Remedy creative director Sam Lake took to New York’s Tribeca Festival yesterday to talk about Alan Wake 2. Hot off the new trailer from Summer Games Fest, Lake shared even more info—and footage—on the sequel to the 2010 game. He talked inspirations and updates with Mike Flanagan, Midnight Mass creator and self-professed Alan Wake fan.
Alan Wake 2: Building a World of Fear
In perhaps the biggest update, Lake explained that Alan Wake 2 will shift from action-horror to more survival horror. He said that with the first game, Remedy had to balance both action and horror. He described survival horror as “a slower-paced genre,” which offered benefits. “This would give us opportunities for storytelling that weren’t possible in the previous game,” Lake explained. Alan Wake 2 will have the “slightly more strategical element of resource management.”
Lake also elaborated on the addition of new protagonist Saga Anderson. This choice came about to help newer players since the first Alan Wake came out 13 years ago. “It’s not going to be a sequel where we give you homework,” explained Lake in reference to the original game, its DLC, and its crossover content in Control. “We needed a new point of view character.” This way, with an FBI agent arriving to investigate the case, new players would have a place to jump into the story.
Saga also brings more gameplay additions. The dark entity will react differently to her than to Alan. Lake confirmed the game will have about a 50/50 split between the two main characters. “There are key locations in the game world where you can switch [between character’s perspectives],” Lake explained, adding that players can go back and forth or even play most of one before the other.
Alan Wake focuses on a writer whose stories become real. So Saga enters the sequel by getting mentioned in a horror story that starts to come true. “She learns new things about herself,” added Lake. “This is a very personal journey for Saga.”
The Dark Fate of Alan Wake
Saga investigates the Pacific Northwest, which leaves Alan Wake still stuck in the Dark Place. So how does he plan to get out? “He’s almost obsessively trying to write a perfect story that would allow him to escape,” answered Lake, confirming a tease towards the end of the trailer.
Other additions for Alan Wake 2? For one, the Dark Place will manifest as a “dark New York.” Lake also confirmed “quite a bit of live-action” in this one, regarding the segments filmed with live actors in Remedy games.
To the thrill of fans, Lake showed off a montage of some of these live-action segments. While the footage has yet to see the light of day outside Tribeca, it showcased Alan seemingly joining a talk show, the masked cult-like figures from the trailer, and in the longest segment, a humorous commercial for the Oh Deer Diner. Once it ended, Mathew Porretta, the voice of Alan Wake himself, waved from the audience as those around him cheered.
In fact, Lake decided to add these segments after the success of those starring Porretta in Control. According to Lake, they also drew “a lot of inspiration from stylized art house horror,” especially in their use of lighting.
Sam Lake and Mike Flanagan praised each other’s work and noted the similar influences they drew from, especially the works of Stephen King. At the end, Flanagan opened up the panel for an audience Q&A with Lake. Asked about the possibility of a collaboration between the two horror aficionados, Flanagan beamed. “Nothing would make me happier.”
Alan Wake 2 will arrive on October 17, 2023, for the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.