Alan Wake 2: When Are We Returning To Bright Falls?

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Alan’s Been Trapped In The Darkness For Over A Decade, Let’s Write Him Back

Last we saw of the writer-turned-savior of the people of Bright Falls, Alan Wake had written back his missing wife into existence, but since there always needs to be “a balance”, Wake intentionally trapped himself deep within Cauldron Lake. As gripping and refreshing as the game felt in 2010, its release never generated enough revenue to cover the development costs.

Remedy Entertainment went on to pursue other IPs in the years to come which led to the emergence of Control, and Quantum Break, but the team always had the looming urge to revisit Bright Falls one more time — believe me, they weren’t the only ones. Well, that’s finally happening now since Alan Wake 2 is in full-scale production, and it’s arriving way sooner than you’d think. The sequel’s going to be a part of the much larger Remedy Connected Universe, and oh boy are there a bazillion things to talk about.

Remedy Confirmed Alan Wake 2 Is Fully Playable

In an earnings report published by Remedy Entertainment in February 2023, the studio included a detailed roadmap of its upcoming titles, and it also mentioned the development status of each game. 

Remedy’s CEO Tero Virtala stated:

“Alan Wake 2 is in full production……. and it is playable from start to finish.”

That’s the first official piece of information regarding the game since the announcement teaser during The Game Awards in 2021. The teaser confirmed that Alan Wake 2 will be released in 2023, and concluding from the earnings briefing, Remedy’s right on schedule.

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A fully playable state means that the game has reached its alpha build and that it’s now in early beta. According to Remedy, this stage lasts 3 to 6 months for them, and it comprises mostly polishing the game with bug fixes, adding the finishing touches, and quality assurance before a title is market ready. Considering Alan Wake 2 reached this point in February, I’d be willing to bet that a Fall 2023 release date is what they’re aiming for.

Alan Wake 2 Should Be Showcased Soon

Sam Lake, writer and director of the series promised that we’ll see official gameplay for Alan Wake 2 during Summer Game Fest 2022, but when judgment day arrived, Remedy was a total no-show. The studio backtracked by saying a demo would’ve taken months of valuable time, and that they would rather finish the game instead. 

It’s all but a done deal that Alan Wake 2 will release in 2023, and that leaves very little time for showcasing what’s new, so an in-depth look should be right around the corner. The best time for this would be either at this year’s Summer Game Fest (SGF) in June, or the rumored PS5 Showcase being held before then.

Xbox’s Starfield Direct and games showcase is also taking place as a part of SGF 2023. The Elder Scrolls 6, and Gears of War 6 may make an appearance too, which is why there’s a lot of hype surrounding the event. But I think Alan Wake 2 will be featured during the PS5 Showcase alongside other highly anticipated games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Rise of the Ronin. In any case, there isn’t much time left, so it’s okay if you can’t “Control” your excitement anymore.

This Time The Focus Is Survival Horror

After years of speculation, Remedy has finally given in to the fact that Control, Quantum Break, and Alan Wake are set in the “Remedy Connected Universe“. As a result, it’s likely that Alan Wake 2 will share some similarities with Control’s gameplay mechanics, albeit with a focus on resource management and evasion tactics rather than rushing into battles like Jesse did.

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It’s been an unimaginably long time since the first game, so there being massive changes with Alan Wake 2 was always predetermined. The biggest confirmed overhaul is that it’ll be a survival horror game. But wasn’t that always the genre? Well, no, because I’d hardly call a game where I’ve always got loads of ammunition, grenades, and flare guns — nothing short of rocket launches against The Taken — a survival horror game.

The original was more of an action game with eerie elements, but this time, Sam’s claimed that Alan Wake 2 will be Remedy’s first foray into the survival horror genre. It’s difficult to predict what their interpretation of the words survival horror will entail, perhaps something similar to The Evil Within or Resident Evil. The studio’s track record hasn’t ever disappointed, and if they can truly manage to send jitters down our spines, then they’re more than welcome to mess around with new ideas.

Control Serves As A Prequel To Alan Wake 2

If we’re being specific, 2010 wasn’t actually when we last saw Alan. Remedy has put many easter eggs about him in their games over the years, but 2019’s Control took that to a whole other level. Aside from the usual cryptic mentions, Control’s base game had a cutscene in which Alan could be seen using his typewriter, and there was even a case displaying his signature coffee thermos collectible.

Following that, Control’s Altered World Event (AWE) expansion delved deeper into the enigmatic town of Bright Falls. The Federal Bureau of Control’s team journeyed to the town to investigate the unexplained phenomena that occurred, and encountered The Dark Presence. Among the hostile forces they faced was Emil Hartman, one of the secondary antagonists of Alan Wake 1, who had become a Taken and was subsequently captured by the FBC. However, during The Hiss invasion of the Oldest House, Emil’s corruption worsened, and he managed to break free from his confinement, eventually  leading to his death at the hands of Jesse.

During the DLC’s missions, there were numerous cutscenes of Alan and everything started making sense. The DLC ended with Alan exclaiming “you have been warned” to Jesse, but that isn’t even the best part. The final sequence showed an alert in the FBC of a new Altered World Event occurring in — brace yourselves — Bright Falls, with the date being in the future which indirectly hinted at when Alan Wake 2 will take place.

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Alan’s Always Been In Control

If you’re a cult follower of the series, I presume you’ve picked up on the secrets in the teaser for Alan Wake 2. The foremost is that a banner of “Deer Fest 81” is visible in one shot, confirming that the sequel is set 13 years after the original. 

Another massive easter egg is that the Oceanview Motel from Control can be seen in the background. The number of nods to Control specifically is insane. There’s a wild theory going around the fandom right now, and I’m convinced it’s true. It’s that Alan may have created Control’s story — spooky and scary is his signature writing style after all

It sounds bonkers when you put it like that, but when you look at the evidence it just makes sense. Alan needed a way out of Cauldron Lake, and to do so, he engineered the entire events of Control. The AWE expansion of Control also hints at this in great detail. And speaking of, the timing of Alan Wake 2’s release is simply too odd to be considered unconnected to Control.

Alan’s name for the script he wrote in the original, which is also the game’s actual plot, was titled “Departure”, and coincidentally, if it can be even considered that, Alan departed from the world in the ending. Quantum Break hinted at there being 3 novels to Alan’s story titled “Departure, Initiation, and Return”.

The events of Alan Wake 2 are teased to be “The Return“, so it’s possible Control was “The Initiation”. What’s being foreshadowed here is unpredictable, but one thing’s for sure, the people at Remedy are geniuses for creating games this intricate.  

Alan Wake 2 Is Only The Beginning

There are limitless directions Alan Wake 2 could take, but since Remedy has established a shared universe now, Jesse might come to Bright Falls to aid our hero on a hiatus. Alan’s fight with The Dark Presence doesn’t seem like it’ll end anytime soon either. The Hiss, The Dark Presence, and the innumerable Altered World Events appear to be pieces of a much larger puzzle, so even if Alan’s successful in vanquishing his demons, that won’t be the end of it.

Control 2 is in development as well, and should be ready by the time Remedy finishes supporting Alan Wake 2 with post-launch content that’s mentioned in their annual report. Similar to what the studio did by teasing Alan’s return in Control’s expansion, they could also set the stage for Jesse’s next big tussle with the supernatural. 

Guessing what Alan Wake 2 will be about or what it could potentially mean for future IPs within the universe is a rabbit hole that keeps getting bigger the more you talk about it, and Alan’s writer’s block has managed to infest me too, so this looks like the perfect paragraph to end my script on. For the time being anyways, until Alan Wake 2 finally launches later this year on the PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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Tayyab
Tayyab
Tayyab's an anime & gaming enthusiast, and since he can't make them (yet), he loves to write about why he finds them amazing. Also, he's a huge Hideo Kojima fan, and everything else that's Japanese for that matter.

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