Alan Wake 2 signals the long-awaited return of author turned nightmare creator Alan Wake, and developer Remedy Entertainment is going all out for this sequel. With two playable heroes, two realities to explore, and two mysteries to solve, Alan Wake 2 is one hell of an ambitious sequel.
In fact, Alan Wake 2 is undoubtedly one of the biggest upcoming horror games on the near horizon, with Remedy confirming that this spooky survival horror experience will land as one of the key new games of 2023. It's been over a decade since we fought back against the darkness in one of the best Xbox 360 games, so you'll want to keep reading on to find everything we know about Alan Wake 2 so far.
Our guide to Alan Wake 2 was updated on August 17 to reflect a new release date, following Remedy's decision to delay the game by 10 days.
Alan Wake 2 release date
The Alan Wake 2 release date is set for October 27, 2023. Remedy confirmed the news at the PlayStation Showcase where it also debuted the first gameplay trailer. The game was originally due to launch on October 17, but Remedy decided to delay AW2 by 10 days to give it more room to breathe in a congested release window.
Alan Wake 2 platforms
Alan Wake 2 will launch on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC (via the Epic Games Store). Remedy has confirmed that no PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch version is in development. Additionally, Alan Wake 2 will be a digital-only release to help keep its price lower.
Alan Wake 2 news
- You can't trust anything in Alan Wake 2's dark place, even the shadows
- The creepy new Alan Wake 2 trailer is packed with Remedy references
- Nvidia DLSS 3.5 is coming to give Alan Wake 2 a ray tracing glow up
- Alan Wake 2 took influence from Resident Evil to make players feel "more vulnerable"
- Alan Wake 2 introduces a new protagonist so you can follow the plot "even if you have not played a single Remedy game"
- Alan Wake 2 developer's nightmarish technical disaster reminds us how annoying game development can be
- Kaleidoscopes, cigarettes, and hair gel: How Remedy achieved Alan Wake 2's live-action "stylisation"
- Remedy promises that Alan Wake 2 will have "more variation" in story and combat than its predecessor
- Alan Wake 2 is doing one hell of a Resident Evil impression in first gameplay reveal
- Alan Wake 2 will get free DLC and two full expansions
Alan Wake 2 gameplay
Alan Wake 2 gameplay is a big departure from what we experienced in the first game. Alan has spent 13 years trapped in the Dark Place and, as a result, Remedy Games is going full psychological horror for this long-awaited sequel. One of the biggest gameplay changes is the arrival of a brand new playable protagonist in Saga Anderson – a seasoned FBI agent who is sent to Bright Falls with her partner Alex Casey (played by Sam Lake) to investigate a string of ritualistic murders that have claimed one of the agency's own.
While half of the game will focus on Saga and the investigation into this mysterious cult activity throughout Bright Falls, Cauldron Lake, and Watery, that's not the only horror you'll have to contend with. The other half of Alan Wake 2 will see you controlling the famed writer in a nightmare of his own design, with Alan trapped in a Dark Place that has come to resemble New York City. You'll be able to play as both characters, and switch between their stories when you want to.
Outside of the ambitious new narrative frame, there's also some massive changes to combat. The camera is now pulled in a little tighter to the shoulder, with combat resembling the Resident Evil remakes. You'll still need to make use of light to take on powerful supernatural threats, but your resources will be far more limited this time around as Remedy embraces the survival horror genre.
Alan Wake 2 story
The Alan Wake 2 story is set around two worlds, two characters, and two mysteries. The one Remedy is talking about right now focuses around a string of ritualistic murders threatening Bright Falls, Cauldron Lake, and Watery (a new explorable location to the Pacific Northwest area of Alan wake 2). Saga Anderson, an accomplished FBI investigator, arrives in Bright Falls to look into the murders with her partner Alex Casey – voiced by James McCaffrey and with likeness from Sam Lake, the original Max Payne pairing.
While all this is going on, there's the Alan Wake of it all. The writer has spent 13 years trapped in the Dark Place beneath Cauldron Lake, which has taken the form of a nightmarish New York City. You'll also play as Wake as he attempts to write a dark story which is capable of shaping the reality around him in such a way that he can make his long-awaited escape – no matter the consequences.
The Alan Wake 2 story will follow both of these narratives, with Remedy giving players the opportunity to jump between each character. Want to experience all of Saga's investigation in Bright Falls before you jump over to Alan in the Dark Place, or jump between the two when you want to – you'll have the opportunity to do that.
Alan Wake 2 development
Remedy Entertainment is developing Alan Wake 2 with its proprietary game engine Northlight, and Lake told IGN that the game would be "the best-looking, most beautiful Remedy game ever." The studio has also used the engine for its previous games, like Control.
"We feel that especially for this kind of experience where atmosphere and stylization are more important than ever before, is that we know Northlight so well we can focus on certain things and push certain things forward."
In his PlayStation Blog post, Lake also explained that the studio has never really stopped playing with ideas for the sequel between other projects.
"For over a decade, after Alan Wake, in between every project we have made, I have eagerly worked on Alan Wake 2 with a small core team, dreaming up different incarnations of the concept."
The post also suggested this process included versions of Alan Wake 2 that will never see the light of day.
"It is easy to feel happy and excited now that Alan Wake 2 is finally happening based on our latest iteration of the concept, and not the ones that came before that."
Alan Wake 2 concept art
Remedy posted a video update to celebrate the anniversary of Alan Wake. Creative director Sam Lake was 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 showcased some new concept art.
"This process now in working on the sequel feels familiar in many ways," Lake said, "but at the same time it feels very fresh and it feels like we are breaking new ground. It's a new genre and we are pushing further into the horror aspect of it, but also exploring the depth of the character [Alan Wake]."
"In this game it's like you're really seeing who Alan Wake is," Porretta added. "You're getting an idea of who he is personally. So you're getting more emotion from him."
In the official blog post update for the anniversary, you can also see Villi in character as Alan Wake dressed up in full mocap gear.
Alan Wake 2 trailer
The Alan Wake 2 trailer is just a little tease of what we can expect from the sequel. There's a grim-looking crime scene in a forest, a rainy shot of New York City and the (fictional) subway stop of Caldera Street, a flash to what could be Bright Falls, and our titular hero – looking a lot like Bradley Cooper on a bad day – declaring "this is not the story you want it to be. This story will eat you alive. This story is a monster and monsters wear many faces." The nervous should know there's a little jump scare where we see Alan's pale, bloodied face looking like he just got a lump of coal in his stocking and wants to eat Santa as payback.