I loved Alan Wake through and through, despite the few brief gripes I had about it. And it’s taken me this long to actually get my own copy of the game. Ironically, other than buying it so that I owned it, I also bought it so I could get the DLC free.
Pity that it’s a bit of a disappointment.
There’s a few reasons for that, not attached to the fact that it just plain sucks a bit. Firstly, I’d heard rumors that the DLC would follow someone else entirely. Given where Alan Wake ended, that would actually have been a good thing. There was something sorta cool about picking up right where the last episode ended off. But then you thought about it for a moment, and no. Not such a good place to set the game.
So Alan Wake’s back, right where you left him. Now we know (straight from the makers themselves) that these DLCs will patch the storyline between the last game and the next. If it gets made.
There is a lot thats cool about this, albeit short addition. I actually found the combat in this game so tense and well placed that I was running desperately towards the light, and actually watching every shot I fired. You didn’t get that in the game. It was very survival horror. Very enjoyable.
Also, the game has a strange Silent Hill feel to it, in the way the original locations are twisted and turned into something new entirely (yup, another gripe, no new locations, it’s all mostly recycled). One of the best scenes of the game is pictures above. Tom up there has to be one of the best and most cool things in the episode, if not the whole game, for how he hangs in midair, blowing out bubbles.
I’m really mixed in the end as to say this was a worthy addition or just filler. As the final cutscene hit, and the credits prepared to roll, there was nothing about the ending that made me think ‘damn, I have to play the next part’. All five (six?) episodes of the original were just like that. Unfortunately, at the end of the Signal, we were just vaguely better off than we were at the beginning. I can see where the Lighthouse is going.
Yes, it’s free content. But it should also leave us salivating for more. Especially when we will have to pay cold, hard (digital) cash for the next installment. And, Alan Wake’s future really does depend on our cold, hard card at this stage …