Alan Wake Remastered Xbox Series X Review

Alan Wake Remastered gives gamers another chance to experience one of the best supernatural thrillers in gaming.

By Grayshadow, Posted 06 Oct 2021

When it launched back in 2010 Alan Wake received a lot of positive reception but that did not translate into sales. Over the years the game would generate a huge cult following and now the title has been remastered for modern audiences to enjoy. Remedy has improved the game's performance and added small enhancements to the gameplay while maintaining the original experience. The story is still brilliant as ever and with the inclusion of all the DLC content players can enjoy one of the best paranormal experiences in 1 package. Alan Wake Remastered gives gamers another chance to experience one of the greatest supernatural thrillers in gaming.

Alan Wake Remastered,NoobFeed,

Alan Wake takes place in the small town of Bright Falls. Alan Wake is a successful writer who is suffering from major writer's block after finishing his last best-seller. To help him Alan's wife Alice has booked a small retreat to help the struggling writer but it'll turn into a living nightmare. Alan's work is highjack and turned real, resulting in demonic creatures that have possessed most of the town, the birds, and even inanimate objects. On top of everything his wife has been taken and a dark supernatural force now hunts him.

The story is still incredible thanks to fantastic writing and great voice acting. The music in the game complements the entire adventure and even plays a vital role within the narrative. With original works from Poets of the Fall adding to the overall atmosphere. The adventure captures that movie quality while giving you full control of what's going on.

The improved performance and visuals are definitely a highlight, especially for those who experienced this adventure on the Xbox 360. In-game character models are hit or miss, especially Alan who's face tends to glow in bright environments. On the opposite end, the enemies definitely benefit from the improved visuals as you can now better see how the Dark Presence twisted the faces of its human victims with black goo bleeding from the eyes.

Alan Wake Remastered,NoobFeed,

The enhancement visuals also fix one of Alan Wake's biggest issues, navigation. To highlight the Dark Presence in the area a cloud of shifting darkness engulf the area making navigation a problem. Thanks to the visual improvements it's a lot easier to see where you're going while still maintaining the tension of being in a hostile area. 

The biggest new addition comes from commentary about the game's development. Players can turn this on and as you play developers from Alan Wake will provide insight into the game. With small picture-in-picture videos as you play through the game.

In terms of gameplay Alan Wake is a third-person shooter. Alan uses a flashlight to dissolve the darkness that protects the person, bird, or object. Human enemies require Alan to shoot the target once the barrier is dissolved whereas birds and objects disappear once they lose that protection without needing to be shot. Alan will go against 4 types of human enemies each with distinct AI combat strategies such as charging forward, flashing Alan, or throwing objects when he gets too far. They all offer different challenges if not taken seriously can easily kill Alan in a few strikes.

Complementing the human's loss of sanity is the random dialogue they'll sometimes shout. Giving tips on health, safety, and other mindless facts to highlight how the darkness has warped their minds. It's unnerving to see someone yelling about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids while light speed dashing around the area ready to plunge a knife into your back.

Alan can only regenerate health through spotlights provided through generators or specific locations. There's a major flaw where if the player interacts with an object Alan will continue to try and interact with it. So if an enemy hits you mid-animation you cannot cancel out, meaning certain death. It's incredibly frustrating to die from these situations.

Alan Wake Remastered,NoobFeed,

Alan is armed with various weapons and equipment to help fight against the darkness. Players have access to a basic revolver but can also use a shotgun, pump-shotgun, hunting rifle, flaregun, along with flares and stun grenades. Alan can only carry 1 premium weapon and his equipment constantly resets after each major section. It can be annoying since the game always has some excuse for this like Alan dropped it or lost it but without this system, players would be able to bullet through the game without issue.

Since you're fighting the local populist now possessed by this supernatural force they carry items specific to their lifestyle. Outside of guns, they use pickaxes, axes, knives, and sledgehammers you would find hunters, miners, locals, and police use. Since you're fighting victims it makes the journey more profound as you're not only trying to save Alan's wife but the entire town.

Alan Wake Remastered,NoobFeed,

One of the biggest problems from the original game was platforming and that has been resolved here. Alan feels more grounded than in the original, making those pesky platforming sections less vexing. However, Remedy has not improved Alan's stamina in this version. He'll still get tired after running for a few short seconds but the developers did make dodging a lot easier.

The collectables are still here and yes most of them are tedious busywork. The manuscript pages allow players to read up on future events before they happen and some are locked behind the game's hardest Nightmare difficulty. These are a joy to collect but the others not so much. You'll have to shoot can pyramids, locate hidden supply chances which are useful, read about Bright Falls history, and collect dozens of coffee thermos. This has been a meme within the community and you'll still need to collect dozens of these blue wonders. For some reason Remedy didn't add a tracker for each episode when it comes to coffee thermoses, chests, and can pyramids so if you're missing any you'll have to redo entire episodes just to find that missing collectable!

Alan Wake still holds up even after 10 years. The game's fantastic story provides a breathtaking 8-hour tension-filled rollercoaster ride. The performance and visual enhancement resolve some of the issues with the original and despite being 10-years old the narrative is still as strong as ever. The collectables are tedious and the tracking system for them should've been improved with individual episode trackers. If you've yet to experience one of Remedy Entertainment's best games now you have no excuse.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Remedy Entertainment
Developer(s): Remedy Entertainment
Genres: Action, Adventure, Third-person
Themes: Supernatural
Release Date: 2021-10-05

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