Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

I never got the chance to play Alan Wake on Xbox, but, now that I've picked it up on Steam, I'm fairly glad that I missed it. That...sounds strange, I think: I actually liked the game quite a bit, but I'm glad I waited for the PC port, since it was one of the better PC ports to come along in recent memory. It's superlative, really; it runs beautifully on high settings and looks pretty spectacular to boot, without a single crash or glitch sticking in my memory. In truth, it's been a pretty good few years for PC ports, but Alan Wake seems to be at the upper end of the range of quality. Borderlands probably comes in near the bottom, at least of the games that I've played; any game that actually forces you to open ports to play multiplayer deserves all the scorn it got, even if it was fairly fun once you fixed the FOV problems. The middle ground is filled with Skyrim-like games that are serviceable ports: relatively uncomplicated, but not doing much to take advantage of the PC platform. (While Skyrim was perfectly playable, its UI was pretty bad on the PC, and it took them quite a while to release that high-res textures pack, if I recall.)

Anyway, Alan Wake was fairly fun, although it's also interesting to consider it as a piece with American Nightmare, which is an odd example of iterative gameplay in that the follow-up DLC makes some pretty drastic changes to its predecessor's gameplay and overall style. It's difficult to get into the minutia unless you've played both games, and I feel like a bit of a philistine when I say that American Nightmare feels like the kind of game that I'd much prefer to play again, given the choice. If you've played Alan Wake, but not American Nightmare, here are some of the basic changes:

  • Flashlight charges much more rapidly, going to full strength within a couple of seconds of being drained. The flashlight doesn't grant any darkness-busting powers unless it's focused this time around, but you still only need batteries in dire emergencies.
  • You can sprint for a longer duration before getting tired. Like, much longer: probably 4x the time/distance, at least. Makes a pretty large tactical difference.
  • Many more weapons to choose from, especially in the handgun slot (magnum, 9mm, SMG, etc.)
  • An ammo change that eliminates most ammo boxes to being either for big guns or small guns; no more separate shotgun/rifle ammo, in other words. If you find a box of small-gun ammo, it'll fill up your SMG or Magnum or 9mm, regardless of what you're carrying.
  • Larger maps that enable you to freely roam/explore a bit. Alan Wake did a good job of hiding its linearity with excursions to hidden chests and goodies, but my appetite for exploration was hampered by some poor checkpoint placement, meaning that I'd sometime go a minute or two to find a hidden chest, return to the path, die, and then have to do it all over again. The three maps in American Nightmare are much more free-form, even if you will sometimes go poking around without finding anything.
  • Speaking of items, you're much more restricted in the amount of items you can carry, with a maximum of five flares/flashbangs in your pockets, and seemingly much fewer flaregun rounds. Flashbangs were also greatly nerfed, in that they'll strip away enemies' darkness shield without killing them outright, and even the flaregun doesn't feel like the BFG it was previously. This helps balance out the sprint/flashlight
  • Many fewer cutscenes. This is a big bonus in my eyes.

I really have no idea what kind of feedback Remedy got regarding the original Alan Wake, but I assume that most of the changes above were reactions to people's impressions of the first game, almost all of said changes are positive, in my eyes. I liked Alan Wake well enough, when I was actually playing it, but the cutscene frequency was a bit ponderous, and they were pre-rendered, so you couldn't skip a line in a conversation without skipping the entire thing. In American Nightmare, most conversations are in-engine, with a short initial conversation that told you the bare minimum, and optional back-and-forths that you can pursue if you really want. (It is a bit funny that all of the people you encounter are sexy ladies, regardless of whether they're mechanics or astronomers or art festival directors, but you can forgive that when you realize that American Nightmare is suppose to literally be an episode of a television show, unlike Alan Wake, which never seemed to know what it wanted to do with its "episode" structure, aside from making it more easy to generate DLC.)

"Comic Relief"

American Nightmare isn't as strong, plot-wise, as Alan Wake, but then, I didn't think Alan Wake was necessarily all that brilliant anyway. The actual gameplay was what occasionally spooked me out; the creepy lady in black and the rest of it didn't really do much for me. American Nightmare also benefits greatly from a lack of Barry, Alan's obnoxious sidekick from the original game. I railed against him on Twitter, and was roundly told by many a person that I'd like him better by the end of the game, but nope! Pretty much annoying all the way through the game. Barely standable, to the point where I debated not even finishing the game when I was subjected to the lengthy farm sequence where he's your sidekick. That's aside from the general over-reliance on Stephen King tropes to drive its plot. I don't particularly care about Alan Wake's fiction, in other words; I mostly enjoy it for the actual gameplay. After a while I even found myself skipping cutscenes outright.

Another sticking point for me was the preponderance of manuscript pages to be found and read. There was a bit of a quandary for me here: I'm sure that the game intends for you to read the manuscript pages as you pick them up, but when they started revealing what was going to happen to people before I had actually encountered those events, I figured that it was better to just pick them up and leave them unread. (I've done the same thing in American Nightmare, which seems to realize that maybe the whole system was screwy to begin with, since it gives you another reason to find the pages: they unlock weapons chests with more powerful weapons in them, whether you've read them or not.) I don't particularly mind supplementary info and world-building textual documents in games (you can bet I read all the newspapers and emails in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, for instance), but when a game starts explicitly spoiling events that haven't even happened yet, that...is weird.

Uh, my eyes are up here, Mr. Wake.

To be fair, American Nightmare does recycle a fair amount of content, making you play through the same areas multiple times thanks to a "time loop" plot. Since the game was originally a DLC-exclusive, I can see the need to cut down on the filesize, and since you spend far more time fighting things than watching cutscenes, I don't mind it all that much. It feels less challenging than Alan Wake did, thanks to the preponderance of ammo, but that's not so terrible since it allows you to fight more enemies more often.

For the $7.50 or whatever that I wound up paying for it, it's hard not to consider Alan Wake to be a pretty damn good deal. I don't particularly think it's presentation or story are all that hot, but it's easy enough to skip everything you might not care about in favor of shooting up some Taken. At the same time, you know that the folks at Remedy had to have had some bitter discussions on the changes made for American Nightmare. It's entirely possible that the stripped-down feel to it might be a result of a much smaller budget, but in the end I hope they incorporate most of the design decisions from it into whatever Alan Wake 2 happens to become.

(I posted this on my blog, but I figured since it was about video games it might as well go here, too!)

Staff
#1 Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

I never got the chance to play Alan Wake on Xbox, but, now that I've picked it up on Steam, I'm fairly glad that I missed it. That...sounds strange, I think: I actually liked the game quite a bit, but I'm glad I waited for the PC port, since it was one of the better PC ports to come along in recent memory. It's superlative, really; it runs beautifully on high settings and looks pretty spectacular to boot, without a single crash or glitch sticking in my memory. In truth, it's been a pretty good few years for PC ports, but Alan Wake seems to be at the upper end of the range of quality. Borderlands probably comes in near the bottom, at least of the games that I've played; any game that actually forces you to open ports to play multiplayer deserves all the scorn it got, even if it was fairly fun once you fixed the FOV problems. The middle ground is filled with Skyrim-like games that are serviceable ports: relatively uncomplicated, but not doing much to take advantage of the PC platform. (While Skyrim was perfectly playable, its UI was pretty bad on the PC, and it took them quite a while to release that high-res textures pack, if I recall.)

Anyway, Alan Wake was fairly fun, although it's also interesting to consider it as a piece with American Nightmare, which is an odd example of iterative gameplay in that the follow-up DLC makes some pretty drastic changes to its predecessor's gameplay and overall style. It's difficult to get into the minutia unless you've played both games, and I feel like a bit of a philistine when I say that American Nightmare feels like the kind of game that I'd much prefer to play again, given the choice. If you've played Alan Wake, but not American Nightmare, here are some of the basic changes:

  • Flashlight charges much more rapidly, going to full strength within a couple of seconds of being drained. The flashlight doesn't grant any darkness-busting powers unless it's focused this time around, but you still only need batteries in dire emergencies.
  • You can sprint for a longer duration before getting tired. Like, much longer: probably 4x the time/distance, at least. Makes a pretty large tactical difference.
  • Many more weapons to choose from, especially in the handgun slot (magnum, 9mm, SMG, etc.)
  • An ammo change that eliminates most ammo boxes to being either for big guns or small guns; no more separate shotgun/rifle ammo, in other words. If you find a box of small-gun ammo, it'll fill up your SMG or Magnum or 9mm, regardless of what you're carrying.
  • Larger maps that enable you to freely roam/explore a bit. Alan Wake did a good job of hiding its linearity with excursions to hidden chests and goodies, but my appetite for exploration was hampered by some poor checkpoint placement, meaning that I'd sometime go a minute or two to find a hidden chest, return to the path, die, and then have to do it all over again. The three maps in American Nightmare are much more free-form, even if you will sometimes go poking around without finding anything.
  • Speaking of items, you're much more restricted in the amount of items you can carry, with a maximum of five flares/flashbangs in your pockets, and seemingly much fewer flaregun rounds. Flashbangs were also greatly nerfed, in that they'll strip away enemies' darkness shield without killing them outright, and even the flaregun doesn't feel like the BFG it was previously. This helps balance out the sprint/flashlight
  • Many fewer cutscenes. This is a big bonus in my eyes.

I really have no idea what kind of feedback Remedy got regarding the original Alan Wake, but I assume that most of the changes above were reactions to people's impressions of the first game, almost all of said changes are positive, in my eyes. I liked Alan Wake well enough, when I was actually playing it, but the cutscene frequency was a bit ponderous, and they were pre-rendered, so you couldn't skip a line in a conversation without skipping the entire thing. In American Nightmare, most conversations are in-engine, with a short initial conversation that told you the bare minimum, and optional back-and-forths that you can pursue if you really want. (It is a bit funny that all of the people you encounter are sexy ladies, regardless of whether they're mechanics or astronomers or art festival directors, but you can forgive that when you realize that American Nightmare is suppose to literally be an episode of a television show, unlike Alan Wake, which never seemed to know what it wanted to do with its "episode" structure, aside from making it more easy to generate DLC.)

"Comic Relief"

American Nightmare isn't as strong, plot-wise, as Alan Wake, but then, I didn't think Alan Wake was necessarily all that brilliant anyway. The actual gameplay was what occasionally spooked me out; the creepy lady in black and the rest of it didn't really do much for me. American Nightmare also benefits greatly from a lack of Barry, Alan's obnoxious sidekick from the original game. I railed against him on Twitter, and was roundly told by many a person that I'd like him better by the end of the game, but nope! Pretty much annoying all the way through the game. Barely standable, to the point where I debated not even finishing the game when I was subjected to the lengthy farm sequence where he's your sidekick. That's aside from the general over-reliance on Stephen King tropes to drive its plot. I don't particularly care about Alan Wake's fiction, in other words; I mostly enjoy it for the actual gameplay. After a while I even found myself skipping cutscenes outright.

Another sticking point for me was the preponderance of manuscript pages to be found and read. There was a bit of a quandary for me here: I'm sure that the game intends for you to read the manuscript pages as you pick them up, but when they started revealing what was going to happen to people before I had actually encountered those events, I figured that it was better to just pick them up and leave them unread. (I've done the same thing in American Nightmare, which seems to realize that maybe the whole system was screwy to begin with, since it gives you another reason to find the pages: they unlock weapons chests with more powerful weapons in them, whether you've read them or not.) I don't particularly mind supplementary info and world-building textual documents in games (you can bet I read all the newspapers and emails in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, for instance), but when a game starts explicitly spoiling events that haven't even happened yet, that...is weird.

Uh, my eyes are up here, Mr. Wake.

To be fair, American Nightmare does recycle a fair amount of content, making you play through the same areas multiple times thanks to a "time loop" plot. Since the game was originally a DLC-exclusive, I can see the need to cut down on the filesize, and since you spend far more time fighting things than watching cutscenes, I don't mind it all that much. It feels less challenging than Alan Wake did, thanks to the preponderance of ammo, but that's not so terrible since it allows you to fight more enemies more often.

For the $7.50 or whatever that I wound up paying for it, it's hard not to consider Alan Wake to be a pretty damn good deal. I don't particularly think it's presentation or story are all that hot, but it's easy enough to skip everything you might not care about in favor of shooting up some Taken. At the same time, you know that the folks at Remedy had to have had some bitter discussions on the changes made for American Nightmare. It's entirely possible that the stripped-down feel to it might be a result of a much smaller budget, but in the end I hope they incorporate most of the design decisions from it into whatever Alan Wake 2 happens to become.

(I posted this on my blog, but I figured since it was about video games it might as well go here, too!)

Staff
#2 Edited by TheSouthernDandy (3782 posts) -

Holy crap its Rorie! :D Great seeing you on here dude.

Still haven't played American Nightmare I need to get on that, I was a huge fan of Alan Wake. The facial animations were a bit rough occasionally but what a great game. Also I didn't mind Barry that much, I fully expected to hate him but he grew on me.

#3 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10464 posts) -

Nice write up.

And this got me wondering about something. Is all the product placement in the PC version of the game? Or that Verizon ad that plays on a TV at one point? Also, I should probably add that I haven't actually played either version of the game, I just think strange product placement in games is funny (and should play it at some point).

#4 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

A wild Rorie appears!

I really loved Alan Wake and it's dlc, but have yet to play American Nightmare. My main issue with the game was the amount of combat at the end of the game, it was just too much.

#5 Posted by LiquidSwords (2738 posts) -

Need to play American Nightmare! Great write up Rorie!

#6 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

I'm glad someone else hated the all to obvious Stephen King references. I feel it relies on several different sources, but on its one it never really holds up. I'm not a big fan of Alan Wake since I loved Remedy's previous Max Payne games. After such a long wait for Alan Wake I was mostly disappointed. I also didn't like Barry. Unlike most people I liked the combat over most of the story. What I love about Alan Wake is the atmosphere especially while going through the forest. I haven't gotten around to playing American Nightmare, but I plan to do so at some point. I hope Remedy moves on from Alan Wake as I believe that their talent is being squandered with Alan Wake. I still liked it, but they can do better than this for sure. Nice write up Rorie! Hope to see more. Also wish you luck in the job hunt!

P.S. I wish my little laptop could handle Alan Wake on PC as it looks great.

#7 Edited by Jeust (10473 posts) -

I liked both Alan Wake, and the sequel/spin-off American Nightmare. I loved the story of the first game, and I agree with you that the gameplay of American Nightmare is much better. I wish they follow the plot laid before in the two games, with the pacing and style of the first game, and the action gameplay of the second, into Alan Wake 2.

Best of luck finding a new job!

#8 Posted by Korwin (2824 posts) -

The PC versions of the Alan Wake games improves the core experience by leaps and bounds over the Xbox versions. The combat in the Xbox release wore thin a lot quicker, however I find the combat loop on the PC with it's more responsive controls and smoother frame rate much more enjoyable.

On the story front, well we can agree to disagree. I quite enjoyed both of them on that front.

#9 Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

Nice write up.

And this got me wondering about something. Is all the product placement in the PC version of the game? Or that Verizon ad that plays on a TV at one point? Also, I should probably add that I haven't actually played either version of the game, I just think strange product placement in games is funny (and should play it at some point).

Yeah, there were some Verizon posters, and all that batteries were, amusingly enough, Energizer brand.

Staff
#10 Posted by MiniPato (2719 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

Nice write up.

And this got me wondering about something. Is all the product placement in the PC version of the game? Or that Verizon ad that plays on a TV at one point? Also, I should probably add that I haven't actually played either version of the game, I just think strange product placement in games is funny (and should play it at some point).

Yup, it's still there. Rolled my eyes when I turned on a TV only to see a Mustang ad followed by a Verizon commericial.

I pretty much agree with everything you said Rorie, well aside from Barry. Didn't think he was all that annoying and enjoyed his company. But yeah, for a game that seems to put a huge emphasis on storytelling and writing, I didn't think the plot was all that special. Nor did I think it was scary in any way aside from the rare jump scare. At most I'd feel uneasy when walking through one of those infinite enemy spawning forests, but never particularly scared. The gameplay is solid, but I don't like that you spend so much time going from A to B in that game. Granted that's all you do in nearly every game, but it feels more blatant in this. One episode in particular has you meeting someone and you get there, but they moved somewhere else and you spend a really long time trekking through forests, mountains, saw mills, and mines just to meet him. There are a lot of obvious conceits like that in the game that force you through more enemy gauntlets. It's a beautiful game and it's a shame that 90% of it takes place in the muted blue night. I wish they had more daytime sequences where you just got to know more of the characters around the town. As underwhelmed with some aspects as I was, I really did enjoy the game and it has some stellar songs.

I'm with you in that American Nightmare is a game I much prefer to play. I bought them both on the steam sale and played them back to back so I really noticed the improvements in gunplay and movement. Even though there isn't much to do in the world, I really appreciated the open areas and the game never really punishes you for taking your time to explore by spawning enemies every 30 seconds. The time loop stuff is obviously just a reason to extend the game, but I really didn't mind because I was enjoying the gameplay much more so than in the original. In the later parts of Alan Wake I found myself dreading another enemy ambush or gauntlet, not because combat was terrible, but because there was just so much of it. There are decidedly less enemy encounters in American Nightmare, but shooting dudes was so fun I found myself looking for trouble and wanting to progress through the story just to be able to shoot more taken.

#11 Posted by Tesla (1905 posts) -

Always a pleasure to see one Mr. Rorie write about something.

Slightly off topic question, what exactly is the deal with Borderlands PC? I just grabbed it during the Steam sale and am currently playing through it, so now I'm wondering if I need to do anything to optimize performance or if whatever issues have been patched out.

#12 Edited by adam1808 (1372 posts) -

I agree there's plenty to like about Alan Wake. But it's like Catherine in the sense that if you look at what Remedy did previously it's hard not to be disappointed by what they came up with after Max Payne 2.

I did love how Alan Wake handled horror though, it was so refreshing to have a game that tries to scare not use jump scares. Atmosphere and tone are probably what I appreciated most about Alan Wake rather than the actual gameplay, which involved too many enemies being spawned in behind you to be consistently fun.

#13 Edited by adam1808 (1372 posts) -
@Tesla said:

Always a pleasure to see one Mr. Rorie write about something.

Slightly off topic question, what exactly is the deal with Borderlands PC? I just grabbed it during the Steam sale and am currently playing through it, so now I'm wondering if I need to do anything to optimize performance or if whatever issues have been patched out.

Borderlands on PC required a mandatory Gamespy account to play online and just wasn't optimised in terms of usability, at least that was the case at the time. The UI didn't let you scroll with a mouse and if you were using a gamepad you had to use the thumbstick to navigate the menus. I don't know if they fixed this stuff, its been almost 3 years since I touched that version. It was just a bare bones port, although I heard differing reports on performance related stuff. 
Are those issues still present? Because I might dive back in.
#14 Posted by Tesla (1905 posts) -

@adam1808: Ah, thanks. The mandatory GameSpy is still in place. I've also had some intermittent trouble connecting to friends for games when all of our internets were working fine. Oh well, I'm still having fun.

Thanks for the info.

#15 Posted by MiniPato (2719 posts) -

@Rorie:

I saw you commented in your blog that the DLC episodes weren't on the PC version. They are actually on the PC version, but you have to go to the episode select option to access them.

#16 Posted by ShaggE (6322 posts) -

... I need to play Alan Wake again. Guess I should go ahead and get the PC version, even though my aging system can't take full advantage of the pretties. What an awesome game that is.

#17 Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

@MiniPato: Huh, I'll check it out! Thanks.

Staff
#18 Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

@Tesla said:

Always a pleasure to see one Mr. Rorie write about something.

Slightly off topic question, what exactly is the deal with Borderlands PC? I just grabbed it during the Steam sale and am currently playing through it, so now I'm wondering if I need to do anything to optimize performance or if whatever issues have been patched out.

To my knowledge, they haven't really ever fixed the worst aspects of it: e.g. the FOV being punitively bad for a computer monitor and the menus not working like they should when using a mouse/keyboard. You have to find user-made fixes for that. The FOV thing is the worst problem, honestly; the game looks like shit as it was shipped, but a much higher FOV fixes things somewhat. (Google for it and I'm sure you'll find some solutions.) I don't think anyone ever managed to fix the Gamespy integration, though. God, I hope that's not in Borderlands 2.

Staff
#19 Posted by Korwin (2824 posts) -

@Rorie said:

@Tesla said:

Always a pleasure to see one Mr. Rorie write about something.

Slightly off topic question, what exactly is the deal with Borderlands PC? I just grabbed it during the Steam sale and am currently playing through it, so now I'm wondering if I need to do anything to optimize performance or if whatever issues have been patched out.

To my knowledge, they haven't really ever fixed the worst aspects of it: e.g. the FOV being punitively bad for a computer monitor and the menus not working like they should when using a mouse/keyboard. You have to find user-made fixes for that. The FOV thing is the worst problem, honestly; the game looks like shit as it was shipped, but a much higher FOV fixes things somewhat. (Google for it and I'm sure you'll find some solutions.) I don't think anyone ever managed to fix the Gamespy integration, though. God, I hope that's not in Borderlands 2.

They've gutted out all the Gamespy junk in the new one, it's now fully integrated with steam/steamworks. Also they're putting in a FOV slider. ;)

#20 Posted by EXTomar (4491 posts) -

I always thought that this game had some interesting ideas but was stretched out too long which turned those interesting mechanics into a repetitive chore instead of a dynamic combat situation. That and due to how some of the models look (really crappy) made me think that Alan Wake wasn't good but I'll look forward to a real followup.

#21 Posted by Tesla (1905 posts) -

@Korwin said:

@Rorie said:

@Tesla said:

Always a pleasure to see one Mr. Rorie write about something.

Slightly off topic question, what exactly is the deal with Borderlands PC? I just grabbed it during the Steam sale and am currently playing through it, so now I'm wondering if I need to do anything to optimize performance or if whatever issues have been patched out.

To my knowledge, they haven't really ever fixed the worst aspects of it: e.g. the FOV being punitively bad for a computer monitor and the menus not working like they should when using a mouse/keyboard. You have to find user-made fixes for that. The FOV thing is the worst problem, honestly; the game looks like shit as it was shipped, but a much higher FOV fixes things somewhat. (Google for it and I'm sure you'll find some solutions.) I don't think anyone ever managed to fix the Gamespy integration, though. God, I hope that's not in Borderlands 2.

They've gutted out all the Gamespy junk in the new one, it's now fully integrated with steam/steamworks. Also they're putting in a FOV slider. ;)

Beautiful. Appreciate the info guys.

#22 Edited by ComradeKhan (687 posts) -

You were definitely supposed to read those manuscript pages as you picked them up. Yea they tell you what's going to happen next, thats the whole point, in fact that was one of the best parts of the game. I would even go as far as to say that you dampened your experience by not reading those manuscript pages as intended... Great game though. Great game.

#23 Posted by Oni (2094 posts) -

Huh, while I enjoyed the gameplay of Alan Wake well enough, it was the story and the pacing of it that I really loved. The episodic structure really worked for the game. It may have borrowed heavily from Lost, Twin Peaks and Stephen King, but it did so pretty well in my eyes. I really hope they make a full-blown sequel that closes the story out.

#24 Posted by Mento (2438 posts) -

I think I'm the complete opposite, Rorie. I was greatly enervated by the repetitive gameplay (though I didn't do myself any favors tracking down those thermoses and manuscript pages) but the story kept me going. Well, to be precise, the goofy incidental TV and radio shows that Remedy are so fond of were what kept me going. It's not a bad game and it does suspense well, it's just that diminishing returns are unavoidable when every significant stretch of the game involves shining a flashlight on some stumbling hicks in the middle of nowhere. It was like being in a TV show about traffic cops.

That said, I'll probably try American Nightmare at some point given what you've stated about how it improves the overall experience. I would appreciate a bit more of an open world and a slightly faster process of defeating enemies once they appear. And I am interested in the continuing story, its deliberate over-reliance on Stephen King tropes aside.

Moderator
#25 Posted by wordfalling (193 posts) -

For some reason my computer didn't like Alan Wake and wouldn't run much more than 15 fps, kinda sad I missed it. I also miss puppies:

#26 Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

@Mento: Well, the story in Nightmare is definitely a weakness. It's very shallow. But the combat improvements are pretty great.

Staff
#27 Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

Also, unfortunately GiantBomb only allows me to make two comments in a row, so if you'd like a reply to a comment on here, please make them on my Tumblr page!

Staff
#28 Posted by bybeach (4723 posts) -

American Nightmare was a stab in another direction..when they make Alan Wake 2 (IHOPEIHOPE) perhaps they will bringo ver a few things like the varied weapons. Right now I am playing AW on the PC and loving it, except AAlan needs a bit more dexterity. Damn he drive me nuts at times. But he is not suppossed to be overpowered.... I am pretty impressed with this port though, looks like it should.

#29 Posted by Vexxan (4615 posts) -

I bought the game for 360 when it came out and I loved it so much I chose it as my GOTY that year. I've played some of the DLC and I bought American Nightmare too which I liked but maybe not as might as the original game. Really hoping to see Alan Wake 2 coming out, wouldn't surprise me if Remedy is planning to bring it to the next generation of consoles.

#30 Posted by me3639 (1725 posts) -

Easily one of the best games of this generation, and one of my personal favorites. I played it on Xbox but also picked it up on the Steam sale.

Great hearing from Matt!

#31 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

I enjoyed both, the main game and the DLC, equally. Each have different weaknesses and strengths. It's weird to say but I did not appreciate Alan Wake as much as I do now in hindsight. Maybe the expectations were too big at the time of the game's release which is why I was slightly disappointed, especially by the narrative. But now I kinda want to play through it again.

#32 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

I don't know I enjoyed the original game a lot more than American Nightmare. The story in American Nightmare just took a huge, unexpected turn and it feels really out of place and not connected to the events of Alan Wake. Also, for some reason I liked it better when ammo was scarce, and there was not such a huge arsenal of weapons at your disposal.

What really gutted my enjoyment though, was the use of live actors for cutscenes and other things. I hope the sequel doesn't do this.

@bybeach: Sequel is definitely on its way. - Link.

#33 Edited by nail1080 (1975 posts) -

@Rorie said:

  • Many fewer cutscenes. This is a big bonus in my eyes.

After a while I even found myself skipping cutscenes outright.

Another sticking point for me was the preponderance of manuscript pages to be found and read. There was a bit of a quandary for me here: I'm sure that the game intends for you to read the manuscript pages as you pick them up, but when they started revealing what was going to happen to people before I had actually encountered those events, I figured that it was better to just pick them up and leave them unread.

These points are not only hypocritical but make me wonder why you are playing a game such as Alan Wake in the first place? This game is about the atmosphere and story more than gameplay, and considering there's not even a mention or an appreciation in this blog of the 'Twin Peaks' vibe this game clearly gives off it's obvious to me you are incapable of understanding this point. Why would you skip cutscenes? And if you're skipping cutscenes than why are you criticising the manuscript pages for revealing what's going to happen next in the game. 'Oh no this manuscript is going to spoil this cut-scene I'm about to skip'.....or 'Oh no this manuscript is going to tell me I'm going to be shining my flashlight on dudes and shooting them!'...this would be the spoiler in your case. Ridiculous, no wonder American Nightmare turned out to be Alan Wake light, ala as Mass Effect 2 and 3 were to Mass Effect 1....just a watered down action focused version and destruction of a game with a bit of depth, but we wouldn't want that in our games nowadays would we, it's easier to just skip the cut-scenes and shoot dudes.

#34 Posted by Rorie (2679 posts) -

@nail1080 said:

@Rorie said:

  • Many fewer cutscenes. This is a big bonus in my eyes.

After a while I even found myself skipping cutscenes outright.

Another sticking point for me was the preponderance of manuscript pages to be found and read. There was a bit of a quandary for me here: I'm sure that the game intends for you to read the manuscript pages as you pick them up, but when they started revealing what was going to happen to people before I had actually encountered those events, I figured that it was better to just pick them up and leave them unread.

These points are not only hypocritical but make me wonder why you are playing a game such as Alan Wake in the first place? This game is about the atmosphere and story more than gameplay, and considering there's not even a mention or an appreciation in this blog of the 'Twin Peaks' vibe this game clearly gives off it's obvious to me you are incapable of understanding this point. Why would you skip cutscenes? And if you're skipping cutscenes than why are you criticising the manuscript pages for revealing what's going to happen next in the game. 'Oh no this manuscript is going to spoil this cut-scene I'm about to skip'.....or 'Oh no this manuscript is going to tell me I'm going to be shining my flashlight on dudes and shooting them!'...this would be the spoiler in your case. Ridiculous, no wonder American Nightmare turned out to be Alan Wake light, ala as Mass Effect 2 and 3 were to Mass Effect 1....just a watered down action focused version and rape of a game with a bit of depth, but we wouldn't want that in our games nowadays would we, it's easier to just skip the cut-scenes and shoot dudes.

I suppose I would respond to this, but in my experience when people start throwing around the term "rape" in inappropriate contexts, a levelheaded discussion is unlikely to result. Congrats on your opinion, though.

Staff
#35 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

@Rorie: Wait, do you like King's work? Because he gave away what will happen away of time in his books (From what I remember), but you don't like it here. I was confused in the beginning as well, but after I got used to it I could see how well it worked.

#36 Posted by nail1080 (1975 posts) -

@Rorie said:

@nail1080 said:

@Rorie said:

  • Many fewer cutscenes. This is a big bonus in my eyes.

After a while I even found myself skipping cutscenes outright.

Another sticking point for me was the preponderance of manuscript pages to be found and read. There was a bit of a quandary for me here: I'm sure that the game intends for you to read the manuscript pages as you pick them up, but when they started revealing what was going to happen to people before I had actually encountered those events, I figured that it was better to just pick them up and leave them unread.

These points are not only hypocritical but make me wonder why you are playing a game such as Alan Wake in the first place? This game is about the atmosphere and story more than gameplay, and considering there's not even a mention or an appreciation in this blog of the 'Twin Peaks' vibe this game clearly gives off it's obvious to me you are incapable of understanding this point. Why would you skip cutscenes? And if you're skipping cutscenes than why are you criticising the manuscript pages for revealing what's going to happen next in the game. 'Oh no this manuscript is going to spoil this cut-scene I'm about to skip'.....or 'Oh no this manuscript is going to tell me I'm going to be shining my flashlight on dudes and shooting them!'...this would be the spoiler in your case. Ridiculous, no wonder American Nightmare turned out to be Alan Wake light, ala as Mass Effect 2 and 3 were to Mass Effect 1....just a watered down action focused version and rape of a game with a bit of depth, but we wouldn't want that in our games nowadays would we, it's easier to just skip the cut-scenes and shoot dudes.

I suppose I would respond to this, but in my experience when people start throwing around the term "rape" in inappropriate contexts, a levelheaded discussion is unlikely to result. Congrats on your opinion, though.

I edited the post to protect your sensitive soul, but 'not responding' (yet still responding) over the use of one word seems a bit absurd to me considering this is Giantbomb. Have you ever listened to the podcast? Where 'that word' has been used in conjunction with babies, not to mention all the feces related discussions among other disturbing conversations that have taken place on countless occasions, but any level-headed individual should take these things in their stride and have a laugh, as it's not meant to be taken seriously. Obviously.

Anyway the reference you made to skipping cutscenes just made me question why you would play a game such as Alan Wake let alone write a blog about it. Of course you should play a game how you want to play it, but I think that approaching the game with that kind of negative attitude is not doing any justice to the artistic vision of the creators who, in my opinion crafted a fascinating, well-realised world which was a pleasure to experience, and that includes keeping up with the story so you know what the fuck is going on. Sorry if that was 'inappropriate' maybe I should edit that one too just to keep things 'levelheaded'.

#37 Edited by Brackynews (4045 posts) -

Hey Wrorie! I never miss a chance to embed a Poets of the Fall video. :)

#38 Posted by Milkman (16514 posts) -

@Rorie said:

@nail1080 said:

@Rorie said:

  • Many fewer cutscenes. This is a big bonus in my eyes.

After a while I even found myself skipping cutscenes outright.

Another sticking point for me was the preponderance of manuscript pages to be found and read. There was a bit of a quandary for me here: I'm sure that the game intends for you to read the manuscript pages as you pick them up, but when they started revealing what was going to happen to people before I had actually encountered those events, I figured that it was better to just pick them up and leave them unread.

These points are not only hypocritical but make me wonder why you are playing a game such as Alan Wake in the first place? This game is about the atmosphere and story more than gameplay, and considering there's not even a mention or an appreciation in this blog of the 'Twin Peaks' vibe this game clearly gives off it's obvious to me you are incapable of understanding this point. Why would you skip cutscenes? And if you're skipping cutscenes than why are you criticising the manuscript pages for revealing what's going to happen next in the game. 'Oh no this manuscript is going to spoil this cut-scene I'm about to skip'.....or 'Oh no this manuscript is going to tell me I'm going to be shining my flashlight on dudes and shooting them!'...this would be the spoiler in your case. Ridiculous, no wonder American Nightmare turned out to be Alan Wake light, ala as Mass Effect 2 and 3 were to Mass Effect 1....just a watered down action focused version and rape of a game with a bit of depth, but we wouldn't want that in our games nowadays would we, it's easier to just skip the cut-scenes and shoot dudes.

I suppose I would respond to this, but in my experience when people start throwing around the term "rape" in inappropriate contexts, a levelheaded discussion is unlikely to result. Congrats on your opinion, though.

Ah, I read your last blog about the "rape" comment and wondered who had sparked that. Unfortunately, you encountered one of Giant Bomb's dumber trolls. Sorry about that.

#39 Posted by NTM (7263 posts) -

Have you seen the short film Bright Falls? It takes place before the game, and it also came out before the game so I assume Remedy wanted people to see it before the game came out, but watching it after is better because you'll notice a few character in there from the game. I thought it was really well made and I recommend whoever reads this to see it if you haven't.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=ELmXBekJTmO1E&feature=plcp

#40 Edited by bybeach (4723 posts) -

I'm still playing Alan Wake on pc after about a year(at least) on console. I cannot believe how graphically cleaned up and sharpened Alan Wake has become. There was nothing intrinsic to make Alan Wake a PC game in my mind, lots of nature shots and such that could be done well general purpose HD. But you know what, Alan Wake absolutely rocks as a pc game in it's graphical presentation. It's claim isn't over fantastic pallet and to some extant world variance being best.. rather it is though clarity and the detail of the world. perhaps Witcher 2 feels the same for I suspect even better reason. To point, these two games are OPTIMIZED for PC. And speaking just of Alan Wake for purpose, it understands what PC offers. I'm proud of both games launching for that mark, Alan Wake as a port, Witcher as foremost.. And now I understand Jeff describing the Line as an ugly game. I didn't see it at the time, cause it does it's job. But boy am I impressed with Remedy actually caring about that aspect and more about it's presentation, and in all the components of the setting(s).

#41 Posted by Humanity (8800 posts) -

I didn't really think much of the entire game. It was quite repetitious from beginning to end. While that's not too bad in a game like God of War where the combat is at least varied with combos an different enemy types - Alan Wake quickly became a slog through the same dreary woods getting assailed by the same shadowy lumberjacks. There were a handful of interesting moments but not nearly enough to really punctuate all the monotonous excursions to the woods.