The Good: Interesting new story, fun new weapons and enemies, arcade mode is fun, still looks good
The Bad: Same three areas are repeated too many times, very short, story lacks substance, new characters are uninteresting, too easy
Being based off an episode of Night Springs that is written by Alan Wake, this little adventure takes you through a time loop (x3) and Alan Wake's physically manifested dark side...or is it? You get to know what happened to all the characters from the original game, and the story is delivered very nicely with a a decent ending, but there are no plot twists like in the last game so the story is a little weak in terms of substance.
The game plays exactly the same and if you are a fan of the last game you will be right at home. The game plays a little more like an open world game, minus the world. There are three areas that you visit three times (yawn) and each time is shorter and shorter, but the objectives are exactly the same. I get there is a time loop but why do we have to do everything three times? At least there's more guns to play with and new enemies to shoot. You can step up to fully automatic weapons now with an uzi and assault rifle. You get a carbine, 9mm semi-auto pistol, and a sawed-off shotgun. You can't get some weapons until you find enough manuscript pages which are now shown as question mark blips on your mini-map.
The enemies are the same except for a few new ones. Flocks of birds now turn into creepy vampire looking demons, and there are huge giant guys with table saws that can kill you in one hit. I found the game much easier this time around because there are ammo boxes everywhere that refill you all the way, plus extra ammo lying almost every 20 feet or so. Batteries don't run down nearly as quick as they used to, and to be honest, through the whole game I rarely swapped a single battery out of the flashlight except toward the end. The short length of the game actually helps counter this a little and makes it a bit forgiving.
There is an arcade mode that puts you through waves of enemies with various ammo and weapons scattered everywhere. This is fun to rack up a score and kill time, but other than that there is really no reason to go back to the game. The visuals look great on the PC with the new engine from the original game that uses DirectX 10 lighting effects. I did find the voice acting a little poor for the new characters this time around who are also not very interesting.
Overall, this game is really for the fans of the last one, and new comers won't really understand the story because of the constant mentions from the last game. Think of this as a side story because technically it is. The game looks good, plays good, and has an interesting story, but it way too easy, short, and overall repetitive due to playing the same three areas three times over. For the small price it is well worth it thanks to the fun arcade mode.
(Based on PC version)