Alan Wake's American Nightmare Review
Alan Wake's American Nightmare Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3
Dev: Remedy Entertainment
Pub: Microsoft
Release: February 22, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

Another noticeable change comes in the environments, which are less linear than the dark forests and empty cabins of the original. The world feels more real and open, even if a lot of it feels a little empty. The constraints that come with being an arcade game also means there are less spectacular set pieces, minus one memorable section you encounter once fairly early and again later on.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare Screenshot

That's right, I said the same thing happens to you twice, and that's because the story revolves around Alan's attempt to bring the reality he's in into synch with the reality his wife Alice is in. It's woven into the story, but going through the same environment you explored just thirty minutes earlier feels like a lazy design decision. It works in the tale being told, but I don't necessarily want to explore the same environments twice.

When the story is over, there's still quite a bit to look forward to in the brand new "Fight 'til Dawn" mode, which takes the increasingly popular survival mode and weaves it into Wake's world. It's less strategic than Gears of War's Horde mode, and doesn't run nearly as long as Halo's Firefight. Instead, it's more like Left 4 Dead's Survival; you're never going to last longer than ten minutes, and every second is spent fighting for your life. Basically, what you're doing is fighting waves of increasingly powerful groups of enemies with the goal of accumulating as many points as possible until dawn comes. Littered about the maps are flares, guns, and ammunition you'll need to survive. Perform well enough in one map to unlock the next, and the Leaderboards add a little extra motivation to beat your friends' scores.

Despite some repetition in the environments, the bigger arsenal of weapons, new enemies, easier-to-follow story, and the new Fight 'til Dawn mode make Alan Wake's American Nightmare a fantastic addition to anyone's arcade library. There's enough content here to make it worth the $15 asking price, and the pulp fiction aesthetic offers a new way to experience a familiar formula. American Nightmare offers something for everyone, from action/horror fans to film junkies. This is a story no gamer should miss.

Adam Dodd
Contributing Writer
Date: February 22, 2012

The move from retail release to arcade exclusive hasn't affected the visuals at all; Alan Wake is a gorgeous as it ever was.
Running and gunning is intuitive and the dodge maneuver feels more responsive.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice acting is superb, including the Grindhouse-style narrator, and the music and sound effects are fantastic.
Play Value
When you're done with the three-hour campaign, the Fight 'til Dawn mode offers plenty of motivation to return again and again.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Experience an all new Alan Wake adventure with an original storyline set in the fictional Night Springs TV series.
  • Battle new enemies using Wake's larger arsenal of weapons, including nail guns, submachine guns, assault rifles, and combat shotguns.
  • Fight to survive in the all new Fight til Dawn mode, which pits you against waves of enemies.
  • Compete against your friends and show off your survival skills in online leaderboards.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Alan Wake's American Nightmare - Teaser Trailer  - click to enlarge
    Teaser Trailer
    Alan Wake's American Nightmare - Announcement Trailer  - click to enlarge
    Announcement Trailer
    Alan Wake's American Nightmare - Extended Trailer  - click to enlarge
    Extended Trailer

    Screenshots / Images
    Alan Wake's American Nightmare Screenshot - click to enlarge Alan Wake's American Nightmare Screenshot - click to enlarge Alan Wake's American Nightmare Screenshot - click to enlarge Alan Wake's American Nightmare Screenshot - click to enlarge Alan Wake's American Nightmare Screenshot - click to enlarge

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