Alan Wake II: Night Springs Review | Xbox Series X

Alan Wake II: Night Springs isn't very substantial or long-lasting unless you're a huge fan of Alan Wake II.

By Rayan, Posted 16 Jun 2024

The Deluxe Edition Alan Wake II, the much-anticipated follow-up to the action-horror game finally has its first of the two DLCs, Night Springs, and it came with a bit of surprise. Usually, a DLC follows the same structure as the main campaign, with episodes devoted to the various protagonists. Perhaps everyone, including me, thought Night Springs would pick up right where the original game left off with Alan Wake and Mr. Door's relationship.

Alan Wake II, Night Springs, DLC, Review, Xbox Series X, Gameplay, Multiverse, Alan, NoobFeed

Alan Wake II: Night Springs, however, has nothing to do with that, and I suppose Remedy Entertainment was trying to surprise us all. Rather, it spins three short stories set in alternate realities, and the part of the Night Springs is based on an in-universe television series that draws significantly on The Twilight Zone. While it was fun, Night Springs, a mediocre extension for Alan Wake II fell short of my anticipations.

Although brief, the three episodes that compose Night Springs are presented with enjoyable content. While the episodes are fun, the fact that they are short in length and offer a limited number of alternative activities makes it interesting mostly to fans who are already familiar with the primary game.

Given the significant influence that these individuals have had on the Alan Wake universe, it's disappointing that this content falls flat for those who weren't enamored with Alan Wake II or their cinematic universe. The characters are brief and don't make much of a splash, which is disheartening.

Night Springs features alternate realities of beloved characters, and David Harewood's Mr. Door provides delightful narration at the beginning and conclusion of each episode. The three episodes that make up the expansion feature Rose Marigold—Alan Wake's biggest fan—, Jesse Faden—a character from Control before Control—and Tim Breaker—a character from the main campaign. Every single character features a distinctive story that is connected to the expanded multiverse of Remedy.

Alan Wake II, Night Springs, DLC, Review, Xbox Series X, Gameplay, Multiverse, Rose Marigold, Female Protagonist

The more I played the series, the more confused I was about where they fit into Alan Wake's universe. The fact that Rose is so naive demonstrates her loyalty to Alan and her desire to become his fresh inspiration while she is under the influence of the Dark Presence.

Before Control, Jesse tries to locate her brother and reveals her first encounter with the Dark Presence. Meanwhile, other Tim Breakers are hopping between realms to understand what's happening in their universe.

It all starts with the first episode, Number One Fan, which introduces an alternate Rose Marigold. Rose is a more action-focused campaign, Rose sets off on a quest to rescue her beloved writer from the hands of the writer's evil brother.

This episode feels the most fan-fictional of the three, with a plot that is reminiscent of the best meta-wave ever but the narrative also plays like a dark romance novel. The acting from Jessica Preddy and Matthew Porretta, who play Rose and Alan, respectively, is exceptional.

The episode's gameplay isn't bad; it features a fair amount of boss fighting and a few combat engagements. A greater focus of Jesse is on developing her narrative. At Coffee World, Jesse encounters the Dark Presence and the first hissing sounds while searching for her brother.

Thus, this is before she acquires all of her talents and powers. It's less complicated and centers on a mix of light combat and searching for important items. It's the least compelling storyline, and anyone who didn't play Control won't get anything out of this episode.

Alan Wake II, Night Springs, DLC, Review, Xbox Series X, Gameplay, Multiverse, Jesse Faden, Courtney Hope

In the second episode, North Star, we see a different side of Control's protagonist Jesse Faden as she faces off against strange foes and solves puzzles in her quest to rescue her brother from a government organization turned coffee cult. Even though it's a nice repetition of the coffee world region from the main game, my first disappointment was soon eased.

Seeing Courtney Hope reprise her role as Jesse Faden after five years on the job was great, but I was disappointed that this episode featured a different version of her. It seemed far less tied to Alan Wake II and somewhat unrelated to anything compared to the previous two episodes. This is just Remedy's little way of keeping us entertained till Control 2 comes out with a little Jesse.

The major part of the DLC takes place in the last episode, Tim Breaker, showcasing the gameplay components that made Alan Wake a thrill. Our protagonist, Shawn Ashmore; known for his roles as Sheriff Tim Breaker in Alan Wake 2 and Quantum Break's Jack Joyce—finds himself entangled in a web of parallel universes, pursued by Mr. Door—the master of many worlds. However, this time around, the sheriff from the main campaign is replaced by an actor.

Like the main Alan Wake II campaign, this side quest features an illustrated adventure, a throwback gameplay level, and the standard third-person fighting system in addition to brief reality-bending puzzles.

Despite my continued fascination with the plot of this episode, I am still confused about a few of the enormous lore implications it contains. Even more interesting is the delicate balance they maintain concerning Quantum Break.

Alan Wake II, Night Springs, DLC, Review, Xbox Series X, Gameplay, Multiverse, Tim Breaker, Male Protagonist

As usual, Remedy loves its mind-altering storylines. I thought these three episodes were fun and appreciated the fan service, but I would have liked something more substantive overall. Each episode lasts for about 30 minutes, and you'll spend much of that time exploring regions that have already been in the main game or fighting enemies. As you listen to Mr. Door narrate the introduction and then explore the rest of the episode, you'll feel like you're part of an episode of Night Springs—the aim of the DLC.

Regardless of whether these are genuine or part of the confined universe, they are intended to be played as standalone experiences rather than as grand excursions. The episodes are well-crafted, although they often seem quite brief.

Since it is exclusive to the deluxe edition and cannot be purchased separately, and since neither the content nor the size of the second DLC is revealed, I can imagine many would feel let down by the length of content Night Springs has to offer. Given that you get to play as three really interesting characters that fans were hoping for, but only for a brief period.

Night Springs isn't much to get behind on its own. Going back to the original Alan Wake's formula of a typical action horror game, Alan Wake II goes in a different direction. Although entertaining, the first two episodes don't offer anything.

The third episode salvages the whole thing with its more interesting lore and more imaginative parts, including comic book sequences. These episodes seem like harmless fan service supplemental material at first glance, but there's a line that makes you wonder what else could be there.

Alan Wake II, Night Springs, DLC, Review, Xbox Series X, Gameplay, Multiverse, Alan, NoobFeed

Alan Wake II: Night Springs isn't very substantial or long-lasting unless you're a huge fan of Alan Wake II. We get a little glimpse of Rose's perspective, and it's frustrating that it's cut so short, then a look at how Jesse was already far into her attempt to find Dylan before Control when her investigation abruptly came to a halt, and finally learn the shocking truth that Tim Breaker has several selves exploring the multiverse, only to abruptly end with so many questions.

So maybe the second DLC will answer all these, but for now, unless you're a huge fan of Alan Wake, you won't find it satisfying. So far, I would recommend holding off till the second DLC drops unless you are an absolute Remedy fanatic like me.


Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX
Publisher(s): Epic Games
Developer(s): Remedy Entertainment
Genres: Survival Horror
Themes: Action, Adventure, Third-person
Release Date: 2024-06-08

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