Alan Wake Remastered Review

Introduction

Alan Wake Remastered is an improved version of the original game that contains all of the DLC released. The game was remastered by D3T, and published by Epic Games. It was released on Xbox, PlayStation and PC in October 2021.

Review

Are you afraid of the dark? Do you wonder what sort of evil lurks inside of it? The horrors that it contains may be real, but it also may be a grand delusion that your own mind has created. If you fell into a world of darkness, would you be able to separate reality from fantasy, or would you be lost forever, in the swirling storm of darkness?

Alan Wake and his wife Alice are on a trip to a small town known as Bright Falls, in Washington, for a vacation. Alan meets a woman in black, and goes to what he thought was the vacation cabin, but it was so much more. His wife Alice suffers from nyctophobia, which translates to “fear of the dark”. So when the darkness takes her, Alan makes it his mission to rescue her. The game relies heavily on psychological themes. What’s real and what’s not? Who can you trust, and who can you not? It was all absolutely fantastic to experience, even if by the end of the game, I was scratching my head as to what the hell actually happened.

The game is split up in an episodic fashion. Except an episode is considered a chapter. At the beginning of every chapter, you get a “previously on” sizzle reel. This was awesome to see, but with the way the game was structured, I feel like it could’ve been divided up a lot more. There are 6 episodes throughout the game, coming in at many hours each. I’m not sure how I can explain it, but I feel like it would’ve been perfect if each part was maybe an hour long, especially with the way they set up the end of each episode. The game wouldn’t have been any longer, but it would’ve fit perfectly with “an episode a day” sort of playstyle. Always keeping you on the edge, and making you have that “one more episode” pull, where you feel tired the next morning, but it’s absolutely worth it.

This version also includes the two dlc chapters of the game, known as “The Signal” and “The Writer” which take place after the events of the main game. Sure they answered some questions, but I was still scratching my head as to what all just happened. It made me think about it all, and come to a conclusion, and think about it again, and discuss it with friends, and think about it again. It’s the perfect kind of story, as opposed to being so vague it’s infuriating.

The game does a fantastic job on its collectibles. It made me want to scour the levels to find them all. Unfortunately some are tied to the hardest difficulty, and I didn’t play that difficulty, but they’re manuscripts to Alan’s book. Which gives more insight into the world, and even foreshadows some of the events that happen on and off screen. It was some of the best collectibles I’ve seen in games in a long while, as opposed to just trinkets to pick up, just because. Now there are some of those kinds, in the form of coffee thermos, but they don’t give you anything besides trophies/achievements.

Now as for the game, this is where the game lost me in a lot of parts. Maybe because it’s dated, or maybe because it’s bad. Or before anyone else says it, I’m bad! Maybe I was just way too stingy with my super weapons, when I shouldn’t have been. Maybe I should’ve ran a lot, instead of standing to fight, but in my journey there was a lot of rage. Some good amount of spooks, but then rage again. So if you’ve never heard of this game before, or seen gameplay, the basic premise is that you fight shadows. Sort of.

When you get into a combat encounter, your first job is to find out where all your enemies are around you. This was infuriating as they usually spawned around you, in a triangle formation. So you had to get your eyes on them, then use your flashlight to take the darkness off of them, then you could damage them with your weapons. This was fun and exhilarating at first, but slowly got to me, little by little. As more beefier enemies were introduced, and the waves of enemies got larger, or heaven help you, the shadow crowd started coming around. There’s a few tools other than your weapons you have at your disposal, like flares, that light up all around you, and help clear the shadows off of enemies. Flashbangs, that you throw and will kill anyone around it. Or the flare gun, which shoots a flare, that explodes eventually. Those last two are tools I probably didn’t use enough of. I always held onto them like they were porcelain babies, always telling myself “what if the chapter ends, and these could be extremely useful!?”. Well that happened…once, except it was in the middle of the chapter.

Along with fighting the enemies, you could also run or dodge. Which let me tell you, didn’t work at all for me. Trying to run was impossible, because Alan would only be able to sprint for a few seconds before he had to slow down, less he ruptured a lung and got blood all over his tweed jacket. Even if you did try to run, the enemies would outrun you easily, and combo you right to your demise. On Normal, if I was ever caught in a bad place, just four hits was enough to send me back to a checkpoint, and the enemies usually hit you twice. Luckily if you don’t take damage, you refill your quadrant of health, but it wasn’t enough. Then there’s the dodging mechanic, that if you manage to do, time slowed down for some stupid reason. You didn’t move faster or react quicker, but it would just slow down as if to tell you “good job on that epic dodge!”. But my biggest gripe was that there was no melee. If something is in your face, you can’t just give them a shove to get off of you. If you can’t dodge, you’re dead. I didn’t even want a melee that kills enemies, just one that lets me catch my breath, even if just for a quick second. So unfortunately the gameplay made me dread every encounter, as I progressed in the game.

Rating

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Worthwhile Collectibles
  • Haunting Atmosphere
  • Amazing Story That Makes You Think

Cons:

  • The Gunplay
  • No Melee Button

Summary

As a fan of weird stories, this definitely hit the hammer on the head. It got me thinking, made me question everything in the game, and I loved the lore the collectibles added. I just wish the gameplay itself was better, but even then, when it comes down to it, I can always replay it on Easy if I want to experience it again! I can’t recommend this game enough, if you still haven’t played it.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: D3T
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Epic Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £24.99/€29.99 Europe / $29.99 North America
Trophy Information: 68. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 3 / Silver 5 / Bronze 59

Alan Wake Remastered – Launch Trailer

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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