Alan Wake II
October 27th, 2023
PC (Epic Games Store), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S|X
$49.99 (PC), $59.99 (consoles)
Expected Release Date
October 27th, 2023
Remedy has had to wait a long time before it could make Alan Wake II. After the modest success of the original game (released in 2010), the Finnish developer quickly began brainstorming ideas for a sequel. However, Microsoft (the publisher of the first Alan Wake) wasn’t interested in a sequel at the time and hired Remedy to create the new IP Quantum Break instead.
While Remedy owned the Alan Wake IP, the publishing rights stayed with Microsoft, so the Finnish studio had no choice but to work on other projects, such as Control and the single player mode of CrossfireX. Thankfully, Remedy got the publishing rights back in July 2019, again opening the door to Alan Wake II.
In September 2021, following a series of leaks, Remedy announced Alan Wake Remastered. This enhanced version of the game offered improved visuals and two expansions (The Signal and The Writer) in an attempt to stoke the hype for the franchise. We later learned that Alan Wake Remastered was part of a two-game deal with Epic Games that included Alan Wake II.
Release date, platforms, pricing, editions
The game was announced at The Game Awards 2021 for a 2023 release date. There has been no real delay, which is unusual for a triple-A game and even more commendable since the studio is small for AAA standards. Remedy only opted to shift the launch for ten days from October 17th to 27th to ‘get some space’ in the extremely busy October game release schedule.
Alan Wake II will be a digital-only release to save costs and allow the game’s publication at a cheaper price. It will cost $59.99 on consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X) and $49.99 on PC, where it will only be available through the Epic Games Store as part of the deal with Epic. While most Epic Games Store exclusives are timed and usually land on Steam after a year or so, the same is unlikely to happen in this case, given that Epic is publishing the title.
That’s for the Standard Edition. The Deluxe Edition is priced at $69.99 on PC and $79.99 on consoles, featuring the following additions:
- Night Springs Expansion
- Lake House Expansion
- Nordic Shotgun Skin for Saga
- Crimson Windbreaker for Saga
- Celebrity Suit for Alan
- Parliament Shotgun Skin for Alan
- Lantern Charm for Saga
- Oh Deer Diner Sweater
All pre-orders of Alan Wake II will obtain the Ornate Revolver Skin for Alan and the Survival Resources Pack for Saga. The latter contains a rocket flare, a first aid kit, painkillers, and a coffee mug charm, which can save Saga from a killing blow (one time only).
Genre and Setting
Alan Wake II belongs to a slightly different genre than its predecessor. Whereas the original game could comfortably be classified as an action/adventure game, Remedy plainly explained that this sequel is their first venture in the survival horror genre.
Setting-wise, the game takes place thirteen years after the events of Alan Wake. The titular protagonist and best-selling writer is still missing when a series of ritualistic murders is discovered in Bright Falls, Washington. FBI agent Saga Anderson (played by Melanie Liburd) is called in to investigate the murders but quickly finds herself in the middle of a supernatural plot. Meanwhile, Alan is stuck in a nightmarish version of New York City and desperately seeks a way out.
Due to the genre switch, Alan Wake II will follow the tenets of survival horror games like Resident Evil, such as scarcer resources and sparser (albeit intense) fights compared to a regular action game, forcing players to make every bullet count.
Of course, the flashlight is also returning from the first installment. It will be needed to make foes vulnerable to firearms; though likewise, players must be mindful of the flashlight’s batteries lest they run out at a crucial time. A dodge move has been confirmed to be in the game.
A big twist is that there will be two playable protagonists: the new character Saga Anderson and, of course, Alan Wake himself. Everyone will start Alan Wake II with Saga, but shortly after, they’ll be free to switch back and forth in certain locations. Creative Director and Writer Sam Lake explained:
If you want, you can keep playing as Alan Wake through the Dark Place experience almost to the end, or you can keep playing as Saga almost to the end. Or you can keep switching at every opportunity you get between them to proceed with both sides of the story threads of this experience.
The story of Alan Wake II has been structured and built in a way where these two threads are very connected. There are a lot of echoes between them, foreshadowing, and visions between them. They are trying to communicate with each other between the worlds. Depending on which side of any given moment you play first, you have a slightly different point of view on what is going on and how this is shaping up. That is the experience.
At the same time, Lake said the sequel features a lot of detective gameplay to engage in the fantasy of being an FBI profiler with Saga Anderson. For this purpose, Remedy created the so-called Mind Place, a 3D visualization of Saga’s thoughts where the player can connect the gathered clues to a pin board and discover new clues by profiling characters.
In an interview with Wccftech at Summer Game Fest 2023, Remedy confirmed that it will take over 20 hours to complete the game, making Alan Wake II longer than the average survival horror title.
Technology & Specs
Remedy has developed Alan Wake II using its in-house Northlight Engine already seen in Quantum Break and Control. On PC, the game will feature path tracing and NVIDIA DLSS 3.5, supporting Super Resolution, Frame Generation, and the brand-new Ray Reconstruction to provide the maximum level of visuals available on GeForce RTX cards. The game will also be playable via cloud thanks to NVIDIA GeForce NOW, where subscribers of the Ultimate tier will get to use those same features.
Remedy has not provided details on the console versions or PC specifications yet. This article will be updated once they are available.
Below, we’ve embedded all the official trailers released so far for Alan Wake II.