Alan Wake Remastered is a remaster of Remedy Entertainment’s 2010 Microsoft exclusive game Alan Wake. The game received considerable praise for its narrative when it was first released, with criticism directed at its gameplay. With the remaster now out, many people have heard the praise and criticism and want to know if Alan Wake Remastered is worth it. Keep on reading to find out.
Alan Wake Remastered is an action-adventure game with horror elements that follows novelist Alan Wake who visits the quiet town of Bright Falls for a vacation with wife his Alice. While there, Alice mysteriously disappears and Alan sets out to find out why, all while experiencing events from his latest novel that he has no recollection of writing and facing brainwashed town residents. The game forms part of the Remedy connected universe, which also includes the upcoming game Alan Wake II and 2019 hit Control, which has an expansion featuring Alan Wake and several of the game’s supporting characters.
The story is where the game really shines as the narrative is split across six chapters, each with several plot twists and cliffhangers. The plot has been praised for keeping players on the edge of the seat as they progress through the plot and uncover the mystery behind Sarah’s disappearance and the terror that lurks beneath Bright Falls. At release in 2010, Alan Wake’s story was likened to that of movies or television before gaming plunged deep into interactive storytelling.
Alan Wake Remastered improves upon the original game’s visuals, supporting 4K resolution. The game’s cutscenes were remade to include new assets and motion capture, and many assets were recreated to support the game’s improved resolution, such as water movement. While Alan Wake’s gameplay supports 60 frames-per-second, the game’s cutscenes are limited to 30 frames-per-second due to the mixture of original and new assets, which can lead to a rather jarring experience. Finally, the game, unfortunately, doesn’t support ray-tracing.
Alan Wake Remastered‘s gameplay is one of the more polarising aspects of the game. You play as Alan, a lumbering, middle-aged alcoholic that cannot run for very long. Primary gameplay involves you exploring open sections of Bright Falls during the day or at night, usually forests or high-density parts of the town, and facing or running from enemies. The game’s main enemies, known as Taken, are protected by a shield of darkness that you must burn away using a flashlight before shooting them with a variety of guns or tools obtained by Alan throughout the game.
The Taken enemies come in several forms; basic, weak but fast, and strong but slow. There are also flocks of Taken ravens and animated objects too. Some enemies can teleport and each takes a varying amount of damage before they can be defeated. Alan can dodge and run from enemies, and it’s often encouraged, but many players may find this difficult due to the game’s cumbersome controls. Many have also found the lack of enemies and environments frustrating, as you’ll often have to face the same Taken in frequent large groups and explore the same key areas; forests, parks, farms, and the town centre itself, with the same gameplay loop of shining a light of enemies and shooting them. However, Remedy does attempt to mix gameplay by occasionally including an ally to fight alongside Alan or by adding drivable vehicles.
There are numerous collectables to find; coffee thermos, radio shows, can pyramids, television shows, chests, and manuscript pages that often detail events within the game long before they occur and add more depth to the game’s already tightly-written narrative.
Length: How Long Is Alan Wake Remastered?
As mentioned, Alan Wake Remastered consists of six main episodes along with two DLC episodes. Most of the episodes take between one to two hours to complete depending on how much you struggle with the title’s gameplay and combat sections. The length of Alan Wake Remastered will greatly depend on your play style, if you simply want to play through the game’s story, you should be able to zip through most episodes within a few hours, although we suggest you explore as much as possible to find and obtain ammo and improved weapons.
If you’re looking to find as many collectables in the game as possible and complete the game’s DLC, your playtime will generally take longer. The game and finding all collectables can take between 10 and 20 hours, while going for all trophies or achievements will take a few hours more.
Summary: Our Thoughts
Alan Wake Remastered is a great adventure game that features an exciting and unique story with memorable plot twists, cliffhangers, and diverse characters. The game’s story will keep you hooked for the ten to 20 hours it takes to complete Alan Wake Remastered, and it’s easy to see how Alan Wake was one of the many games to push developers to create more narratively-rich games.
Unfortunately, we found that the gameplay let the game down. We found that Alan Wake suffered from a tedious gameplay loop of shining a light and attacking enemies, with few improvements made throughout the game. Whenever you did stumble upon more powerful weapons, you generally lose them by the end of the episode and have to start the next episode with basic weapons again. We understand Remedy Entertainment wanted us to feel tension throughout the game by keeping us underpowered, but we would have greatly enjoyed a deeper sense of progression to keep us immersed through Alan Wake’s repetitive gameplay loop.
In short, Alan Wake Remastered is great for anyone that enjoys narrative-heavy experiences and for anyone that was a fan of Control as the hit 2019 title builds upon the lore in Alan Wake. Seeing how Remedy is going to expand their Alan Wake and Control shared universe with game sequels, you’ll likely enjoy the larger story and established lore. Just bear in mind that the gameplay is outdated and can be frustrating, but the overall experience of Alan Wake Remastered is worth it.