Review: Alan Wake: The Writer (DLC)

Hi guys, Tom W here with a review of the second Alan Wake DLC, The Writer. If you cast your minds back to August, the launch of TGD to be precise, you may remember I reviewed the first of the DLC’s, titled The Signal. That wasn’t such a great DLC, and I secretly feared The Writer wouldn’t be good either. Thankfully, I was wrong.

This time around, Alan starts off waking up to a ghost-like image of Doctor Emile Hartman, who slowly transforms into a ghostly image of Barry Wheeler, his best friend and manager. You’re thrown straight into the action, as the level starts off exactly the same as one of the previous levels. Y’know, the one where you’re stuck on the one side of a gate, with Barry on the other. You get over to Barry, and Alan’s thoughts and memories combine, making a twisted form of the Old Gods of Asgard’s stage. After f-ing up the Taken, you make your way through the lodge to meet Thomas Zane. Blah. Blah. BLAH. I really don’t want to go into much detail, partly because I can’t remember a little bit of it, partly because it’s so epic, you HAVE to experience it first-hand. And the ending…. Wow. It’s so simple, but it ties up the story nicely. It’s just plain awesome. If you aren’t a major fan of the game, or haven’t paid much attention to the story, you WILL think it’s just stupid. As I said before, if you loved this game, and its story, the ending kicks major ass.

Moving away from the story, let’s talk about gameplay. Obviously, it’s just like the full game and The Signal, in terms of controls, and weapons etc., so there’s nothing really new to the game. It’s still pretty fun, don’t get me wrong, but they really could have added something in, just to add some variety and to spruce it up a bit. I haven’t reviewed the full game, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t go over the controls and how they play out in my (slightly crappy) review of The Signal. So, I’ll explain here.

The controls are pretty straight forward, Right Trigger is shoot, Left Trigger is aim the flash-light. Tapping it lightly means you won’t boost the beam, thus it won’t drain the flash-light’s battery. B is to pick up stuff like ammo and weapons, batteries and collectables etc. X is used to… well, I’m not sure. I don’t think it’s ever really used. The controls aren’t hard to master, and you’ll get them memorised pretty quickly.

Back to the gameplay. It’s pretty standard, yet fun, Alan Wake runnin’ and gunnin’. You have numerous enemies, in the form of the Taken. There are really weak ones, that take about 2 shots once you’ve drained their ‘shield’ with the flash-light. You have general foot-soldiers, so to speak, that take about 3 or 4 shots after you drain their shield. Then, you’ve got those REALLY big bastards. They take just over a full clip of Magnum bullets, after you drain their bloody massive shield! You can drive cars in this game, as well. This is kinda neat, and gives you a real sense of tension, especially when you’re trying to get away from the horde of Taken.

Okay, let’s cover length, and my opinions on the DLC in general. Length-wise, I think (Note the word think), it’s around the length of The Signal. Correct me if I’m wrong. It was quite fun, with some varied environments, such as the spinning (house?). I’m not quite sure what it was, but let’s just call it a house. They had some pretty cool things in that place, such as the room made of typewriter keys. I felt that was a nice little touch. The story seemed to be pretty good, and well thought out too. There was one little, well I’ll call it a side-note, that Thomas Zane says to Alan on his way to the lighthouse. I won’t ruin it, and it didn’t have any real importance, but I thought it was a slick little thing to throw in there. Okay, let’s move onto the verdict and the pros and cons.

Since this is DLC, I can’t give you the usual method of Buy, Try, or Avoid, that we have here at TGD. So, I shall simply score it.

The Writer, in short, is a pretty nice DLC, that’s well worth the (not too expensive!) price of 560 MSP. If you like Alan Wake, and want to complete the story, then The Writer is the perfect way to do just that. Whilst it isn’t incredible, and by no means the best DLC of the year, it’s much better than The Signal, and deserves a place in your hard drive. I’ve got a feeling I’m rambling now, so I’ll cut this short. Here are the pros and cons of the Alan Wake DLC, The Writer.

Pros:
Still manages to add a lot of tension.
Some stunning environments.
Great ending to a great game!

Cons:
Nothing really new to gameplay.
It ended Alan Wake.

My final score is…

8.5

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About Tom Williams (@iPwnCake)
Hello there! I'm Tom. I love gaming and Sonic plus I'm a furry! ^^ I'm a massive gamer, so expect full game and DLC reviews from me, as well as the odd XBLA game review. I own an Xbox 360, PS3 and a Wii so feel free to add me on Xbox Live or PSN (don't play my Wii much). I will most likely be reviewing older seventh gen games, say from 2008 or 2009 and so on. Thanks, and I hope ya enjoy my work! XBL GT: Pro ToM 10 PSN ID: thecandy117 Twitter: iPwnCake

One Response to Review: Alan Wake: The Writer (DLC)

  1. Seems like a good game and some good DLC. Might get the game when it becomes cheap pre-owned 😛

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