The new Alan Wake game, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, is a departure from the original title released in May of 2010. The tone is different, there's a heavier focus on gunplay and Alan has found himself in a totally different world, literally. It's up to the player to figure out what's going on and answer the questions that arise in this strange world. Matias Myllyrinne, CEO of Remedy Entertainment, took some time to clear up the mystery that surrounds Alan Wake's American Nightmare and answer some questions pertaining to the new standalone arcade title.
Q. Alan Wake was a very solemn and intense experience focusing on the lead character, tell me where the inspiration came to change it all up with this DLC?
We like to mix it up a little bit every now and then. Also, whatever we do, we try to be additive to games as a form of entertainment. With Max Payne back in the day it was adding slow-motion and Hong Kong action to shooters, on Wake it was trying to push storytelling and a TV series form of pacing and the first thriller (as opposed to horror) into the game space. Even with Death Rally on iOS- we felt there was nothing quite like it on the iPhones and iPads. Anyway, with American Nightmare, we wanted to challenge the conventions of what it means to be an XBLA game. Hopefully we pushed the envelope a little bit…
So, anyway…the inception was different this time round. American Nightmare really is from gamers for gamers. The beginning was more organic than on many Remedy games as it started with those early prototypes. It started with us trying out more new wild weapons and wilder enemies in these white boxed game-test levels. One of the responses we got from Alan Wake was that the story was awesome and the fiction very immersive and well received – but the gameplay could have had more variety. We wanted to address this and before we knew it we had a fully fledged arcade mode with our test maps. You know, we were keeping score against each other at the office and it all grew from there.
And yeah, Sam has the entire fiction mapped out and he wanted to bring some elements of it into the mix – story is our thing after all, it is very much a part of the Remedy DNA.
How long has it been since the events of Alan Wake and its DLC? Or is this a separate universe and timeline altogether?
2 years. I do not want to interpret too much – other than … this is a part of Alan Wake’s journey.
The trailers so far have talked about the intense gun-play and improving the "fight with light" mechanic, how has it changed since Alan Wake?
Wilder weapons, new dynamics, even wilder enemies, better visual language in combat… tons of larger and smaller improvements. The splitter, the birdman… all pushing the adrenaline level even further.
Is "American Nightmare" going to be a standalone piece of content, or will the other Alan Wake games tie into it?
American Nightmare is stand alone, but for the fans out there, there is a huge amount of optional story content that takes the story forward.
Is American Nightmare multiplayer?
No. We focused on building the best possible singe player experience but there is online scoreboards and leaderboards for the Fight till Dawn mode
How does the new mode, Fight 'Til Dawn, play out?
It is an intense 10 minute feast of survival, tactic but above all adrenaline and thrills. If you survive till dawn you win and compete against on leaderboards for high scores once you master surviving... It is a simple yet addictive mode with loads of depth in tactics and second to second combat.
Will there be upgrades and co-op modes within the new mode?
Nothing is planned at the moment for this.
With such a great character like Wake it'd be silly not to ask, any plans for a new boxed version of Alan Wake anytime after American Nightmare?
Let's see, we love Wake and it's a franchise that's close to our heart.
Take that last statement to mean whatever you like, but as a fan of Alan Wake I'm hoping it means we'll see a fully featured sequel for the writer in the coming months. With any luck Remedy will be talking more about Wake and the atmospheric universe soon, until then you can look for our review of American Nightmare soon.