Remedy’s upcoming Xbox Live Arcade outing for the Alan Wake series started life as a competitive test area for the dev team. Some of the criticisms that their first game received included a lack of enemy variety and far too many confined, wooded environments (wait, people complained about the woods in Alan Wake?). As a result, Remedy created wide-open “killing fields” that they then used to test the new enemy types.
The testing rapidly turned into an in-house competition among the developers. A few days later they realised they’d actually created a game. And so Alan Wake’s American Nightmare was born from the pile of criticism levelled at Remedy.
American Nightmare will be more action and exploration oriented than before. Whereas the first Alan Wake game focused more on narrative than on action, American Nightmare will focus more on the action. That’s not to say that there’s no story to be found; developer Remedy has confirmed that there’s at least five hours of story binding the new survival mode together.
Central to the upcoming game is a game mode called “Fight ‘Til Dawn”. It sounds similar to Horde modes except single-player only. You’ll have to survive the night, fighting never-ending waves of dark-infected bad guys while trying to find well lit safe areas (lamp posts etc) and new weapons. And there’ll be plenty of new weapons in American Nightmare, including a nail gun and a crossbow – the latter doesn’t require you to peel away the layer of darkness shrouding your enemies before being able to deal damage.
New enemy types include guys who dissipate into crows the moment you shine a torch on them. Another enemy splits in half the moment he’s hit by a light source, so you have a decision to make: fight him as a single, large enemy, or split him into multiple faster but weaker enemies.
The story in American Nightmare is completely separated from the events of the first Alan Wake game. In this alternate reality of the game’s franchise, a small Arizona town becomes the battle ground for the forces of light and dark. Alan Wake’s own doppelganger, a murderous version of himself known as Mr. Scratch, is out to make our hero’s life a misery by going after Alan’s wife.
The standalone downloadable title will hit Xbox Live Arcade sometime next year. Check out the new trailer below.