Alan Wake Remastered Review (Switch eShop)


    Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

    Chapter 1 – An Overdue Return

    In the nice, moderately well-kept lounge of my small, snug house, I sat down on the couch with a warming mug of robust, milky espresso and booted up my Nintendo Switch. As the principle menu flashed into existence earlier than me, a brand new icon caught my eye. It was daring in its simplicity; a reputation encompassed the in any other case black picture, with a silhouetted man standing inside the capital letter ‘A’, flashlight in hand. The identify was immediately recognisable, but I hadn’t seen it in what felt like years. It was Alan Wake.

    My thoughts was immediately thrown again to the yr 2010 after I was a scrappy 21-year-old holding down a part-time retail job whereas simply beginning what would finally be a fruitless three-year course at college. I remembered that Alan Wake had been launched on the Xbox 360 to vital acclaim, and the game itself had a robust influence on my life. It starred a seemingly atypical man — the titular protagonist and author — who launched into a determined seek for his lacking spouse, Alice, within the small mountain city of Bright Falls. He quickly found that the city held darkish secrets and techniques and a penchant for the supernatural.

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    It wasn’t your common action-adventure game. Split into chapters and offered as if it had been ripped straight from the thoughts of its personal hero, Alan Wake had flavours of Stephen King and Twin Peaks in equal measure, and this resonated with me deeply, finally shepherding the game into my high ten of all time because of its outstanding capacity to faucet into my very own ardour for quirky horror. It was the mixture of this and the slick, intuitive gameplay that made Alan Wake a agency favorite amongst 360 house owners, however, in addition to a PC launch in 2012, the game was finally doomed to stay on a single house console.

    So why is it right here? Why is the Alan Wake icon on my Nintendo Switch? I needed to know, I had to search out out. Ah sure, Alan Wake was remastered for contemporary platforms in 2021, making its method past the Xbox ecosystem after its developer, Remedy Entertainment, broke away from its partnership with Microsoft and teamed up with Epic Games to launch a revamped model of the game. It additionally, to my delight, included the 2 further DLC expansions: ‘The Signal’ and ‘The Writer’, making this as a lot of a whole package deal as I might hope for.

    Nevertheless, I felt apprehensive. Would it stay as much as the reminiscences that resided in my thoughts? I took a deep breath and entered the world of Alan Wake on Switch.

    Chapter 2 – Visual Nightmares

    I awoke on a abandoned highway, the darkness of night time creeping in. A lighthouse stood within the distance, fog gliding by means of the air. As I gazed on the atmosphere round me, a sense of deep concern grew in my thoughts. The world appeared the identical and but wildly completely different. The fauna appeared softer, nearly muddy, with jagged edges. Trees that when swayed within the wind now stood immobile, like cardboard cutouts dotted round an affordable movie set.

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    Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

    I appeared down at my very own physique and gasped in horror. The identical impact that was warping the atmosphere had apparently affected me too. My arms appeared as in the event that they had been constructed by Lego and my garments jittered as I moved my limbs. I ran my fingers by means of my hair. It too had misplaced its lustre and I might solely think about how weird it might seem to an outsider wanting in.

    As I progressed by means of the city of Bright Falls in what would finally be a 10-12 hour seek for my spouse earlier than the credit rolled, I used to be horrified to find that the visible downgrades I stumbled upon firstly of my journey appeared all over the place else. It was much more obvious throughout the day after I would encounter pals like my literary agent, Barry Wheeler, together with new faces like Carl Stucky and Deputy Grant. They appeared blurred, their faces obscured not from the darkish presence that may befall lots of Bright Fall’s inhabitants, however from a Nintendo Switch port which, one way or the other, makes them look worse than they did a dozen years in the past.

    When I confronted off in opposition to the Taken — the plight of Bright Falls and my main enemy throughout my journey — the visuals turned even worse to the purpose of just about turning into incomprehensible at sure factors. How I made it by means of alive is past me.

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    Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

    Chapter 3 – Necessary Compromises

    Yet one way or the other, I did make it by means of. Despite the jarring filter that had been utilized to my imaginative and prescient, I used to be nonetheless capable of face off in opposition to my enemies, a flashlight in a single hand and a gun within the different. It felt straightforward to goal and when these moments occurred the place I did have to run away, it no less than felt clean and comfy; if I had been to place it otherwise, I’d say that my body price ran persistently. Take from that what you’ll.

    The audio additionally sounded precisely as I’d remembered it. Manuscript pages dotted across the atmosphere would kickstart a burst of narration from yours actually, and the residents of Bright Falls are all charismatic and endearing in their very own method. Music would inexplicably play within the background as I confronted off in opposition to the Taken, but its presence made the moments all of the extra intense, spurring me on to achieve my pricey spouse, Alice. Between chapters, licensed music from the likes of established legends reminiscent of Roy Orbison and up-and-comers Old Gods of Asgard would deliver comforting aid from the exhausting treks by means of the darkness and fog.

    It was the identical expertise I’d remembered from all these years in the past, then, however it appeared severely downgraded. A byproduct of the lesser {hardware} discovered within the Switch, maybe, though I had hoped for a lot extra. Still, one thing in my thoughts instructed me that newcomers to the expertise in all probability gained’t discover all that a lot, or just gained’t care. After all, the visible flaws, as disheartening as they’re, felt finally like obligatory compromises to make sure steady efficiency for this remastered model on Switch.

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    Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

    As the credit rolled on my time in Bright Falls, I exited the game feeling happy, but with an intense eager for a extra visually pleasing expertise; one which I knew was already obtainable elsewhere.


    I put my Switch apart, my expertise with Alan Wake completed. As I sat and allowed my ideas to marinate, I got here to the conclusion that, even with the visible drawbacks current on the Switch, it nonetheless felt like a whole package deal, with regular efficiency all through, and controls that felt pure and intuitive. A welcome return for a literary icon, even with some vital imperfections.

    I turned to seize my mug of espresso. It was gone.


    There’s completely little question that Alan Wake Remastered seems to be fairly horrible in locations. There have been some extreme drawbacks to make this game run competently on the Switch: the swaying of the timber, whereas hardly a defining function on paper, truly performed a big half in shaping Alan Wake’s visible identification and ambiance, and now they’re static. The game performs precisely as you bear in mind with constant body charges all through and intuitive controls, however when you’ve performed Alan Wake Remastered on a unique platform, then you definately want solely apply when you’re a hardcore fan of Remedy’s creation. Newcomers, nevertheless, ought to positively think about checking this out if the Switch model is your solely viable choice, and when you can settle for the appreciable visible compromises.

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