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Alan Wake 2: release date, trailers, gameplay, preorder, and more

The original Alan Wake is a game that went through quite a troubled development before it was finally released. After many iterations and changes in scope and direction, the final product was initially a cult hit, but didn’t hit the mass market it needed — at least not initially. After two DLC episodes, a sequel was in the works to build upon the first game and revive some of the elements that had to be cut from the first in order for it to ship, but this was ultimately not meant to be. The sequel was canceled and a smaller downloadable game, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, was released instead.

Since then, we hadn’t heard from our intrepid writer until he showed up in a very unlikely place. Featured in the AWE expansion for a completely different game, Control, Alan was back in the picture. With a remaster of the initial game catching everyone up on his first appearance, now was the perfect time to announce that the long-awaited sequel was back in development. We haven’t found all the manuscript pages yet, but here is everything we know about Alan Wake 2.

Release date

An update from the Alan Wake 2 team: we're moving Alan Wake 2's launch from October 17 to October 27.

October is an amazing month for game launches and we hope this date shift gives more space for everyone to enjoy their favorite games.

We can't wait to show you what everyone's… pic.twitter.com/GpLxyr2xvY

— Alan Wake 2 (@alanwake) August 17, 2023

Alan Wake 2 was originally set to premiere on October 17, 2023, however, a last-minute change was made to October 27 to try and give the game a better chance to compete against all the other upcoming launches it will face that month.

Platforms

FBI agent Saga Anderson exits a car in the Alan Wake 2 trailer.
Remedy Entertainment

The initial trailer did make it clear where we would be able to play Alan Wake 2. It will launch on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, as well as the Epic Game Store for PC.

Trailer

Alan Wake 2 | Reveal Trailer

The announcement trailer is brief, but has some interesting details hidden within it. It opens on a taped-off crime scene in the woods that looks very much like a location from the first game. There’s a dead body on a wooden or stone table and a shadowy figure in the distance. Alan begins a monologue about stories as the scene shifts to a city street, possibly New York, on a rainy night, with that same figure remaining in the scene.

The camera continues to pull in as the scene warps once again to a street in Bright Falls, the location where Alan Wake took place, before shifting back to the city location. Alan finishes his monologue as the camera reveals that the figure we’ve been drawn to is, in fact, Alan Wale himself. He turns around, holding up a light, claiming that “This story will eat you alive.” As he turns and reveals his face, Alan whispers the final line: “This story is a monster, and monsters wear many faces.” We’re treated to a flash of Alan’s face, cheeks, and bared teeth splattered with blood before the title drops.

Without getting too deep into spoilers or lore, based on the conclusion of Alan Wake, that final face likely doesn’t belong to Alan himself, but rather to his doppelganger, dubbed Mr. Scratch, who torments our writer, who himself was in the Dark Place beneath a lake (or is it an ocean?). The new game is also going to be set post-Control DLC, where Alan made an appearance, though Remedy states that playing that story isn’t required for understanding Alan Wake 2.

The last hint we could tease out of this teaser was a tiny detail in the moments we see of Bright Falls. The streets are, while deserted, decorated for the annual Deer Fest celebrations. In Alan Wake, you visit the town as it’s being prepared for the 68th Deer Fest, but in the trailer, the sign reads “Deer Fest 81.” That would set the sequel 13 years after the events of the first game, the same gap between the first game and the sequel’s release.

Outside of the trailer, one note that Remedy creative director Sam Lake confirmed on Twitter was that the original voice and live-action actors, Matthew Porreta and Illkka Villi, respectively, would return to bring Alan to life.

Alan Wake 2 - Gameplay Reveal Trailer | PS5 Games

The Gameplay Reveal Trailer was featured at the PlayStation Showcase and gave us a deeper look at the story. What was most surprising is that the narrative will be broken up into two sections where you will play from both Alan’s and FBI Agent Saga Anderson’s perspectives. Anderson is new to Bright Falls and tasked with investigating the various murders in the town.

What we know about Saga Anderson is that she has earned a reputation for solving impossible crimes. She arrives in Bright Falls after a series of ritualistic murders but quickly gets wrapped up in the dark workings of the town when she discovers one of Alan’s manuscript pages at a crime scene.

Alan is still trapped in The Dark Place and has been fighting to survive in its twisted environment for the past decade.

Alan Wake World Premiere Trailer | gamescom Opening Night Live 2023 #ONL

Speaking of The Dark Place, the Opening Night Live trailer heavily focused on Alan being trapped in that twisted reality. The major feature we learned about was that live-action footage would be very heavily integrated into the game this time around. We see scenes shift from real performances into CG models, which is something Remedy has been experimenting with ever since the first game.

Gameplay

A grimacing bloody face.
Remedy Entertainment

Before we saw gameplay, Remedy creative director Sam Lake and the team spoke about what we can expect Alan Wake 2 to play like in a few brief quotes. First, this game is said to be the studio’s first true survival horror game. The original Alan Wake, as well as Control, both had horror elements, but didn’t lean fully into that genre. Control, in particular, was much more of an action game. Alan Wake only had some light resource management with your ammo and batteries, but was more about exploring scary places and fighting horror-themed enemies than actually trying to be scary. As Lake himself put it: “The first game had horror elements to it, but it was an action game … The story, horror story, is at the very heart of this, and it’s a psychological, layered, deep mystery.”

In an interview, Lake stated that “we are diving deeper than ever, into an ocean of darkness,” and that Alan Wake 2 would be a “chilling experience with familiar psychological horror elements.” We also learned that the age rating would be bumped up to an M, while the first game received a T rating. This could allow for far more freedom in how the team wants to capitalize on this new focus on horror.

In the first game, light was a safe space from the primary enemies called The Taken, who were people, animals, and even objects that had been corrupted by darkness. Light was also needed to burn away the darkness protecting The Taken in order for you to be able to damage them with your normal weapons. Considering Alan Wake 2 is being billed as more of a survival horror game than action, we suspect there to be some changes to this mechanic. From the small clips we see of it, which consists of flares and flashlights for now, we do see the familiar mechanic of light wearing down the enemy’s dark protection until it “pops” and leaves them vulnerable to attack. While the flashlight can do the job, it won’t stun enemies as a bigger light source like a flare appears to.

The glimpses we’ve had of combat look to be a beefed-up version of the first game, with the familiar light mechanics coming back, but with new and more terrifying enemies to face. We only see a pistol and shotgun so far, but expect more in the final product. That said, the tone of combat feels much more tense and horror-focused than the original, just as Lake hinted at early on.

The narrative is told through both Alan’s and Anderson’s perspectives, and players will be able to choose what order they unravel the story. Anderson’s will primarily take place in the Pacific Northwest in Bright Falls, a new town called Watery, and the nightmarish Dark Place where Alan’s journey will be set.

Preorder

Alan Wake Looking Grizzly In Alan Wake 2.
Remedy Entertainment

Preorders for Alan Wake 2 are live on the game’s official site! This horror tale will come in a Standard or Deluxe edition, so let’s run through what you get with each!

Standard edition: $50

  • Digital copy of the game
  • Ornate Revolver skin for Alan
  • Survival Resources Pack for Saga

Deluxe edition: $70

  • Everything from the Standard edition
  • Expansion Pass (Night Springs and Lake House expansions)
  • Nordic Shotgun Skin for Saga
  • Parliament Shotfun skin for Alan
  • Crimson Windbreaker for Saga
  • Celebrity Suit for Alan
  • Lantern Charm for Saga

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