Alan Wake PC Review: A Port That Gets It Right

There’s been talk of a PC version of Alan Wake for almost as long as there’s been an Alan Wake. Originally, developer Remedy was working on a PC version around the same time as the one that eventually made its way to the Xbox 360; but that project was scrapped, and more than a year has passed with only Xbox players having the opportunity to enjoy Remedy’s psychological thriller.

That is, until today. And while Remedy didn’t end up making a PC Alan Wake from the ground up, it did the next best thing: it took an already solid Xbox title and gave it just about every single upgrade and feature a PC player could ask for. The rest of the game development community should take note, because Alan Wake is a dissertation on how to make a damn fine PC port.

Alan Wake: PC (reviewed), Xbox 360
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: Remedy Entertainment, Nordic Games Publishing
Released: Feb. 16, 2012
MSRP: $29.99

First off, we can skip much of the talk about Alan Wake as a game here, because this is the same game that hit Xbox 360 back in 2010. Our Mark Burnham gave Alan Wake a very respectable 91/100 in his review, and because it’s a port, all his points remain valid. Some of the writing in Wake is a bit cheesy, and on my less-than-top-of-the-line system, I saw a few of the old issues my Xbox had with trying to render the game’s graphics and light/darkness engine.

But I’m pretty confident in my assessment that it was my rig holding Alan Wake back and not the game itself weakening my experience, and even with the very slight issues I experienced, Remedy’s PC effort is visually beautiful. The differences in resolution between the two versions is pretty stark — in fact, Remedy released some screenshots detailing that fact — and when you can seriously start maxing out the settings on Alan Wake with the hardware capable of handling it, it looks pretty spectacular.

Remedy also does a great job of acknowledging that there are PC players out there with a lot of power behind their systems and provides them everything they need. Graphics can be tweaked up pretty high just in general, with the ability to scale up and down features like shadows, V-sync and anti-aliasing, and Alan Wake supports AMD Eyefinity 3-D 3-screen mode and NVIDIA’s NVISION2 Sterescopic 3-D. If you’re into adding dimensions and screen real estate to your game, you’ve got plenty of options in the PC version of Alan Wake, and nothing like these features ever made it into the Xbox version. Remedy even threw in the ability to adjust the field of view for Alan Wake because of popular demand by fans.

Page 1 | Page 2

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

10 Comments on Alan Wake PC Review: A Port That Gets It Right

Dave T

On February 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I Knew Remedy wouldn’t let us down, Max Payne 1 + 2 were both fantastic PC Games at the time so they *IF* anyone (Jeers at ID) know how to code something decent on the PC. Already own it but I will be grabbing this I think!

Quicktooth

On February 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

Man, I already own this on 360 but I think I’ll buy this too. Really looking forward to those extra features- and I can’t argue with buying the Definitive Version of a game I really love :D

Joeymk

On February 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm

It’s not 60$ it is ONLY 30$

sam

On February 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

this review is spot on. less a port more the definitive version. It makes me very happy to see developers and publishers fulfilling their commitments to the pc community. in this case however, the game didn’t make a huge impact upon launch and the dev team obviously want/planned to continue making alan wake games, therefore the re-release is a viable opportunity to gain brand recognition, which lessens the whole “commitment to pc because we are remedy thing”. Kudos to them for doing it the right way though. now if i could just get the game to stop minimizing on its own every few minutes.

Rob_particulate

On February 20, 2012 at 12:49 am

Out of the box the game doesn’t implement 3D vision well – it needs a patch and nvidia support but according to nvidia the 3d vision profile is rated as low.

Phil Hornshaw

On February 22, 2012 at 1:37 am

@joeymk

Whoops, template mistake. Corrected.

thexfiles123

On February 23, 2012 at 5:14 am

Ironicly, I think the PC port is horrible, purely horrible… I could run Battlefield 3 maxed with no lag but I can only run Alan Wake on medium with 20 FPS? Screw it…

Marksaysgrowup

On February 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Seriously thexfiles123. Purely horrible?? aww. do wittle lag pops and frame rate’s occasionally dropping effect “completely take you out of the game”? Grow up dude. It’s a great game. I’ll take a 1/4 second lag for the great level of detail thrown into this. Every ing individual leaf/object blowing in the forests when things get crazy plus the random reactive elements rules 20x more then say uncharted with a much subtler approach. Give it a chance. Pull up them big boy britches and download it if you have to. Play it all, love it and continue to bash it on forums. At least it will make a fan of you.

Le5tat

On December 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

This review was surely a joke. Performance-wise (where the main part of PC optimization lies imo) this is the absolute worst port I’ve seen so far; way worse than GTAIV or Darksiders. Apart from me personally having so much performance problems it’s unplayable for me, just read through the various forums where the majority of people can’t even hit a decent fps with the lowest settings.

And another thing, not being able to turn off MSAA and forcing everyone to use at least 2x MSAA is… I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

So yeah, if you own a 2000€ NASA computer you might enjoy it, but if you own your ordinary mid/low end machine, you will not be able to play this not even on the lowest settings.

Fartknocker

On March 13, 2014 at 1:26 am

That’s nonsense frankly, Le5tat. I have a pretty low end machine by today’s standards (Phenom II X4 965, 4GB DDR3 1333, Radeon HD 7850), yet I can still run this at a locked 60fps at 1440×900 with every setting except MSAA (2x) and AF (8x) jacked up as far as they’ll go.