Alan Wake's American Nightmare Review

Alan Wake's American Nightmare Review

Grab your ammo and your batteries.

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Tanis:
Nice ad.
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This made me fall out of my chair laughing after I came to the comments section from half way into that awful advert length.

Nice review Susan, my thoughts exactly as I played it. It's a nice distraction, but seriously, we need a full sequel, with more Cowbe- I mean Barry! Barry yeah that's what I meant.

What game couldn't need a decent share of Barry? I love Barry, he made the original some much more fun than what it would be like without him.

I honestly thought, seeing Alan in a plaid shirt with a nailgun on the title screen, that this was going to turn into some kind of "Redneck Rampage with a flashlight" game that crosses the border from atmospheric and Stephen Kingish to the surreal and, well, Dean Koontzish. Glad to see that isn't the case, though I agree that having Alan slip so easily into the brightly colored socks of a hero is more than a little distracting to his character up until now. But then Gordon Freeman and Isaac Clarke are supposed to be "just" a scientist and engineer, too.

Forget Barry though, I need more Susan reviews. Someone get you a weekly show on The Escapist. I'd enjoy that.

Still seems an odd direction for them to take (even for just a spin-off), although perhaps it'll help them bankroll a proper sequel that can make use of the first game's potential.

Hopefully they'll go more down the route of actual horror than Dead Space-style horror; I dare say the first AW had too many guns as is. More focus on using light (and running away) than guns, please.

I was waiting for the part where Alan got his hand cut off and replaced it with a chainsaw. Oh well, I'll just have to wait until next time for Alan Wake: Army of Darkness.

...I loved Alan Wake, but I don't know if I can justify $15 for this. It's $30 for the collector's edition on Steam right now, and the fact this is lacking the atmosphere is a major blow. Then again... the new villain seems interesting enough. I may pick it up when I have cash.

I was a little disapointed at the lack of horror and creepiness in AW:AN, but the fact is...it makes sense. I mean, alan's been fighting the darkness for two years now. It wouldn't make sense if he hadn't become something of a taken hunter.

And it even tackles such an issue sometimes. One of the manuscript pages notes that alan can't remember the last time he hadn't carried a flashlight and a gun with him. It's a secret war that can consume it's soldiers. Through the course of american nightmare, you begin to understand why cynthia weaver was so crazy...because she always had to be on her guard against every single shadow.

Woodsey:

Hopefully they'll go more down the route of actual horror than Dead Space-style horror; I dare say the first AW had too many guns as is. More focus on using light (and running away) than guns, please.

I have to disagree strongly. I have ALWAYS hated games that make you run away instead of fight all the time. Occasionally is ok, and only in situations where it would make sense i.e. running away from something that you couldn't possibly stand a chance against, not something you could beat, or the occasional moments of controlled helplessness.

Why do I feel this way? It's because there's nothing scary about being chased around by enemies, it's just annoying.

All I can say is if I'm not able to blow away every single Taken, even if it takes planning and preparation to do so, I'll be disappointed.

and a fun time was had by... well me. it was good to catch up with Alan, I hadn't seen him in a year or so and it was like old times. This time though he wasn't stiff and he did respond better to my prodding in combat. we laughed, we destroyed taken, shot spiders and couldn't shake the feeling we were in one of those night springs episodes. It was a shame we never really got to catch up with Barry but he was busy with his new gig. I'm sure we'll hang out with the big B sometime though. it was a short visit, but a satisfying one. I hope we can get the gang together sometime soon though, hopefully for an extended visit this time. if I have one complaint about our time together this time around, it's that I can't get that damn kasabian song out of my head. Now if you'll excuse me I believe I saw something in that graveyard that needs investigating. and by investigating, I mean shooting it in the face, that filthy taken beggar. keep your flashlight at arms length friends.

Hm...

Enjoyed the original, but will pass this one. Even more shooting and no lack of ammo kills the game for me. This looks like a watered down version of what was a good game, even though I'm sure they have improved on the mechanics...of shooting stuff.

immortalfrieza:

Woodsey:

Hopefully they'll go more down the route of actual horror than Dead Space-style horror; I dare say the first AW had too many guns as is. More focus on using light (and running away) than guns, please.

I have to disagree strongly. I have ALWAYS hated games that make you run away instead of fight all the time. Occasionally is ok, and only in situations where it would make sense i.e. running away from something that you couldn't possibly stand a chance against, not something you could beat, or the occasional moments of controlled helplessness.

Why do I feel this way? It's because there's nothing scary about being chased around by enemies, it's just annoying.

All I can say is if I'm not able to blow away every single Taken, even if it takes planning and preparation to do so, I'll be disappointed.

How the hell is it scarier if you're armed to the teeth? And, as I said, "More focus on using light (and running away)". Give some ammunition for a gun, but that's it.

The story seems intresting enough. I'll get it.

Hmm, I'd really rather Remedy just got on with the main storyline instead of doing the whole Ubisoft-Assassin's-Creed-spin-off-thing. We've had two DLC levels now with Alan in "The Dark Place" and now this as well, it's kinda starting to wear a little thin.

As for Barry, well he was great fun in the first game but he got a little annoying in the DLC because the tone just wasn't quite right to have him wisecracking every half minute. But this game looks like a perfect fit for his humour, shame he's not about.

Still, I wasn't going to bother with this until I heard that there was just enough connection to the main storyline to keep fans of the original interested. I shall be downloading this right now. Thanks for the recomendation, Susan.

Ahem : MOAR BARRY!!!

OT : Eh, cool. Alan Wake shooting edition. Looked a lot like Resident Evil...

Woodsey:
How the hell is it scarier if you're armed to the teeth? And, as I said, "More focus on using light (and running away)". Give some ammunition for a gun, but that's it.

First off, Alen Wake is not trying to be a "scary" game. It is self-titled as "a psychological action thriller". (I bolded all of the pertinent words.)

As for your "anti-weapon" tangent, how bout they take away your ability to manipulate light? Regardless of if you realize it or not light is a weapon. Taking away one or the other would ruin the story, and not for the reason you might think.

And might I say it was annoying, not scary. I got the sense that this game was actually less about the combat and more about the story. The infinite ammo was to help people progress through the story without needing to worry about how many rounds they had left. It made this game a little more approachable to people who had not played the first one.

Personally, I like me some Alen Wake combat but I LOVE me some Allen Wake story and phycology. Before you or anyone else asks, yes I did beat Allen Wake & Allen Wake American Nightmare and I enjoy them both.

Sarge034:
snip

Uh, yeah, Alan (Alan) Wake was trying to elicit some scares. It wasn't trying to be a full-on horror, but it was most definitely trying to get some scares.

And I was talking about the first game and what I hope to see for the second, not American Nightmare. Although I'll add that simply adding an achievement to do something does not mean they are supporting that play style (probably why you found it "annoying" - because the game wasn't built with that focus in mind), or even particularly encouraging people to do it for that matter.

As for your "anti-weapon" tangent

I argued for less guns and ammo, with a heavier emphasis on using light sources. I didn't say ditch either completely.

Woodsey:

immortalfrieza:

Woodsey:

Hopefully they'll go more down the route of actual horror than Dead Space-style horror; I dare say the first AW had too many guns as is. More focus on using light (and running away) than guns, please.

I have to disagree strongly. I have ALWAYS hated games that make you run away instead of fight all the time. Occasionally is ok, and only in situations where it would make sense i.e. running away from something that you couldn't possibly stand a chance against, not something you could beat, or the occasional moments of controlled helplessness.

Why do I feel this way? It's because there's nothing scary about being chased around by enemies, it's just annoying.

All I can say is if I'm not able to blow away every single Taken, even if it takes planning and preparation to do so, I'll be disappointed.

How the hell is it scarier if you're armed to the teeth? And, as I said, "More focus on using light (and running away)". Give some ammunition for a gun, but that's it.

That's not what I said, in a horror I wouldn't want to be a guy who was armed to the teeth and can spray and pray and still kill everything. A horror game is one where you can kill everything but only if you're skilled and don't waste anything is what I was talking about.

Woodsey:
Uh, yeah, Alan (Alan) Wake was trying to elicit some scares. It wasn't trying to be a full-on horror, but it was most definitely trying to get some scares.

Yes, Alan. Spellcheck did not like it I guess. Thank you for the correction. >Adds to dictionary<

When did the game try to give some scares? Even in the first one everything was presented in a cut scene or the game slows down to bullet time to introduce new enemies and the like. I would say the creepiest thing was the environment. The taken were unsettling at first, but soon became "just another bad guy". The environment, however, was consistently dark, creepy, and unwelcoming. That was the "scariest" thing in the game.

And I was talking about the first game and what I hope to see for the second, not American Nightmare.

Then why are you posting on the forum for the review of American Nightmare?

Although I'll add that simply adding an achievement to do something does not mean they are supporting that play style (probably why you found it "annoying" - because the game wasn't built with that focus in mind), or even particularly encouraging people to do it for that matter.

I found it annoying because it does not fit the story or the character. Alan is bad enough a dude to live in the dark place for 2 years, survive, and thrive. Now I'm (Alan is) supposed to run from a handful of taken in a story I (Alan) wrote??? As far as I'm concerned Alan should be able to illuminate things with his eyes alone like the spotlights from the first game and kill taken with a single shot from his hand in the shape of a gun at this point. He has "no-clip" and "infantine ammo" enabled and his "hand" cannon can pierce the darkness without the need for light. This is just how bad enough a dude Alan is.

I argued for less guns and ammo, with a heavier emphasis on using light sources. I didn't say ditch either completely.

And I was exaggerating the point that it would break the metaphor of the gameplay if you favored one to the other. The game is about balance, so favoring logic to reason (light to guns) would have thrown the balance. To completely run out of ammo and have to run away is saying that Alan ran out of reason and slipped into insanity for a bit. Notice that even in the first game, that didn't have infinite ammo, you were never completely out of ammo. You may only have had three shots left in your revolver, but you had ammo. That is supposed to equate to Alan is being pushed to the edge of sanity but he always has a small reservoir of reasoning to fall back on.

Woodsey:
Still seems an odd direction for them to take (even for just a spin-off), although perhaps it'll help them bankroll a proper sequel that can make use of the first game's potential.

Hopefully they'll go more down the route of actual horror than Dead Space-style horror; I dare say the first AW had too many guns as is. More focus on using light (and running away) than guns, please.

You'd have to make his running and dodging actually useful for that to be a mechanic.

I mean seriously, the sections were you had to run and dodge masses of taken were painful. I'm up for a challenge, but I don't want to be throwing the controller down after my 90th unsuccessful dodge.

Personally, I love the first game as it was. The story and atmosphere more than made up for it being a shooter not a survival horror.

This was interesting to watch. Truth be told I played a little bit of Alan Wake, I couldn't get into it at the time because my friend kept wanting his game back so after 30 minutes of gameplay I just returned it on the go. But this 'DLC' (if it is that) looks interesting, and wow they actually showed footage of some guy strangling someone in front of Alan. That wasn't expected, I thought he would of merely shot the victim. Mm.

Caramel Frappe:
This was interesting to watch. Truth be told I played a little bit of Alan Wake, I couldn't get into it at the time because my friend kept wanting his game back so after 30 minutes of gameplay I just returned it on the go. But this 'DLC' (if it is that) looks interesting, and wow they actually showed footage of some guy strangling someone in from of Alan. That wasn't expected, I thought he would of merely shot the victim. Mm.

Mr. Scratch is genuinely, truly creepy. My favorite game villain in quite some time.

Nice Video Review Susan! My only problem with it is that they are too few and too far apart. You are my favorite escapist reviewer but there are to few reviews from you lately. We need more of this.

Susan Arendt:

Caramel Frappe:
This was interesting to watch. Truth be told I played a little bit of Alan Wake, I couldn't get into it at the time because my friend kept wanting his game back so after 30 minutes of gameplay I just returned it on the go. But this 'DLC' (if it is that) looks interesting, and wow they actually showed footage of some guy strangling someone in from front of Alan. That wasn't expected, I thought he would of merely shot the victim. Mm.

Mr. Scratch is genuinely, truly creepy. My favorite game villain in quite some time.

Lol it's only now that I realize I said "from" instead of "front of Alan". I feel so embarrassed >_>

SnakeoilSage:

Forget Barry though, I need more Susan reviews. Someone get you a weekly show on The Escapist. I'd enjoy that.

I second that. I really like your style, Susan!

I hope it comes to the PC, now the Original game is on Steam, Only just recently been through it (it is awesome) and really hope the DLC come to Steam too..

Nelson Goodrich:
Nice Video Review Susan! My only problem with it is that they are too few and too far apart. You are my favorite escapist reviewer but there are to few reviews from you lately. We need more of this.

Zachary Amaranth:

SnakeoilSage:

Forget Barry though, I need more Susan reviews. Someone get you a weekly show on The Escapist. I'd enjoy that.

I second that. I really like your style, Susan!

You guys are sweethearts. Thank you! I have another review coming up next week.

Keep you playing through to the end.. and then maybe one or two more times

I see what you did there.

I really liked American Nightmare, very fun, the story is just as engaging and the additional weapons and enemy variety is very welcome. The atmosphere isn't gone either, it's just very different to that of the first game.

There were a couple of things I didn't like though such as the ammo points preventing you from ever reaching really panicking at a lack of ammo and how the crossbow puts every other weapon in the game to shame.

Even with those negatives, the game is well worth the asking price.

 

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