An already excellent horror title is being enhanced in this way.
Alan Wake, a survival horror game, was first released on the Xbox 360 in 2010 and it received wide praise for its stunning visuals, haunting atmosphere, and haunting narrative, which might have jumped straight from a Stephen King novel.
The plotting of this game does resemble the horror stories of the famous horror author, as Remedy Entertainment used King as a reference during the game's development, as evidenced by the lead protagonist, Alan Wake, who is suffering from writer's block.
Many of King's books have centered around similar stumbling authors, such as Misery, where a bed-bound Paul Sheldon was kept captive by a fruitcake of a nurse Annie Wilkes, and The Shining, which saw the writer Jack Torrance's gradual unravelling during a stay in a haunted hotel. Alan Wake is a classic King character then, although one who has been created by a storyteller who has a deep admiration for the author's
In the game, King's works have many similarities, including a bulldozer that develops a personal intelligence (which brings to mind the malevolent vehicles in Christine and Maximum Overdrive), and a madman trying to break down a door with an axe (The Shining is the obvious reference).
Due to the volatile atmosphere that permeates throughout the game and the hidden surroundings of Bright Falls, Stephen King's fans loved the game back in the day, even if they had to make minor nods to his works.
But that was before and this is today. Does Alan Wake's remastered version still work as a decent game?
If you're wondering whether or not Alan Wake's world is still relevant to players who haven't played the game, it's likely to be of more interest to those who haven't, as it's still the same title at the time. That being said, the game does include DLC that players who were previously unaware of may have missed out on earlier, so there's at least one reason to return to the haunting world of Alan Wake.
The PS5 looks stunning at times, with a pin-sharp 4K resolution that really makes the game stand out, particularly during the beautiful sunset scenes that feature in and around Alan's fictional town. Great lighting effects also cast shadows over his surroundings, and the ghostly fog that glows when Alan shines a torchlight.
Due to an increase in detail, character animations aren't quite up to current-gen standards and movement is sometimes awkward, and once you get wrapped up in the game's narrative and terrifying set-pieces, you'll forget about the game's flaws.
Alan travels through tall forests, logging camps, dry creeks, and other locations in search of answers for his wife. A lot of information is kept hidden unless you collect the manuscript pages scattered throughout the different areas of the game.
While listening to the game's radios or viewing the Twilight Zone-like television show that may be seen in some indoor environments, you can also learn valuable information.
The game is divided into episodes, with cliffhangers at the end of each episode and recaps at the beginning of each new installment. Pauses between episodes are useful as they allow us to unwind from stressful situations while also reminding us to take a break.
The location of Bright Falls in the game is interesting enough, although the forest areas can be difficult to traverse. The objective marker is useful in instances when you need to be certain that you are on the wrong path, although it tends to give you a general idea of where to go next rather than a direct route to your next destination.
The problem isn't huge, though, as the game actively encourages you to go off the beaten path, since ammo for the game's weapons and batteries for Alan's torch are often hidden in hidden corners of the game's environments.
It's important to conserve as much as possible when it comes to ammunition and batteries. These are sometimes in short supply, so if you accidentally waste them, certain sections of the game may be difficult to play through. This is because Alan's enemies, who are humans who have been possessed by darkness, are often large in number, and are often difficult to overcome without the appropriate resources.
If you haven't played the game, you'll probably be unaware that your torch is useful for more than just your explorations around the game's dark environs. This is the only way to get rid of your enemies, since they'll be eliminated fairly swiftly.
If you don't weaken them with your torchlight, you'll waste a lot of ammunition, and as I mentioned earlier, life could be very difficult for you if you ran out of flares or bullets.
As soon as there are only two or three enemies attacking you, you will need as many resources as you can.
Alan's inability to breath quickly leads him to cliffs and other steep points where you can dodge just the right moment to slay them in their death.
When you succeed at dodgeing threats, the game slows down with a cinematic effect. However, if one enemy doesn't whack you over the head with a shovel, another might still hit you with their fist or a flying hatchet.
As a result, the game can become frustrating. Your experience may be less difficult if you play in the appropriately named 'easy' mode.
Alan Wake was already a good game when it was released a decade or so ago, and it's even better now thanks to improved visuals and frame rate. Even if you haven't played it before, this might be worth a replay.
I highly encourage you to read The Evil Within and Silent Hill, which have similar towns and rural areas.
Even with the improvements made, Alan Wake is not a perfect game, but it's still a superior game that still looks and plays well today.
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