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The Signal brings plenty of new content to the table and lives up to the standards set by the original episodes.
Ultimately, if you enjoyed playing though the main game, then The Signal is going to be a welcome expansion to the adventure. It expands on the Alan Wake story but doesn't lay every card on the table. Much like a single episode in an ongoing TV series, The Signal provides a few answers but then taunts the player with new questions. The hard part is going to be waiting to see what happens next in The Writer.
The Signal est une réussite au niveau action, Remedy ayant eu la bonne idée de varier le gameplay par rapport au jeu principal, et nous tient en haleine du début à la fin. Une fin qui arrive malheureusement un peu trop rapidement puisqu’il vous faudra un peu moins de 2h pour terminer l’extension ; les nouveaux succès vous permettront néanmoins peut-être d’y rejouer et d’y repasser un peu plus de temps. Au niveau narratif, on n’apprendra pas grand chose de plus sur l’intrigue mais comme dans toute bonne série, on a envie de voir la suite qui arrivera avec The Writer.
Remedy continue sur le concept épisodique avec Le Signal. La suite directe de l'histoire d'Alan Wake n'éclaircit pas encore complètement les mystères de cet univers sombre, mais débute un nouveau chapitre dans la descente de l'écrivain dans les abysses de son œuvre, tout en introduisant quelques passages de gameplay originaux qui renouvellent agréablement l'expérience. Comme il est gratuit pour tous ceux qui ont acheté le jeu neuf, il serait dommage de passer à côté !
Clocking in at roughly 90 minutes, The Signal provides varied set piece battles across diverse settings that are well designed to maximize the tension Alan Wake is known for. Despite the retreading players must endure in the beginning and an abrupt conclusion, The Signal provides well-polished action worth picking up for anyone who's already completed the core game.
En somme, The Signal peut laisser un goût doux-amer. A la fois rempli de bonnes idées mais sans doute trop tourné vers l'action et laissant l'histoire au placard, il tranche assez nettement avec le reste du jeu sans lui apporter grand-chose. Néanmoins, on retrouve toujours avec plaisir l'ambiance si particulière du titre pendant deux heures, tout ça pour 560 points MS. Une bonne affaire tout de même donc.
Although the story in The Signal isn't nearly as impactful nor as focused as what was found in the original game, the rest of this episode lives up to what came before it. The thrilling combat is harder than it was the first time around, which makes it even more satisfying when you finally kill the last taken. And the creepy atmosphere creates a tense mood in which every gust of wind makes you jump with fear at some unseen presence. The Signal can be downloaded for free by anyone who purchased Alan Wake new, but for everyone else, this DLC cost $7. The directionless story keeps The Signal from being a must-play for Alan Wake fans clamoring for closure, but this is still an enjoyable add-on with many intense moments.
The full game is at its most engaging at very specific moments, which are scattered in a mire of inconsistency and monotony. What The Signal does best, then, is reproduce the best of these with a greater rhythm and fidelity over less than half of the length of the original six acts. Paradoxically, Alan is freed from the shackles of his initial trials into something less ambitious and more restrained which, ultimately, ends up doing it all with a fresh zest and confidence, unencumbered by a troubled seven year cycle. At worst, it demonstrates that all of that hard work might eventually pay off, and the Wake formula has life in it yet. The franchise’s future looks - ahem - brighter, but we’d be best advised to withhold assent until the second extra episode, The Writer, is released later this year.
Amid its shortcomings, however, The Signal still has the formidable assets of its parent game: adult themes and a gorgeous visual style. The game explores the nature of language and creation with only fitful lucidity, but those patches of clarity are stirring. So I'd rather play an erratic instalment of Alan Wake than a highly polished cover-shooter clone, because even when it fails, the former gives me something to think about in the ensuing days. Put another way, The Signal gets better the more I don't play it.
The Signal is a satisfying addition to the Alan Wake experience, and has me eagerly waiting on the second DLC episode The Writer which is coming soon. If you enjoyed Alan Wake The Signal offers a few twists on the original gameplay that will keep things interesting for you. Clocking in at about 3 hours worth of gameplay, it is well worth the 560 MSP asking price. You can download The Signal starting on the 27th. Check it out.