PREVIEW – Alan Wake 2 arrives in 2023. Remedy Entertainment is returning to the Alan Wake series after a decade, turning the classic Xbox 360 psychological thriller into a full-fledged survival horror. Alan Wake 2 was unveiled at the Game Awards 2021, with creative director Sam Lake revealing that Remedy has been toying with the idea of a sequel for almost 10 years.
As it stands, Remedy Entertainment has been careful to keep the information surrounding Alan Wake 2 a closely guarded secret. However, as we get closer and closer to 2023, more and more details around the Alan Wake sequel are starting to emerge. From the first teaser trailer and story details to new concept art and development updates, here’s everything we know so far about Alan Wake 2.
Developer Remedy Entertainment has confirmed that the release date for Alan Wake 2 is set for 2023. The developer has not yet confirmed a more specific release window, but has promised regular updates on the development in the coming months. Given that the first Alan Wake game was released in 2010, Remedy will be in no hurry to bring the long-awaited sequel to the world.
The confirmed platforms for Alan Wake 2 so far are PS5, Xbox Series X and PC. Remedy has also confirmed that Alan Wake 2 will be released for PC via the Epic Games Store, thanks to Epic Games publishing the upcoming survival horror game. Alan Wake 2 is not expected to be released on PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch – which isn’t all that surprising given the next-gen technology behind the 2023 release.
Alan Wake 2 trailer
The Alan Wake 2 trailer is just a taste of what to expect from the sequel. There’s a gloomy-looking scene in a forest, a rainy shot of New York City and the (fictional) Caldera Street subway stop, a glimpse of what could be Bright Falls, and our title character – who looks a lot like Bradley Cooper on a bad day – declaring that “this is not the story you want it to be”. This is the story that will eat you alive. This story is a monster, and monsters have many faces”. The nervous should know that there is a bit of a jump scare where we see Alan’s pale, bloody face.
Alan Wake 2 concept art
Remedy has released a video update to celebrate the anniversary of Alan Wake. Creative director Sam Lake has been joined by both halves of Alan Wake – Ilkka Villi and Matthew Porretta, who provide the voice and physicality of the protagonist. During the update, the trio touched on the upcoming sequel and revealed some new concept art.
“It feels familiar in many ways now that we’re working on the sequel,” said Lake, “but it also feels very fresh and we feel like we’re breaking new ground. It’s a new genre, and we’re getting more into the horror aspect of it, but at the same time we like to explore the depth of the character [Alan Wake].”
“In this game, it’s like we really get to see who Alan Wake is,” Porretta added. “You get an idea of who he is in person. So you get more emotion from him.”
Remedy was expected to unveil the first Alan Wake 2 gameplay in the summer of 2022, though the developer ultimately postponed the big reveal to a date to be determined. The reason? The studio wants to keep working on the main game, rather than refocusing resources on a polished demo.
“Everything is going very well with the development of Alan Wake 2. We’re deep into production, we have a lot of material and most of the game is playable. But we’ve been talking over the last few months and we’ve come to the decision here at Remedy, along with our wonderful publisher Epic Games, that we’re not going to show anything big this summer,” said creative director Sam Lake.
“Making a proper, polished demo or trailer takes a lot of effort, and that’s months of work that can take away from development,” he continued. “We feel we have momentum and want to make sure we make the best and first survival horror game for Remedy. We don’t want to distract the team from that focus, so we’re going to keep working and create a great gaming experience, and unfortunately you’ll have to wait a little longer for the demo and trailer”.”
The Story of Alan Wake 2
Here’s what little we know so far about the return of Alan Wake. Lake says the game is a “deep, layered mystery” and “Remedy’s first survival horror game”. The studio describes the original as more of an action game with horror elements.
In the subsequent DLC episodes – “The Signal” and “The Writer” – Alan learns more about the Dark Place’s logic and motivations, and eventually frees himself by confronting a version of himself called Irrational Alan, and then writing the novel Return. Could this novel be part of what Alan confronts in the sequel? Remedy is remaining coy about the exact details, but it sounds like they plan to tackle some big ideas in the game. Spoilers ahead for the original Alan Wake.
“Before the announcement, the internal code name for the sequel was Project Big Fish,” says Lake. “David Lynch said, ‘Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch small fish, stay in shallow water. But if you want to catch big fish, go deeper. Alan Wake 2 is our big fish. We’re diving deeper than ever into an ocean of darkness”.
Developing Alan Wake 2
Remedy Entertainment is developing Alan Wake 2 with its proprietary Northlight game engine. Lake told IGN(opens new page) that the game will be “the best looking, most beautiful Remedy game ever”. The studio has used the engine for previous games such as Control.
“We feel that especially for an experience like this where atmosphere and stylisation are more important than ever, knowing Northlight so well allows us to focus on certain things and push certain things forward”.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Lake also explained that the studio hasn’t really stopped playing around with ideas for a sequel in between other projects.
“For over a decade, after Alan Wake, in between each of our projects, I’ve been enthusiastically working on Alan Wake 2 with a small core team, dreaming up different incarnations of the concept”.
The post also suggested that this process included versions of Alan Wake 2 that would never see the light of day.
“It’s easy now to feel happy and excited that Alan Wake 2 is finally based on the latest iteration of the concept, rather than the ones before it”.