Go behind the scenes of the development of Alan Wake 2. We visit the Pacific Northwest and the Dark Place and talk to many talented developers across different disciplines that helped shape this ambitious sequel.
Episode 3 discusses the Dark Place, the nightmare reality that Alan Wake has been trapped in for 13 years, and how Remedy Entertainment came to develop Alan's character from the man he was in the original game.
"I think that with Remedy games - if we go back through the whole history - being very story-focused games, have traditionally been quite short, like 10 hours or so," [Sam] Lake observed at one point. "And we have always internally felt that we need to find ways to do longer games, because it's just like, people are looking at it from a value of money perspective as well - to get enough. So Control certainly was our longest game to date, and Alan Wake 2 is going to be longer than that - 20 hours plus."
Overall, I was impressed by my time with Alan Wake 2. As Alan, I felt that desperate sense of isolation, the need to push on to achieve his often illusive end goal while grasping any threads of sanity he can. I relished the 'Remedy-ness' of it all, while also appreciating the new directions the team has decided to go. As Saga, meanwhile, I believed in her dedication to her job and desire to discover the truth as she made her way around the dank and unsettling Watery. The game may not have her name on it, but there is no doubt it's as much Saga's story as it is our titular writer's. Perhaps that '2' is more than simply to denote this is a sequel. Perhaps it's to denote the second character, and second gameplay perspective as well.
Regardless, Remedy set out to realise a sequel that cements its place in the survival horror genre, and from what I have seen it is on course to achieve just that. Alan may indeed be stuck in a hell of his own creation, but I believe this sequel has the potential to be a dark yet heavenly release for Remedy fans, old and new.
The two chapters of Alan Wake 2 I played seemed purposefully curated to create the impression that, a) This is very much still an Alan Wake game in its tone, atmosphere, and story, and also b) It's not afraid to take risks. This is a bold new direction for Remedy that'll surprise and challenge the way you approach and think about it, and for me, that spells interesting things to come not only from the Alan Wake franchise, but from the Remedy Connected Universe it's ushering in.
While the Saga section felt more like signature Alan Wake, the Alan section is a lot harder to describe but equally compelling. With Remedy splitting the game 50/50 between the two characters, the developers knew they needed to give a nice balance to the gameplay where it becomes a hard choice to decide who to play as next. In that vein, the preview made it difficult to say which section was our favorite. Saga has that signature Alan Wake feel and the choice to lean towards survival horror works well for the setting and story. At the same time, Alan's section is so bizarre that it's impossible not to want to know more.
Luckily, Alan Wake 2 players can approach the game however they like and if the preview is any indication, they will be satisfied either way. Sam Lake might feel relief with the finish line in his sights, but he also acknowledges that the 13-year wait allowed Alan Wake 2 to evolve into what it is now. The technology and the creative experience gained working on games like Quantum Break and Control made Alan Wake 2 a better game. And if this preview is any indication, this could be Remedy Entertainment's best game yet.