bother.

minotaur199:
Hey is it just me, or is there an error with the video? i cant play it... Sry for the bother.

Me neither.

Yeah, I'm just getting a button marked "Play again" rather than an actual play... which wouldn't be a problem if it actually played when I hit it >.>

I've just played a bit (I think I can say that I'm up to the bit with the car without it being a spoiler as such) and I agree completely. Too much combat in this DLC.

I didn't mind the odd fight in the main game, but there was one moment (in the second to last episode I think it was) where you're in a building and LOADS of Taken appear, but you have little to no ammo to take them down, so you have to run outside and to the nearest checkpoint.
That was the worst moment in the main game and The Signal seems like they took that part and made DLC out of it.

I love the combat mechanic (taking on just enough Taken was fun), but the actual amount of combat in this episode is making it wear thin. I'll finish it tomorrow, and I may try and play though it again for all the achievements so, as it's free DLC I'll only say that it's a slight disappointment, rather than a major one.

Yea it dont work at all. it just asks me to play again, then asks to play again again

Possibility of sabotage from the inside?

Wished it was more...I loved the game, and, from the sounds of it this is obvious cash in 101...

Jaredin:
Wished it was more...I loved the game, and, from the sounds of it this is obvious cash in 101...

Except it's free if you bought a new copy of the game...hardly a cash in. ;)

I know they couldn't really answer questions in the DLC (in case people don't buy it and miss something important) but I really have no problem with them giving more questions; there's just no plot there.

It just reminded me of the most frustrating parts of the main game; too many enemies and random objects flying at you every fucking second during combat.

In one part the camera must have done the slow-mo turn around to reveal enemies too me 3 times in a bloody minute.

Yup, can't play the video. Perhaps this is John Funk striking at you for not being able to review Galaxy 2, Susan ;).

I just finished Alan Wake *looks at watch* 2 hours ago :P
However, I had to rent is so no code for me which leads me on to how much does this DLC cost? Or is that TBA?

Also, it's a shame they missed the point of the story (as in that is the core of the game) and focused on the not bland but reasonably repetitive combat...although towards the end of the game it was solid and satisfying.

Hmm video no worky for me either...

I agree with Susan on this, there wasn't much story but to be honest I still had a lot of fun.

I have just played it... in about 2 hours! I never really expected it to be very long, no longer than all the other episodes at any rate, so in that regard I can't complain. It was a lot harder than any of the others (I died a lot more anyway) and it's very fast paced and the gameplay is much more varied with some surprisingly fun parts. As usual it looks fantastic but I did have trouble in some parts because it was just TOO dark!

I'm glad it was free with my code though, I would feel a little bit duped if I'd had to pay for that. I know a lot of work goes into Alan Wake, but the quality does seem to hinder the quantity just a little too much in this case.

Susan Arendt:
Susan Arendt still thinks Barry is one of the best sidekicks ever created.

Yes, I agree. But he was INCREDIBLY annoying in the DLC I thought. He was very well done in the main game, used just enough to not become boring or annoying. But here, here he had no place. His talking got on my nerves and I rarely laughed at him. Considering I wished he would go away and leave me with the Taken... doesn't bode well!

I'm getting the video problem as well. It looks like, for some reason, the video's been flagged as having a duration of 0 or something.

While I couldn't agree more that 'The Signal' is a letdown, I have to disagree with your opinion of the full game.

I thought that the story and writing started off well enough, but went rapidly downhill, ending up an incoherent mess towards the end. The resolution somehow managed to feel rushed, anti-climactic and meandering all at the same time. The supposed cliffhanger ending had less impact than one of the flash-bangs in the game.

I did however, like the game engine, I thought that the town and forest were well rendered, and even if the slightly wonky lip-synching let the character models down, the rest of the world looked superb.

Weirdly enough, I really liked Barry as a character, so I'll agree with you on that point too.

If this video was my offspring, I would say, "Son, I am disappoint."

can't play the video =/

Proverbial Jon:

Susan Arendt:
Susan Arendt still thinks Barry is one of the best sidekicks ever created.

Yes, I agree. But he was INCREDIBLY annoying in the DLC I thought. He was very well done in the main game, used just enough to not become boring or annoying. But here, here he had no place. His talking got on my nerves and I rarely laughed at him. Considering I wished he would go away and leave me with the Taken... doesn't bode well!

Aw, really? I thought he was super in the DLC, one of the few bright spots. The moments with Alan and Barry were very charming, I thought.

Also, apologies for the problem with the video. Should be sorted now.

EDIT: I retract my previous statement.

I agree, but I can't really complain about it. I never buy DLC, I only got this because it's free. And I love free stuff.

IGN gave it a 9 and Eurogamer a 6... talk about contrast.

I completely forgot about this, I was hoping the DLC would further the story but ah well. It is free.

uhh guess they didn't learn about stand out in-game advertising instead of weaving it in smoothly haha...

bad game: bad dlc
one redeeming feture- freebie!

Well that's a shame. I absolutely adored the full game and was quite looking forward to this. But then perhaps these "miniseries" as they call them are just that: quick bits that serve merely to get us to the full Alan Wake/Season 2.

Susan Arendt:
Snip

So your enjoyment of this is in direct proportion of how much you liked the story and how much you liked the combat.

Barry is the greatest sidekick ever. "It's my flaming eye of Mordor" is my new catch phrase.

Haven't played this yet, but from the sound of it, I'm going to be a little sad. I want to know what happens next in the story, not kill more Taken.

I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the DLC. It seems that a lot of people are harping on it not having advanced the plot, but it really just feels as though it's setting up something major - the fundamental problem with episodic DLC.

However, this is balanced by some of the most genuinely innovative level design I've ever seen. The whole DLC is essentially one long dream sequence, and probably the best-executed I've played through as far back as I can remember.

That's pretty much my take on it.

PseudoDuck:
I've just played a bit (I think I can say that I'm up to the bit with the car without it being a spoiler as such) and I agree completely. Too much combat in this DLC.

I didn't mind the odd fight in the main game, but there was one moment (in the second to last episode I think it was) where you're in a building and LOADS of Taken appear, but you have little to no ammo to take them down, so you have to run outside and to the nearest checkpoint.
That was the worst moment in the main game and The Signal seems like they took that part and made DLC out of it.

I love the combat mechanic (taking on just enough Taken was fun), but the actual amount of combat in this episode is making it wear thin. I'll finish it tomorrow, and I may try and play though it again for all the achievements so, as it's free DLC I'll only say that it's a slight disappointment, rather than a major one.

of course theres going to be a lot of combat jackass your sinking deeper into the darkness, your in there territory, it wouldnt make sense if there was only a few of them like the main game, this DLC was amazing really loves seeing Alan on the TV going insane.

Well screw this.

I loved the DLC.

First people complain its too easy and the combat is to uninteresting and the final boss was easy and dull.

So, in the DLC they ramp the difficulty to 11/10 and beef up the combat with things like explosive barrels, special things shining your torch on can trigger traps within the environment or even spawn enemies. There is even posessed killer cars driving about!! The final boss sequence is hard as nails on nightmare difficulty, and totally scary and awesome.

I personally enjoied the dive into insanity, and if you actually followed the plot worth a damn, this DOES advance the story to the point of adding more mistique about Alans mind in the "dark place".

AND IT WAS FREE!!!!

EDIT - I would also like to point out it was far more surreal and scary this time around.

In essence, it was a small refresher of all the best parts of the original game in a free downloadable nugget.

So I had the collectors edition of Alan Wake. Played through the game, enjoyed it immensely. Went use my free download code... Apparently my code was not correct. Rang Microsoft support. "Sorry sir, but evidently someone else has already activated that code. The codes are single use only."

I bought the game on release day. I had the receipt in my hand. Lady didn't care. Made me sad.

Now I am less sad, seeing as the DLC seems fairly lame anyway. Thanks Susan, for making my day less sad =)

I really liked the DLC. I played the original game on Hard, and only died a few times. I find the combat much more challenging this time around. But there were also cool environmental parts, like the street lights or the furnaces. Or the "literal" minefield. See what I did there?

I haven't finished it entirely yet (just at the street lights). But I can agree that it hasn't totally advanced the story that far, but helped us understand more about the dark presence and how it ties into Alan. Plus it's more Alan Wake for free. So no complaints there.

Also, one thing I can't overlook in this review. The fact that it was short. Well, according to Susan, it was about 2-3 hours, which is an average Alan Wake chapter. This is one chapter in DLC format. The length sounds right to me, according to the full game.

Anyway, can't wait for "The Writer" DLC! And/or a sequel!

Not G. Ivingname:

Susan Arendt:
Snip

So your enjoyment of this is in direct proportion of how much you liked the story and how much you liked the combat.

Pretty much, yep.

Omegatronacles:
So I had the collectors edition of Alan Wake. Played through the game, enjoyed it immensely. Went use my free download code... Apparently my code was not correct. Rang Microsoft support. "Sorry sir, but evidently someone else has already activated that code. The codes are single use only."

I bought the game on release day. I had the receipt in my hand. Lady didn't care. Made me sad.

Now I am less sad, seeing as the DLC seems fairly lame anyway. Thanks Susan, for making my day less sad =)

I believe there were some issues with folks redeeming their codes if they tried it too soon, and that Microsoft is working on the issue. (Not sure if that happened with you or not, of course.)

first impressions: spoiler subtitles. Seen better in star wars dark resurrection.

I liked how the opening line coincides perfectly with Susan's opinion of the DLC.

I know that there are supposedly tons of justifications for DLC, in the same way that there are supposedly tons of justifications for me paying 40 a year to play games I've already bought with my friends, but in the case of a game that's so story-driven, leaving us on a cliffhanger at the end of the actual campaign and giving us no real resolution strikes me as an unjustified cash-in, especially when the game took so long to produce.

While it was mentioned that this batch of DLC is free with a box code, I got my copy second hand and so that doesn't apply to me. Additionally, I doubt the second DLC will be free, and with talk of a sequel, the decision to end on such a confusing note comes across more and more as the Assassin's Creed / Modern Warfare "staggered story" approach, where a plot which could probably be put into one game is stretched over three, ostensibly to create some sort of saga, but in reality probably because game writers cost money, and because having one story over three games is easier to account for in other aspects of production. (Looooong sentence) I guess my point is that a game like Alan Wake, focused on a narrative rather than gameplay, should wrap each installment up under its own banner; especially when the likelihood of a sequel can easily be jeopardized by poor sales.

Sorry to rag on, but Alan Wake was one of the few games I actually cared about this year.

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