The second piece of downloadable content for Alan Wake has arrived and Remedy has done another great job. Having to go back and review these pieces of downloadable content only reinforces the feeling I had earlier in the year that Alan Wake is going to be one of my candidates for Game of the Year. It’s a masterpiece in almost every way. I will say right off the bat that there might be some people disappointed that a lot of their questions won’t be answered by this newest piece of content, titled “The Writer.” With that said I really enjoyed my time with it and after I was a little let down once it ended only because I wanted to keep playing. Remedy has done a tremendous job of keeping me interested in Alan Wake and what happens to him next. Selfishly I want the next piece of downloadable content to be here now so that I don’t have to wait to see what happens.It’s like a really great television show that you enjoy watching but you don’t want to wait a whole week to see what happens next.
“The Writer” picks up pretty much where “The Signal” left off. You still don’t quite know what is going on and you are trying to discern fact from fiction. You have Zane who is providing you with periodic guidance as you are battling through the darkness and trying to stay alive while doing so. Some new weapons are introduced in this episode and it opens up some new strategic options when you start to get surrounded. Just like in the previous episodes you will see certain words appear in the environment. As soon as you shoot these words with your flashlight they will turn into the item it said. For example, in this episode the word “Boom” appeared quite a bit. When you shined your light on that it turned into a red explosive barrel which could take out a whole group of enemies if you timed it correctly. It definitely saves on ammunition if you are able to do that. As you progress further into this episode you will also come across the word “Clear”. What this will do is cause entire rock walls to fall which will help you take out enemies by shining extra light into the area you are in. That definitely saved me on a number of different occasions. It works just like the giant spotlights you could use in the original episodes only here you don’t have control over the light itself. It adds another strategic element to things to see if you can get the enemies positioned correctly so that you can take them out as easily while conserving your ammunition.
Throughout this episode you will visit familiar locales, however, they will have a slight twist. Within these familiar areas you will go down different routes and have to navigate both the environmental dangers as well as any Taken that is trying to take your head off. This episode seemed to be on par with the previous episodes in terms of how long it took me to go through it. As I eluded to before, all of your questions will not be answered with this new episode. Some questions are answered though and Remedy hints at future content. Whether that is another downloadable episode or a full blown sequel is anybody’s guess. I’m going to be greedy for a moment and say that I want both. If you are a fan of Alan Wake you need to try out this new content. Obviously, it builds on the previous episodes so if you are brand new to Alan Wake you will want to play the first seven episodes before you play this one. Remedy has a masterpiece with Alan Wake and with each new installment I enjoy the universe more and more. Hopefully this is a universe that I get to revisit for many years to come.