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ALAN WAKE 2 is A Dazzling Dive into Darkness | A Tamatem Review

  • Moving from the original’s spooky atmosphere, the game emphasises resource management and strategic combat against the Taken.
  • Despite occasional pacing issues, Alan Wake 2 stands out for its creatively told, infectiously enthusiastic narrative.
  • Exploring Remedy’s shared universe, the narrative adds depth to Alan Wake’s mythology, enhanced by creative storytelling techniques.
  • Despite narrative complexity, the game’s blend of horror, humour, and exploration leaves players with a memorable experience.

In the realm of Remedy Entertainment’s creations, Alan Wake 2 stands as a testament to the studio’s unabashed personality, weaving a mesmerising tapestry of creative storytelling and visual extravagance. Published on October 31, 2023, by Robin Valentine, this surreal survival horror sequel doesn’t just follow the traditional big-budget game formula; it catapults players into an idiosyncratic journey, embracing Remedy’s every eccentric idea with self-indulgent flair.

Set 13 years after Alan Wake’s mysterious disappearance in the first game (spoilers!), the sequel introduces Saga Anderson, an FBI agent investigating ritual murders in the sleepy town of Bright Falls. The narrative unfolds through the parallel stories of Alan’s attempts to escape the Dark Place—a dimension of psychological nightmare—and Saga’s pursuit of the truth. The unique narrative structure allows players to switch between the two characters, crafting a personalised order of reveals and twists.

While tonally different from its predecessor, Alan Wake 2 immerses players in a proper survival horror experience, demanding resource management and strategic use of light to fend off the menacing Taken. Remedy’s expertise in combat shines through, creating tension and release with impactful gunplay. However, the game deviates from the seamless rhythm of its predecessor, focusing instead on keeping players on edge and working for moments of respite.

Despite occasional struggles with enemy deployment and pacing, the survival horror elements play only a part in the overall offering. Alan Wake 2 places a paramount emphasis on storytelling, delivering one of the most creatively told narratives in gaming. The narrative dives deep into meta territory, blurring the lines between the game’s story, Alan’s written work, and references to the real world and Remedy’s past games. Infectiously enthusiastic, the game balances overwrought ideas with humour, making it both frightening and the funniest game of the year.

The storytelling brilliance is complemented by creative techniques, including live-action sequences, investigation cork boards, and a myriad of visual and auditory elements. The ability to switch between characters becomes a pivotal aspect of the narrative, revealing fascinating connections and parallels.

Visually stunning, Alan Wake 2, powered by a beefy PC setup, maintains a mix of medium and high graphics settings for optimal performance. While the intricate narrative can be challenging to follow, the game’s exploration of Remedy’s shared universe adds depth to the Alan Wake mythology.

In the end, Alan Wake 2, stands as Remedy’s boldest experiment yet—a beautiful storm of surreal storytelling and genuinely frightening survival horror that leaves a lasting impression on players.


About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

I’m Still Not Over L.A. Noire and I’m Not Sure I Want to Be

Op-Ed By Rick W. Hindi

L.A. Noire is a neo-noir detective game developed by the defunct Team Bondi and published by the ever-successful Rockstar Games. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in 2011 and has since been ported to other platforms, including Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. The game is set in Los Angeles in 1947 and follows the story of Cole Phelps, a LAPD detective who investigates a series of murders. It’s also the only thing that I’ve been talking about for the past couple of weeks (I sincerely apologise for my roommate).

L.A. Noire is one of the most visually stunning games ever made, and the graphics still hold up. This is mostly thanks to its groundbreaking facial animation technology. The game’s characters are able to display a wide range of emotions, from subtle facial expressions to full-blown outbursts. And although this might sound daunting, the gameplay itself is quite simple in concept, but works perfectly for allowing players to choose their own direction during investigations. Evidence and clues can be missed or overlooked and information and hunches can be confirmed or rectified by heading to locations connected to persons of interest or the crime.

L.A. Noire’s interrogation mechanic is one of its most unique and innovative features, it blew the fan off of my PS3 in 2011 and it continues to blow my mind to this day. NPC faces are modelled after real actors to produce realistic facial expressions that indicate whether someone is lying or telling the truth (more on said actors later). 

Players can miss information or even arrest the wrong person if they don’t question witnesses and suspects effectively or if they overlook important evidence. This means that while cases have a correct ending, players can come to different conclusions, including the wrong ones, and admittedly, the only thing that will suffer is your sleep – the game won’t punish you for sending James Tiernan to deathrow but your conscience will, or should.

During interrogations, players must carefully observe the suspect’s facial expressions and body language to determine whether they are lying. This adds a layer of tension and excitement to the game, as players must use their detective skills to solve the cases, and – you know, you need evidence. 

L.A. Noire’s gameplay-first approach sets it apart from other detective games. While many detective games focus on overarching stories, L.A. Noire centres around the experience of being a detective. This is reflected in the game’s gameplay, which gives players the freedom to investigate cases at their own pace and come to their own conclusions. In L.A. Noire, each case feels like its own contained story, with its own unique challenges and rewards.

This keeps the gameplay fresh and exciting, as players never know what to expect next. In contrast, other detective games tend to be more linear, with players simply following along for the ride. L.A. Noire’s dichotomy of telling the story of a detective and being a detective is what makes it one of the best detective games ever made. 

We also cannot ignore the fantastic acting that we’ve seen in the game; a shocking number of actors who’ve worked on Mad Men found themselves in L.A. Noire, with Aaron Staton, who played the big-hearted Ken Cosgrove, playing the main character, and all around good cop/mentally unstable cop/possibly-tap-dancing-expert cop, main protagonist, Cole Phelps. 

I personally have a bittersweet feeling about Aaron Staton, he’s an idol of gaming characters, especially amongst the fans of L.A. Noire, often dubbed as one of the most realistic characters in video game history, with acting that could have easily won awards in L.A. Confidential (1997) or Chinatown (1974). On the other hand, he is yet to escape this typecast. Searching for the material used in this blog, one cannot help but notice a hail of “Cole Phelps, Badge Number 1247” comments. As far as I’ve found, he’s been in a few indie flicks since the completion of Mad Men in 2015 as well the cancelled reboot of the Right Stuff (2020)

Circling back to the bitterness of, L.A. Noire, it is not without its flaws. The game’s gameplay can be repetitive at times, and the lack of innovation in some areas may deter some players. Another criticism of L.A. Noire is that its story is not as tightly paced as it could be. There are some slow sections in the game, and the ending may feel rushed to some players (I personally wanted more). 

Furthermore, the city is … lonely. Although 1947’s Los Angeles is considered the perfect rendition of digital time-travel and tourism, there’s something solidly upsetting about the content. Chinatown has nothing to do with China, even Gun (2005) did a better job at the diversity based on region. The perfectly detailed streets feel false, like a simulator running out of CPU, and the map’s GPS is worse than Barbie’s Horse Adventures. More unfortunate being that these issues weren’t remedied in the remastered version. 

Despite its flaws, finding a copy of L.A. Noire last month was like finding an unfinished love letter that you’ve never sent. A time capsule of a gorgeous dream, an era when things were more hopeful, experimental and absolutely ambitious in the world of gaming, and 12 years later, no one has yet come close to recapturing that thrilling sense of adventure in developing nor narrative. It may not be perfect, but it’s mine to relive and re-experience, and that’s what matters. Phelps, Badge 1247, signing off for now. 

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

Dark Souls Before Dark Souls

By Rick W. Hindi

Dark Souls is one of the most acclaimed and influential video game series of all time, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. There were a number of games that came before Dark Souls that helped to pave the way for its success, and in this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most notable ones (and yes, we’re aware that Demon’s Souls is one of those games but it doesn’t count).

Severance: Blade of Darkness

Severance: Blade of Darkness is a 2001 action role-playing game developed by Rebel Act Studios and published by Codemasters, it’s also the reason why I couldn’t sleep for a month in the 6th grade out of sheer frustration. The game is set in a dark fantasy world and features brutal combat, challenging environments, and perishable weapons. It’s no wonder that many gamers consider Severance to be a precursor to Dark Souls.

One of the most unique aspects of Severance’s combat system is the ability to use the dismembered body parts of slain enemies as weapons. This adds a gruesome but satisfying element to the game’s gameplay. Unfortunately, Severance was never a commercial success, but it has since gained a cult following among fans of hardcore action RPGs. It’s also been uploaded and optimised for Steam, as well.

King’s Field

King’s Field is a first-person dungeon crawler developed by FromSoftware and released for the PlayStation in 1994. It is the first game in the King’s Field series, which is considered to be a spiritual predecessor to the Souls series.

King’s Field features many of the same core elements as Dark Souls, including difficult combat, challenging exploration, and a deep backstory. The game also features a stamina metre, which is another staple of the Souls series.

What is it with FromSoftware and skeletons in a poison-heavy dark level?

While King’s Field was not a critical or commercial success in the West, it was very popular in Japan. The game’s success led to the development of two sequels, King’s Field II and King’s Field III.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most popular and influential video game franchises of all time. While the Zelda series is not typically associated with the Souls genre, it did have a significant impact on the development of Dark Souls.

Game director Hidetaka Miyazaki has cited Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link and Ocarina of Time as two of the games that inspired him to make video games. Miyazaki has praised the Zelda series for its brutal combat experience, deep lore, and increased combat difficulty from Zelda 2 onwards.

While the Zelda games that inspired Dark Souls may not have had as vast lands to explore as Demon’s Souls, they did check two other important “Soulslike” criteria: deep lore and challenging combat.

Severance: Blade of Darkness, King’s Field, and The Legend of Zelda are just a few of the games that helped to pave the way for the success of Dark Souls. These games all featured elements that would later become staples of the Souls genre, such as difficult combat, challenging exploration, and deep lore. If you’re a fan of Dark Souls, then you should definitely check out some of the games that inspired it. You won’t be disappointed.

About us: Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

Horror games: Are We in a Golden Age?

Horror games have become increasingly popular in recent years. Developers use a variety of techniques to make horror games scary, including making the player feel powerless, using jump scares, and incorporating multiplayer features. VR could be used to make even scarier horror games in the future. The BBC published an interesting article that made us think about the new age of horror and what makes these games so good? 

Iconic Lady Dimitrescu ushered in a new era

Horror games are one of the most popular genres of video games. They offer players a chance to experience fear and suspense in a safe environment. But seriously, what makes horror games so scary?

One of the most common techniques used in horror games is to make the player feel powerless. This can be done by limiting the player’s resources, such as ammunition or health, or by putting the player in situations where they are unable to fight back. For example, in the game Resident Evil, the player is often trapped in enclosed spaces with zombies and other monsters. This can create a sense of claustrophobia and helplessness.

From ignored to remade, horror games are coming back

Another common technique is to use jump scares. Jump scares are sudden moments of fright, such as a loud noise or a monster appearing on the screen. Jump scares can be very effective at making players jump, but they can also be predictable and repetitive.

Multiplayer horror games can be even more scary than single-player games. This is because players have to work together to survive, which can lead to communication breakdowns and arguments. Additionally, multiplayer horror games often feature betrayal mechanics, where one player can turn on the other players. This can create a sense of distrust and paranoia, which can make the game even more terrifying.

VR horror games are a new and exciting genre of horror games. VR horror games allow players to experience the game world from a first-person perspective, which can make the game much more immersive and scary. For example, in the game Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, players can use a VR headset to explore the Baker Mansion. This can be a very unsettling experience, as players feel like they are actually in the mansion with the Bakers.

Horror games are a popular genre of video games for a reason. They offer players a chance to experience fear and suspense in a safe environment. Developers use a variety of techniques to make horror games scary, including making the player feel powerless, using jump scares, and incorporating multiplayer features. VR could be used to make even scarier horror games in the future.

Here’s hoping the Silent Hill 2 remake is as good as we hope!

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

Metal Gear Solid: The Master Collection Vol. 1 is a Disappointment and Here’s Why

Konami’s recently released Metal Gear Solid: The Master Collection has been met with some criticism from fans, due to its performance issues on PC and Switch. The game is locked at 30 FPS on all platforms, and it has been reported to experience frame drops and stuttering on both PC and Switch.

PC Performance Issues

On PC, the game’s performance issues seem to be most noticeable during cutscenes and gameplay sequences that are heavy on particle effects. Some players have reported that the game is unplayable at times, with frame drops that can dip below 10 FPS.

One of the main causes of the performance issues on PC seems to be the game’s Denuvo anti-cheat software. Denuvo has been known to cause performance issues in other games, and it seems to be no different here. Some players have reported that disabling Denuvo in the game’s settings can improve performance significantly.

Another possible cause of the performance issues on PC is the game’s optimisation. The game seems to be poorly optimised for PC, and it is possible that Konami will release a patch in the future to improve performance.

Switch Performance Issues

On Switch, the game’s performance issues seem to be most noticeable in handheld mode. The game runs at 720p in handheld mode, and it can experience frame drops and stuttering during gameplay. The performance of the game in docked mode is better, but it is still not perfect. The game runs at 1080p in docked mode, but it can still experience frame drops and stuttering during gameplay, especially during cutscenes.

Overall, the performance of Metal Gear Solid: The Master Collection is disappointing on both PC and Switch. Konami has not yet addressed the performance issues, but it is hoped that they will release a patch in the future to improve performance. And I don’t know about you but I’m not paying 60 USD for the collection I already bought 10 years ago.

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

Games That are Accessible to Everyone

Video games are a great way to have fun and relax, but not everyone is able to play traditional video games. This is where accessible games come in. Accessible games are designed to be enjoyed by people with all abilities, including those with disabilities.

There are many different types of accessible games available, from simple puzzle games to complex RPGs. Some games are designed to be accessible from the start, while others can be customised to meet the needs of individual players. There’s a dedicated website for disabled gamers to check games’ accessibility.

Here are a few examples of games that are accessible to everyone, according to our employees at Tamatem:

Celeste

Celeste is a very challenging platformer game that is also very accessible. The game features a variety of options that can be customised to make the game easier or more difficult, depending on the player’s needs. Celeste also has a feature called “Assist Mode” which allows players to slow down the game, turn on infinite stamina, and more.

Undertale

Undertale is an RPG game that is known for its unique combat system. Players can choose to kill or spare the enemies they encounter, and their choices have a real impact on the story and ending. Undertale also has a feature called “Battle Mode” which allows players to skip battles entirely.

What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch is a first-person narrative game that tells the story of the Finch family, a cursed family with a history of tragic deaths. The game is very accessible, with features such as subtitle customisation, text size customisation, and colorblind mode. In addition, the game has no combat whatsoever and focuses mostly on uncovering the story at your own pace.

Firewatch

Firewatch is a first-person adventure game in which the player takes on the role of Henry, a fire lookout stationed in Wyoming. The game is very accessible, with features such as subtitle customisation, text size customisation, and controller remapping.

The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II is a third-person action-adventure game that is known for its immersive gameplay and its powerful story. The game is very accessible, with a wide range of options that can be customised to meet the needs of individual players. The Last of Us Part II also has a feature called “Assisted Gameplay” which allows players to adjust the difficulty of the game, turn on auto-aim, and more. Although this author thinks that The Last of Us Part II is an excessively violent game that could turn away many players, the options above are highly praised nonetheless for their customisability.

These are just a few examples of games that are accessible to everyone. With the growing popularity of accessible gaming, there are more and more games being released that are designed to be enjoyed by people with all abilities.

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

Games That Teach Us About Different Cultures

Video games are a powerful medium that can teach us about different cultures in a fun and engaging way. By playing games that are set in different parts of the world and feature characters from different cultures, we can learn about their customs, traditions, and values. Here are a few games that teach us about different cultures, at least according to Tamatem Employees: 

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing game set in ancient Greece. The game allows players to explore the vast and beautiful world of Greece, and to learn about its rich history and culture. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a great way to learn about the ancient Greeks, their way of life, and their beliefs.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is an action-adventure game that takes players to different parts of the world, including Madagascar, Scotland, and Italy. The game features a diverse cast of characters, and it allows players to learn about the different cultures that they encounter. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a great way to learn about different parts of the world and their cultures.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic world. The game features a unique and beautiful world that is inspired by Native American culture. Horizon Zero Dawn is a great way to inspire others to learn about Native American culture and its values.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence is an action-adventure game set in mediaeval France during the Black Death. The game allows players to experience the horrors of the plague and to learn about the way of life in mediaeval France. A Plague Tale: Innocence is a great way to learn about mediaeval French culture and the challenges that people faced during the Black Death.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima is an action-adventure game set in feudal Japan during the Mongol invasion. The game allows players to explore the beautiful island of Tsushima and to learn about Japanese culture. Ghost of Tsushima is a great way to learn about feudal Japanese culture and the samurai code of honour.

These are just a few examples of games that teach us about different cultures. By playing these games, we can learn about different parts of the world and their cultures, and we can develop a greater appreciation for diversity.

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

Games That Make Us Feel Good

In today’s fast-paced and often stressful world, it’s more important than ever to find ways to relax and de-stress. Video games can be a great way to do just that. While some games are designed to be challenging and exciting, others are more focused on providing a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Here are a few games that are sure to make you feel good according to Tamatem employees:

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a life simulation game where you can create your own island paradise. The game is full of charming characters and wholesome activities, such as fishing, bug catching, and decorating your home. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect game to unwind and escape the stresses of everyday life.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is another life simulation game, but this time you’re taking over your grandfather’s farm. The game is all about growing crops, raising animals, and befriending the townspeople. Stardew Valley is a heartwarming and relaxing game that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Journey

Journey is a unique and mesmerising game where you play as a traveller on a journey to a sacred mountain. The game is all about exploration and discovery, and it features a stunning art style and a beautiful soundtrack. Journey is a meditative and atmospheric game that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is a platformer game where you take control of Mario as he travels across different worlds to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. The game is full of colourful levels, creative gameplay mechanics, and catchy music. Super Mario Odyssey is a fun and upbeat game that is sure to put you in a good mood.

These are just a few of the many games that can make you feel good. If you’re looking for a way to relax and de-stress, be sure to check out some of these games. You won’t be disappointed!

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.

Games that Represent Different Perspectives

Video games can be a powerful tool for teaching empathy and understanding. By playing games that represent different perspectives, we can learn to see the world through the eyes of others and develop a greater appreciation for the diversity of human experience. Here are a few games that represent different perspectives, according to our colleagues in Tamatem Games:

Celeste

Celeste is a challenging platformer game that tells the story of Madeline, a young woman struggling with depression and anxiety. As Madeline climbs Celeste Mountain, she must confront her inner demons and learn to accept herself. Celeste is a powerful and moving game that explores the themes of mental illness, resilience, and hope.

What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch is a first-person narrative game that tells the story of the Finch family, a cursed family with a history of tragic deaths. The player takes on the role of Edith Finch, the last living member of the family, as she explores the Finch family mansion and learns about the deaths of her relatives. What Remains of Edith Finch is a haunting and beautiful game that explores the themes of family, grief, and mortality.

Undertale

Undertale is an RPG game in which the player can choose to kill or spare the monsters they encounter. The game’s combat system is designed to encourage the player to be compassionate, and the player’s choices have a real impact on the story and ending. Undertale is a unique and thought-provoking game that explores the themes of violence, mercy, and forgiveness.

Firewatch

Firewatch is a first-person adventure game in which the player takes on the role of Henry, a fire lookout stationed in Wyoming. Henry’s only contact with the outside world is his supervisor, Delilah, who he communicates with via a radio. As Henry spends more time in the wilderness, he begins to experience strange things and question his own sanity. Firewatch is a suspenseful and atmospheric game that explores the themes of isolation, loneliness, and mental health.

About us:

Tamatem Games is committed to helping the Arabic mobile gaming market reach its full potential. By localising popular mobile games, publishing original Arabic mobile games, supporting eSports, and investing in Arabic mobile game development, Tamatem Games is playing a key role in shaping the future of Arabic mobile gaming. Our most popular games include Fashion Queen, VIP Baloot and Battle of Kings. In addition, card players from across the MENA region have been enjoying our in-depth card game, VIP Jalsat.