First Impressions: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
Last week, Remedy Entertainment revealed their first trailer for the next title in their Alan Wake franchise, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. This new chapter is set to be an Xbox Live Arcade title and appears to take place immediately after the conclusion of the first game, so this article will contain spoilers. You have been warned!
In the trailer, Alan appears to still be trapped in the Dark Place. His doppelganger, Mr. Scratch, is attempting to make his way into the real world, where he will take the place of Wake. Realizing that his shadow means him and his loved ones harm, The Writer once again picks up his flashlight and guns to try to stop him. The title seems to be a sort of epilogue for the original game, and hopefully will answer some of the mind-boggling questions that were left unanswered. A brief split second view of the manuscript is present as well, which leads me to believe that the plot device may return as well. A few good clips of combat were also included. For the most part, the battle system seems unaltered, with the “fight with light” premise returning. For those unfamiliar with the series (and have disregarded my earlier spoiler warning!) the concept is simple: players must remove the darkness that coats an enemy with light (from flashlight of flare, for example) before the foe can be blasted away with guns. In some scenes Alan can be seen holding an Uzi, marking it as the first automatic weapon in-game. Hopefully, more new and unique weapons will also be featured, adding more depth and variety to an already great combat structure.
Graphically, the title looks amazing for a downloadable title. Visuals are looking on par with that of the original Alan Wake, with smooth animation, good textures, and an overall design that is fresh yet still familiar enough to fit into the game’s universe. All that’s needed to createa potential visual splendor is accurate lip syncing, something that the original game sorely lacked.
While the trailer only reveals so much, what it shows seems to be on the right track. If the game can keep the brilliant story-telling and unique combat system, expand on both, all the while fixing the terrible lip syncing, then Remedy will have a blockbuster for the XBLA on their hands. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is set to release in Q1 of 2012. I’ll be keeping my flashlight and pistol close in anticipation!
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