Alan Wake II just got a release date, confirming a tip from earlier this week that suggested a fall/ autumn window. During the PlayStation Showcase event, held early Thursday, developer Remedy Entertainment confirmed that the sequel to the supernatural horror game will be out on October 17, across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X. New protagonist FBI Agent Saga Anderson shares the stage with our titular hero in this sequel, which also diverts its genre towards survival horror. The studio also dropped a gameplay trailer for the same, which looks quite reminiscent of the recent Resident Evil remakes — that’s a positive.
The Alan Wake 2 trailer opens with a voiceover from Wake, who appears to be trapped inside the echoing abyss that is the Dark Place. “I’m trapped here… in this nightmare,” he says, as we see flashing glimpses of some bald guy getting tied down and feasted upon by masked cultists in a forest. “I write to escape. Every word is a step forward into darkness.” The writing seems quite monologue-heavy and fragmented, which has to do with the game’s structuring. With the inclusion of the new protagonist, players can play either Wake or Anderson’s respective stories in any order they want. Their journeys are intertwined, but each lead toward separate disturbing pathways to unfurl the mystery surrounding a series of ritualistic murders that threaten Bright Falls — yes, that’s the same location as the original Alan Wake.
On the official website, creative director Sam Lake stated that playing as FBI agent Anderson is the ‘perfect point-of-view’ for newcomers to the franchise, inviting players into Alan Wake’s supernatural world. “It’s important to us that Alan Wake 2 works as a stand-alone experience but also has a ton of connections for our fans to find,” he writes. The sequel kicks off with Anderson uncovering pages of a horror story, seemingly written by Wake himself, albeit the events described in it seem to have played out exactly in this realm. It’s described that the victim was one of Anderson’s colleagues FBI Special Agent Robert Nightingale, who was seemingly chasing after a writer (presumably Wake), before his eventual murder. Tagging along for the case is agent Casey, played by the game’s writer Sam Lake himself.
“We were all trapped in a horror story,” Wake continues writing. “The horror story wanted us dead.” We then cut to some raw gameplay footage of Anderson approaching a dilapidated general store with a gun in hand, relying on an over-the-shoulder perspective similar to Resident Evil 4. As she continues investigating the indoors, a masked cultist wielding an axe breaks through the wall and proceeds to attack her. Combat seems to largely revolve around gunplay with no displays of melee combat, which begs the question of ammo conservation. In a related PlayStation blog post, it is revealed that Anderson’s story will play out across three hubs: the town of Bright Falls, the dense forest surrounding Cauldron Lake, and the run-down town of Watery. The last one seems to be adorned in cool neon lighting. Meanwhile, Wake’s story is set within the Dark Place, which is described as a ‘shifting, looping reality.’
The game’s FAQ page confirmed that Alan Wake 2 would not have a physical CD release, with Remedy attributing the reasons to a ‘large number’ of people having shifted to digital-only formats. “Secondly, not releasing a disc helps keep the price of the game at $59.99 / €59.99 and the PC version at $49.99 / €49.99. Finally, we did not want to ship a disc product and have it require a download for the game — we do not think this would make for a great experience either,” the page reads.
Alan Wake II releases October 17 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X. Pre-orders are now live across all platforms.