Alan Wake was an influential game that helped usher in the age of episodic gaming. Remastering this game with improved graphics and gameplay is a testament to what can be done when developers, publishers, and players work together.

The alan wake remastered release date is a game that has been given a lot of hype. It was released on February 19th, 2018 and is available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

There are much more worthy titles in this age of remasters than Alan Wake from 2010, which looks fantastic even though it was released on Xbox 360. However, Alan Wake Remastered, the improved edition of the cult classic thriller, does more than just retouch the famous Bright Falls visuals.

With Alan Wake Remastered, Remedy is bringing the game to new platforms and old fans alike, and there are fresh mysteries to be found in true Remedy flair.

It stands up well as a game 11 years after its release. Alan Wake Remastered, on the other hand, isn’t simply a game. It’s a statement that says: “It’s not a lake at all. It’s the sea.”

Alan Wake Remastered: An Ocean of Promises, a Lake of Improvements

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Players take up the role of the eponymous crime writer in an episodic thriller that draws inspiration from Stephen King, David Lynch, and The Twilight Zone in approximately equal proportion. Alan, who is suffering from writer’s block and a general air of abrasiveness, escapes to Bright Falls, Washington, a logging town with a terrible past that Alan and his wife Alice are unaware of.

It’s there that Alice vanishes, and Wake wakes up at the wheel of a wrecked vehicle, missing a week before unexpectedly finding pages from a novel he doesn’t remember writing. Alan Wake has all the hallmarks of a classic serial drama, and its Lost-style approach to layering mysteries on top of riddles is immediately addictive.

New players will discover what has kept this game in the forefront of gamers’ thoughts for years despite being largely dormant since 2012’s XBLA semi-sequel, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, throughout the course of the eight-episode “season” (six episodes + two packed-in DLC episodes).

The third-person shooting gameplay is similar to that of previous Remedy games. Wake utilizes light in the same way that Max Payne uses slow-motion gunfights, Quantum Break bends time, and Control invents paranormal powers.

There is a Dark Presence in Bright Falls that takes over townspeople and transforms them into sludgy shadows of their former selves. Wake’s famous flashlight, like a shield, blasts the darkness away, leaving them vulnerable to gunfire. 

It’s possessed things like automobiles and refrigerators being thrown at you by poltergeists, or flocks of dark crows, when it’s not the “Taken” in human form. Enemies will surround you, hurl hammers, and rush with chainsaws in their hands. 

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It’s never exactly a horror game, but the suspense rises dramatically when Wake is overwhelmed by the Taken, sometimes without even a pistol. It’s obvious early and frequently what’s made Alan Wake a popular game all these years, thanks to excellent pacing, decent or better voice acting, and a licensed soundtrack of gloomy classics from David Bowie, Nick Cave, and more.

Even while the original game looks good today, the remaster makes significant improvements in a number of areas. The increased frame rate is my favorite of these enhancements. I’ve finding it difficult to go back to 30fps games now that we’re a year into the new generation. Thankfully, with Alan Wake Remastered, I don’t have to worry about it since the game now runs at 60 frames per second.

Characters’ faces have also been much improved, as has lip-syncing, with the exception of a minor problem that occurs during cutscenes and causes the animations to be slightly offset from the music. Epic said that a remedy is in the works, but no release date has been mentioned as of the time I submitted this review.

Overall, it’s a well-made but rather expected remaster. It almost looks like a contemporary game today, but there are several issues that would need a complete overhaul.

A clumsy leap and vaulting system is at the heart of the problem. It’s not employed very frequently — after all, Alan is a writer, not an athlete — but when it is, it seems very wrong.

The game’s physics sometimes get in the way, and players may miss leaps or plummet to their deaths due to a small delay in Alan’s jump and certain geometrically difficult landing places. Surprisingly, the DLC incorporates even more platforming in an effort to break up the gameplay cycle. It’s never quite right.

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While the majority of the points made above make Alan Wake an excellent game, it also became something more, a cult classic, for additional reasons. Bright Falls’ woods actually breathe around you, with sequences alternating between tight pathways full of swarming foes and wider exploring areas containing fascinating surprises only Remedy could come up with, like a live-action tribute to Rod Serling’s aforementioned classic anthology.

The wind sways the trees wildly, while the fog obscures creatures lurking in the shadows. Except for the few precious hours of sunshine Alan gets throughout his terrible journey, every sight is engulfed in a blue hue. Bright Falls is memorable, filled with history and mysteries in equal measure, from the depths of the mining caverns to the top of Mirror Peak.

Remedy has had a special connection with its fans for a long time, with the developer catering to an audience of devoted lore-divers in project after project. Alan Wake was a gem in the rough in 2010 for its cliffhanger narrative and rabbit hole of riddles, which seemed to be built with an eye toward the larger picture, the Remedy Connected Universe, even back then. Fans have been clamoring for more for almost a decade.

Alan Wake Remastered conceals brand-new mysteries that appear to hint to a genuine sequel to Alan’s tale, in the very finest example of Remedy knowing how to charm its fans. I won’t give anything away here, but as a huge admirer of the RCU as I am, I can assure you that finding these new breadcrumbs is by far the most interesting aspect of the remaster.

While the game’s increased frame rate and better graphics are great additions, discovering new secrets in Alan Wake Remastered is one of my favorite gaming pleasures of the year. Remedy once said that Cauldron Lake, and specifically Alan Wake, is a “ocean.” While fans have spent years deciphering that meaning, it was always clear that there was more to this tale from the start.

The sequel’s chances have never looked better than they do now, and there’s a lot of optimism for Alan’s next tale amid an ocean of enhanced graphics and strong-as-ever storytelling.

The Bottom Line on Alan Wake Remastered

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Pros

  • It’s fast-paced and full of intriguing secrets, like something you’d watch on TV.
  • In a town steeped in history, there’s a fantastic vibe to be found.
  • Fighting with light is still a great game to play. After 11 years,
  • Contains brand-new mysteries that tease the plot further.

Cons

  • Platforming portions that aren’t very good
  • Some sequences have a slight lip-sync problem.

Alan Wake is still as interesting now as it was in 2010, even if it is showing its age in certain areas. Remedy creates games that are unlike anything else, and Alan Wake is the best example of the studio’s unique weirdness.

Alan Wake Remastered has been improved with features such as better resolution and frame rate, but its greatest feature is left for the most ardent fans to discover on their own.

[Note: The copy of Alan Wake Remastered used for this review was supplied by Remedy Entertainment.]
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