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Alan Wake

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1 Alan Wake on Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:07 am

Anyone here ever play this game? It had quite some interesting combat going on. I'm at work now but suddenly thought "hey, we didn't discuss that game yet". Thoughts?

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2 Re: Alan Wake on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:37 am

I've got it, played it maybe 3 times now, might as well play this today since you mention it. Play the dlc also, it changes the combat up, adds a bunch more guns and enemies and has a bunch of wave survives on maps.

Combat is cool, it's all based around damaging enemies with light, you aim the flashlight at foes to drain their shields and stun them, once that's broken you can kill them with guns. Pointing the torch at mobs without aiming drains their shields a bit but aiming drains much faster and stuns them when first aimed at them, slows them down too but large mobs can charge through that. Flashlight has to recharge when aiming but you can find and use batteries to fill it up if you need to.
You have a dodge to avoid attacks, game goes into slomo for a successful dodge. A sprint as well which can run out leaving you to move a bit slower.

Weapons you can carry a pistol and a large gun(rifle or shotguns)as well, and a flare gun, flash bang and flares. Flares are used to create a safe area where goons can't enter, you can drop it or hold it up and move, super handy if your going to die and need some space, mobs back away slowly from it so you can force them to move away when holding it. Flashbangs are grenades, do great damage and can insta kill most mobs and drain their shields instantly. Flare is a grenade launcher pretty much, shoots a big red flare that does a big aoe splash, I forget to use it but it's super good for crowd control, and bosses with high shields. You can mash reload to make the guns reload each shot faster.

Enemy types are decent but I'd like more grunt types(dlc fixes this), theres about 3 types:
*Skinny guys, very fast and love to flank you but are weak, about 2 pistol shots to kill.
*Regular who can throw weapons re4 style, 4 pistol shots.
*Big guys who are slow but hit hard and can charge through your flashlight, not sure how many shots. The weaker the type the less shield it has, they are all stunned by shots without shields but can only be pushed back with shields.
*mini boss versions of the skinny guys who can dash around with immunity so you can't hurt them until they stop.
*murder of crows are enemies too, and possessed objects can become alive and throw themselves at you, along with tractor bosses. These types can only be harmed by light, once you drain their shield they die. I think the tractor has an orange colour shield that can regenerate if not drained quickly enough.

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3 Re: Alan Wake on Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:57 am

Birdman


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I haven't played too much, but it seems similar to Deadly Premonition, and maybe a bit of Twin Peaks.

The light mechanic is cool, like Gabriel said, flares can create a pool of light that enemies can't enter, but as I recall there are also things like street lights you can use. Possible car headlights too.



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4 Re: Alan Wake on Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:20 am

Yeh street lamps function as safe areas that heel you. You can find and turn on construction lights to drain enemy shields but they have to be turned on if they run out. Also large lights you can use at set points too, these ones kill enemies instantly if aimed at them, but can drain same as if you aim with the flashlight.

I just beat it on nightmare(hardest mode). Enemies take a few more shots and shields take longer to drain, they deal more damage too. Wasn't too hard, you get plenty of ammo, flares are a life saver for breathing space and let you regain some life, great for creating distance and grouping and blocking mobs.

To clarify,by the dlc I mean the separate expansion American Nightmare, has a bunch of different guns, enemies and changes some mechanics. The other 2 dlc continue where the main game ends.

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5 Re: Alan Wake on Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:50 am

Birdman


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I just got this urge to play this game. Hadn't planned on it at all.

Really enjoying it and it might scratch that itch left by Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks. The setting is pretty much TP. I'm only in chapter 2 and I've already encountered a few characters that are ripped right from TP. The squeaky sounding receptionist at the police station, the log lady (she's carrying something in AW but I didn't get a good look at it), the straight shooting sheriff, etc. Every character seems weird and will tell you these long, mundane stories that go nowhere if you hang around them.

Nightmare isn't available from the start, so I'm on hard going for 100% completion. Some files can only be found on nightmare though.

Combat is average but WAY better than DP. The shooting in that game was horrific and I will never understand how it got greenlit, especially when PS2 games like RE4 utterly DESTROY it.

Gabriel summed up the light mechanics pretty well. One thing I want to add (and this might be hard mode only) is how enemies really try to flank you. I got ambushed by three guys and two always run to the sides while one comes directly at me. It could be their type, which is guys with one handed axes (or maybe they're sickles?). They can throw them too.

It doesn't seem to matter where you shoot them. i'm not sure they are headshots but I haven't had much combat exp yet so we'll see. The light beam is so thick and bright that it kinda obscures where exactly the bullets are connecting.

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6 Re: Alan Wake on Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:18 am

Birdman


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One of the weird things is you don't keep our guns. I've often found myself without whatever I picked up, then you just find them again somewhere, though not always the ones you had.

There really seems to be no effect on shooting certain body parts. Sad because so far the combat is a bit repetitive. Just break down their darkness with the torch and shoot. Other guns seem to be no more than higher damage. I got some flashbang grenades and they are insanely good, but that was only in one part of a chapter. No real overall management because you don't keep your stuff.

Enemies are impossible to outrun even while sprinting. They catch up AND can hit you before you get out of their range. Last second dodges work though. I tend to just jog and dodge as needed. You get nothing from fighting. No drops, no upgrade system. There is no point fighting unless you have to. It's difficult to avoid on the first playthrough though, especially since in some areas this darkness fog blankets the entire area and enemies spawn seemingly infinitely out of it. All the while, you're trying to figure out where to run exactly.

It's sad that the guns aren't really unique and there are no hit zones on enemies (that I know of). RE4 did this so damn well. I can't believe that games like AW and DP didn't take something from RE4.

I'm not 100% sure, but this game isn't open world like I thought. It just has really large areas. I had to drive to the coal mine which was kinda fun. I kept getting in the passenger door because in my country it's actually the driver's seat. I love how everyone leaves their cars unlocked with the keys ready to go.

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7 Re: Alan Wake on Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:52 pm

It really is one of those games that I want to try, tried, liked it, but never finished it. The combat was cool, the story eary (loved the 'homey' segments without combat during daylight). But there was always something that drew me out. Maybe it was the lack of varying enemies? In terms of enemies I do recall them flanking a lot, but I was never sure if this was just smart AI or them spawning behind me.

I forget but how did you deal with enemies when you ran out of ammo?

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8 Re: Alan Wake on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:34 pm

Birdman


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I do recall them flanking a lot, but I was never sure if this was just smart AI or them spawning behind me.
They do spawn behind a lot, but many times you'll have guys coming at you from the front and one or two will immediately flank you. I don't know if I would call it smart though. It seems they were just programmed to always do this which means you adapt to it instantly but they can't change. Having said that, on hard it's always dangerous to deal with.

I forget but how did you deal with enemies when you ran out of ammo?
You don't. I ran out of ammo once when I didn't realize they span infinitely (or at least in high numbers) in darkness zones and I had no choice but to run and get to the next area.

The game likes to throw a heavy and a few light types at you at once. The light ones like to flank while the heavy comes straight at you.

I've been working on some battery saving tactics. As you know you can focus the torch to remove darkness much faster, but it uses a lot of power. The torch still removes darkness when not focused though but it's way slower. Here's what I've noticed so far. When you focus the beam for the first time on an enemy, it stuns them and they block their eyes, coming to a complete halt for a few seconds.

I like to use normal beam until they get close, then flash them quickly with a focused beam, then go back to normal. Most of the time I can get most of their darkness off without wasting battery. Not the best tactic for groups but still works.

After you stun them like this, it doesn't work again. They come at you while covering their eyes, but they move a little slower then before. Not a huge difference but it's something.

I have seen another type of stun from shooting, where the enemy crouches or kneels down, appearing to be hurt. I'm not sure why. Maybe damage, or possibly a weak point? I'll look more into that.

The shotgun does hit more than one enemy, and the hunting rifle is a single, powerful shot. Flare gun is like your smart bomb.

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9 Re: Alan Wake on Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:48 am

Birdman


Moderator
After you stun them like this, it doesn't work again.
After testing this a bit more, the stun can be done over and over but you have to get your light off them.

When enemies comes at you to start with, in their default movement animations, you can cause this stun. But if you keep the beam on them they will block their faces and tank through it as I've mentioned already.

But, if you remove the beam, they'll soon lover their arm can go back to their original animation, in which case you can focus beam and stun them again, allowing you to keep backing up and getting on more time with an unfocused beam, saving battery power.

Quickly flashing the focused beam like this also cancel most enemy attacks. I was busy with a guy when I saw another preparing to though his axe so I quickly flashed him and cancelled it. It doesn't work on the big guys who have an attack where they run straight at you and try to shoulder ram.

I recently did a segment with the sheriff. She has a shotgun with unlimited ammo, so I ran around removing enemy darkness and flash stunning them constantly, letting her take them out for the most part.

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10 Re: Alan Wake on Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:19 am

Birdman


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Finished hard mode last night. Overall decent game. I love the setting. Everything is really detailed.

I realized that this game isn't very long at all. It only seemed longer because I collected everything.

I'm not done yet though. There are more manuscript pages that can only be found on Nightmare mode which I just unlocked.

I also realized I have two DLC episodes that I got ages ago when I first bought the game. Totally forgot they existed. They were free back then for some reason.

There's also another game called Alan Wake's American Nightmare, which, as I understand it, is a short, combat focused game. There are more weapons like a crossbow, and also has an 'arcade' mode that sounds like RE's Mercenaries mode. It describes waves of enemies and score counter. Damn, barrels of content ahead.

Edit: Just bought American Nightmare, but I want to go through the AW DLC first. Then Nightmare to collect all the manuscript pages. Might play AN before I do that though.

This is the first time I've ever used the Xbox store. I forgot all my details to xbox live so it took a while to figure that out. AN was like $4.95 (1.33GB).

Edit:Just finished both DLC's. Super short and not many collectibles. I played on hard and they were at some points much harder than the main game. No new enemies but there were definitely more of them.

One thing I found regarding that flashlight stun. You DON'T have to take the beam off them to get them to drop their hand. They will still do this if you keep an unfocused beam on them. I don't know why I didn't see this sooner. It just felt like they it took longer or maybe that they wouldn't stop blocking until I removed it. I think they might drop their guard faster if you remove it sooner. Will look into that later.

I'll start AN tomorrow morning. Looking forward to seeing how this plays with the new weapons and more focus on action.



Last edited by Birdman on Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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11 Re: Alan Wake on Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:46 am

Birdman


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After finishing the DLC, I strongly believe that the devs of The Evil Within 2 played AW, the DLC especially. There's a lot similar in the setting and reality warping aspects.

In the DLC, reality constantly warps, sometimes sending you to new locations. You wander a reasonable large town that looks exactly like the one in TEW2, and even has huge cracks in the road, as if reality is breaking down.

The flashlight get way more use in the DLC, reminds me of Kidman's DLC. Since the DLC doesn't take place in reality, instead of items laying around, there are typewritten words floating in the air that you need to shine your light on to convert into items. This is also the case for other environmental things.

On to AN, just started and barely through the first area, but I've already encountered a new enemy type. Let me quickly describe the enemies in the original AW.

You basically had 4 human types. Light, heavy, warping and chainsaw. There are also possessed objects which have 2 categories, vehicles and random objects.

Lights run fast and like to flank. Some throw their weapons. Rarely, I had one light enemy stay back and only throw, but generally they never focused on this. Likely depends on distance. They tended to throw more if you're running away, or as an opening attack.

Heavies are bigger guys with large clubs or axes. They move slower but are much stronger. The don't flank, they just come straight at you. Usually accompanied by light support.

Warping types can move around at super high speeds leaving only a blur behind them. When they stop is your change to flashlight them, though you can chip away at them while they're warping around a little. They're easy to follow and I consider them less threatening than any other type, even when I had to fight 3 at once (though I had two support characters in that fight). Once the darkness is off them, they go down with no trouble.

Chainsaw guys are pretty much heavies, but obviously way more dangerous. When dodging, don't stop because they swing more than once. They also have regenerating health, which is what some tough enemies and possessed objects have. This means only a focused beam can wear down their darkness. Other than that, treat them like regular heavies.

Random possessed objects could be any junk in the environment of any size including vehicles. They float while vibrating for a few seconds, then fly at you at high speed in a straight line. Difficult to avoid in the open, but even a small piece of cover can deflect them. You defeat these simply with your flashlight. Either beam works but you want to focus to get them out of the way as soon as possible.

Possessed vehicles are different because they actually drive and can follow you around. You'll face cars, off-road vehicles, and construction vehicles.

Back to AN, first big difference is an unfocused beam does NOTHING. Only a focused beam can remove darkness. This would be a problem, but now recharge is near instant. Like 2 seconds after you stop, it fully refills.

The stun from a focused beam still works like in AW. Good for buying a few seconds to back away or reload.

The first weapon I got was a pistol, pretty much the same as in AW (though not a revolver, though mechanically the same), but I soon found the nail gun.

Oh, and in both AW and AN, you can only carry one of a certain type at a time. So, in AW, there is the shotgun and the hunting rifle, but when you find a pickup, you have to choose between them. There was only one one-handed type in AW which was the revolver, but in AN, the nail gun takes over the pistol slot.

Ok, so the nail gun is weaker than the pistol, but holds far more ammo. Each clip holds 25, and your inventory holds 50. Can't say for sure if this is better than the pistol overall, but the rate of fire is better for groups as you can keep them stunned from shots, combined with flashlight stuns.

There are weapon boxes around, but I've only seen one. You need the required amount of manuscript pages to open them. There's one nearby with a sub-machinegun, so I'll grab that soon.

The light and heavy enemies return, and seem the same. I just fought a completely new enemy though, this big, ugly guy. He had no darkness, but when you shine the flashlight on him, he rolls and splits into two. According the game, he gets weaker by doing this. I accidentally made him mutiply again because I'm not used to enemies with no darkness. That's probably what the devs wanted lol.

Edit:When the clone guy splits, his copies get smaller. I just fought two at once, and left one intact so I immediately notices the size difference. They go down super fast. Ultimately it doesn't seem to matter which way you want to deal with them. Split them up and you're looking at two bullets each (though I'm still not sure how many times you can split them) vs unloading into a one at full strength.

Got the sub-machine gun. It has a larger clip than the nail gun and is way stronger. You need to fire in short bursts as it can really eat through ammo. I wouldn't go back to the nail gun.

Also found a revolver, but no idea how it compares to the pistol. Got a rifle too that seems to be an automatic version of AW's hunting rifle.

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12 Re: Alan Wake on Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:01 am

Birdman


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Got the crossbow. This thing is awesome. It only holds 25, and needs to be reloaded after every shot, but get this. You don't need to remove darkness. It goes right through it! It's super strong too, killing light enemies and and regular heavies in one shot. Clone guys go down in two.

Despite the low ammo capacity, ammo found throughout each stage refills whatever you're holding.

Speaking of the clone guys, max is 4. Also encountered two more enemies types. Grenade throwers and spiders. Spiders have no darkness and can be killed with bullets or the flashlight alone.

Edit: I know I'm often switching between AW and AN. Hope it's not too confusing,

Encountered another new enemy. Creepy little guy who turns into a flock of birds when you shine the flashlight on them.

Oh, I forget about the basic bird enemies in AW. They fly in a large flock and divebomb you. Shining the flashlight on them head on prevents you getting hit. Extremely annoying when there's more than one flock.

Bosses in AW are just powered up versions of regular enemies. Sadly they're very unoriginal and sometimes have regular enemies to help out.

I played a little of arcade (Mercenaries) mode in AN. You get dumped in a large area, with various pickups scattered about, and face waves of enemies. I only did the first stage. This huge guy with some kind of buzzsaw weapon appeared. Freaked me right out lol.

There is a multiplier that goes up with kills and successful last second dodges. Getting hit resets it. You get rated at the end with stars based on your points. Very similar to RE4. Seems what weapons are available depend on what weapon boxes you've opened in story mode. I'm only on chapter 3 so I'll complete everything before playing arcade again.

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13 Re: Alan Wake on Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:38 am

Birdman


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Just finished American Nightmare's story mode and did a few arcade mode levels.

The story mode is quite hideous. I get it was just a side game, but still. Basically, you repeat 3 levels 3 times each because Alan is stuck in some kind of loop. Each repeat is shorter, because he knows what to do and a lot gets cut out, but it was nonetheless a huge drag and I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Arcade mode is already boring to me. Sure, AN has more guns but due to the way enemies only react one way to damage no matter which body part you shoot, it gets old fast, as does having to remove darkness with the flashlight.

The lack of hit properties and there really only being one way to deal with things kills any replay value for me. Look at games like Vanquish and the ancient RE4. There's just so much you can do and so many enemy reactions, weapon properties, that I still replay them.

I will never be going back to this AW or AN, but AW was well worth the playthrough. It's been on my mind for years and now I've finally experienced it.

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