Alan Wake's American Nightmare should start appearing any time now on Xbox Live Arcade and the past day we've started seeing some reviews popping up on the Internet! See below for the latest reviews, previews and interviews in our media roundup for February 22nd, 2012.
"Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a worthwhile expansion to the novelist's saga and one that you'll come back to time and time again, quite literally until the break of dawn." Score:
"Alan Wake's American Nightmare is an extremely impressive experiment, created with the aim of releasing an essentially fully-fledged retail game through Xbox LIVE Arcade. American Nightmare absolutely succeeds in this regard, with action-packed gameplay, a cool theme, and an exciting Arcade Action mode." Score:
"Alan Wake's American Nightmare isn't perfect. As he writes his own escape from the Dark Place, the tale ironically lacks the narrative punch of his first trek into the shadows. Even so, it invites us back into Alan's world, takes us on a new adventure and sheds new light on his predicament. The writer is correct, we love our characters, and if you love Alan Wake, you really don't have a choice. You must survive his American Nightmare." Score:
"The hints of what's happened after the first Alan Wake game dropped by American Nightmare tease that there might be more expansion for this action/horror franchise. AM feels like a game that proves the Alan Wake concept is sturdier and more flexible than just one game, ripe for the episodic updates a book-minded game series cries out for. It makes you yearn for more." Score:
Should you play this game? Yes.
What is Alan Wake's American Nightmare? - GameSpot
"Having this much Taken-slaughtering glee in such a small, concise package makes Alan Wake’s American Nightmare an instant “yes, please” for series fans. But what’s more surprising is that its accessible approach to combat makes it an equally worthwhile experience for those who’ve never suspended their disbelief to wander Wake’s dream-like world. Hey, Alan — where to next?" Score:
"All in all, Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a pretty great XBLA game. It isn't exactly what we wanted from a new Alan Wake experience, but it is still absolutely solid and worth playing. Considering that you're getting retail-quality presentation and a ton of content for just 1200 MSP (Microsoft Points) ($15), it is hard to say no if you're an Alan Wake fan. If you liked the original, buy American Nightmare." Score:
"The tone in this game definitely has more of an action bent than fans of the 2010 release might remember, but the changed focus only serves to highlight just how solid a game Alan Wake was even without its head-scratching story. It’s totally fun to play as long as you don’t let the repeating environments bother you. All in, American Nightmare is an excellent slice of Wake to have from Remedy in the absence of a true sequel." Score:
"All in all though, I think that as a stand alone adventure and a spot check on seeing how Alan was doing, this game did a good job of giving us an idea of the struggles the character is going through and hopefully will serve as the launching point for a bigger and even better story down the road." Score:
"Overall, as a whole I enjoyed American Nightmare. Actually I enjoyed it enormously as I mentioned in the beginning of the review. The new story elements that have been brought into what we already know from the original game really makes me want Alan Wake 2 all the more. This game is fantastic on many levels from storytelling to creative design. Alan Wake fans that know anything and everything about the Alan Wake saga will find a ton of satisfaction in this game and new rumors and ideas will most definitely spinoff of this game." Score:
"I didn’t feel as connected to Alan’s world or story, which were the main draws for me in the first game, but the gameplay is streamlined and improved in this sequel. American Nightmare is not quite as gripping of an experience, but I certainly got my mystery-laden, flashlight-burning fun out of it." Score:
"Would this title be best classified as a bridge to Alan Wake 2, or essentially AS Alan Wake 2?
Matias: It is not Alan Wake 2. It is hard to fit into an existing slot or category. American Nightmare is a new breed of XBLA game – it hopefully pushes the conventions a little. I guess you could think of it as a standalone season special."
Major's Minute: Alan Wake's American Nightmare - InsideXbox
"Alan Wake’s American Nightmare ends up being more inviting than ever to new players, with a clearer plot and goals. The game knows what it does well and highlights it instead of trying too many hit or miss concepts. Despite the sometimes limited scope of its world and objectives, it’s a great downloadable that hopefully will introduce a whole new audience to one writer’s unique world." Score:
"While Alan Wake's American Nightmare draws vaguely from classic sci-fi B-movies, it never succumbs to satire or artistic monotony, despite the repetitive meta-narrative. Wake's writer-critique thriller stands alone in the gaming industry for its intellectual insistence and challenging allegory, but joins the ranks of action-horror greats with its tense balance of defense and gunplay. American Nightmare charges players to create and recreate, or else feel the steel separation of darkness. Or some abstraction thereof." Score:
"At the very least, while Nightmare doesn't grab me as well as its predecessor, it's also stuck in my mind and hard drive longer than other stand-alone downloadable adventures (Festival of Blood and Dead Rising 2: Case Zero) due to its collectibles and Fight Till Dawn mode." Score:
"GS: Was co-operative multiplayer ever on the table? I’m sure there must be some people that would have been eager to play as Barry Wheeler.
MM: We wanted to focus on improving the core gameplay loop and building wild weapons to combat even wilder enemies… Also, we ended up boosting the rendering, AI and such and the art team improved the environmental visuals with a much richer color palette…"
"ROH: What are your influences for the game? It’s set in a desert town, so what has the team been watching for inspiration?
MM: There are various pulp elements there – and I think it is a melting pot of American pulp movies and literature that we draw from, the locations are familiar from this common subconscious that we all share – but still feel unique and fresh. The motel for example just feels like you have seen it in a film, the drive in movie theater and the mountain top observatory are all quintessential places of Americana. The enemies and three women who help Wake… all elements that feel “right” – yet I think our team have done a good job of making all these things unique and giving a twist to the genre."
On the Spot - Twisted Metal, Alan Wake, FIFA Street - GameSpot