Once More Into the Fold – XBox 360 – Alan Wake’s American Nightmare – 2012

20190918104225_1.jpgAlan Wake’s American Nightmare
XBox 360
Remedy Entertainment/Microsoft Studios
Genre: Action Horror
2012

Back in 2010, Remedy Entertainment created some buzz by creating an atmospheric little horror title called Alan Wake. As an XBox 360 exclusive, the game gathered enough of a following to bring it from “popular” to “cult” status over the course of a few years. It seemed absolutely certain that with how strong the lore was behind the game and the amount of horror and action fans it appealed to that the company would put out a sequel to capitalize on its reception and expand on the questions left in the air from the ending.

What we ended up receiving was Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. To say it wasn’t what the public expected would be an understatement, though it was still well regarded. Released in a pretty unceremonious fashion, American Nightmare found itself as an XBox Arcade exclusive. Not only was the general populace not expecting it due to a lack of advertising, but there was no physical edition to speak of, making the game fly under the radar for a lot of folks.

Given the sudden resurgence in enthusiasm for the series from the release of Remedy’s latest project, Control, I felt like it would be a good time to jump back into American Nightmare with some fresh eyes (and also having finished up my own Alan Wake review recently) to see how the game would sit with me. While I’m not a huge fan when atmospheric titles flip the switch to become pulp action-oriented, I truly enjoyed the setup that Alan Wake created for the possibility of a franchise or other games set in the same environment and with some of the same characters. Just how far did American Nightmare stray from the path it had beaten for its journey, though, and did the franchise suffer as a whole due to the way it was handled? Continue reading