Alan Wakewas a deep psychological thriller that kept us on the edge of our seats. Now,developer Remedy has made the odd choice of making the sequel to Alan Wake, adownloadable Xbox live arcade title. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare has been releasedexclusively for the Xbox live arcade for 1200 Microsoft points or fifteendollars. Is Alan Wake’s next adventure a must have? Does the fact that itis an arcade title lower its quality? Keep reading to find out.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare hasyou, once again, in the shoes of the novel writer. When we last sawAlan, he was trying to escape “the dark place”, a different dimension ruled bydarkness. Alan has come to Night Springs, Arizona, a town that should notexist. Here, Alan will try to rewrite reality, in an attempt to escape thedarkness and be reunited with his beloved wife Alice. Alan has a new enemy thistime around, Mr. Scratch. Mr. Scratch is an evil doppelgänger of Alan who uses the darkness.Mr. Scratch wants to kill Alan and become him. The story,like the previous title, is still exciting and gripping.
While the story itself is very wellthought out, there is a great sense of repetitivity. Alan Wake’s AmericanNightmare has only three levels in the game. You will be revisiting each ofthose levels three times with slightly different way of doing things. There isa very good reason in the plot for why it is so repetitive. While it was most likelydue to technological restriction that arcade titles have, it is acceptablebecause it makes sense in the plot. Some people won’t mind the repetitivity, but othersmay be reluctant to enjoy it.
The gameplay in AlanWake’s American Nightmare is almost identical to the gameplay from the firstgame. You use a flashlight and guns to defeat enemies known as the “Taken”.However, there are new types of enemies. Some split in two to dodge attacks and others become birds so they canlaunch surprise attacks to stop Alan. The gameplay works very well and is easyto pick up and play.
A new feature in theAlan Wake series is the arcade mode. The arcade mode is this games version of asurvival wave base mode. You will be placed in a few different locations, suchas a cemetery, a ghost town and a trailer park. There are only five maps toplay on, each with two different difficulties. This is a nice little featurethat will add some length to the time you could be playing this game.
The design in Alan Wake’s AmericanNightmare is awesome. It’s creepy and has a great atmosphere that does the gamejustice. It captures both the feel of a little town in the center of America, while still feeling like something out of an episode of the Twilight Zone. Thenarrarator in this game, which was a reference/ tribute to the narrator in theTwilight Zone, Rod Serling, was purely awesome and contributed to theatmosphere of the game.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare hasan awesome story and a very well done design. The gameplay also works verywell. The story mode should take 5-6 hours to beat, and there is also thearcade mode to sink even more hours into. Even though there is some repetitivity,most players will not mind it much. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is very muchworth the fifteen dollar price tag and should be played by any Alan Wake fan,Twilight Zone fan, or psychological thriller enthusiasts.
Final Score: 8.5/10
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