|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Remedy Entertainment|
|Release: February 22, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Another noticeable change comes in the environments, which are less linear than the dark forests and empty cabins of the original. The world feels more real and open, even if a lot of it feels a little empty. The constraints that come with being an arcade game also means there are less spectacular set pieces, minus one memorable section you encounter once fairly early and again later on.
That's right, I said the same thing happens to you twice, and that's because the story revolves around Alan's attempt to bring the reality he's in into synch with the reality his wife Alice is in. It's woven into the story, but going through the same environment you explored just thirty minutes earlier feels like a lazy design decision. It works in the tale being told, but I don't necessarily want to explore the same environments twice.
When the story is over, there's still quite a bit to look forward to in the brand new "Fight 'til Dawn" mode, which takes the increasingly popular survival mode and weaves it into Wake's world. It's less strategic than Gears of War's Horde mode, and doesn't run nearly as long as Halo's Firefight. Instead, it's more like Left 4 Dead's Survival; you're never going to last longer than ten minutes, and every second is spent fighting for your life. Basically, what you're doing is fighting waves of increasingly powerful groups of enemies with the goal of accumulating as many points as possible until dawn comes. Littered about the maps are flares, guns, and ammunition you'll need to survive. Perform well enough in one map to unlock the next, and the Leaderboards add a little extra motivation to beat your friends' scores.
Despite some repetition in the environments, the bigger arsenal of weapons, new enemies, easier-to-follow story, and the new Fight 'til Dawn mode make Alan Wake's American Nightmare a fantastic addition to anyone's arcade library. There's enough content here to make it worth the $15 asking price, and the pulp fiction aesthetic offers a new way to experience a familiar formula. American Nightmare offers something for everyone, from action/horror fans to film junkies. This is a story no gamer should miss.
Date: February 22, 2012