Ever since fans had a peek at Alan Wake 2 in 2022, the hunger for a sequel to the first game has been insatiable. Ever since the first game’s critical acclaim and success, the sequel has been slowed by publishing rights and the undeniable weight of the previous game’s success. So, after being delayed for more than 13 years — enough time to bring a couple of kids into the world — Alan Wake 2 is finally being released.
Players who aren’t convinced that the game will be a hit should take a look at the facts and info that gamers have so far. Discover the new protagonist, the release date, supported platforms, Alan Wake’s connection to Control, and all the latest news on Alan Wake 2 in our preview.
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New Protagonist: Saga Anderson
13 years later, a dual-protagonist system is introduced to the world of Alan Wake 2. This time, the new controllable character is Saga Anderson, an FBI agent who’s investigating murders along the Pacific Northwest with her partner, Casey. The demo preview, which included a boss fight with the killer, Nightingale — showed Saga’s encounter with the Cult of the Tree. Right off the bat, Alan Wake 2’s gameplay teaser shows how players will hunt for clues and track down the necessary instructions for accessing The Overlap, a realm that shares space with the Dark Place. On the way to the convenience store, you’ll encounter a monster and find a shotgun. Saga’s adventures in the demo conclude with the appearance of the washed-ashore Alan Wake.
Saga Anderson isn’t a female version of Alan Wake. Instead, she’s a detective, whereas our sole protagonist in the previous game was a crime novelist. Think about it, Alan hustled to equip himself with the knowledge and combat skills to eliminate the occupants of the Dark Place. But Saga is fresh off the boat to the whole spiritual and psychological horrors of the Dark Place. On the bright side, she has the advantage of being trained by the FBI, so she’s not just a supporting character in the game. Players will experience Alan Wake 2 from two unique perspectives, giving us a chance to solve all of our decade-long questions.
Revamped Combat System in Alan Wake 2
Remedy introduces a new combat system that’s smoother and weightier than the one in the previous game. Instead of just pointing your flashlight at monsters and shooting them without room for error, combat feels well-paced like a Last of Us game. Enemies don’t swarm players anymore because the gunplay and combat are more realistic. But guns still won’t affect enemies until you uncover their shrouded weaknesses.
Remedy’s Deep Love for the Dark Stays in Alan Wake Sequel
The Alan Wake sequel also highlights the power of the flashlight. The only comparable experience to this is the legendary box camouflage in the Metal Gear Solid games. By using a flashlight, players can reveal a monster’s weakness, so Saga and Alan can have a chance at destroying the different creatures they’ll encounter in the game.
New Detective Tools and the Mind Place
There are new detective tools at Saga’s disposal that allegedly help her uncover clues and cues for progressing in the game. These tools include her flashlight, which disperses any darkness that’s shrouding any object or area. There’s also the Mind Place, which is a mental construct or in-game menu that’s represented by a cabin.
The Mind Place is useful for gathering your thoughts so you can decide where your evidence points. It has a case board and other interactive elements to figure out your next move. The Mind Place can also be used to profile enemies by brainstorming about the subject’s motivations and goals.
Connection to Control
Alan Wake takes place in the Remedy Connected Universe, the same place where the events of Control occur. Control is a story written by Alan Wake to escape the horrific Dark Place where monsters prowl the streets and woods. In Control, players are introduced to the FBC, a secretive organisation that detects, studies, investigates, and neutralises Objects of Power (Oops) and Altered World Events (AWEs) for the betterment of mankind.
In Alan’s novel, Jesse Farden’s motivation is cliché. She’s looking for her missing brother, and her sources point her in the direction of the Oldest House, the FBC’s secret headquarters. So, how is Control linked to Alan Wake 2? Control confirms that Cauldron Lake in Bright Falls is real. Remember — Alan Wake enters the Dark Place via Cauldron Lake in the original game. So, it acknowledges that the Dark Presence exists in the same space but not in the same realm.
Similarities Between the Dark Presence and the Hiss
Jesse Ferden eventually experiences the Hiss, which is a mind-bending Object of Power that leads to Altered World Events. Its effects make players question reality and the events they experience in the game. Alan writes her story with the goal that she’ll discover the realm he’s trapped in, by giving her a glimpse into the corrosive power of the Hiss and other Objects of Power.
Visual Appeal and Atmospheric Pressure
We’ve delved into character development and new in-game mechanics, but we haven’t talked about the visual appeal and weighty atmosphere. The world of Alan Wake 2 is brought to life by the Northlife Engine. So, character renders are photorealistic, sound effects are immersive, and animations are as realistic as they get.
The new game will easily give The Last of Us 2 games a run for their money in the environmental design department alone. Let’s not forget that some elements of the Dark Place phase are right through The Overlap. So, the horror theme is at the forefront of the visual styling, thus, even monsters feel almost too real. The whole experience should make players question the developer’s artistic style in a good way.
Our Final Say
Alan Wake 2 is sure to be a hit because there aren’t many psychological-thriller games that force players to use a flashlight. So, any moment in the dark is as suicidal as making a ruckus in Alien: Isolation. Most of the horror games released so far have been action-packed enough to make Call of Duty break a sweat.
A break from the guns-blazing action to a slower-paced and narrative-focused experience is just the change we need. Needless to say, we’re hyped! Thankfully, Remedy Entertainment’s recent work on Control showcases the studio’s approach to combat. So, unlike the first game which had a poor combat system, Alan Wake 2 will introduce some combat mechanics to augment your weapons. It’s quite the brain rub.
Alan Wake 2 arrives on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on October 17, 2023. If you’re curious enough, explore a list of other sequels being released in 2023 and beyond. How to pre-order Alan Wake 2? Just head to the Epic Games Store. Also, the game will be a digital-only purchase. Alan Wake 2 will be around 20 hours long, which is twice as lengthy as the previous game. It’ll also take up around 50 GB on your hard drive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Alan Wake 2 a Horror Game?
Absolutely! Alan Wake 2 might not be a horror game like The Last of Us or Resident Evil, but the existential terror that Alan Wake 2 instils in players makes it a survival horror game. But following its release, the game should cement its own identity. It may even usher in a new era of horror games, forcing other developers to give the genre a try. Other best survival horror games like Alan Wake 2 are Silent Hill and Stalker 2.
When Will Alan Wake 2 Be Released and for Which Platforms?
Alan Wake 2 will be released on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, for the PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PCs. No, the game isn’t being released on PS4 or Xbox One. Only the digital version of the game will be released on the Epic Games Store.
Is Alan Wake 2 Connected to Control?
Sure, Alan Wake 2 is directly connected to the events of Control. They both exist in the same universe, but the real shocker is that Alan Wake himself wrote the world of Control to escape the Dark Place in his reality. Alan Wake’s actions in the second game may directly influence the events of Control 2.
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