A thrilling new storyline, hordes of creepy enemies, serious firepower and beautiful Arizona locations, combined with a fun and challenging new game mode!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (1,774 reviews)
Release Date: May 22, 2012

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Includes 3 items: Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Alan Wake, Alan Wake Collector's Edition Extras

 

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About This Game

In this brand new standalone experience, Alan Wake fights the herald of darkness, the evil Mr. Scratch! A thrilling new storyline, hordes of creepy enemies, serious firepower and beautiful Arizona locations, combined with a fun and challenging new game mode make this a must for Alan Wake veterans, and the perfect jumping on point for new players!

Key Features:

  • Play the full-fledged Story Mode: You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you fight to stop your murderous evil double to take back your life... and change reality itself!
  • Fight till dawn arcade mode: In the action-packed Arcade Mode, you’ll need to master the Fight with Light mechanic to stay alive until dawn and beat your friends on the Leaderboards. Can you survive until sunrise?
  • Face the darkness: Twisted and dangerous enemies stalk you in the shadows. Dispatch them with the powerful arsenal of weapons at your disposal.

System Requirements

    Minimum:

    • OS:Windows XP SP2
    • Processor:Dual Core 2GHz Intel or 2.8GHz AMD
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 10 compatible with 512MB RAM
    • DirectX®:10
    • Hard Drive:8 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible

    Recommended:

    • OS:Windows 7
    • Processor:Quad Core 2.66GHz Intel or 3.2GHz AMD
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 10 compatible or later with 1GB RAM
    • DirectX®:10
    • Hard Drive:8 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible
Helpful customer reviews
44 of 49 people (90%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Rating: - "Grab it during a sale"
Traditional Rating: 6/10
Genre: Action Adventure/ Survival Horror

Alan Wake was a thrilling and meaty surprise of a game that blended action and survival horror together perfectly until its rather lacklustre and convoluted ending. It was also a bit too long in the tooth as Remedy seemed intent to one-up Stephen King which induced the "padding" effect which resulted in the game eventually buckling under its own weight. Due to this - Alan Wake got rather tiresome and repetitive towards the end. However, even though the sum of its parts didn't all add up it's still is a game I can heartily recommend just for the experience alone.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and in an attempt to address the concerns of the first game - apparently many complained about its repeating enemies and limited weaponry - American Nightmare mostly stumbles and falls. Firstly a whole new array of weapons are added to the game and whilst certainly fun to engage with they tend to be overpowered making light work of the enemies you encounter turning bookish Alan into a Stallone-like Commando. Though shorter in length than the original game and with a larger enemy variety the game makes you repeat its events not once but three times before arriving at another stagnant conclusion making this addition feel even more repetitive than the original. The narrative is even more muddled and convoluted (echoing Stephen King's The Dark Half to a less desirable effect).

American Nightmare is still a very pretty game to look at and it plays like a hot knife through butter with all the settings ramped up, however, as a diversion until a proper sequel is released, American Nightmare is only just slightly above passable.
Posted: May 3
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21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a spin-off/sequel to Alan Wake. A heads-up about the game and this review, Alan Wake's American Nightmare takes place after Alan Wake, and has spoilers for the first game. It really shouldn't be played until after the first game, and as such with this review I am going to be comparing it a lot to the first game, and will drop a few spoilers.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare takes place in Arizona, in a fictional town known as Night Springs. However, as we find out early on, Night Springs is not actually a solid place, but rather rather more like an illusion brought to life by the Darkness, and a town that can appear anywhere, just tonight it happens to be in Arizona. When we last saw Alan Wake, he was trapped in the Dark Place, and in American Nightmare he still hasn't quite escaped. Instead, he appears where the darkness goes, and in this case he has written himself into reality as a the hero to an episode of the TV series from the first game, Night Springs. He's done so to combat Mr. Scratch, who's called as such as trying to say his real name comes out like scratching noises. Mr. Scratch is Alan's doppelganger, who was seen briefly towards the end of Alan Wake. He's come into reality since, after Alan's disappearance, rumors of the author who went missing into the night has spread, and these rumors have taken on the form of Mr. Scratch, a psychopathic killer who wears Alan's face.

American Nightmare is even more focused on combat than the original game was, but the combat has seen a lot of improvements. It feels much more solid and fast-paced, on-top of the fact the enemy variety this time is much larger and weirder. There are even more guns, and they manage to feel more varied than the original game as well. This is all backed with still impressive lighting effects, and an overall sleeker look to keep up with the more sci-fi tones this game has.

However, with the improved combat comes a step-down of a lot of the charm the original game had. There's no full-on exploration sequences this time around, and the atmosphere is not nearly as immersive this time either.

Basically, there's a throw-up between improvements and downgrades. For one, the levels are now no longer linear, instead being more hub-like small open-worlds that you can explore, and generally are fun to as well. There are find-able manuscript pages, televisions, and radios like the first game, but they're more spread-out. There are also guns to unlock, and side-areas to explore just to really explore them. This is a welcome change of pace, especially for a much more combat-composed game.

On the other hand, the story is not nearly as interesting. Alan Wake spends most of the narrative chasing down Mr. Scratch, and interacting with a few different chicks that Mr. Scratch has managed to swoon. However, the story in AWAN really doesn't go much further than where Alan Wake ended off, and more elaborates on the ending of the first game rather than move past it, and as such really feels more like filler and sort of lacks climax, conclusion, or really any huge developments.

However, Mr. Scratch is a very enjoyable villain. He makes more of an impact than the antagonists of the first game, being deliciously psychopathic and charismatic, and dealing in twisted acts with a child-like glee. The televisions you can find with him are definitely one of the highlights of the game.

But then, in probably the biggest flaw for the game, and something really stupid, is that in the game's story you go through its three 'hub' stages three times each. The excuse is that Alan Wake is stuck in a time-loop, and time keeps on resetting itself so he has to start from the beginning again until he can break the cycle. What this means for gameplay is that there really are only three levels in the game, and each one is repeated three times. They do change things up, areas not previously available open up and different events happen each visit, but it still is a bizarre design decision.

Made even more bizarre by the game's wave-based horde-like mode. This mode is actually a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be, and honestly may be more fun than the game's actual campaign. It's very frantic, tense, with an addicting risk-and-reward system to try and get high-scores in the mode's five different stages. And this is where it gets bizarre, as the 5 stages in this mode are completely different than the stages in the main game, hell some of the stages are actually larger than the main game's stages. On-top of this, you can actually see the Horde-mode stages in the background of the main story, and see the main story's stages in the background of the Horde Mode stages. Why these five other locations weren't added to the game's story to help keep things more varied is completely lost on me.

But the game's Horde Mode, known as Arcade Mode, is completely worth taking part in. It's inclusion is surprising, but not nearly as surprising as how well-executed it actually is.

For an arcade-like shooter, Alan Wake's American Nightmare is not bad at all for a spin-off. It's fun, fairly tightly made, and has some fun content to delve in. However, it also as a spin-off feels it misses the mark of what people loved about Alan Wake in several ways, and focuses on the elements that were less enjoyable. Given here, they definitely have been improved, but it strikes as an odd decision.

If you liked Alan Wake and want more of it, this is and isn't it. In some ways it retains the charms of the original game, but also doesn't quite have everything that made the original game charming. It is more fun strictly gameplay-wise than Alan Wake, but then it is arguable if that actually makes it more enjoyable overall as it misses what made the first game really enjoyable in many ways.

Basically, I cut it like this; The new stuff they introduce is well-done and appreciated, such as the open-world levels, Mr. Scratch as an antagonist, and the surprisingly fun Arcade Mode. The game focuses on combat, which was not the first game's strong point, but it pulls it off much better here, with better mechanics and a larger enemy selection. However, elements like down-time exploration moments, much of the atmosphere, and the narrative are mostly missing or much more limited. And the game is plagued by one big problem, repeating levels, which is made bizarre as the Arcade Mode has completely different levels the devs could of used that are even tied-in with the stories' locations.

But it's an enjoyable little romp, and an interesting spin-off that does expand more on the world of Alan Wake, while also improving over it in some ways. It isn't quite as good, but is enjoyable in its own way. If you like exploration, the locations are fun with multiple landmarks and sections. The music is still appropriate and moody, with a few-stand-out tracks. The voicing gets hammier, but it works with the sort of hammier tone of the game (being modeled after a parody of Twilight Zone and all).

Alan Wake's American Nightmare is not the sequel fans may clamor for, but is an enjoyable arcade spin-off.
Posted: May 18
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Alan Wake: AN is pretty much a standalone DLC for the original game. It explains some of the questions left at the end of the main game and expands a bit on the wholle story, making whorthwhile to people who enjoyed the first game. Everyone else will still be able to sink into a pretty nifty combat system with the use of light at it's core.

This game does focuses much more on combat than it's predecessor too, with a few new enemy types and a lot more weapons. Whether or not this is positive, it will depend of the person playing the game.

It's also a pretty short experience, the main story breezing throught in just about 4 hours (with the incremented value of running arround looking for collectibles), and there's really no reason to repeat the game... It does however offer an Arcade mode, consisting of a handfull of unlockable levels where you have to survive for 10 minutes. There's a total of 10 of these (5 being "original" and the 5 other's being just harder versions of the same maps).


Overall, a very enjoyable experience that offers a good atmosphere and combat with the powerfull writing Remedy has gotten us used to. Although many people won't find it worth the full price of 10€, don't think twice about buying it on a sale.
Posted: May 25
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
good thing videogames aren’t only about their themes, messages, and overarchs. granted those things aren’t slaves to writing because there's more than just writing. alan wake’s american nightmare clasps all of alan wake’s mechanical flaws and obliterates them. controls are tighter, with dodge timing being newly snappy and forgiving. it’s appreciated, because enemies appear in blind spots more frequently. guns look and feel much more satisfying to fire and sound incredible this time around. flares still encourage a defensive anti-shooter playstyle, however they do not last nearly as long and aren’t given out in absurd quantities. flashbangs have their power lowered so they no longer overlap with the flare gun without obvious gain and loss. gun power and balance felt the same, however, gone are half-baked efforts at attempting to be a survival game. you can use whatever guns you want when you want, which is what ended up happening in alan wake anyway. the survival horror pretense is thankfully dropped. alan wake was a stylized third person shooter at its core, so it’s great to see it fully embraced in american nightmare. the best improvements are the eradication of needing batteries for your flashlight - it recharges at a lightning rate on its own - and the ability to reload while shining down the darkness, even if that action is physically impossible (if that was in alan wake to begin with eat me for having human memory). battery consumables are still in the game for convenience if you want to double your shining time, thankfully not tedious extensions requried for large enemies.

alan wake’s critical flaw was its length and its inability to justify it. stuffed packed full of filler and repeated enemy encounters. it tested your endurance and your love for debonair writers. american nightmare injects prior simple enemy types with a great sense of purpose and character design. as a result of its short length, it has a rapid-fire pace of introducing entirely new enemy types. american nightmare is a third of the length of alan wake and actually has more enemy types than the original game. though the same approach went into designing the encounters, it goes without saying that their self-awareness paid off immensely. it lacks any strategic depth beyond: here’s a mob of ten enemies, blow them up somehow. the first game regrettably was the same way. a third person shooter without cover, with action mechanics, and with depth and finesse, is that too much to ask for? yeah, it’s too much to ask for. I really do like the utter improvements to flashing and shooting american nightmare brought out, that’s everything I want and need from a sequel, and it’s extremely fun to play. these are great things to say about game, so keep that to heart, when I say that’s largely where the compliments stop.

alan wake was not carefully written. it’s endearing in its transparent absurdity. you know this so-called famous writer has printed lines as good as a high schooler in creative writing and it’s ok because he’s a facsimile, he’s a failed writer, he’s the embodiment of a writer - but maybe he’s not actually good at it. those are excuses and I’m totally sure not intentions, however, they work real nicely justifying the original alan wake. american nightmare is one-third the length of alan wake and tries to be just as high concept, it tries to conclude every loose end left open prior, and it takes its writing just as seriously. it doesn’t work, there’s no way it could work, and there’s nothing admirable about it trying so desperately. no, remedy was wrong to begin with. considering the parameters of a much smaller game, concessions have to made. when you transplant a large structure into the smaller product resulting of the concessions, you nullify the concessions completely, and create something that can only be inferior. embracing a new direction is how you subsist on a new field. if the container is smaller, it can’t be filled with the same amount of liquid.

what grinds me is that every theme covered in american nightmare is identical to the themes in alan wake. it doesn’t consider the consequences, besides one exchange with the scientist lady, nor does it expand on obvious horizons. it puerilely restates everything explored in alan wake with one difference: alan wake has adopted a kind of god or hero complex. I guess he has to, the way the narrative is phrased around a champion of light and a herald of darkness, and it doesn’t really contradict alan wake’s character progression. what it does though is invalidate all of its themes; doubt, darkness, and mystery have no room to breathe in front of a main character who just shrugs his shoulders and cleans it all up. in the length allotted to american nightmare, it’s impossible to explore the duality, the clash of light and darkness, the external phenomenon of a previously internal conflict. what personal ugliness alan wake struggled against in the original game falls flat in its face with alan wake overcoming all of it and the game insisting it’s still there.

american nightmare takes place in arizona, instead of washington. the lush and beautiful forested levels are replaced with arid fields. the three levels are big and open, but they’re empty. encounters only and predictably happen when you approach objectives. they’re exclusively disorganized swarms. every objective is dumb and arbitrary and never does let you just clear checkpoints; clear a level. granted, it doesn't have to operate that way, but if all you can construct is swarms of enemies, then an orthodox approach would have been a better fit. there’s still an attention to detail and craftsmanship in the level design, so while they aren’t conventionally beautiful, I still think they’re good levels. it doesn’t excuse what I’ve made an effort not to mention until now. alan wake is stuck in a time loop. what does that mean? it means the ultimate filler. it means playing the same three levels three times doing variations of the same objectives. I wish this was a joke, some kind of metagaming satire about how menial completion can be in a single player campaign, and it is, because it isn’t. even if it has good level design, it has tiring and inexcusable level design, because it repeated entire blocks of content unashamedly, arrogantly, pompously. saying something like, alan wake’s determination and endurance doesn’t waver in the face of futility, or whatever contextualized bull, which doesn’t really match the player psychology of being tired of remedy’s crap. repeating levels, repeating encounters, repeating objectives, repeating story themes. it’s lazy and indefensible, no matter how novel it’s tries to be, it’s crap design.

alan wake’s american nightmare is fun to play. it’s only three hours long, so it’s truthfully worth playing. it’s competent enough as game even if it’s surface level and unambitious. I love alan wake’s character. he’s a lovable d-bag with good intentions and a heart of gold. also, he’s a go-getting sharp featured writer, just like I am a handsome, entirely coolheaded writer-man as well. even if I didn’t like anything other than the game’s sensations, I do believe they are enough to carry the game. if you genuinely enjoyed the first game then you’ll be the most disappointed by american nightmare, yet ironically, I think that’s the only audience for this game. american nightmare can only be played as a disappointment. that’s interesting in itself, how its own existence is a mockery, and I find it odd none of this is grudging. it’s nice to play a good game that is trying to be deep, even if it can’t do anything right on a deeper level, as long as it did right on the things that matter. it’s something nothing wants to be and that’s why it functions curiously even if it's ineffective.
Posted: June 8
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Need more horror game like this.
Posted: September 13
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65 of 73 people (89%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
American Nightmare is a fun combat focused episode set between the original game and the not-yet-if-ever-released sequel. In this chapter Alan is trying to escape from the Dark Place by writing a script of a twisted TV show, where he can alter reality and defeat his doppelganger, Mr. Scratch as he tries to take over Alan's life in the 'real world'.

The game brings some fixes of its prequel. The horrible and non-reactive controls are - fortunately - things of the past. It's a much more combat focused game, which is proven by a wast array of weapons you can find, from UZI to combat shotgun. The game introduces some - though not many - new elements and mechanics. There are new enemies like the Splitter, who splits into two when your flashlight is pointed at him. The area map and HUD are reworked, where scripts and points of interest are indicated. It's a nice addition since on the contrary of the first game, here you are encouraged to find those "damn" sheets of papers. You can get better weapons and it is fun, too.

While Alan Wake's story was controversial but well written, the same can't be said about this chapter. It sometimes feels rushed and underdeveloped. At least the ending is much more clearer now. The part where the game disappoints the most is the level design. There three only three levels non of which are large to say the least. In addition to this, each of the levels are reused 3 times. In the frame of the story it is understandable but still disappointing. To make it clear, it is not a full fledged game, but neither is a rip off DLC. It's something between, a full game with arcade length.

Alan's newest script shouldn't take longer than 4 hours to finish (6 with all the collectibles). Be aware though that normal in this game is easy compared to the prequel, so if you are up to it, try Nightmare difficulty. This can be explained by the combat focused nature of the game. You'll never have to roam trying to find ammunition and your flashlight recharges a lot faster than in the first game. There is a new game mode called Arcade Challenge. It's a simple addition where you have to survive until dawn and score as many points as you can with limited ammunition. You can squeeze a couple of extra hours out of this game mode, but don't expect dozens of hours of fun. On one side this game mode should have been in the first game, but with those horrid controls nobody would've played it.

Alan Wake's American Nightmare is not a propel sequel to Alan Wake but it's a nice side story which every fan will enjoy. The game falls short in some places to the prequel (story, level design) but bests it in other areas (controls, combat).

Rating: 71/100; Replay Value: 2/5; To Beat: 4 hours; Played on: normal.
Posted: July 31, 2013
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