My review of Alan Wake's American Nightmare will be based on 4 categories: Performance, Gameplay, Graphics
, and Story
. As a summary, Alan Wake's American Nightmare is an
arcade spin-off that's more action-focused and varied than its predecessor in terms of gameplay. For the currrent price, I'd say that this is a must buy for fans of Alan Wake but newcomers may want to wait for a sale or even skip the game entirely because of its incoherent plot and repetitive gameplay.
The PC port of this game was handled by Nitro Games (who also ported Alan Wake to PC) so performance really shouldn't be surprising considering that the first game was optimized as heck.
Performance on a FX-6300 processor, R9 270 GPU, and 8 GB of RAM in a 1080p resolution at ultra settings yields an average of 50 FPS.Graphics options available
No bugs or crashes experienced during playthroughs however be wary that no game is bug-free. If by chance you do encounter some bugs and crashes, please visit this page
for a list of possible fixes.
American Nightmare is basically Alan Wake in an arcade form with gameplay that is very simple and fitting for this type of game. The mechanics are very much the same; they just added a whole lot of tweaks like new automatic guns, a minimap that shows you where manuscript pages and points of interests are, and the very welcome improvement to Alan's lungs and legs as he can now dash for more than 2 minutes with an added bonus of a faster running speed. It's repetitive, tedious, and lacks challenge but for an arcade title, you really don't need all the fancy stuff that AAA games have and sometimes, lesser is better. It just goes to show how much tweaking the first game needs if its combat transitions very well to an acrade title. There's some minor reworks as well like how light only affects the taken if you focus it and the faster shield burning. Remedy added this unique feature where you can unlock chests containing powerful guns only if you meet the required number of manuscript pages that you have on person. It's not needed to complete the game, it's not forced, but it's a very good incentive for those who like to go around and collect all the collectibles that they can find.
Aside from a new shader and yellowish filter, American Nightmare features a more varied set of locations than the first game; instead of trudging through miles of vegetation and old, creaky industrial buildings, you'll get to walk through a fictional Arizonian desert which includes a roadside motel, an observatory, and a drive-in theater. Though few in number, the constant change of scenery always makes the game feel fresh and interesting. The world even looks more lively than its predecessor because the places that you visit are all functional and traces of civilization still exist. Alan Wake would've benefited from a change of scenario once in a while. Aside from that, everything else remains the same, even the emotionless faces and horrible lip-sync.
Buyers beware! If you've played Alan Wake and finished it, then get ready for a story that mocks the sequel-hungry fans as it leaves you with a happy and satisfying ending - only to remember that this was just a spin-off game (yes, that's how good American Nightmare's story is). If you're a newcomer, then don't even bother with buying this game as the plot and the events that are happening will just make you uninstall the game after the first 10 minutes of playing. Being a spin-off, I was very surprised at how well Sam Lake created the story for this game. In fact, it was very well done that, as stated above, I even forgot that this was a spin-off in the first place. I thought that the events that are happening was a direct continuation of the cliffhanger ending in Alan Wake. The reason why it was very believable was because they took every question that fans had and played with the unknown character, Mr. Scratch, from the first game then fleshed him out while giving him a goal that's so believable in Alan Wake's world. Alan journeys through a world that is very different from the first game yet contains all of its story while cleverly masking the seams and cracks so the light can't pass through. Very clever, very amazing, and I personally can't wait for more.
And there you have it.