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Published on October 11th, 2010 | by Charlie

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Classic Review: Alan Wake: The Signal

*This review is from a previous site that is no longer running, so we’re bring our reviews over. IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED ALAN WAKE OR HAVE NOT FINISHED IT, THEN BE WARNED AS THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS Alan Wake has “taken” Xbox 360 players by storm with its unique episodic storyline which grips players by the thousands. Alan Wake told the story of- … Alan Wake and his battle against the darkness whilst trying to rescue his wife, Alice after she went missing. After an immense battle, Alan managed to free her from the dark presence, but all did not end well for Alan, as he remained trapped in the dark place. He managed to write the ending with the final words of “Departure” as “It’s not a lake. It’s an ocean.”, which indicates that the dark presence may be a world wide occurence. In the newest DLC, which is free to everybody who bought a new copy of Alan Wake, or else it’s 560 microsoft points, Alan said he created a happy ending for the residents of Bright Falls. All but himself. He re-enters Bright Falls, but everything is not the same. The area is much darker, the characters are more distorted, along with transparent, and the landscape seems to change. After a brief encounter with Tom Zane, it is revealed that Alan seems to be going “deeper”, and in order for Tom to help him, Alan must follow a GPS signal and reach Tom, whist encountering numerous Taken and obsticles along the way. Throughout the DLC, you also encounter yourself on numerous televisions and although you may think they are helping you, they are actually trying to sabotage you by creating problems you have to get out of. The story was very suitable for a game like this and everything felt so twisted, which is what make the DLC rather good. As many people have said, the DLC doesn’t really advance the storyside, but that is expected since there are those who don’t have it for free and it would be odd if Alan Wake 2 came out and they are missing some chunks of the story. But the DLC does help in some backstory and it shows you a bit more on Alan and Alice’s relationship. There’s nothing new about the DLC, as the gameplay is almost the same as before, but what is different is the return of the typewriter words, which you would have seen near the end of episode six. In order to obtain weapons and ammo, you have to burn away words such as “Hunt”, which will give you a hunting rifle, “Flare” which will give you a flare, and “tools” which will throw ammo and batteries all over the place. There are other words too which are more leathal, such as “enemy” which will cause a Taken to appear. The DLC is way more dangerous that previous episodes, as you enter places which are more dangerous than anywhere else before. I won’t spoil much, but let’s just say that “the lights can’t decide if it’s on your side or not”. You might get what I mean when you get to this area. In the main game, there were many collectables, which were coffee thermoses, chests, local history, radios, can pyramids and TV’s. In this DLC, you aren’t chasing after any of that. This time, it’s alarm clocks and cardboard standees. There are 10 clocks to be found and 6 standees which can be found, and both are rather interesting. The reason being is that it’s as if the alarm clocks are trying to make Alan “Wake” up. The other collectable, standees, are also interesting as they aren’t of Alan this time. Even though you encounter Alan Wake standee’s twice in the DLC, the standees are actually on six of the characters in the game, such as Barry Wheeler, Sarah Breaker and Alice Wake. Speaking of Barry, he also returns in the DLC, humerous as ever. But he is actually a figment of Alan’s  imagination in this DLC. Other characters also return in the DLC, also all part of Alan’s imagination, which is expected in a twisted DLC such as this one. The achievements are, as most of the game’s achievements, are rather tough to get. There are 8 achievements in total, and in my first playthrough, I managed to get 4. One achievement asks you to complete the DLC without getting into a vehicle, which the area in which this achievement occurs, this took me about 5 tries on normal mode to complete. Overall, a great set of achievements which are easy and tough. Overall, the DLC shows a different perspective of the world of Alan Wake, showing that Alan’s mind is more twisted than we thought. With areas that will leave it’s mark, you can’t help but find the DLC has truely been worked hard on, and with a cliffhanger that will make you want more, you’ll be wondering what happens next for quite a while.

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Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.



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