Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
The original Alan Wake was an atmospheric horror that dripped with suspense and real terror. It was a game you wanted to play with the lights on. American Nightmare takes a different route. Gone are the lush if terrifying woods, replaced with a more open desert landscape, and gone is the suspense, replaced with a more generic action driven story-line. A story-line that has a distinct pulpy feel too it.
Alan Wake finds himself trapped inside a TV show he wrote – think Twilight Zone – called Night Springs, and in this show his evil doppelganger, Mr, Scratch has ripped through time and space and unleashed his mindless killing machines, the Taken, possessed by the Dark Presence. Ordinary looking humans that hate the light and are susceptible to bullets. But this times there’s a few surprises, with different types of enemies, some that will multiply if you shine light on them, and some that are, well, giant spiders.
The story mode is the main part of the game, and will see you trying to solve the mystery whilst collecting manuscript pages and not getting killed. Graphically the game is on par with the original, with the same spectacular lighting effects. It’s a testament to Remedy’s skills that they’ve been able to produce such a polished XBox Live Arcade Game – it really is visually as good as the original retail version, though possibly a tad shorter.
the weird thing about American Nightmare is the whole voice over technique that drives the story, speaking in the third person, because you’re part of a TV show. It takes a little getting used to, but once the action kicks in, you’ll forget all about the weirdness as you desperately seek out a safe zone.
Along with the story mode, American Nightmare comes with a Fight Till Dawn mode where you have to stay alive and defeat waves of the Taken.
All up Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is a surprising departure from the survival horror feel of the original, and may not be quite up to spec for fans of the original, but is in essence still an Alan Wake game, and whilst i may be lacking in some aspects, it packs quite a punch for a downloadable arcade game that clocks in at less than $30 for a brand new game.