Something is very wrong in the town of Bright Falls. But there is something quite good with the PS5 game Alan Wake 2, a sequel that infuses the rich psychological thrills of the original game with exciting new settings and gameplay that will appeal to survival horror fans.
Remedy’s original 2010 game was part run-and-gun action game, part horror thriller, and part metafictional commentary on authorship. Remedy games had always experimented with juggling multiple media formats, but with Alan Wake, the studio found an approach that kept players guessing and created a cult phenomenon.
Alan Wake’s combination of traditional historical techniques, such as voice-over narration, with extravagant full-motion video sequences starring professional actors, ultimately paved the way for classics like Control. And with Alan Wake 2, Remedy takes this formula to its logical conclusion: a showdown between the forces of reality and fiction.
Let’s delve into new details of the game from sections featuring both playable protagonists, conveniently divided by each protagonist’s journey, from Alan Wake’s fight through a surreal New York to Detective Saga Anderson’s journey through Bright Falls and the Pacific Northwest.
Surviving the horror. For all its horror elements, the original Alan Wake had a brisk, energetic pace that felt more at home in an action-adventure game. With Alan Wake 2, Remedy is taking a page from survival horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. The speed of movement is slower and more methodical, while the claustrophobic camera is positioned over the shoulder to increase tension. Your otherworldly enemies hit hard with melee and ranged attacks, but you can tap the L1 button to dodge and help escape damage. Ammo and health are scarce, so you’ll have to fight carefully to preserve resources. The high-stakes combat is a welcome and appropriate change to match the game’s sinister and moody atmosphere.
Let there be light. Whether you play as Saga or Alan, your main enemies are The Taken. Returning from the original game, these shadowy humanoid entities intimidate enemies, eager to swoop in quickly and launch a surprise attack. Although initially invulnerable to weapons, the Taken are vulnerable to bursts of intense light. Like Saga and Alan, you can hold R1 to burn an enemy’s protective shield with the flashlight. Once eliminated, you can use pistols, shotguns, and crossbows to banish these specters forever. Be careful, though: flashlight batteries are a rare commodity, although flares and stun bombs are also available.
Two to the tango. FBI Agent Saga Anderson’s adventure takes place in the twisted Pacific Northwest town of Bright Fall, where a local cult is up to no good. Meanwhile, horror writer Alan Wake is stranded in The Dark Place, a Limbo-like realm that feeds on his dreams and nightmares to keep him trapped in a ghostly New York City. Both characters have the same basic and combat abilities, although each brings their own unique approach to advancing the narrative. Saga’s FBI profiling skills can analyze evidence and open up new clues and locations to advance the story. Alan Wake’s writing abilities can manipulate the reality of The Dark Place, reshaping the environment and bringing it closer to escape.
After the introductory sequences, you’ll be able to switch between playing as Alan and Saga at will. The destinies of both characters seem to be linked; Let’s take a closer look at what awaits each of them.
Anderson Saga Gameplay
FBI agent Saga Anderson arrives in Bright Falls as part of her investigation into ritual murders. This grim Pacific Northwest town was the real star of the original Alan Wake, and like Saga you’ll dig into its dirtiest crevices in Alan Wake 2: spooky forest trails, trailer parks, cult hideouts, and a dilapidated local amusement park. , and that’s just for starters.
Interior light. Holding the DualSense controller’s touchpad instantly teleports you to Saga’s “Mind Place,” a mental sanctuary that holds the key to unraveling obstacles and leads the investigation into his murder. This space is depicted as a messy detective’s room, complete with case files, logs, a television, a map, and other resources that give you a way to unravel clues and advance the story… and, just as importantly, , to provide more information about Bright. The strange residents of Fall and their dark history. And if you have the resources, you can also upgrade your weapons in the Mind Place.
Basic survival products. Keeping with the survival horror vibe, you’ll find brightly lit safe rooms scattered throughout the game. The coffee thermoses serve as save points, while the shoe boxes in these rooms act as boxes to store spare items and save limited inventory space (which can be expanded by discovering upgrades).
‘Around the Pacific Northwest. Saga’s journey will introduce her to a large cast of residents, many of whom wouldn’t look out of place in a David Lynch film. But the city’s eccentricities run much deeper. There are plenty of extended narrative bits for players to delve into, from local dramas surrounding an impending mayoral race to the fun video ads for the local Coffee World amusement park. These juicy bits of history are Remedy classics and will deepen your appreciation of this quirky, spooky place.
Puzzling places. Bright Falls is adorned with puzzles. Some are integral to the main path, such as deciphering symbols in the environment to open a door. Other puzzles are standalone rewards, such as chests locked with padlocks with notes that cryptically point to environmental clues. One puzzle that stands out involves unlocking a chest with a powerful crossbow, where the solution involves investigating an archery range littered with bolts. These fun, bite-sized puzzles contain helpful rewards and a refreshing break from tension.
Alan Wake Gameplay
Horror writer Alan Wake is trapped in a nebulous place between worlds, and his only hope of escape lies in unraveling the mysteries of his own mind.
In a mirror, darkly. Compared to Saga’s journey to the Pacific Northwest, The Dark Place is an illogical, dreamlike place where reality is suspect and danger is everywhere. Depicted as a warped version of New York City, The Dark Place follows its own set of rules. Alan Wake’s only advantage is his unique connection to this realm, which allows him to reshape his circumstances using his storytelling abilities. His enemies of him? Supernatural apparitions and a Dark Presence that relentlessly pursues them.
Blank space. While Saga’s “Mind Place” is a detective’s messy bedroom, Alan retreats to an internal writer’s room for inspiration. When your progress is blocked by occasional narrative dead ends, you can use the plot board here to piece together an alternate plot to help you escape. As Alan Wake gathers ideas and invents a new fictional solution to his situation, these new story elements will literally reshape the environment around you and open up paths to progress. It’s a clever and satisfying mechanic that strongly differentiates Alan’s segments from Saga’s.
Shine a light. In addition to a double-barreled shotgun and a revolver, Alan Wake wields another powerful tool: the angel’s lamp. This mysterious artifact is essential for navigating the city and allows you to “carry” a light source from one place to another. Moving a light source usually opens an invisible path, and some of the changes are dramatic and unsettling: imagine walking into a ground-floor entrance and emerging on a rooftop high above the city. These Angel Light sequences add some variety to the puzzles and make Alan Wake’s journey feel distinct and unsettling.
Overall, our initial hands-on experience with Alan Wake 2 was quite encouraging and seemed to show Remedy at the top of its game. Now that there is a real “Remedioverse“Who knows how deep this rabbit hole will go?”
There’s only one way to know. Immerse yourself in the mystery of Alan and Saga’s realities when Alan Wake 2 arrives on PS5 on October 27.