The first Alan Wake game was a cult hit that slowly clawed its way out of the darkness and into the light of the mainstream gaming community. This 2010 Xbox exclusive has maintained a place in the gaming press’s view for the last two years thanks to a pair of excellent DLC packs, and constant rumors of the long-delayed PC adaptation. While the PC version’s arrival next week was a pleasant-yet-inevitable surprise, fans got a real treat yesterday when the developer Remedy Entertainment released a Developer Diary and some new screenshots of the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade game Alan Wake’s American Nightmare.
Not a true sequel or a DLC mission, American Nightmare is a self-contained downloadable game that once again pits the eponymous Alan Wake against the forces of darkness, literally. Armed with a flashlight to “Burn away the darkness”, and an expanded arsenal of conventional weapons, Wake finds himself in Arizona to fight a new protagonist named Mister Scratch.
The Developer Diary features Matias Myllyrinne, Oskari “Ozz” Häkkinen, and Sam Lake of Remedy Entertainment discussing the new game, and it has plenty of gameplay clips too (Plus some hysterical shenanigans going on in the background if you look closely).
Aside from going into the story, they also discuss the new arcade action mode called “Fight Till Dawn”. This is akin to a Survival Mode in which Wake must battle an inexhaustible tide of enemies until the sun arrives to keep these minions of darkness at bay. There will be a scoring system and online leader boards so that players can compete against themselves and Xbox Live friends for bragging rights.
This new mode seems like a perfect fit for the franchise. The original concept for Alan Wake was a free-roaming game, and many sequences of the first game involved Wake having to cross great distances, pursued by endless hordes of enemies, having to scavenge supplies as he went. Other levels had him defending specific locations from waves of enemies.
The Developers describe American Nightmare as being less Stephen King inspired and more Quentin Tarantino, a reference to both the new action mode as well as Wake’s larger selection of firepower. In the first game, Wake only had access to a few guns limited to the basic Handgun/Shotgun/Rifle triad. The screenshots show some new weapons including a sub-machine gun, nailgun, crossbow and a compact sawed-off shotgun. All of these guns help remind us that this game is made by the people who created Max Payne.
New enemies are shown as well, such as a massive brute that towers over the larger foes from the first game. Despite all of these additions, many of the gameplay elements from the original are clearly shown, especially the cinematic dodge as Wake nimbly avoid melee attacks. The signature “Fight With Light” mechanic is also back too, along with the flare gun and an array of flashlights.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare comes out exclusively for Xbox on February 22nd. The first Alan Wake game and its two DLC packs can be bought at retail or via Xbox Live, and the PC adaptation arrives on February 16th which should give new players just enough time to play through before American Nightmare arrives. Check back with Explosion for our reviews of American Nightmare, and the PC Edition of the first Alan Wake.