Alan Wake Up! The Alan Wake 2 trailer gave us a new look at Remedy’s Stephen King-esque, mystery horror thriller, and though it didn’t give us too much new information, it did give us things to speculate about. Here’s what we learned from the Gamesfest Trailer.

A NEW LOOK

Even though it was recently remastered, Alan Wake was originally released in 2010 on PS3 and XBOX 360, so it was due for a glow-up. And it got it. Remedy themselves said this would be their best-looking game yet. Running on their own Northlight Engine(yes, not Unreal 5). This engine will add much-needed upgrades like improved lighting and shadows, ray tracing, direct sampling, and ambient occlusion, which is a form of lighting technology that makes objects affected by lights and shadows look more realistic. Needless to say, from what we saw in the trailer, this game is shaping up to be a looker. 

THE GAMEPLAY

Remedy has proven that third-person shooters are their bread-and-butter. The first Alan Wake was an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter and the sequel seems to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps, using the light and darkness mechanic.

The previous game added tension to the gameplay by making the player feel vulnerable whenever they were in the darkness, having to seek sources of light to both heal and damage opponents. With its stay in the light to stay alive gameplay, encounters always felt intense and stressful.

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Saga Anderson uses the flashlight as an ADS mechanic in the trailer as well, just like Alan did in the first game. The mechanic of using the light(a finite, but replenish-able resource) to burn away the darkness before inflicting damage on your foes returns in the trailer.

The movement looked slick and fluid. We see Saga Anderson swiftly dodge an incoming axe strike before shooting the bad guy in a sort of free-aim mode where the flashlight is aimed in a direction without restricting Saga’s movement. I doubt Remedy won’t have a few new tricks up their sleeve for us, but they didn’t show us this time around, so we’ll have to wait and see.

We also got a brief look at Wake himself, hunched over a type-writer, looking haunted and ragged. And a shot of him in a place that looked distinctly different than Anderson’s Bright Falls gameplay. Seems we will take control of Wake while he’s stuck in The Dark Place itself.

THE STORY

Last we saw, Alan was a washed-up writer, looking to take a vacation to the small town of Bright Falls to overcome his writer’s block. His vacation quickly turned into a nightmare, with Alan battling with a mysterious entity only referred to as “The Dark Presence ”. And in order to save his wife, Alice,  who is taken hostage by the presence, Alan must wade through the countless minions taken over by the presence while seeking manuscript pages that shed light on the story he himself has written, and now finds himself trapped in. 

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The original Alan Wake was very much a horror thriller where the player was tasked with figuring out what was happening in the sleepy town of Bright Falls, all the while hoping to find the kidnapped Alice. On his journey, Alan discovers that there is more to the town, and its people, than meets the eye, and through ingenuity and sheer will (and the power of Energizer AA batteries), Alan must figure out what is happening in the town of Bright Falls and why, to rescue his wife. 

Ultimately, at the end of Alan Wake, our protagonist succeeds but is himself trapped in the Dark Place in the process. 

We pick up the story as FBI profiler, Saga Anderson, arrives in Bright Falls after strange reports of ritual murders and finds one of the mysterious pages, written by a writer thought long dead…

WHAT WE CAN HOPE TO SEE

The story looks like it’s going to be darker and grittier than it was before, which is great. Alan Wake did contain a certain level of camp in the first game, thanks to Alan’s helpful companion Barry and the limitations of the hardware at the time, so a little added seriousness would help the game’s darker, more horrifying tone. Something the trailer seemed to hint at. And the new protagonist means we get to learn a bit more about what Alan has been up to in The Dark Place all these years while keeping the mystery going for the enigmatic writer himself. 

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And since Remedy has hinted at the interconnectivity of their games, we may even see a Control tie-in, or at least an easter egg for Control 2. Fingers crossed, eh? 

Either way, the trailer promised a grittier, darker story, a more polished look, and slicker gameplay. Can’t wait to see what else Remedy has in store.

Alan Wake 2 releases on next-gen consoles and PC globally on October 17, 2023.

Strangely Awesome Games Staff
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