Alan Wake PC Review: A Port That Gets It Right

Actually, the entirety of Alan Wake PC feels like it came about from popular demand, with Remedy making sure to get everything Alan Wake fans wanted to see. Along with all the PC options players could want, 3-D support, FOV controls, multiple aspect ratios and really strong graphical support, there are more minor options available as well. You can switch off the heads-up display for the first time in Alan Wake, for example, which adds a bit of challenge and quite a bit of ambiance to the whole experience. And the PC version packs audio commentary from the developers that can be switched on for the Alan Wake superfans out there.

From a control standpoint, Remedy has done a nice job of converting a game built for the Xbox 360 controller to a keyboard/mouse environment. Everything feels nice and intuitive, with the mouse making it actually quite a bit easier to aim and even just look around while wandering through the forests surrounding Bright Falls. There are portions of the new control scheme that don’t feel quite as intuitive as having a gamepad in your hand, but if a controller is your bag, Remedy also included support for an Xbox controller with the game. I don’t actually recommend it because the greater mouse control feels right for Alan Wake, but it’s there if you need it.

In terms of “bang” in proportion to “buck,” it’s hard to go wrong with Alan Wake PC, either. The standard edition package runs at $29.99 and includes the full Wake experience — the original game, which is broken up into six episodes and portrayed kind of like a season of a TV show; and the two add-on DLC chapters, The Signal and The Writer. You also get the game’s soundtrack. Opt for the Collector’s Edition (normally coming in at $35 but on sale on Steam during launch week) and you’ll get some extras that make the price tag even more palatable, like the 144-page PDF companion book that further explores the game world of Alan Wake. Taken together, just the game and DLC themselves ran Xbox 360 players better than $70. Throw in the extras and that price is well over $80 — and PC gamers pay, at most, $35.

If you played Alan Wake on Xbox 360, I have some bad news for you: Alan Wake PC is the definitive experience. Remedy’s port is the superior version and in many ways, the way the game was meant to be experienced. There’s really no good reason not to snag this one — the price is right, the port is phenomenal, the extras are fantastic; it looks and plays great. If you missed Alan Wake when it came around two years ago, your wait was not in vain. Remedy has created an example against which a whole lot of other modern console ports should be judged. This is how you do it right.

Pros:

  • All of the Alan Wake content that made it onto Xbox 360 (which we very much enjoyed)
  • Great price tag
  • Amped graphics to accommodate PC hardware
  • Lots of fan-requested options baked in
  • Eyefinity and NVISION support
  • A port that doesn’t feel like a console game repackaged for PC
  • Collector’s Edition packs lots of solid extras
  • DLC included

Cons:

  • Ultimately the same game as on Xbox (if you happen to have that version)

Final Score: 95/100

Page 1 | Page 2

Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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.