Alan Wake: Remastered review: Time hasn’t slowed Alan Wake’s charm

Alan WakeThis is a wonderful masterpiece. It’s rife with charm, and overflowing with a mysterious atmosphere, and both are on display in Alan WakeRemasteredThere is more to it than ever. But, the problems it faces are just as acute as 11 years ago. This remaster doesn’t do anything to alleviate them.

Let’s get this out of the way up front: The actual act of playing Alan WakeIt was boring enough in 2010! By today’s standards, it’s a legitimate slog. A good 40% of certain levels consist of just jogging through the woods or down a road, and Alan can only run for about five seconds without slowing down and huffing for air — a relatable trait, from one writer to another, but not the kind of thing that makes for fun gameplay.

The light-based combat, where Alan has to lower each enemy’s shield of Darkness by shining a flashlight at them and then blowing them away with a variety of guns, is neat the first handful of times. But Alan WakeEach level is populated with many enemies. They all require the same two-punch strategy. Modern games have made combat a secondary focus of tone and story, making it easier to keep the game’s pace. Alan WakeIt feels old.

Others were also a pain point when I began playing the game. Like how enemies would often come up behind you and make no sound or warning. There’s also the way the game’s charming narration sometimes disappears for minutes at a time, or gets interrupted in favor of large-scale battles with the Darkness baddies (called The Taken). My memories include standing on a gondola and trying to not be crushed by evil trains while fighting against armies of evil birds.

A sawmill in Alan Wake: Remastered

Alan Wake’s environments always looked good, and the remaster enhances its backgrounds
Image by Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games

The Remaster doesn’t do Alan WakeThere are many visual favors. Character faces don’t emote well at all and cutscenes tend to stutter in certain sections. While the surrounding forests and backgrounds are stunning, higher resolutions will show them better. This highlights what’s else. Alan Wake’s ugliness by comparison. It is clear that the Xbox 360 game is its core.

The primary benefit of playing the game on a PlayStation 5 — which still feels weird, considering Alan Wake was originally an Xbox exclusive — seems to be that it’s easily accessible and has shorter load times. The DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers also make aiming my weapons without boosting my flashlight much easier than it was originally — the trigger has two stopping points on PS5, with a slight hold aiming the gun and a tight hold focusing your light.

My theme was exhaustion Alan Wake: RemasteredPlay sessions. I’m exhausted getting to the narrative bits I love, the game is exhausted by its 11-year age, and, hell, even Alan Wake himself is exhausted by a simple jog. Every long run, every burst in combat leads me back towards why I started playing. Alan Wake2010 You reward patience with your personality and charm.

Alan Wake It knows what type of game it’s. It always has, and it’s that confidence that keeps it positive in the minds of so many. Alan Wake flaunts its influences — primarily David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and the works of Stephen King — so blatantly that Alan might as well be wearing a Carrie t-shirt and leaving recordings for his secretary, Diane.

Alan Wake and his agent drink coffee

Alan Wake’s all characters feel like they exist inside the world of Twin Peaks
Image by Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games

In a direct homage to Alan, Taken cuts a hole through a door at one point. Shining. If that wasn’t on-the-nose enough, Alan then comments that the man with the axe just tried to break the door down like Jack Nicholson in Shining. You could also call the Double R Diner in-game Oh Deer Diner. Twin PeaksIt is. To start the game, Alan recites a Stephen King quote.

Alan WakeThis is an open letter for people who enjoy the dark, creepy and the slightly horrifying. It’s for book and TV nerds who want to cuddle up with a checkered blanket, turn off the lights, and draw open the curtains. This is an in-game television show. Night SpringsRemedy Entertainment’s stunning reimagining is titled. The Twilight Zone. Lastly, Alan’s often hokey, over-the-top narration feels intentional — like he’s reading a manuscript for his best-selling new novel (which he is).

You can let go of all your frustrations about playing Alan WakeIt is alive with emotion. The way enemies slink out from behind trees is spine-tingling, even after I’ve seen it 20 times. The way the wind blows through the forest when you’re alone, even when nothing scary is happening, is reminiscent of reading a horror novel in your bed at night, when everyone else is sound asleep.

It’s the grim veneer that not only saves Alan WakeLike his flashlight, it burns through darkness and its cloying gameplay. Alan Wake’s sense of place, its themes, the mood it creates, makes it a classic, and nothing — not even time — can overshadow that.

Alan Wake: Remastered On Oct. 5, the game will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Windows PC. Remedy Entertainment provided a prerelease code for the game. The review was done on PlayStation 5. Vox Media also has affiliate relationships. They do not affect editorial content. However, Vox Media might earn commissions for products bought via affiliate links. Find out more. additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here

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