I love the original Mind killer. For me, it is one of the best games of the Xbox 360 era, which freed Remedy Entertainment from the shadow of Max Payne. Yes, it is hammy, “I am a writer” Alan Wake said some really clumsy lines, yes, the name is right in front of my eyes, but this is a game full of atmosphere and first-class game mechanics. I hope this Remaster will give people another opportunity to see what I think of the game, because it deserves to be remembered: highly respected.
As a remake instead of a remake, if you have not seen the original version for more than ten years after entering the game, it is easy to think that there is not much change. Things look the same as I remembered, even though my brain knows that Xbox 360 games are not rendered at such a high resolution-I play on Xbox Series X.
However, if you look closely and compare with the original version, you will find obvious improvements, especially in terms of character models, objects, and textures. Things are more detailed, less angular, and more detailed in motion. Alan Wake Remastered doesn’t look like a game developed from scratch for release in 2021, but it still looks impressive, and it’s not just getting rid of its slightly quirky TV show atmosphere.
It’s not exactly Twin Peaks, but it’s not X-Files either. It mainly feels like a massively expanded series of “External Limits.” Something strange happened in Bright Falls, and Alan was in it—just had a more refined coat and a better face.
What remains intact is the core light and weapon combat system. Enemies will be weakened by light. I never tire of bombarding enemies with Allen’s torch and then destroying them with a shotgun, accompanied by a single blow in slow motion. As the game’s mechanics evolve, it feels great and makes combat a real highlight.
There are obvious signs that Alan Wake is approaching his teenage years. The most obvious is the way the character behaves outside of the cutscenes, which is a bit awkwardly wandering around like a mannequin. In my opinion, this is for some reason related to the behavior of NPCs in PC games in the “Half-Life 2” era, and the behavior of Alan’s wife Alice on the ferry at the beginning of the game is a perfect example.
Although I like writing so well, some lines do fall into the category of “this is too bad,” and there are some strange character interactions that can only be called bad soap opera performances at best. This is part of Alan Wake, so I am glad that these have not been sorted out, but I hope the complete sequel, if it happens, will be smoother.
What I am happy to keep intact here is the end of the chapter song, and then the “previous” montage. Alan Wake is not a plot game, but this structure does fit into the atmosphere the game wants. Licensed music adds credibility to the entire game, and the track is always well linked to each chapter.
If you want to know, the two DLCs of the original game, Signal and Writer, are included and are worth playing. Excluding independent derivative products, the American Nightmare, this is a shame, but it is its own, more action-oriented thing, so it is not a huge surprise.
Alan Wake was and is still an occasionally weird action horror game with some cute scenes and interesting battles. I hope it is a kind of witty self-important sexiness. I think it is still very good 11 years after its original release, and this Remaster is the best way to experience what I think is a modern classic.
Disclaimer: Tested on Xbox Series X, and a copy of the game provided by the publisher is attached. It can also be used on Xbox One, Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5 and PC.