Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a download-only follow up to the original Alan Wake. The game takes place in Arizona as Alan is trapped in episodes of the Night Springs television series that he had written early in his career. Caught between reality and fiction, he does battle with Mr. Scratch, a twisted doppelganger that appears at the end of the original Alan Wake.
The game is more action focused than the original game, but retains the atmosphere that Alan Wake is known for. The game lasts for several hours, anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, depending on if you are trying to find all the collectibles hidden throughout the game.
American Nightmare takes place in an episode of Night Springs that Alan Wake wrote during his early writing career. The player will be required to play through the events of this episode multiple times in order to finally stop Mr. Scratch and save his wife. With each playthrough of the game short cuts will become available as you remember parts of what happened in previous playthroughs.
The game starts off with Alan Wake's manager, Barry Wheeler, sleeping in a motel room with an episode of Night Springs playing on the television. The camera then zooms in on the T.V. where a FMV sequence of Alan Wake and Mr. Scratch starts playing. Mr. Scratch then threatens Alan that by the time he catches him he'll have his hands on everything Alan loves. Alan is then dropped into the world of the television episode where he will have to try and stop Mr. Scratch in the world he himself created. The story is told in a similar style to "The Twilight Zone" and has a similar narrator throughout the entire game.
Light is the player's most valued ally in American Nightmare, not only is it used as a deterrent to keep the taken at bay, streetlights can be found all over that are used as checkpoints that save progress and heal the player's health.
The taken are cloaked in darkness which they use as their shield, this is where the flashlight comes into play, using the flashlight on a taken will eventually remove their shielding, albeit the time varies depending on the enemy type, once weakened the player is able to finally destroy them with their primary weapon. That's not to say this is the only means of dealing with enemies, throwing a flash bang grenade at a group of taken will instantly weaken them, handheld flares can also be used to give the player breathing room, and finally the flare gun, which will destroy most enemies upon impact.
American Nightmare introduces a lot of new weapons to the Alan Wake Franchise and brings back some original ones from the first Alan Wake. Automatic guns like the uzi, assault rifle and nailgun, a crossbow, a hunting rifle, the sawed of shotgun, and a revolver are all included in the game.
Manuscript pages make a return (along with radios and televisions), filling in more of the backstory of Alan Wake, and characters in the game, these pages are read aloud by Alan himself. That's not to say this is the only purpose of these pages, in addition to fleshing out the lore of the game they are also used for unlocking cases which can be discovered in the three areas featured in the game. Each case contains a unique weapon, from an assault rifle to a combat shotgun. There are 53 manuscript pages in the game.
American Nightmare introduces a variety of new enemy types such as: The Splitter, which can split itself multiple times if they're directly hit by the flashlight, one thing to note about Splitters is that they do not have a shield, therefor they are able to be destroyed outright by normal weapons.
Spiders are also introduced and are usually found in groups. They are able to be easily destroyed by focused light or a flash bang.
The Spectre are able to turn into a flock of birds anytime they choose to escape harm, they are especially deadly, due to them being able to pop in and out of their two forms and sneaking up on the player.
The Grenadier, a new type of grenade throwing enemy, their grenades are infused with darkness, they work very similar to flash bangs the player has access to but instead of blinding, it unleashes darkness, damaging slightly.
Giants are big-hulking taken with chainsaws, they can soak up ridiculous amounts of damage before being destroyed, giants can even survive a direct hit from a flare gun if their shields are still intact.
Fight 'Till Dawn
Alan Wake's American Nightmare features a new game mode called "Fight 'Till Dawn". It's a wave-based survival mode that has Alan fighting progressively harder enemies as he scrounges for ammo and supplies while trying to survive until the sun rises.
There are five maps that can be unlocked in this mode: Cemetery, Ghost Town, Oil Field, Caves, and Trailer Park. Each map also has a "nightmare mode" that ups the difficulty.
Like it's predecessor, American Nightmare features a mix of licensed and original music.
|Old Gods of Asgard (Poets of the Fall)||Balance Slays The Demon|
|Poets of the Fall||The Happy Song|
|Ed Harcourt||Watching The Sun Come Up|
|CPU||Dual Core 2 GHz Intel or|
2.8 GHz AMD
|Quad Core 2.66 GHz Intel or|
3.2 GHz AMD
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB|
|OS||Windows XP, Vista or 7||Windows 7|
|Video Card||GeForce 8800 GT or|
Radeon HD 2900 Pro
|GeForce GTX 275 or|
Radeon HD 4870
|Free Disk Space||8 GB||8 GB|