Release Date: May 22nd, 2012
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platform: PC and [Reviewed: XBLA]
In Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, there is no sunlight and only thing that seperates you from imminent doom is your aim and a set of D batteries.
Alan Wake, doubling as our narrator, takes the player through a seemingly endless loop of fighting “the taken”, a group of zombified inhabitants of a small Arizona town that has been taken over by his evil doppelganger, Mr Scratch. In a small town where the only skyscraper is an oil rig, Alan Wake must fight his way to get the answers to his questions; where am I? How’d I get here and how the hell do I get out?
The gameplay is very simple, shoot to kill. You’ll have plenty opportunities to do so, mind you, but the real story lies in the moments where you are discovering the bits and peices of the story. The papers you must collect to unlock weapons, the characters who tell their side of the story, and of course the ever so present prescence of the narrator.
The game has two different gameplay types. There is the campaign, where you move through the storyline and shoot to kill or spray and pray, whichever one works best for you. Then there is the arcade version which is much like the survival mode in Left 4 Dead or Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare.
In arcade mode, Alan finds himself trapped in everywhere from an old town to a cemetery. Surrounded by darkness, he must fight his way through waves of enemies until dawn and believe me, it is such a glorious sight to see that sun slowly rising over the horizon after running with an empty chamber from a pissed off brute weilding a chainsaw.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is certainly a condensed game however as you quickly realize you are playing the same level over and over again with small, and I mean small, changes in scenery. You fight the same enemies, you go to the same place, but things are slightly off each time you go as if you are ported to a different dimension everytime you beat the level.
In the end, the game is a fun game and while it can be a bit repetitive, it never really gets to the point where you honestly feel like dropping the game on its face. In fact the eerily interesting part about this game is that it always keeps you on your toes even to places you’ve been dozens of time. It’s never crap your pants scary, but it has the atmosphere just right so that you at least know something weird is going down. Replay ability on this game definitely drops its score, but the wave defense arcade version is really going to be what makes this game somewhat worth it.
Overall Rating: 3.25/5