Alan Wake: The Signal DLC Review

Alan Wake finished on a heck of a cliffhanger, and if you’re reading this review, I assume you’ve already finished the game, so I won’t go through a recap of what happened before The Signal. Suffice it to say, The Signal picks up right where the game left off.

Alan Wake finds himself in a strange situation. He is trapped in a horribly twisted version of Bright Falls, one that even he can barely recognize. The darkness is incredibly strong, and it’s twisting, but the person who seems to be controlling it is Alan himself.

The Signal begins in Bright Falls as it did on the first day that Alan arrived. He walks into the diner, but everything is like a memory – not complete, and twisted. He soon finds Thomas Zane appearing to him from the bathroom mirror, aiding Alan, providing him with a flashlight and revolver and asking him to follow a GPS signal on Alan’s phone.

Alan soon encounters a television set from which he sees himself, crazy, big-wide eyes, screaming madly and setting Alan up for a tough fight. Alan’s self – the television version – seems to be controlled utterly by the darkness, making Alan’s road ahead tough.

The Signal is a great piece of DLC. It lasts about an hour, and is completely free to gamers who bought the title new. It is a thrilling, twisted ride that is scary, and often presents unique challenges. For instance, one section has Alan in a basement, fighting off hordes of Taken by blowing causing blowouts in furnaces.

Throughout the game there are words that must be destroyed by light to reveal objects, memories, and even, enemies. The level design is fantastic, and the pacing is fast and furious.

The best part of Alan Wake, though, is the story, and The Signal doesn’t disappoint. The opening cinematic catches you up (if you need a refresher) on what happened in the previous six chapters, and you find yourself quickly immersed again. Alan’s search to reunite with Zane and learn what’s happened to him is driven forward by excellent narrative and a desire to explore. It is, once again, an excellent story.

The Signal is well worth downloading whether you get it for free or need to pay for it. It costs 560 MS points if you don’t have a free download code, which is equivalent to about $7. Well worth the price.