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Feb 24, 12 at 1:39am ^Stinger Review: Alan Wake's American Nightmare
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Remedy boasts that this game is a perfect jumping on point for players new to the series, but I STRONGLY suggest anyone interested in this game play through the original Alan Wake, and its two bonus episodes "The Writer", and "The Signal."
While the game is not considered a true sequel to Alan Wake, the events and thoughts of Alan Wake during the story are most certainly a continuation of the events that transpired in the previous game. Players who have experienced Alan Wake previously will find a much more rewarding experience than those who are just tuning in, not to mention less of a downshift shock in regard to action.
American Nightmare has many differences from Alan Wake, and they are instantly noticable. Firstly, the first weapon you acquire in American Nightmare is an Automatic 9mm pistol. It holds ten rounds in its magazine and reloads with one press of the reload button. This is an enormous departure from the 6 shot revolver players spent the majority of Alan Wake using. From the outset, American Nightmare is turning up the action aspect of the series a few notches. Submachineguns, Assault Rifles, Automatic Shotguns, the arsenal in American Nightmare is light years ahead of what we saw in the original Alan Wake.
Next off is a more relaxed feel. I dont mean that in a boring sense, but in Alan Wake, ammunition was often sparse and you often had to decide whether to try to battle the Taken, or just drop the few that were in your way and make a run for it. Ammunition boxes could be found periodicly in Alan Wake, but they usually only had ammo for your pistol and maybe a couple of batteries. The ammo boxes in American Nightmare fully replenish all ammuniton and after a short time, will refill with more ammo. This means that players can now take the battle to the Taken with a more reckless abandon, knowing that they are never far from a full ammunition resupply.
To counter this, Remedy changed the health system. Where Alan Wake had a circular meter that would replenish over time no matter how badly you were injured, American Nightmare adopts a 3 Block Health Meter. Lose all of the health in a single block, and it wont regenerate. This makes for some interesting moments in the game when youre down to but a single block of health, and have no safe havens in sight.
Next off, the flashlight has been altered. Where in Alan Wake, the flashlight would slowly burn away the darkness on the enemies if not boosted, in American Nightmare the flashlight must ALWAYS be boosted in order to burn the darkness away and make the enemies vulnerable. This can lead to sticky situations facing groups of enemies, needing to plug in more batteries or pop a flare more often.
Flashbang grenades have been smacked with the nerf bat. In Alan Wake, flashbangs would destroy most any taken immediately. In American Nightmare it simply serves to burn away the darkness off of all enemies and knock them down momentarily. The weakest forms of the taken will be vanquished, but any stronger ones will only be left vulnerable to gunfire.
Collectibles have been cut down. There are no longer Coffee Thermoses, Alarm Clocks, or Night Springs games to search and recover along with the manuscript pages. Each area has a set number of pages, and since the manuscript pages are tied in with weapon unlocks for the games "Fight Until Dawn" mode, they are made easier to locate by being marked with a white ? on your compass when you draw near to one.
American Nightmare brings new forms of enemies into the fray, such as the Splitter, an enemy that splits in two when hit with light. Another form of taken can morph into a flock of crows to escape and then reform behind you while youre fighting other taken and attack you by surprise. Giant Taken are twice as tall as a normal man and wield massive weapons such as circular saws. Another form hurls grenades formed from darkness. Each enemy has its quirks, and weaknesses and the additions of these new enemies in addition to the ones Alan Wake veterans have already seen enrich the gameplay very well.
The weapons at your disposal are extremely fun to use and the gunplay is spot on. New weapons include:
Crossbow: Slow to reload after single shots and firing in an arc, the Crossbow can be tacticly dangerous to use, but offers big rewards. Bolts fired from the Crossbow can penetrate the darkness on any taken, dropping all but the largest enemies in a single shot.
Nailgun: Rapid firing and able to stagger enemies, the nailgun is fun to use but its weaker ammunition can land you in a tight spot in a swarm.
9mm: An automatic pistol is the basic firearm for American Nightmare, but a massive upgrade over the previous base 6 shot revolver weapon.
Magnum: A powerful 6 shot revolver that can drop all but the largest taken in a single blast.
Carbine Rifle: An 8 shot semi-auto rifle that inflicts very good damage at range.
Assault Rifle: Fully Automatic Assault rifle resembling the M-4 deals death at the highest rate.
Submachinegun: An uzi. Good for close to midrange battles with groups of enemies, and can also be taken advantage of by using single shots and making use of its 150 round max ammo count.
Sawed off Shotgun: A doublebarrel shotty that can be equipped in the sidearm slot. Best used at close range, but can hit multiple Taken in a single blast.
Combat Shotgun: Basicly the AA-12 Auto Shotgun. This is one of the most powerful weapons in the game.
Hunting Rifle: The hunting rifle returns to American Nightmare, but has more of a delay between shots as Alan chambers each round. Hits hard, but make em count if youre being rushed.
Pump Action Shotgun: The Pump shotty takes the place of the basic double barreled shotgun from Alan Wake as the base shotgun. Decent range and ammo count make it a very fun weapon to have in your arsenal.
Flashbang: Disorients and burns darkness off of midrange to high forms of Taken, while instantly destroying the weakest.
Flare: Works the same as in Alan Wake. Burns for a few seconds, taking the darkness off of all nearby enemies and driving them back away from you.
The gameplay is far more action oriented than Alan Wake's tense, survival horror style of gameplay. This doesnt hamper the game's ability to kick serious ass, however. The story is extremely well written, and as mentioned I simply could not stop playing it until I had seen the entire story. It took around 7 hours for me to complete, and I have barely scratched the surface of the game's Arcade style survival modes.
Well worth every single penny I spent on this game. I cant go into how awesome the game is without putting in spoilers, so I wont go that route.
All I can say is if you like Alan Wake, you need to play this game.
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Feb 26, 12 at 12:25pm ^re: Stinger Review: Alan Wake's American Nightmare
quote The Stingerhell yeah
this definetly was worth every penny
at first i wasn't too pleased with the save havens only lasting for a few seconds though, and the flashlight not burning away the darkness without boosting
but it's all well compensated for with more powerfull guns
the combat shotgun has got to be my favourite, i also love the sub machinegun
those two are a great combination, but you'll only unlock the shotgun later in the game
very nice review, i can tell you played alan wake before
yes too bad you can't go much more into the story without spoiling anything
but believe me, the story is *bleep*ing awesome
"lnto another world you entered
And never again i can reclaim you"
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