Alan Wake: Remastered Review

Dan Webb

For years I’ve been staring at my copy of Alan Wake sat there on my shelf, gathering dust like another forgotten realm of my past. It’s been lurking in the shadows, just calling out to me, demanding that I return to it. Replay it. But something in the back of my mind put me off over the last however many years (11 to be precise). Was it that I wasn’t a fan of Remedy’s titular adventure? Absolutely not, I adored (and still do) Alan Wake - you’ve only got to read my review of the game from 11-years ago to see that’s true. Yes, I’m a games industry fossil. For me, Alan Wake represented Microsoft’s chance to be relevant in that single-player space while Sony started to excel – it was equally as good as Uncharted 2 was at that time, in my eyes. Perhaps it was that all I needed to truly finish off the game was to play it on Nightmare mode and get those pesky missing manuscript pages. Maybe that put me off? I’d like to think the real reason though – and in the back of my mind, this was almost certainly it – was because it was only a matter of time until it got the remaster treatment. And I was right!


As remasters go though, I’m in two minds about Alan Wake Remastered. On the one hand I absolutely adore being able to play through the woes of the moody Alan Wake in 4K at 60fps on a new-gen consoles, as he hunts down his missing wife – it’s absolutely silky smooth too! But then on the other hand, it loses something. The environments, with their new depth of detail – and significantly less fog – definitely do seem shinier now, although this is definitely a lick-of-paint remaster rather than a built from the ground up remaster, but Alan Wake Remastered actually feels far less atmospheric now, which was part of the original’s lure. Also, I’m not a fan of the new look Alan. There, I said it. Otherwise though, the game plays exactly how it did 11-years ago, and with the two bits of DLC included, you’d be a fool to not give it a go if you haven’t already played it. And yeah, you’d be a fool too not to revisit it too. Still, after all this time, Remedy’s writing, the way it builds suspense, the design of its set-pieces and their phenomenal use of licensed music truly does stand the test of time, and would be lauded today as it was back then.

Weirdly, 11-years later, there are a few things that bug me more about the game now than they did back then. The unwieldy camera, for one. The fact Alan has the stamina of a, well, a writer. Okay, I guess that one makes sense. Then there’s the animations and the navigation, aspects of that definitely haven’t stood the test of time. And finally, there’s the whole “here comes a new chapter, let’s strip you of your weapons and batteries” syndrome, something that is just incredibly annoying in a survival-horror game.  It also annoys me, an ardent Alan Wake fan, that I can’t jump straight into nightmare mode as well, which you’d have thought was an absolute gimme for a remaster. Still though, despite those bugbears, it’s still a marvellous game.


As far as Alan Wake Remastered goes, that’s all that really needs to be known. Yes, it’s still a brilliant game, and sure, the port does lose something with all its sheen and its significant downgrade on atmosphere, but it’s a game that everyone needs to experience, and experience again and again, and Alan Wake Remastered isn’t a bad place to start – the 60fps makes combat incredibly smoother! There are a few things mechanically that have not withstood the test of time in the Alan Wake remaster, but Remedy’s story here is fascinating. A proper rollercoaster, and a timeless one too. Get it played (or replayed), you won’t regret it.

Alan Wake: Remastered

Alan Wake is a fantastic game, while Alan Wake Remastered remains just a great port. Yes, it loses something with the new shiny visuals and a few things have not withstood the test of time, but everything else is still fantastic. Especially that story!

Form widget
80%
Audio
85%

The music is still sublime, and the voice acting for the most part is too. A couple of parts I did find to not have aged very well in terms of delivery, but other than that, it’s fab. Even now.

Visuals
80%

Super shiny 4K60 on next-gen consoles, but it’s definitely not as atmospheric as it once was.

Playability
70%

Games are a lot tighter now than they were in 2010. Alan Wake still feels like a game from 2010. It could have done with a spruce up there.

Delivery
90%

The story is still fantastic. The set-pieces are still super memorable. It’s just a bloody fantastic game, there’s no other way of putting it.

Trophies
75%

Same list as before, but I'll tell you what, it's not a bad list. It's got some creativity and a fairly decent balance to it. Shame you need 2 runs to max it out! Oh, and there's still too many collectibles!

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