Now that the shroud of mystery has been lifted off of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare it’s time to start talking some specifics. While Remedy Entertainment still wants to keep the series' trademark twists and turns under wraps, they have started to reveal some details about the gameplay and the story.
As gamers already know, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is not Alan Wake 2, but it is still structured like a full retail release (despite being downloadable). With that in mind, Remedy put in a wealth of options into American Nightmare, including a horde mode called ‘Fight Til Dawn.’ As the name would suggest, the mode asks a player to hold off waves of the darkness creatures.
If you couldn’t tell already, Remedy is attempting to employ a more arcade-style approach to American Nightmare in order to better fit in with the downloadable market. Players might even find Alan Wake’s American Nightmare to be even more bite-sized than Alan Wake’s main chapters.
However, fans shouldn’t feel like they have been cheated in any way, since Remedy has crafted a game world that is “significantly bigger than any episode of the original game.” Sure, there will be some backtracking in this faux open world, but this is still mostly the Alan Wake we know and love.
Of course there has to be some evolution, and with that comes more dynamic enemies. This time around players might have to switch up their tactics, as different enemies will respond to Wake’s style of combat.
And lastly we come to some new story details for the game that do spoil pieces of the first game — so if you haven’t yet played Alan Wake or are awaiting its PC release, skip the next two paragraphs.
From the VGAs trailer we know that Alan Wake’s primary nemesis in American Nightmare is Mr. Scratch, but what the trailer doesn’t tell you is that Mr. Scratch is actually a maniacal version of Alan Wake. Sort of like Beetlejuice, Mr. Scratch has been brought to life by the imaginations of Bright Falls’ children, and he’s headed for Wake’s wife Alice.
It’s now up to Wake to stop Mr. Scratch, potentially by way of a cross-country road trip, whilst dispatching other affiliates of Mr. Scratch along the way. Remedy also says that players will learn what happened to Wake’s confidant Barry through some of the game’s expository newspapers.
It appears that Remedy Entertainment knows exactly what they want to deliver with Alan Wake’s American Nightmare — a worthy follow-up that makes great use of the downloadable games space. The inclusion of a horde mode, improved mechanics, and a chance to delve deeper into the dark and twisted world of Wake leave us more than anticipating this game.
What do you think of American Nightmare including a horde element? How do you feel about a more open-world approach with significant back tracking?
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is targeting the first quarter of 2012 for release on the XBLA.