I never played Alan Wake the first. Not much anyway. Certainly not to completion. I have only the vaguest recollections of starting it up a time or two, I don’t even really remember my impressions. Did I drop it because I actively didn’t like it or whether, and this is quite likely, it was just that something else came along and supplanted my time spent with it?

Whatever the case, I had little to no intent to pick up Alan Wake 2. Especially when I learned it would be an Epic Game Store exclusive.1

The positive reviews coming out in spades weren’t the tipping point for me, although I’m sure they contributed. What finally did it, was hearing Sam Lake talking about developing the game, and the passion put into the design and consideration he and his team put into the game.

In lieu of having played Alan Wake myself, I watched through a few different ‘story so far’ videos, and off I went.

And by and large, I’m really glad I did.

Alan Wake 2 is a compelling experience. Provided you are open to a high degree of mystery and uncertainty as to what the fark is going on at any given moment. Although… Having said that, I think the game gives you enough clues to develop some fairly strong theories as you progress.

I had made several big (and ultimately correct) calls by the halfway mark, and I’m no genius when it comes to these things, so I would hazard the view that the game gives enough that the reveals in question are earned and not coming out of nowhere.

There are some things I didn’t like. Chief amongst them… The combat is… I wouldn’t say terrible, but it isn’t awesome, either. I ended up considering it a narrative device of the game. It added to the oppressive atmosphere at the appropriate times.

Without spoiling anything — I may do a spoiler-heavy post for this later too — how I ultimately feel about Alan Wake 2 is likely going to be determined by the additional content included in the coming DLCs and New Game Plus modes.

My current view is that the end wrapped up a little too quickly and missed at least one big answer and pay-off moment that I was very much expecting to happen.

The setup for it was right there, and no… Didn’t happen.

If these moments are forthcoming, then my overall view of Alan Wake 2 will be very positive. But if we’re left waiting for the close of the trilogy instead… *shakes fist*

Footnotes

  1. Turns out the EGS thing wasn’t so much of an issue, Epic published the game. While store exclusivity certainly isn’t my favourite thing, I only really have a major objection when talking about third-party exclusives.

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

2 Comments

Nimgimli · December 11, 2023 at 3:23 am

I’m still planning on having a go at the first game before I play this one, but from what I understand its a very different kind of experience so I’m pre-emptively giving myself the OK to decide “Nope, let’s go on to #2”. Though now with that comment about the end of the trilogy I’m thinking I don’t need to rush into it! :)

    Naithin · December 11, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    With the remaster of the first game, but not be a bad idea to give it a go — although I think pre-emptively giving yourself permission to drop it, watch a ‘story so far’ vid, and then jump into the more modern game is probably a good idea still.

    In terms of the trilogy talk, I suppose I should clarify this is not (so far as I’m currently aware) something that Remedy has confirmed.

    But in following with the novelistic themes of the game itself, it seems very much that this is the structure they’re following, and their progress through the ‘Hero’s Journey’ structure seems to suggest that they are very much lining this up for a completion in a third entry.

    … Of course; entirely possible that I’m wrong and they’ll try conclude everything within the DLC.

    But that would greatly surprise me. I think we will get some answers in the coming DLCs, but that the journey’s end will come in another stand-alone release.

    Which… yep, all to say — you probably do indeed have some time. xD

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