Alan Wake 2: A preview of Remedy’s most ambitious game

Alan Wake 2: A preview of Remedy’s most ambitious game

A 30 minute gameplay preview and chat with the developers gave us a better idea of ​​how Alan Wake 2 could update the original formula.

Thirteen years ago, Alan Wake was trapped in darkness. He has remained so in our reality, as it has been thirteen years since he first appeared on the Xbox 360, but he has remained so in the interconnected universe I created Remedy Entertainment. Alan Wake 2 constantly plays on the dualities and junctions between different realities, but if one thing is for sure, it’s that Remedy’s new work is already presenting itself as the most ambitious project ever by the Finnish team.

at the Summer Games Festival in Los Angeles, We previewed a nearly half-hour demo of Alan Wake 2 We’ve had an accurate idea of ​​how Alan Wake 2 can update the original formula while maintaining the hallmarks of the first adventure.

Alan Wake 2 premiered at the Summer Games Festival


In Alan Wake 2, ammo has to be scarce to increase the feeling of anxiety, but in beta (still in beta) Saga Anderson moved around eighty bullets.
In Alan Wake 2, ammo has to be scarce to increase the feeling of anxiety, but in beta (still in beta) Saga Anderson moved around eighty bullets.

The Alan Wake 2 Summer Game Fest demo was taken from the early stages of the game and featured the hero Saga Anderson, an FBI agent played by Melanie Liburd who makes a name for herself solving seemingly impossible cases. Except that not even Saga had encountered such a situation, among monsters, cults, and people who died first and then came back to life. The co-protagonist of the adventure also represents a point of view unprecedented in Alan Wake 2, and is also useful for all the people who have never come close to the original episode and who, with the same amazement of Saga, learn about the world created by Remedy and its supernatural nature.

In the demo, Saga shares his fears and doubts with client Alex Casey, played by Sam Lake, the game’s creative director and writer. Casey has been preoccupied with the mysterious disappearance of writer Alan Wake, but now two FBI agents are visiting Bright Falls and the Pacific Northwest in search of evidence of Robert Nightingale’s murder. It is one of the three big hubs that we will find in Alan Wake 2, full of paths through the forests that lead to additional clues and optional tasks. As Saga makes its way through the vegetation, one is mesmerized by the gorgeous setting and stunning scenery: a deserted picnic area, a moss-overgrown shelter, a rain-created swamp. And that’s nothing, because Alan Wake 2 soon began to become increasingly surreal and hallucinatory, taking on drifts that didn’t even exist in Control.

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After the first few hours as Saga Anderson, that would already be possible Take control of Alan Waketrapped in a parallel reality called dark place. Quite different from the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, the Dark Place is a kind of dream-prison for Wake, a manifestation of his nightmares: ever since his mystery books were set in New York, the Dark Place has appeared in a rotten, bleak guise. the big Apple. From then on, it will be possible to switch from one character to another by going to certain rooms, and the character is relatively free to choose how much time to spend controlling Saga in the Pacific Northwest or Alan in the Dark Place: “The player can, for example For example, follow four Saga missions before going back to check on Alan, or he can alternate between them on each mission,” explains Remedy communications director Thomas Puha.

As if controlling two characters in two different realities wasn’t hugely ambitious in and of itself, some of Alan Wake 2’s most visionary moments will happen inoverlapa special area in which the two realities overlap, creating absurd hallucinations that drive both Saga and the player insane.

In the mind of the epic


The PS5 demo of Alan Wake 2 was still in beta, but web of a few small bugs and some intermittent slowdowns the game (or at least the sequence shown) was pretty solid
The PS5 demo of Alan Wake 2 was still in beta, but web of a few small bugs and some intermittent slowdowns the game (or at least the sequence shown) was pretty solid

Spending half your time in the role of a federal agent, the investigation element will obviously be central to Alan Wake 2. As you explore the different environments, collect clues and interrogate other characters, all information obtained is stored within Mental palace from Saga. A bit like in Sherlock or like Hannibal Lecter, it’s a fictional setting where the protagonist takes refuge to sort through his memories, look for connections, and make deductions. Practically speaking, in Alan Wake 2 it is a setting separate from the rest of the game, as Saga can hang pictures and tape them to the wall and stretch red threads between the various clues, in order to progress investigations.

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“At first we thought of letting the player be free to place and move clues and wires on the wall,” says Buha. “The result was a bit like this guy’s meme in front of a wall full of papers and red string. It was very confusing and scattered, which is why we decided that the images and evidence are automatically placed in a certain order, so at a glance we suggest possible connections.”


Profiling is one of Alan Wake 2's Saga Anderson abilities: it lets her
Profiling is one of Alan Wake 2’s Saga Anderson skills: it allows her to “interrogate” certain people’s minds to gain additional information and open up new paths

The Saga’s Mental Palace is nothing more than a list of clues suggested in an innovative and interactive way. It can be summoned at any time in the game with a single keystroke; It can be used to browse and read collected scrolls, review kinematics, and upgrade weapons. There is also an additional mechanic called “profiling: Once enough evidence is obtained, Saga can enter the minds of some suspects to see what they saw and felt, almost like a supernatural distant interrogation. However, while Saga is a palace in her mind, time flows normally in reality, making Reaching it is risky when there are enemies around.And speaking of enemies…

Fight news


Enemies in Alan Wake 2 move unexpectedly fast and agile, but are weak to light
Enemies in Alan Wake 2 move unexpectedly fast and agile, but are weak to light

Thirteen years later, one of the elements of Alan Wake that was in dire need of an update was combat systemUndoubtedly twice the original episode. Remedy knew this all too well, and so it took inspiration from modern third-person action to deliver more engaging, less repetitive battles. We got a taste of that during the demo, when Saga first encountered a group of cultists corrupted by darkness and then an evil chief in the jungle.

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As it was already known, he was back there Lamp mechanics: At the time of Alan Wake not everyone liked it, but as it was the only really distinct element in the battles, Remedy preferred to keep and expand it rather than throw it away. Because they are weak in light, enemies will first be weakened by a flashlight, and then drilled with a pistol or cut-off shot.


Among the main inspirations for Alan Wake 2 are Midsommar, Silent Hill, Fargo, and of course, Twin Peaks
Among the main inspirations for Alan Wake 2 are Midsommar, Silent Hill, Fargo, and of course, Twin Peaks

Later on, you’ll also get flash strikes and other tools that can make engagements against multiple opponents more strategic, but the immediate impression is that fights will once again be the least interesting part of the package. Not for particular flaws, keep in mind that the gunfights look attractive and are balanced enough not to get boring. The point is, everything else about the game is on a much higher level: the focus is on the atmosphere, the narrative, the dialogues between the characters, and the way the facts blend in and throw you off balance. Compared to any other spin-off of Alan Wake 2, the action component is undoubtedly the most anonymous.

Among the best games of Summer Game Fest 2023, Alan Wake 2 presented itself in Los Angeles date nicely, with a game sequence perfectly balanced between narrative, investigation, and action sequences. Saga co-star Anderson already seems like an excellent addition to the cast, perfectly complementing Alan Wake’s tale, while the transition between the two realities and the moments in which they overlap have already shown off some hallucinatory and tension-filled sequences.

Almatqat

  • First class atmosphere
  • Excellent balance between investigation, dialogue and action
  • Saga Anderson looks like a fitting co-star

doubts

  • The fights might be the least interesting part

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