Presenting review number two of my XBLA House Party Review, and thankfully, it’s another quality game! [It’s worth noting, after finishing my review, I poked around the major sites to see how it was received elsewhere. I noticed that Susan Arendt of The Escapist used the same ‘cover-art comparison’ opener, reminding me that it’s difficult to have something new to say about a game.
It’s important to address at the outset that Alan Wake’s American Nightmare has not been designed to give fans of the original title more of the same. One needs only a cursory glance at the box art motifs to see the changes in tone: the original portrays the protagonist standing in a dark and foggy forest, his flashlight cutting a cold beam through the oppressive blackness. Stamped above the title, the words: ‘A Psychological Action Thriller’. In comparison, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare could be about a rural handyman who hasn’t got around to reading the instruction manual on his nail-gun yet.