Alan Wake is back, but not quite in the way you might expect. Overbearing and stodgy exposition gives way to Twilight Zone kookiness. Traditional horror takes a turn into action alley. And, bizarrely, there's a survival mode without any story whatsoever. American Nightmare is freshly-streamlined and sharpened up for its XBLA debut, but does Remedy's new direction pay enough respect to the original game to appeal to existing fans as well as newcomers?
The answer, like Alan Wake's canon, is complicated.