Alan Wake 2 is a worthy successor to the unique, and dare I say, even outdoes it in some ways. However there’s one factor that Treatment’s long-awaited sequel has in abundance that I want there have been much less of—or none in any respect—and that’s the bounce scares.

I get it: a well-placed bounce scare can work wonders to construct pressure and offer you one thing to be afraid of. The specter of one can have you ever holding your breath in anticipation round each nook or the opening of each creaky door. Too many although, they usually begin to really feel low-cost and also you change into desensitised to them. Otherwise you do what I do and flatly refuse to have interaction with them after the primary couple and play out any scene that appears remotely jump-scare-y with the quantity down and the lights on.

The bounce scares begin just about from the get-go and there is no getting away from them. They are not refined or “blink and you will miss it”—they take up your whole display screen and fill your ears with a sudden, loud shriek, and the worst bit is that they arrive out of nowhere. 

(Picture credit score: Treatment)

I imply, sure: that is a bounce scare by definition, however these actually haven’t any bearing on what is going on on round you. You are not stepping right into a abandoned room where one thing may be lurking and “Oh crap! I did not see that factor hiding within the nook!”. It is in your head, or reasonably, within the protagonist’s head, so it may come at any time and does so, typically.

You usually solely get these scares whenever you’re enjoying as Saga, and I suppose, to some extent, it makes you the participant, really feel much less in management simply as Saga does: I can see the aim if that was the intention, I simply want the game hadn’t been fairly so plagued by them as a result of it ruined numerous these chapters for me. I refused to play with a headset—or the quantity up in any respect, truthfully—so misplaced numerous the ambiance they had been making an attempt to construct.

Clearly, that is not how the game is supposed to be performed but it surely’s the one manner I can play with out danger of doing myself or my keyboard—and anything fragile within the instant neighborhood—critical injury. Scary is nice however I’ve all the time most well-liked a extra refined sort of horror. 

I do not recall any bounce scares within the unique Alan Wake game. There could effectively have been, however the truth that I do not particularly bear in mind signifies that in the event that they had been current, they weren’t overused. In actual fact, on the time I bear in mind feeling like Alan Wake was the Silent Hill game I would been ready for for the reason that collection bought a bit misplaced after The Room, and people video games had been all the time notoriously about psychological horror, with the outright gore and low-cost scares used sparingly.

(Picture credit score: Treatment)

That is to not say they do not have their place. Executed right, bounce scares are extremely efficient. Staying with reference to Silent Hill for a second, I am going to always remember the locker room within the first game—the one bounce scare I really bear in mind from the collection—which was so efficient as a result of it wasn’t overused.

Perhaps I’ve simply not performed many horror video games in recent times, however the bounce scares in Alan Wake 2 began getting annoying after the primary handful. It isn’t just like the game even wants them: it’s completely able to scaring the shit out of anybody with out a budget methods. The cultists, the ritualistic murders, the thriller surrounding Cauldron Lake, Saga’s weird reminiscence lapses—these are greater than sufficient to hold me on my toes.

I do know I am not the one one who feels this fashion: numerous pals I’ve spoken to say they’d like to play however will not even entertain the thought of selecting it up due to the bounce scares. In a great world, it would be nice to have some kind of sliding scale that will allow you to dial again the bounce scares—or flip them off fully. Not being a developer, I don’t know how viable that’s however I wager it could get a bunch extra individuals enjoying, had been that ever an choice.

In a game that does actually the whole lot else so effectively, it is a disgrace that Treatment felt prefer it wanted to stuff Alan Wake 2 stuffed with bounce scares. There’s greater than sufficient horror to go round with out them.