Alan Wake II has been rumored for years shortly after the release of the sleeper hit original. During the Video Game Awards of 2021, a trailer dropped without warning that splashed across everyone’s minds. It was very much a surprise and a welcomed one, at that. For years everyone assumed that Alan Wake’s first outing in 2010 would be his first and last. Even though there was a slight follow-up in 2012 called American Nightmare, it wasn’t a true bonafide sequel that players were hoping for. Nevertheless, a solid sequel is indeed in development by Remedy Entertainment and it has a lot of gamers jazzed. It’s been an uphill battle for the developers to get the ball rolling with this game and it is commendable that they never gave up on it.
There have been hints of a possible return to this IP from Remedy Entertainment’s other games such as Control. Some would assume that these were just mere Easter eggs, but it appears that these games might be taking place in the same universe. The story for Alan Wake II looks like it is picking up shortly after when the first installment ended. He seems to be stuck in a twisted version of the town of Bright Falls and based on the current standing of his visage, it’s apparent that he’s been there for a while. Clearly looking like he hasn’t been to the barber for a while, this new look of Alan Wake clearly shows that he’s well within a turbulent situation. The first game has distinct gameplay mechanics which enabled it to become a cult classic over the years. However, with this sequel, the developers are setting things up to be a very different experience.
Trapped in Town, Surrounded by Evil, Low on Batteries
Now, the first game was kind of a dark, gritty and supernatural third-person action-adventure game, of sorts. Much like Max Payne, Alan could smoothly run around and fire his guns while avoiding danger from all directions. The main twist with this was that he needed to use a flashlight to weaken the enemies before taking them out with firepower. It gave a new dynamic to combat and it was what really set Alan Wake apart from its counterparts. With the sequel, the plan is that this will remain pretty much the same, however, gameplay will be given more weight since it’s now going into survival-horror territory. The developers clearly stipulated that this will be their first foray into making a survival-horror game and the world of Alan Wake is certainly a good place to explore.
There isn’t much to go on with what this means, however. The trailer certainly shows that things in Bright Falls are darker and more upside down than ever. Sam Lake, the creator of Alan Wake, mentioned that “playing the first game isn’t necessary.” Players will be able to jump right into the sequel and get started without feeling behind. Things will be recapped to help out the uninitiated. The footage also showed an urban setting which is most likely New York City. Hence, it’s very possible that segments of the game may be taking place at the Big Apple. Considering that this game might be taking place in a bigger setting, it’s only fitting to have the story be more epic in scope. Which, by the way, is exactly what the developers are planning to do. If there are players out there who feel enamored to play the first game, there was actually an Alan Wake Remastered released back in 2021. This would be an excellent time to get acquainted with Alan Wake and company and see what makes this game so special.
The plot of Alan Wake II is going to be much more vast, ominous, and rich with diabolism than its predecessor. Remedy Entertainment will be using their new Northlight Engine for this game. Control was one of the games that were built from this software and it speaks for itself. It’s definitely a nice-looking engine and it’s exciting to see what they are going to do with it within Alan Wake’s realm. There will most likely be an inventory system that will need to be tended to and probably less emphasis on ammunition. This game is going to be a deep, dark mystery that will entail how Alan will escape from this fractured reality. One thing is for certain, the trailer showcased Alan holding a lamp. This is a strong indicator that the “light versus darkness” motif found in the first game will still be intact.
It’s also possible that maintaining Alan’s vitality will be a very different mechanic. In the first game, this feature was pretty flexible in terms of healing. Now, it’s very possible that players will need to manually tend to Wake’s wounds whenever possible. Of course, this is all just conjecture. Since the first installment was very much more of a “psychological horror” in a lot of ways, the next chapter could very well be more centered a little more on gore. There was a flash of Alan’s bloody face at the end of the trailer. Some believe that this could be Irrational Alan from the previous adventure. Right now, it is anybody’s guess. Sam Lake did mentioned, however, that this next installment will indeed be “scary” and this can go in all sorts of different directions.
Lighting The Way
So far, Remedy Entertainment is keeping a pretty tight lid on things. The fact that Alan Wake II is going to be Remedy Entertainment’s first survival-horror game is a delicious morsel to chew on. There is no doubt that Bright Falls and its ilk have oodles of material to build yet another game around. Since this game won’t be released until sometime in 2023, it is going to be quite a few months before the developers start drip-feeding gamers information on how this will play. Right now, fans have no choice but to chomp at the bit and wonder what’s in store. Alan Wake II will be available for next-gen consoles and PC upon launch.