Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a stand-alone downloadable content to the Alan Wake's franchise. I was surprised by the fact that this game was independent and didn't come as a sequel to the original Alan Wake.
Some might find this reassuring since the first game's story was a bit hard to follow at some -if not most- parts, but those people will be disappointed by the fact that American Nightmare actually adds up to the complexity of the storyline instead.
The story is based on a narration of a fictional TV show called "Night Springs" written by Alan Wake himself , Alan finds himself trapped inside one of the episodes were he must change reality, and be able to write his escape to prevent Mr. Scratch from taking away everything he loves and care about.
Basically Mr. Scratch is Alan's doppelganger who is possessed by darkness, Alan, on the other hand, is the champion of light, who uses his flashlight to kill demons and ultimately defeat his own dark villain.
Yup, that's not your typical light vs. darkness kinda story you'd usually expect out of an arcade game, Remedy took this simple concept and developed it into a deep complicated storyline with memorable characters and impressive visuals. What Remedy did was basically covering up every aspect of the game so that the it would be flawless, and for the most part, it succeeds at that.
Critics described American Nightmare's storyline as "muddled and hard to follow" which is where I disagree, the story was brilliant. Sadly it was kinda tricky to understand what was going on all the time, it will be hard to comprehend for casual gamers, yet it all warps up by the end so rest assured that you wont be scratching your head when you're done.
The game comes with a much bigger arsenal than the first Alan Wake. Lots of guns where added including a machine gun, a nail gun, a crossbow, and flashbangs. It added much more fun to the game, and it sure as hell felt good to scatter demons with a machine gun.
The graphics were the same as the original game, nothing was added except for minor implements as bullets slightly lighting up more in the dark, which was really helpful when it was really dark and you couldn't see the enemies even with the flashlight. Nothing to be disappointed of though, the game has some top-notch graphics and it utilizes well on most computers.
Sounds were excellent, the music added chill to the game and the great ambient noise created the somewhat scary atmosphere you were hoping for. Still the game isn't scary, it's fine by me though since it's filled with action that gets you hooked into it game you actually forget it was supposed to be horrifying.
Finished the campaign and still digging for more? Remedy's got you covered! The new "Fight till Dawn" mode was made to add countless more hours of fun into the game. This arena-style mode takes place across five different maps where you have to survive against hardened of enemies till the sun rises (takes 10 minutes). This surely added allot of fun and made me stick with the game for a while longer, but I was disappointed that there was no CO-OP option for this mode. Surviving with a friend would've been much more entertaining. Still you can earn a large score and be on the leaderboards locally or worldwide, and we never know what a single patch can do in the future.
What we have here is a psychological action packed thriller game with great graphics and a creative storyline, I highly recommend this game for everyone, remember that you don't need to have the first game to be able to play this one, they are two different storylines so one can't effect the other.
The campaign took me 4.5 hours to complete. It was thrilling! The combat mechanics were intuitive and creative and the controls were smooth, lots of guns were added too.
Though it was a bit hard to grasp, the brilliant storyline succeeded to impress.
Sharp graphics with breathtaking environments, face models needed more work though
The voice acting wasn't bad and the music and ambient noise brought the world to life.