13 (real-world and in-game) years have passed since we left Alan Wake in the Dark Place. The 2010 action game/psychological thriller gained a cult following thanks to a compelling narrative that blends Stephen King-esque psychological mystery with the quirky charm and evocative surrealism of Twin Peaks. In the decade-plus since, Remedy has grown to become one of the industry’s premier development studios, and now it’s writing an all-new chapter with its first survival-horror game, Alan Wake 2.
Ahead of the sequel’s upcoming release, we’ve compiled this comprehensive overview of everything we know about Alan Wake 2, including a release date, platforms, price, gameplay updates, story details, and more.
Alan Wake 2 – Saga Gameplay Screenshots
Alan Wake 2 Release Date, Platforms, Price
Alan Wake 2 will be released on October 27 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC (via Epic Games Store). The survival-horror game will cost $60 USD on console and $50 on PC.
Alan Wake 2 will only be released digitally.
Alan Wake 2 Trailer
The latest Alan Wake 2 trailer, titled The Dark Place, was released at gamescom in August. Check out the hybrid live action-gameplay video below:
Alan Wake 2 Story and Plot
Alan Wake 2 picks up 13 years after the original. Alan, having saved his wife at the end of the first game, remains trapped in the Dark Place, a nightmare world with the power to turn fiction into reality. For over a dozen years, the writer has tried to write himself out of the Dark Place without success.
Complementing Alan’s horror story is the plight of the game’s second playable protagonist, accomplished FBI agent Saga Anderson. As Alan tries to write himself free, Saga is in base reality investigating a series of ritualistic murders in Bright Falls, where the first Alan Wake was set. The protagonists’ stories begin to merge when Saga finds pages of a horror story that starts to come true around her.
Alan Wake 2 is set across three Pacific Northwest locations: Bright Falls, the nearby fishing/logging city of Watery, and the fenced-off Cauldron Lake. “Saga obviously exists in our world, so it’s a more grounded reality, but it’s still Remedy’s take on the Pacific Northwest, which means it’s a little quirky, a little interesting, a little weird,” principal narrative designer Molly Maloney told IGN.
Alan Wake 2, unlike its T-rated predecessor, is rated M. Creative director Sam Lake called the rating “liberating,” to not make “compromises or censor yourself with the content.” He added: “For anything to do with Alan Wake the story is very central — this horror story. Let’s do Remedy’s take on a survival horror game and focus on story… the horror story is this psychological, layered, deep mystery to dive into. And yes, it’s going to be scary.”
As for the horror and detective stories that influenced Alan Wake 2, Remedy has referenced season one of True Detective, Silence of the Lambs, Twin Peaks, Fargo, Se7en, Taxi Driver, Inception, Hereditary, Midsommar, and Memento.
Remedy will once again incorporate live-action scenes into the story. Said Lake: “I really, really like using live action. And this time around, we were looking for stylization and ways to integrate it seamlessly into the experience. The Dark Place is this shifting dream reality, kind of a layered place where Alan Wake is churning through these layers and it just felt very suited for switching the medium to keep you off balance. And he’s confused. You are confused.”
The sequel exists in the growing Remedy Connected Universe, a narrative world in which the developer’s Alan Wake and Control franchises coexist. Remedy says the connection between Alan Wake 2 and Control, for example, extends beyond an Easter egg: “It is a crossover experience in [the] Remedy Connected Universe,” said Lake.” The Federal Bureau of Control does play a key role. Their presence in the area… we have key characters related to that and tying into this.”
Alan Wake 2 Gameplay
Alan Wake 2 looks to complement its narrative with a mix of combat, puzzles, detective work, and interactive story moments. Notably, the sequel will have fewer combat encounters than the original. Sam Lake and the team said they designed Alan Wake 2 with a main criticism of the first game in mind: the gameplay was too ‘samey.’
“So, we were looking for solutions and then we just realized that in survival horror, the pacing is slower,” said Lake. “[Alan Wake 2] leans much more on building up to an encounter and then having more strategic resource management and all. So we chose to give more variety in combat but also have less combat, instead we’ll have more moments to do things with the story.”
Alan will still face enemies, and when he does players will have to use the same flashlight technique from the first game to burn away the darkness before inflicting damage. “But we’re a bit more focused on the idea of paranoia and not being able to trust what’s real,” said Lake. “So we have enemies that are kind of shadowy. You’re not sure, some of them will fade away and then not attack you, but some of them will attack you.”
In his Alan Wake 2 hands-on preview, IGN’s Matt Purslow likened the combat to Resident Evil: “Alan Wake 2’s combat encounters are framed from an almost identical camera angle and have the remakes’ same snappy, stressful gunplay. There’s a grisly wound system, too, that opens up wet cavities with each gunshot.
“But that familiar foundation is blended with more original Remedy ideas. The dodge returns from the first game, so ducking beneath hurled hatchets and melee swipes is still part of the rhythm.”
As for Saga, in addition to combat, players can expect “gameplay of exploring the world, finding clues, talking to people, having this kind of case board where you’re piecing everything together.”
That case board exists within Saga’s Mind Place, accessible to players at the touch of a button. Here, Saga can review manuscript pages, character profiles, and the case board — a collection of string-connected pages and photos tacked to a wall where you can arrange clues and evidence in service to pushing Saga’s investigation forward.
Alan’s analog to Saga’s Mind Place and case board are The Writer’s Room and plot board. The plot board is a space for Alan to write new stories in an effort to reshape the reality of the Dark Place, open new pathways, and ultimately escape.
As for switching between the two characters, Remedy largely leaves that up to the player’s discretion: After introductory missions, you’ll be able to switch freely between Saga and Alan, except for when you’re in a place where switching could lead you to “miss a critical piece of information.”
Players can, for example, alternate between characters each chapter or see one character’s story all the way through before progressing the other.
As for the technical experience, Remedy developed Alan Wake 2 with 30 fps in mind. However, the developer recently announced a performance mode for PS5 and Xbox Series X, though specifics have not yet been revealed.
Visually, IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey, who’s played two missions of Alan Wake 2, said it’s “one of the most next-gen-looking games I’ve seen yet. Remedy’s in-house Northlight tech shines here, with lighting, texture detail, and especially character faces combining to craft a strikingly beautiful game.”
How to Play the First Alan Wake (and other Remedy Connected Universe Games)
Alan Wake 2 is the third game in the Remedy Connected Universe, a shared world in which the developer’s Alan Wake and Control franchises exist. (Quantum Break and Max Payne are “not really part” of the RCU, according to Remedy’s Same Lake, given the studio doesn’t own those IPs.)
Catching up on Alan Wake and Control (including its AWE DLC) ahead of Alan Wake 2 is likely to enhance the experience, though Remedy says the sequel is “set up as a stand-alone experience” and “newcomers can enjoy the thrill-ride with no past knowledge of the previous game.”
For those who want the complete RCU experience (so far), here’s where you can play the previously released games:
The original Alan Wake is available on Xbox 360 and PC. However, we recommend playing 2021’s Alan Wake Remastered, available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. The remaster contains an updated version of the original game as well as The Signal and The Writer DLCs.
A standalone expansion called Alan Wake: American Nightmare is not included in the remaster. The expansion is still tied to Xbox 360 and PC.
Control was first released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. However, we recommend playing Control Ultimate Edition, available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch (via cloud streaming), and PC. The Ultimate Edition includes the original game (with graphical/performance updates on newer consoles) and its two expansions: The Foundation and AWE.
Will Alan Wake 2 Have Expansions?
Yes, Remedy has already announced Alan Wake 2 will receive both free post-launch content and two paid expansions: Night Springs and Lake House. Both expansions are included with the Digital Deluxe version of the game (more info below).
Alan Wake 2 Editions, Preorder Bonus
Preordering either version of Alan Wake 2 will net you the following in-game goodies:
- Ornate Revolver Skin for Alan
- Survival Resources Pack for Saga
- Oh Deer Diner Sweater for Saga
Standard Edition – $50 USD (PC), $60 USD (Consoles)
- Digital copy of Alan Wake 2
Digital Deluxe Edition – $70 USD (PC), $80 USD (Consoles)
- Digital copy of Alan Wake 2
- Expansion pass (includes Night Springs and Lake House expansions)
- Nordic shotgun skin for Saga
- Parliament shotgun skin for Alan
- Crimson windbreaker for Saga
- Celebrity suit for Alan
- Lantern charm for Saga
Jordan covers games, shows, and movies as a freelance writer for IGN.