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Posted by TwoForFlinching

I just finished American Nightmare, and I found that I enjoyed it far more than either the signal or the writer. Most of you will disagree, but I found that the weakest aspect of Alan Wake is the combat. I found it so repetitive that I contemplated putting the game down. The thing that kept me going was the incredible story and smart presentation. It was great to discover that they dumbed down the combat, added a greater variety of weapons, and made it so that I didn't have to run past enemies because of lack of ammo. It's not that combat is particularly challenging; just a chore which has to be done before getting more of the compelling story. The faster I could blast through the enemies the better.

I think that the narrative trick was extremely clever. If they repeated it a fourth time it would have been overboard, but they avoid any annoyance by strategically placing you closer to your objective and having the people you meet speed things up by gathering puzzle elements for you. And after seeing the satellite the second time, I knew I had to get a copy of "Club Foot" by Kasabian.

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

The game looks like shit.  I expected 2 stars.  Nothing
about it seems appealing in the least.  You would have
to force me to play it.  The first game still looks good 
though I've yet to take it out of its shrink wrap.
 
Someday...

Posted by DostoyevskysShamblingCorpse

I'm playing through this now, and it's great. Really great. 4 wienies out of 5.

Posted by kollay

The last picture... kind of looks like that dude's battle stance in Resonance of Fate.

Posted by bybeach

I'm now halfway through American Nightmare. and I am starting to understand Pat's hints of repetitiveness in a story mechanic. OK. I also went to check out other reviews and the meta-critic score. It has gotten to the point where I respect GB's written score, but have lost faith in the numerical. In fact between this and Syndicate, I feel the numerical scores are making GB look unprofessional. I know little about Syndicate beyond the QL..but from what I see...really? 
 
I think Pat's written review of American Nightmare is decent. I think the numerical score when I look at the big picture is misleading. I understand that it may be based for internal consumption, ie, GB users 'know' what it means. But the rest of the gaming community doesn't. And that is where it ends up. In my opinion, GB should stop contributing numerical scores.
Posted by MantisToboggann

I was looking forward to this but now I think I'll pass.

Posted by Borracho

Just finished the incredible original Alan Wake on PC. Mighty intrigued about this new outing ;)

Posted by AgnosticJesus

I'm loving my time with AN. I agree with some of the other commenters that this game is being judged a little unfairly, comparing it to full retail games. For the price and compared to the other garbage out on XBLA, AN is a winner. I went into the game with realistic expectations and haven't been disappointed. It's a nice little game in the series, enough to scratch the Alan Wake scratch, until the proper sequel.

Edited by CptBedlam

@Wampa1 said:

Why do people keep talking about missing the open world in Alan Wake? I remember that game being really linear..

I was wondering about this, too. The Diner-Environment in American Nightmare is way more open than any environment in the main game.

@Fram said:

I don't quite understand Patrick's love for the "Writer" dlc. It felt like just the Signal to me, at least in terms of stretching the narrative as close as possible to breaking point without providing any real payoff or closure. It wasn't Prince of Persia Epilogue bad or anything, but it felt just as unnecessary.

Yep, I found both DLCs for the main game to be very weak. AN is quite bit better than either of those.

Posted by Ulong

How come brad didn't do this review? This isn't some anti-patrick post, there's just a nice continuity to having the same staff member review the sequels and such, at least in my mind.
 
 
 
The best thing I've discovered in American Nightmare so far is sometimes when you clear a survival level the narrator will say "Because you won, I am speaking in a dramatic voice!"

Posted by spilledmilkfactory

I was gonna write a review of this, but this review and score so accurately sum up what I think of the game that I don't know if there'd be a point anymore.

The first time the time travel thing happened, I thought, "Okay, this could be kind of cool." The second time it happened, I was like "The fuck Alan Wake?" and went off to play Syndicate.

Posted by Sgtpierceface

I'm proud of you guys, Giant Bomb community. I once thought that I was one of the only people who liked Alan Wake's combat, but you proved me wrong.

In case somebody reading this is still on the fence about purchasing American Nightmare, let me say this. If you played through Alan Wake, play this game. It is exactly everything I, and you, wanted it to be.

Posted by CyborgDuo

Y'know, this may be blasphemy, but I liked the original Alan Wake more than I ever did Twin Peaks. I think I just liked the increasingly dark tone.

Posted by flanker22

does anyone feel like this game is sorta being held to an unfair standard? what i mean is that this game is almost being reviewed as if it were a $60 retail game, but this is a xbla $15 title and honestly compared to anything lately it far exceeds the 3/5 that it was given imo. 

Edited by ptys

It's a shame they didn't make something special here as I think Alan Wake is a good poster boy for the Xbox brand, kind of like the whole Major Nelson thing, older guy, apeals to a wide audience. I still haven't even played 'The Writer' so I guess I'll give this a pass.

Posted by maskedarcstrike

Just finished the story portion of the game. I agree with a lot patrick comments on. Specifically the repetitive nature of the game due to limited environments. It doesn't help the game either that it heavily relies on combat but doesn't have any of the cool scripted combat moments like the first Alan Wake. There's no shootout at the Old Gods of Asgard stage or anything like that. There's some moments where music is played during combat sequences which is kinda cool but it's kind of out of context with the situation.

Posted by Fram

I don't quite understand Patrick's love for the "Writer" dlc. It felt like just the Signal to me, at least in terms of stretching the narrative as close as possible to breaking point without providing any real payoff or closure. It wasn't Prince of Persia Epilogue bad or anything, but it felt just as unnecessary.

The fiction is the major reason why I loved the original Alan Wake so much, and I'm prepared for the fact that American Nightmare leans more towards combat. That said, the combat in Alan Wake was no slouch either, and after the Sam Lake moment on the tv in the first game, I'm contractually obligated to purchase any and all things that Remedy puts out there.

Posted by gla55jAw

@Paul_Is_Drunk said:

@gla55jAw said:

Patrick needs a review avatar, preferably one in a hot dog suit.

I can see a limp wienie for lower scores, but what would the top score be?

A BBQ grill.

Posted by Viking_Funeral

@gla55jAw said:

Patrick needs a review avatar, preferably one in a hot dog suit.

I can see a limp wienie for lower scores, but what would the top score be?

Posted by streetrider

Alan Wake's combat is awesome; it provides some really great tension. Also, Alan Wake never really had a big world to run around in; the game was set in a big world but it was really linear - although you could drive and some paths were pretty broad, there was mostly only one way to get from A to B.

Posted by Gusj

I don't get the Giantbomb hate for the combat in Alan Wake. It might just be that it worked better with a mouse than a joystick, but when I played through it last weekend on my PC it just felt exciting all the way through.

Posted by Phatmac

Shouldn't Patrick have a comic avatar by now?

Posted by locolukah

@xyzygy: This.

I loved the tension in the combat in AW...looking forward to trying out AN.

Posted by gla55jAw

@RhombusOfTerror said:

@cstrang said:

@Meltbrain said:

@gla55jAw said:

Patrick needs a review avatar, preferably one in a hot dog suit.

Yes.

Agreed.

Also, not really surprised by this review. It seems the combat was the thing that a lot of people disliked, err... got tired of, rather; it seems like an odd choice to make a downloadable based on that.

buzz_click did this, so it's a possible avatar (I think it should); http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/buzz_clik/hot-dog-patrick/30-90989/

Yeah, I remember seeing that, I just didn't remember where. What a great picture haha.

Edited by bybeach

I feel like dealing with this review exactly like the one for syndicate, with impersonal non-accusatory suspicion. Not of some implied negativity, just not reflecting...something. But in terms of American Nightmare i will do the final test, leastways for myself. I got it first thing this morning and played a short hour..wasn't wearing out it's welcome yet! Maybe if Patrick had tried the herbal supp..naw I'll drop it.

Edit, Maybe I'll see Pat's point, but it just wasn't ammo (which one learned about and became efficient with in Alan Wake). You for example get an auto weapon early, and wow! Already that was a huge difference for me in app from Alan Wake. Maybe they don't vary this enough or do enough (larger bands or simutanious groups of taken), but having different weapons could improve tactical choice and be satisfying also.

Posted by Jeust

I'll eventually buy it. I also liked the combat in Alan Wake. It was repetitive, but it blend well in the story, and made a consistent game world. I enjoy it.  
 
This iteration while plot-wise makes little sense to me, I find it really interesting. I want more Alan Wake. There is no game quite like it.

Posted by CookieMonster

You can't read the subtitles on the main page due to the ps vita background...

Posted by Wampa1

Why do people keep talking about missing the open world in Alan Wake? I remember that game being really linear..

Posted by Masha2932

I really hope they release a complete edition with all the DLC packed in.

Edited by Humanity

More surprised than this review outcome, I'm shocked at how fondy people talk about the original Alan Wake in relation to the new one. The original game was basically ALL combat with bits of story sandwiched between arduous forest runs and getting endlessly assailed by the same three basic enemies. While the game did feature a few cool set pieces the ending was pretty unsatisfying and even though I had the code for the DLC and even had it downloaded - the thought of diving back into those woods to run from A to B while the camera slo-mo'd and panned to enemies spawning in every 50 feet completely kept me from playing it.

Online
Edited by CptBedlam

@xyzygy said:

It baffles me when people say the combat in AW is bad. At least it's not another cover shooter.

Yeah, the combat is pretty good actually. It has a nice flow to it and feels different from anything else out there.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying AN so far. I especially like that it feels quite a bit more open than any of the (basically) linear levels of the original game. Great atmosphere, too!

Posted by Yorkin

How did they get those screenshots with no jaggies? Makes the game look so much better than how it does on my TV.

Posted by Redbullet685

@xyzygy said:

It baffles me when people say the combat in AW is bad. At least it's not another cover shooter.

Exactly. The combat is refreshingly different. I can't wait for my download to finish.

Posted by Scodiac

I'm really enjoying it. It certainly feels like an arcade version of Alan Wake with there being no world to travel around in but it hasn't detracted from the experience. The levels are well made and there are certainly some big cinematic events to be had. I found the combat from the first game satisfying and the weapons they've added here are awesome making it even better. The collectibles unlock weapons and they fill out the story rather nicely.

The arcade mode seems pretty cool so far. It can get quite frantic running around the level, hunting ammo, and trying to get to lighted areas to heal yourself. It's definitely a challenge. The nightmare levels are probably insane. Overall, I think it's one of the better arcade titles I've bought in a long time and, I think, any Alan Wake fan will enjoy it. Well, you should probably be a fan of combat too though.

Posted by HadesTimes

I bought it, and I'm at the second round. I've really liked it so far. Especially for 1200 MS points.

Posted by derFeef

I don't get the comments about the combat. First the combat in Alan Wake is great .. second AWAN is not really focused on it, the story and exploring really overweights the combat for me.

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

I second the review avatar. Someone out there should be able to make 5 of them, it should be a competition,

Posted by Brendan

@Curufinwe said:

Still no avatar for Patrick? How odd.

The staff plans to drop the avatars altogether, so its weird that they're still existing in this middle ground.

Posted by xyzygy

It baffles me when people say the combat in AW is bad. At least it's not another cover shooter.

Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie

Combat was the huge blemish on the otherwise terrific original game. Building another game focused on that weakness? Ugh... no thanks.

Posted by Curufinwe

Still no avatar for Patrick? How odd.

Posted by fox01313

Good review, still going to pick this up as it looks good though if nothing else I'll watch the sales on XBL & grab it then as it looks great for what it is (minus the horde mode).

Posted by MormonWarrior

This is one of those games I'll still check out just because of my serious appreciation for the 2010 game...

Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror

@cstrang said:

@Meltbrain said:

@gla55jAw said:

Patrick needs a review avatar, preferably one in a hot dog suit.

Yes.

Agreed.

Also, not really surprised by this review. It seems the combat was the thing that a lot of people disliked, err... got tired of, rather; it seems like an odd choice to make a downloadable based on that.

buzz_click did this, so it's a possible avatar (I think it should); http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/buzz_clik/hot-dog-patrick/30-90989/

Posted by GunstarRed

I have just started the third go-around and I am having bunch of fun despite it being really, really, really easy. the enemies are pretty much always dead by the time they reach you as the guns are so powerful. Not a bad thing at all, but I do miss a little of the tension from the main game.

The FMV is amazing, like so, so good and really is almost worth the price of the game. Theres one featuring a set of weapons which had me giggling like an idiot.

Posted by MEATBALL

If you ask me the game feels a lot more open than its predecessor did. Alan wake mostly had you just following a linear path with a little room to wander in search of weapon caches and collectibles. American Nightmare's environments feel more like miniature open worlds. I also think that, mechanically, Alan Wake has some of the best Third Person combat available, it was always just let down by a lack of enemy and weapon variety - something that American Nightmare seems to address quite well. The game seems like a really cool addition to the series so far, but I'm not too far into it yet so I guess we'll see how it goes.

Posted by Ghostiet
@Cyrisaurus said:

Would be cool of the 'horde mode' had multiplayer.

Exactly. Even 2 player. The notion of one person carrying flares and a flashlight and the other having the guns is actually quite exciting - I enjoyed that bit in Chapter 2 of Alan Wake.
Posted by tadros

Bummer, I was actually going to get this. Now I'm not so sure.

Posted by NewfieBullet

Probably the first disappointment for me this year from all the reviews I've read about this game. Boooooooo

Edited by DeF

@Coreymw said:

I've not played American Nightmare, but I will disagree with you about the combat. I must be the only individual who enjoyed it. Enemies bearing down on me while I reloaded my gun or put new batteries in the flashlight conveyed a sense of urgency that I appreciated. I guess not everyone played the way I did.

You're not. I enjoyed the combat a lot! It was intense, refreshingly different and had me on edge the whole time whereas other games just have you "shoot dudes in the head". Having to aim your light beam at an enemy until you "burn" the darkness away before you can shoot him was an immensely tense experience.

For me, there were no combat issues so that argument is nullified in my purchasing decision :)

@cstrang said:

@Meltbrain said:

@gla55jAw said:

Patrick needs a review avatar, preferably one in a hot dog suit.

Yes.

Agreed.

I even emailed Dave about the missing avatar situation, hoping they'd make one for him as a Christmas present ... but nothing yet :(

Maybe for his 1-year anniversary?

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