Last week, in amongst all the gumpf to be rolled out during the VGAs, a teaser for a new Alan Wake game was plopped onto the Internet. Titled Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, this apparently (future) straight to XBLA release will see good ol’ Alan trying to deal with Mr Scratch who’s a side of Alan that’s gained a life of its own. Certainly, things weren’t looking too healthy in the first game’s DLC, with Alan splitting off left, right and centre.
But I’m unsure what to think of what was shown off in the trailer. I really, really liked the first game. A unique set of circumstances that mostly included the fact that I was reading a load of Stephen King’s earlier novels when I started playing Remedy’s Alan Wake, meant that I was highly receptive to the themes and tropes the first game used. Yet one of the things that I really enjoyed about playing the game was that you couldn’t just go and shoot everything that came after you – often it was better to just run.
In the trailer, Alan is shooting a lot of enemies. Blasting his way through them. This isn’t what I want from a horror themed action game whose original was more survival horror and certainly not in the sequel to the suspense filled Alan Wake. Unless there’s some decent ammo management needed as what happens in Resident Evil 4, Dead Space and Dead Space 2 – I don’t want to be shooting enemies all the time.
And with this shift to action, does this mean that the narrative elements of the original game will disappear? The thing that made the original game compelling in the first place?
I really am hoping that I’m worrying over nothing. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare better not end up being Alan Wake All American Action Hero.