When Alan Wake was released a couple of months ago it received good reviews for the most part and a lot of people really enjoyed the story that Remedy was telling. I wrote the review myself for TotallyGN and absolutely loved the game. In fact, with half of 2010 over, I can say that Alan Wake has been one of my favorite titles of 2010 so far. After going through and beating the game I was excited to see where Remedy would take us next with future downloadable content. ”The Signal” downloadable content picks up pretty much where the original game ended. You will get your “Previously On Alan Wake” video montage to jog your memory in case you haven’t played Alan Wake since it was released. A word of warning though; be sure you beat the original game before you play or even look at this downloadable content. This DLC is filled with major storyline spoilers if you haven’t beat the game yet.
As you begin “The Signal” there is a bit of deja vu taking place as you encounter some locations that are familiar, yet different. Something is not quite right about your surroundings but you can’t initially put your finger on it. Remedy has fun here trying to play mind tricks on you and continually reminding you that not everything is as it seems. Your actions from the original game have had repercussions and as you delve deeper into this newest episode you will begin to see the result of Alan’s battle with the darkness. You will get to visit some familiar locations that have undergone some changes as a result of the occurrences that took place in the original six episodes. There will also be some new areas for you to explore as well. Of course this downloadable content also offers some new achievements so if Alan Wake is one of those titles that you want to get all of the achievements in then you will have some more work to do.
While going through this latest episode there were definitely a couple of new mechanics involved that I found interesting. I won’t spoil what they were but there were definitely some areas where I was really careful about what I was doing. Additionally, you can use the environment more often in “The Signal” and if you properly plan on how to use it then some of those big battles you will encounter will become much easier. In the game there were certain items that you would acquire and by getting those items you knew you were getting further in the game. The same can be said for this new episode as well. Picking up certain items as you progress will almost give you a feeling of how far into the episode you are and how much more you have to go. There are also new collectibles for you to find throughout the episode which are very interesting and could have some symbolism relating to the story depending on your interpretation of the events that have already happened.
“The Signal” downloadable content is essentially a brand new episode for you to go through and enjoy. The great work that Remedy did with the original game was definitely brought over to “The Signal.” You have the same heart pounding, mind bending experience as the original episodes with some new twists. What more could you ask for? This episode ends on a cliffhanger, like every episode in the game, and I really can’t wait for the next piece of downloadable content to be released so that I can see what happens. Remedy has done a masterful job of incorporating all types of media from the literary world of suspense and horror to the television style presentation. When you are reading a book it has been said that a person’s imagination can make a story far scarier than it was intended to be. In Alan Wake’s case it can also be lethal.