Alan Wake Remastered Review Roundup: As Good As Ever

Just in time for the spooky season, the reviews of Alan Wake Remastered have started to pour in with early scores suggesting the game will be a must-play not only for fans of the original, but also for series newcomers. Alan Wake Remastered was announced just last month, and won't only include an enhanced version of the game, but also all of its available DLC.

Alan Wake first released for Xbox 360 in 2010 before making its way to PC in 2012. The game quickly cemented itself as a cult horror classic, praised for its storytelling and visuals. The game follows novelist Alan Wake as he attempts to unravel the mystery of his wife's disappearance. Alan Wake takes place across six episodes, with a further two chapters later released as DLC. The game's remaster comes from Epic Games Publishing and brings the classic release to newer systems with new 4K visuals and an additional audio commentary from director Sam Lake. Alan Wake Remastered marks the first time the game is available on PlayStation, introducing more players to the game than ever before.

Related: Alan Wake Remastered Creative Director Takes A Swim In Cauldron Lake

The first reviews for Alan Wake Remastered are mostly positive, with multiple outlets praising the game's commitment to not altering the core experience. The remaster reportedly keeps the tense and scary atmosphere that made the original so memorable, though graphical improvements are said to be fairly minimal which has divided opinion. Some reviewers believe this to be a good thing as it honors the original release, while others expected more from a 2021 game. With no changes to the story or how its events play out, Alan Wake Remastered might not be an essential purchase for those already familiar with the narrative. Here are some review highlights:

Cade Onder - 3.5/5 - Screen Rant

"Alan Wake Remastered's improvements are subtle and won't dramatically change the experience, but that also means it retains what made it so special in the first place. The atmosphere is chilling, and the story holds up after over a decade, meaning it doesn't need a full-blown remake to still feel worthy of a modern retelling. Even with its flaws, Alan Wake Remastered is worth playing in 2021, especially for those who missed it the first time around."

Tristan Ogilvie - 7/10 - IGN

"Playing Alan Wake Remastered is a bit like taking an old horror hardcover off the bookshelf and wrapping it in a glossy dust jacket; it looks brand new on the surface, but the experience of actually thumbing through it remains the same and some of the edges of of its well-loved pages are starting to look a bit dog-eared. It’s therefore fairly inessential for existing Alan Wake fans, but its consistently menacing atmosphere and clever plot tricks still make for a distinctive survival-horror experience for newcomers – even if the advanced action of Remedy’s most recent game has left poor Alan in its wake."

John Cal McCormick - 6/10 - PushSquare

"For existing fans, this no-frills remaster is the best way to experience the 2010 game on modern consoles, but in 2021, much of the title simply doesn't hold up. Without the benefit of nostalgia, Alan Wake doesn't work as horror because it's not scary, as a thriller because long stretches of the game are fantastically boring, or as an action game because the combat is uninspired and repetitive. There's an interesting central mystery here, but like Alan Wake himself, you'll have to go through hell to find it."

Samuel Tolbert - 4/5 - WindowsCentral

"If you're in the camp that never played Alan Wake before, grabbing this remaster is just a no-brainer. The story and characters are every bit as gripping as before and while the gameplay may not reach the heights of time-bending adventure Quantum Break or the surreal world of Control, it's strong enough to keep up with the horror tale being told. For anyone that has played Alan Wake before, especially on PC, the somewhat limited technical improvements make it a bit harder to justify. However, if you're wanting to jump into Alan Wake in 2021, it's worth the time and money."

Ryan Gilliam - Polygon

"Alan Wake is a frustrating masterpiece. It’s rife with charm, and overflowing with a mysterious atmosphere, and both are on display in Alan Wake: Remastered more than ever before. However, its issues are still as glaring as they were 11 years ago, and this remaster does nothing to mitigate them"

One of the biggest and most consistent critiques from reviewers is that Alan Wake Remastered doesn't do enough to improve on the original. While the game isn't a remake and isn't designed to overhaul gameplay features or dramatically alter visuals, some reviewing the game stated that it's too similar an experience to the 2012 PC release. A number of publications called out pre-existing gameplay issues, such as repetitive and dull combat, noting that problems such as these are still an issue in the remaster.

Despite some criticism, Alan Wake Remastered has scored highly with most publications. With a pre-established audience, first-time availability for PlayStation gamers, and launching at the spookiest time of the year, Alan Wake Remastered is likely to be a success despite not quite offering the technical improvements that some expected. While many reviewers agree that while the release isn't perfect, the strong and engrossing story of Alan Wake is seemingly still as absorbing now as it was in 2010.

Next: How Alan Wake Remastered Will Be Different From The Original

Alan Wake Remastered is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S platforms from October 5.

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