In an exciting development, Remedy Entertainment has announced that Alan Wake 2, the highly-anticipated sequel to the original game, will be its first venture into the realm of survival horror. This innovative transformation has significantly influenced every facet of the sequel, including its combat system, storyline, game structure, pacing, and overall tone.
Sam Lake, the creative director, explained that the transition into a new genre was motivated by a straightforward wish for greater variety. “Our objective was to infuse more variation into the game,” he shared.
The Legacy and Lessons from the Original Game
Alan Wake, a creation deeply reflective of its era, has showcased its attributes in a recent remaster, wherein every narrative progression is punctuated by combat. This combat system, however, remained largely static throughout the game, a realization acknowledged by Remedy’s senior leadership.
Lake disclosed, “We realized that the gameplay of Alan Wake lacked depth, as it seemed to repeat itself. We also wanted to bring in a more ambitious narrative scope. So, for Alan Wake 2, we decided to innovate a wider range of combat systems and introduce a bolder narrative structure involving two protagonists whose paths diverge due to the Dark Place’s influence.”
Re-imagining Combat for Survival Horror
Survival horror as a genre generally focuses more on building suspense and a sense of dread rather than delivering constant action. When combat does occur, it tends to be a major event, contributing to an intense atmosphere.
Lake added, “We desired a deeper, more strategic combat system that aligned with the survival horror genre’s slower pacing. We wanted to ensure that our combat system perfectly dovetailed with the story progression.”
Molly Maloney, the principal narrative designer, clarified that Alan Wake 2 would not necessarily have fewer combat scenes, but the combat dynamics would be substantially different. “Combat in this sequel is designed to enhance the horror theme. It is expected to be more impactful, strategic, and even desperate at times,” she explained.
A Glimpse into Alan Wake 2’s Gameplay
A sneak peek into Alan Wake 2’s gameplay was showcased during the Summer Game Fest. Special Agent Saga Anderson, wielding a flashlight in one hand and a firearm in the other, much like Alan did in Bright Falls, reveals a fresh perspective.
The camera angle is adjusted closer to her shoulder, and adversaries are portrayed as heavier and less eager to dispel the concealing darkness. This shift towards a more impactful combat system has enabled Remedy to re-envision its narrative delivery.
Refining Gameplay for a Cohesive Experience
“By reducing the speed of gameplay and integrating more horror elements, we were able to concentrate on enriching the world-building aspect and the narrative’s details,” co-director Kyle Rowley elaborated. “In contrast to constantly fighting off enemies interspersed with pieces of the story, the horror storytelling and the gameplay now complement each other more seamlessly.”
Lake hinted at the enriched gaming experience: “As you uncover the story and assemble the clues, you are genuinely immersed in the gameplay. You are actively engaged in the game while simultaneously experiencing the narrative.”
This approach in Alan Wake 2 forms a more consistent package, aiming to seamlessly intertwine the story with combat and exploration aspects, enhanced with cinematics and live action sequences. This thoughtful fusion marks a significant evolution from the original game, providing players with a much-anticipated, immersive sequel.