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'Alan Wake's American Nightmare' is about escaping meaningless fires to pop songs. It's not as cool as it sounds. Limp-wristed QTEs get in between you and the switches you need to hit; every time you pick up a plot-related item it will leave its watermark on the corner of your screen until you figure out how to use it; there is always at least 10 times the ammunition you could ever need scattered about your immediate vicinity. These and other face-against-wall ideas are scattered all throughout this little game like tiny, chewy raisins in an otherwise just-OK bagel or surprise walnuts in what you already thought was a too-cakey brownie.

Alan finds himself wandering around a dreamlike ghost town where his own personal Dark Tobey Maguire is wreaking havoc on the local townspeople (three women). Alan tries to save them, fails and gets returned to the beginning of the game to try again. Things change each time - the dumb women Alan is trying to help start to get a clue - until Alan ultimately, uh, does whatever. On the way you'll get to experience the revolutionary game mechanics of Pistol, Shotgun, Grenade, and Third-Person Shoot. To be fair, another major mechanic is that you have to blast enemies with your battery-draining flashlight before they're vulnerable to traditional gunfire, and this is almost cool. Except! You're constantly equipped with enough batteries and backup flares to stop an army of shadow-zombies dead in its tracks at any moment.

Published in Tekk

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