Sam Lake Reveals More Information About Alan Wake 2 in Recent Interview
During the Game Awards, Remedy announced that their next title will be Alan Wake’s sequel, known right now as Alan Wake 2. The original psychological thriller’s third-person title brought a new story to audiences through a writer named Alan Wake, who travels out to the rural town Bright Falls, Washington, to cure his writer’s block. However, a supernatural threat takes over the town, turning the residents from normal people into mindless beasts. Their only cure? A shotgun and light. Players had to explore the town and take out the turned people and animals, all while uncovering the secret behind everything that was going on.
Since the first game, fans have asked Remedy to give the Alan Wake series more horror focus. The series expanded upon this story with two specials and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare game. The original game was more of an action title rather than a horror experience, and the action was leaned into more with the release of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare.
However, things look like they’re about to change. With the announcement of Alan Wake 2 comes an interview courtesy of IGN, who spoke with Remedy’s creative director and co-director of Alan Wake 2, Sam Lake, shedding some light on the upcoming title, as well as the plans for its upcoming release next year.
The IGN Interview
This 11-minute interview covers a lot of information about Alan Wake 2, with the first question asking about how the game came together. He responds by mentioning that while the company has wanted to work on a sequel to Alan Wake, other things took priority. For one, since Remedy is a developer and not a publisher, the company has to build a back catalog of titles to show publishers that they can make good content. Now, with titles like Quantum Break and Control under their belt, it’s more feasible for a title like Alan Wake 2 to happen. Lake also gives credit to luck playing a factor in the release of Alan Wake 2, stating that it’s also about the right time when it comes to pitching for a partner to want to pick the title up.
The interview then shifts from how the game came together at Remedy to how much the fans’ support has kept the game series alive to allow another entry in the Alan Wake series. Lake responds by saying that fan support matters to the series is very important. Showing how much people have been asking for the game online and through other social media channels helps tell partners for the series. He also mentions that with the longevity of Alan Wake, the fan support helps Remedy’s motivation to continue the project and show partners that there’s a demand for the project.
It’s been mentioned that Lake and the company have been workshopping the game, developing builds over time. The question focuses on how those original builds have changed from the original inception of a sequel with the release of Alan Wake to the final version of Alan Wake 2. Lake states that the early versions of Alan Wake 2 that came after the first title had elements that became part of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. With those ideas being old, most elements from the original 2010 prototype aren’t present in the version of Alan Wake 2 that fans are getting.
Lake also mentions that the extra time used to make the project has opened the door to build upon what they’ve already had, which has created an overall better product than Lake is very proud of. Something that’s also changed about the project is that Alan Wake will be a proper survival horror title, rather than the original psychological action title that the game originally was. When asked about the change, he mentions that the pivot from action to proper horror is part of the journey. With the pivot to horror, more ideas are being implemented into the sequel, which opens the door for a new experience that players will be fully invested in. With the story of Alan Wake being central to the series, finding a genre that takes center stage will be the best way to handle a sequel. Survival Horror will be the perfect genre for the game to take place. He finishes this bit by mentioning that Remedy will do their take on the genre.
Lake was asked about the M rating of the game. He responded, stating that having an M-rated game is like a breath of fresh air, allowing for more freedom without the need to compromise or censor content. He does say that the game isn’t going to be shocking for the sake of being shocking. The game’s story, setting, and events will fit the bill for M-rated titles.
Lake is asked if Alan Wake 2 will retain its third-person perspective despite its genre change. He gives a surprising answer, dodging the question. He states in the interview that the goal is to announce the game, open up about the design aspects of the game a little, before going dark “to remain true to the themes of the game” this is going to be where Remedy focuses on finishing the title before 2023. The interviewer asks if this means that the title will be shown at E3, to which he makes it clear that details about the gameplay reveal for Alan Wake 2 are going to come out when the time is right.
The next question asked about the game is about the engine for the title. Remedy partnered with Epic Games; their titles have been put on their PC storefront. But, with their next game coming out and with the power of Unreal Engine 5 being shown at the Game Awards with the reveal of the Matrix Experience, it’s asked if Remedy is going to stay with the Northlight Engine they’ve been developing. Lake does confirm that Alan Wake will remain on the Northlight Engine, saying that the engine is something that Remedy is familiar with. They know how the engine works and get the results they want from the engine while working on Alan Wake 2. This is something that they’re going to be more comfortable with doing instead of trying to learn how to make the game they want to make on Unreal Engine 5. Even though the game will be on a different engine, Lake mentions that Alan Wake 2 will be the best-looking game from the developer.
The interviewer then asks Lake what about the series stuck with the team to make another game. He mentions that the game’s story is one of the major players dictating this decision. With the original title ending on a cliffhanger while also being a perfect ending for the character, it’s hard for Remedy not to want to make another game and continue the story of Alan Wake.
The final confirmation for the game is that the voice actor for Alan Wake, Matthew Porretta, and Alan Wake’s physical actor, Ilkka Villi, will reprise their role as Alan Wake’s voice and face, respectively. With this in mind, it seems like Alan Wake 2 is shaping up to be the game that fans were expecting, and with the game released in 2023, there’s still a long way to go before the game is fully released.