Good news! The fantastic third-person shooter, Alan Wake, is out now on the Nintendo Switch. Bad news! It’s uh…a pretty rough port, with early impressions suggesting it’s buggy, looks terrible, and has some framerate issues, too.
Alan Wake was first released in 2010 on Xbox 360, and has since been ported to PC and more modern consoles via a remastered version of the game. Developed by Remedy, the same studio behind excellent games like Max Payne and Control, Alan Wake is a creepy, episodic horror shooter starring…Alan Wake. He’s an author suffering from writer’s block, and he travels with his wife to a place that is very similar to Twin Peaks. Then some really bad stuff happens involving shadow monsters.
In May of this year, Remedy announced Alan Wake Remastered would be coming to the Switch. Now, as of a few hours ago, it’s been shadow-dropped onto the eShop, and the first folks to check it out are sharing some disappointing news about this new port. Chief among the complaints are some odd and very noticeable graphical bugs. One tweeted screenshot even shows a mountain missing parts of its texture. Another shows a weird, bright white texture with green spots showing up in the opening part of the game. (No, the scene isn’t supposed to look snowy.)
These are likely just graphical bugs that not every player will experience. But even when the game is working, it doesn’t look great. Some early gameplay footage of Alan Wake on Switch shows it dropping frames frequently. It also looks very blurry, with some objects in the distance reduced to low-pixel ghosts, barely recognizable. Lighting also seems downgraded a lot, with nearly all shadows gone, making the whole game look very flat and stale. And jaggies are everywhere. The end result is a game that looks unstable and messy.
Sure, the original game on Xbox 360 wasn’t perfect, but the remastered ports and the original PC version looked better than this, and played better, too. Kotaku has reached out to Remedy about the visual issues, asking if the company has any plans to patch the game in the future. In the meanwhile, I recommend playing the original PC version of the game on Steam Deck if you want some portable Alan Wake action. In my experience, with a few minor setting tweaks, it runs great and looks much better than this new Switch edition.
While this new port of Alan Wake might not be great, we still have Alan Wake 2 coming in the future. That game was announced last year during the Game Awards and is apparently going to be a scarier, more horror-focused affair. As someone who loves Remedy games and creepy things, I’m very excited.