Recent news about Remedy trademarking "Alan Wake's Return" is a great thing. If you haven't played or heard of Alan Wake then you must remedy that as soon as possible. While Alan Wake was not even close to being the first in survival horror, and maybe not the best, it is definitely up there in the top five survival horror games, at least in my own personal opinion.
Alan Wake's story revolves around him being a writer having a difficult time coming up with his next book. He is essentially trapped in a story he does not remember writing. The game was inspired by the works of Stephen King. I did not know this going in, but I was pleasantly surprised when Wake quoted King in the game's introductory narration.
Stephen King once wrote that nightmares exist outside of logic and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.
Alan Wake is not a bad ass tough guy, he is a writer who has never shot a gun before the events of the game. He is smart, but the game does a great job of relaying the fact that he is basically running for his life being chased by a bunch of hill billy shadow monsters.
The nights are nearly as bad as they are in Dying Light in that you desperately need to get from one point to the other and light is your friend. Your trusty flashlight is invaluable and you must keep batteries for it to run, so shinning it constantly is not an option.
Typing this I realize it is probably where Dying Light got the idea from and is probably just another reason why I love that game so much as well. Cranking a generator to light up an area can and will save your life. Giving you a reprieve when you have no bullets, flares allow you to take a breath before you make a run for it (though you can usually find supplies around said generator).
Games like Outlast and SOMA have come since, delivering undoubtedly scary experiences. But I dare say none have given us the cerebral experience that the two Alan Wake games have given us thus far. The games are trippy experiences that make you think. You need to read Wake's missing manuscript pages as you find them, as a lot of the time they are warning you of dangers to come. The story is great if not a little confusing, but that is just another thing that makes the games great. They are not something you can tread through lightly and come away with any kind of understanding. After you finish the games they will stick with you for a while as you ponder the meaning of it all, just like any great movie.
It has been a couple of years since Alan Wake's American Nightmare was released and I had all but given up on a return to Wake's mind, but now with Quantum Break about to be released and the news of the registered trademark, it appears that Remedy may be gearing up for a third entry. I think I need to replay the two games now to refresh my own memory as well as for the pleasure of returning to something that before reading the news of a possible third entry, I hadn't thought of in a while. I've been consumed by The Commonwealth and Novigrad. Something of a smaller scale but equally enjoyable will be welcome.
The previous two games were only available on PC and Xbox 360. It is expected that the third will be a Microsoft exclusive as well.