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Alan Wake Remastered Review

Alan Wake Remastered Review

Alan Wake is a first-person horror game initially released back in 2010; in this review, we'll be talking about the remastered version. The story follows the titular writer, who finds himself in a horrifying situation when his wife, Alice, goes missing during their vacation in Bright Falls. 

The story kicks off with a nightmare Alan is having. In it, he's being chased down by what is implied to be one of the characters from his books. This whole sequence — especially once the mysterious light appears — is a tutorial for how the combat works, which is honestly one of my favourite aspects of the game.

In Alan Wake Remastered, the enemies — called The Taken — are humans that have been possessed by darkness. In order to actually damage them, you'll need to shine your flashlight at them until the darkness shield dissipates and leaves them vulnerable. Although on paper it sounds a bit bland (and maybe even annoying and difficult), I thought it was a unique and interesting new addition that spiced up the combat. It works quite nicely because it was properly implemented, as it takes a reasonable amount of time for the light to take effect, and it's a fantastic mechanic that gives way to things like flares and flare guns. 

When I wasn't busy getting sidetracked killing The Taken, I was pretty enthralled with the game's narrative. Whilst I really enjoy horror games, I feel like Alan Wake stands out among the many titles in the genre because it focuses much more on the plot and characters than on the monster and surviving it. It's a lot like the difference between a suspense movie and a slasher — I genuinely cared to unravel more of the story, not just get to the next boss for the sake of it.

As you go deeper into Bright Falls and its surroundings to unravel the mystery of Alice's disappearance, you'll find manuscripts that'll give much more context to both the story and the many characters in it. This is yet another feature I sincerely appreciate; not only were some of them quite fantastically written, but it works to provide a different, more in-depth look at the narrative that much more resembles a book than a game. 

That being said, the game isn't without its flaws. For starters, Alan's stamina is pretty bad, so it's difficult to outrun enemies or dodge properly, and due to that, the sequences where you have to fight possessed objects can become quite frustrating. But the biggest issue I have is that you can't complete all the manuscripts because some of them are locked behind the Nightmare Difficulty, which isn't just unfair to gamers who don't have the skill level for it, but also forces you to play the game through once before you unlock it. 

That said, we have to consider that the game is already 13 years old, so these minor complaints don't really detract from the overall experience at all; especially considering I played the game both times on the Hard Difficulty setting. 

And last but not least, I wanted to mention that this is the most pleased I've been about a game's remaster. Not only do the character models look much better, but it's easier to tell their expressions, and I could swear they added some new and improved animations when they talk. Additionally, Bright Falls looks great, especially in some areas such as the diner, which feels downright cosy. And my favourite part is that they went out of their way to spruce up the cutscenes, making them feel more cinematic, which fits so well with the game's entire presentation.

Alan Wake Remastered will probably go down as one of my favourite horror game experiences, and it's no surprise why. It feels like Remedy did everything right, and whatever tiny gripes I have with the title can usually be pointed back to its age. 

If you like suspense movies or narrative-focused games, I highly suggest you try Alan Wake. The fighting is fun, the manuscripts are great, and the collectibles are a bit wacky, as they include watching mini-episodes of Night Springs — an in-game show.

10.00/10 10

Alan Wake Remastered (Reviewed on Windows)

Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?

I don't see why anyone shouldn't pick this title up; it's phenomenal, enthralling, and — possibly most important — fun.

This game was purchased at retail for the purpose of this review
Violet Plata

Violet Plata

Staff Writer

Liable to jump at her own shadow.

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