Alan Wake is a story-driven third-person shooter. Writer Alan Wake, along with his wife, arrives in the quiet town of Bright Falls in order to relax and gain inspiration. After completing his main series of novels, the protagonist can’t get a line out of himself.
And this banal plot for a thriller actually hides one of the best scenarios in video games of all time. The player seems to be reading an action-packed novel and, at the same time, they are shown a series about a writer who has fallen into terrible events.
And what happened there?
Arriving at the lake house, the writer and his wife quarrel, while Alan goes out for some fresh air. Screams are immediately heard from the house, everything looks like Alice Wake has jumped into the lake and is drowning. Alan jumps after her, and a week of his life just disappears.
All this is the tricks of the Dark Essence that lives in Lake Koldron. And it is she who plots, trying to take possession of the protagonist – so that he writes a novel that will free her from the darkness of the water surface, release her into the real world. If this happens, then Bright Falls and all its inhabitants will die first, and then the rest of the world. But since the Darkness is still too weak and connected by the events in Wake’s novel, it begins to mischief in various ways.
You may also be interested in reading about Forza Horizon 5!
Alan’s main goal is to save his wife, to figure out what is happening at all, and how to stop this nightmare. In the course of the passage, the player is given to understand that all this mess can be solved only if Alan finishes the novel with the name “Departure”. To deal with the Darkness and get to the last page in the typewriter, he will be helped by secondary characters – colorful residents of the town of Bright Falls. What are the brothers Odin and Thor Anderson, former rockers from the Old Gods of Asgard group, whose farm is called Valhalla and Viking shields hang everywhere, and in the middle of the field there is a huge stage with a dragon above it.
Remedy chose the “serial” method of storytelling for a reason. Each episode of the game has an introduction of the form “in the past series”, the beginning and end at the most interesting place. This prompts you to quickly go to a new episode and find out what will happen next with the main character and his comrades. But do not be alarmed: the game came out immediately as a whole, and not broken into separate “series”. The remaster also added two more plot additions to the piggy bank.
The pages of the manuscript also help in this – the very novel that Alan Wake did not have time to finish. They give the player an idea of what will happen in the future or describe things that happen in parallel with the protagonist’s progress through the story. You don’t have to search all of them, but you’ll probably want to do so to learn a little more about Bright Falls, the minor characters, and what they’re up to while Alan fights the Darkness.
And Wake fights her with the help, oddly enough, of light. From a flashlight. The gameplay is divided into peaceful exploration of locations and combat scenes. In the first case, the player gathers supplies, communicates with the characters, and searches for a variety of collectibles: TV and radio broadcasts, manuscript pages, thermoses of coffee. In the second, he encounters the puppets of Darkness. Lumberjacks, bandits, builders – all those who were not lucky enough to fall into the clutches of the Dark Essence are now forced to attack Wake. But it’s not that easy to defeat them.
First you need to remove the dark aura from the enemies. This can be done using a variety of light sources, but the most important is in the hands of the protagonist – a flashlight. After shining it on the enemy for some time, Alan burns out the Darkness, and then can attack with the help of not the most impressive arsenal: a revolver, a shotgun, a hunting rifle. If there are too many enemies, it makes sense to use stun grenades or flares – they destroy the possessed immediately, the main thing is to aim better.
And here lies the main disadvantage of Alan Wake as a game. The developers tried to diversify the battles, but on normal difficulty the player can simply get bored. There are many skirmishes with opponents, but they follow approximately the same scenario. There are too few really interesting battles where you need to use the environment or fight until the last bullet in the clip. Separately, I would like to note the bosses: tractors captured by the Darkness, harvesters and other environments, as well as huge men with chainsaws – inspire!
Here you can add too long the third and fourth episodes. Their introduction and denouement are important for understanding the plot, but here are the main events that could be cut from two hours to thirty minutes. And nothing would change! Apparently, even while working at Microsoft Remedy, they tried to stretch an already small game. You can read more about the hardships of the Finnish studio in our article about the history of Remedy.
How good is the remastered version?
Now for the remastered version. We can definitely say that the textures, lighting, shadows and faces of the characters have become much better than they were in the original. Alan Wake really looks like his prototype – the Finnish actor Ilkku Willi. The same stubble, the same wrinkles. The writer looks older than he was in the original. There are two reasons – the new canon from Control and the actor who has aged 9 years. And if the second is quite logical and understandable, then the connection with Control in the remaster was only revealed more strongly.
Instead of bad jokes, there are QR codes hung on the walls or stands of different locations. They lead to the Remedy Youtube channel. In a private video, Alan Wake is writing a new novel, and everything is done in the style of Control. This once again hints that the second part is in development and, perhaps, the announcement will take place soon.
Fixed the management of machines. At some points in Alan Wake, the player will have to drive cars through semi-open locations. And if earlier the controls felt wooden, and the camera turned awkwardly exactly 90 degrees – now there is simply no one or the other problem.
But it was not without problems. In some scenes, the faces of the characters look too “plasticine”, and it is not clear whether this is a lack of work with volumetric shadows on the characters, or just a bug.
Pleased with the corrected optimization of the PC version. The original Alan Wake was lousy even on modern systems in 2012. I had to lower the resolution to 720p, and the number of frames rarely rose above 30 per second. In the remaster, the game supports DLSS, but even without this feature, Alan Wake shows excellent performance.
First of all, Alan Wake is a narrative project. Sam Lake created a great universe, great characters, connected all the storylines into a single ball and skillfully unraveled it by the end of the story. There are only complaints about the gameplay – some episodes are too long with monotonous battles and running back and forth, and some interesting situations are rare. However, these claims are valid only for “normal” complexity. The “Nightmare”, which opens after the first passage, makes you sweat, use everything that the player has at his disposal, and sometimes get angry!
In Alan Wake Remastered, the textures were brought up to the modern level, they did a good job with the lighting and the draw distance. It hasn’t been without problems, in the form of plasticine faces in some cutscenes and game moments, but otherwise it’s a great way to experience the main game in the entire history of Remedy right now and to experience one of the best scenarios in the gaming industry to this day . Moreover, the game became available not only on PC and Xbox, but also visited the PlayStation consoles for the first time.
- Scenarios of the main plot and additions
- Dialogue and characters
- Updated graphics
- Combat system
- Long episodes 3 and 4
- The monotony of most battles
- “Plasticine” faces of the characters in some moments
Questions about this game:
According to HowLongToBeat.com, the average playtime for Alan Wake Remastered is around 10 hours for the main story, with an additional 4-5 hours for completionists who want to explore and find all collectibles.
To play the DLC episodes in Alan Wake Remastered, you need to first complete the main game. Once you have done that, the DLC episodes should be available to select from the main menu. The two DLC episodes included in Alan Wake Remastered are called “The Signal” and “The Writer”. Simply select the DLC episode you want to play from the main menu and start playing.