The game is a reprise of the original “Alan Wake” game in 2010. The Alan Wake character is a horror novelist who encounters real-life horror of his own. VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi writes:
In Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, Wake finds himself near a motel on Route 66 in Arizona. After the events of the first game, his wife is once again missing and he has to face his evil twin, Mr. Scratch, a true psycho serial killer who was an urban legend that came to life. Wake has to chase down Mr. Scratch before he unleashes more evil upon the world — and does any harm to Wake’s wife, Alice. […]
The story takes place across three main locations on Route 66 in Arizona: the Desert Springs Motel, the Mount Redtooth Observatory, and the Night Springs Drive-in theater. They are less linear than the past game and are more open, allowing you to roam over a wider territory. As you do so, you find the first of 53 manuscript pages that convey the background behind the plot.
Here’s the trailer for the game:
It does contains a lot of familiar-looking Route 66 elements, including Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
Although Takahashi liked the improvements, he also noted some shortcomings:
But the production felt like it cut corners. The characters don’t move when they’re talking. The quality of the cinematics is decidedly low budget. That matches the campy feel of the Night Springs episode, but once again it feels like Remedy is falling short with this story. The other problem with going back to the same scene three times is that, no matter how many enemies come at you, the horror isn’t as good. The shock and surprise of being attacked by an enemy the first time is far more emotionally impactful than the second time around.
He graded the game an 82 out of 100.
“Alan Wake’s American Nightmare” is available as a $15 download for Xbox Live Arcade.