The Writer is the second and final DLC for Alan Wake. It follows up directly after the finale of the prior DLC, “The Signal” as such will continue spoilers. If you have not completed both the base game and its first DLC, I would advise against reading this review any further. This time around we start off having visions and find ourselves in the Dr. Hartmans lodge with Barry talking to us from the other side of a gated door. Alan is now aware who the threat is and is getting the grips to how the Dark Place functions, immediately recognizing Barry as not real. Still, he heeds his advice and shines light on a floating word that spawns things into reality to escape from that area.
It has a different feel from the first DLC in where the world seems to want you dead. In here, you are your own worst enemy. The world is not as aggressive this time around, instead most of your challenges will require thought and platforming, unlike the prior DLC where you are just trying desperately to survive. Yes, you read that right, this will have a decent amount of platforming and is just as terrible as you would imagine. Probably more than you think actually. The Ferris wheel portion of The Writer was the worst time I have had playing video games in a very long while, and that was mostly due to poor indications for what it intended you to do.
Having spent so much time in that dark world, it is now starting to make less and less sense with the environments that surround you becoming a lot more unhinged from reality. It will now give you a decent supply of equipment compared to the first DLC and will usually give you easier ways to deal with any enemies that you encounter. There are no new weapons, items or anything that differentiate itself from the previous DLC minus the platforming which as stated we could have definitely dealt without. Our collectibles this time around are copies of a Night Spring video game scattered about for the completionists out there to find and gather.
Alan having braved the violent areas of the last DLC, is that much closer to hopefully reaching salvation. Seemingly every step of the way you will encounter a TV that shows an image of yourself rambling madly and doing what it can to bring you down. Luckily for us, Thomas Zane has much more power here than in the last DLC, helping us in any way that he can like pulling an entire tree from the ground so you can use as a platform. The characters and the story are just as interesting as ever but ‘The Writer’ just does not play with its strengths. This is ultimately a disappointment, especially compared to how high the first DLC set the bar, though it is not a flat out a bad experience.