I’m apprehensive about Saga Anderson. She’s a seasoned FBI agent investigating a string of ritualistic deaths round Cauldron Lake, and he or she’s just a little too impressed by all of the supernatural gore she encounters. At one level, she’s speaking to her associate in regards to the cult exercise they’ve seen – the dismembered physique components and necromancy and murderous villagers roaming the forests – and he or she says, “this place simply retains getting crazier… however that is thrilling.”
A number of scenes later, she’s shoving a coronary heart by a portal to a different realm and alluring a witch to indicate her “the phobia.”
So, yeah, I’m nervous about Saga’s destiny in Alan Wake II – and that solely makes me extra excited for the total recreation. I noticed a 30-minute hands-off preview of Alan Wake II at Summer time Sport Fest, set within the second chapter. By this time, Saga has made her peace with the paranormal darkness of the case she’s investigating; she’s already pulled a manuscript web page out of a corpse’s chest cavity and adopted its directions to Cauldron Lake, the setting of the unique recreation.
Alan Wake got here out 13 years in the past, and the timeline within the sequel has additionally progressed 13 years. The author Alan Wake has been lacking that complete time, and Saga is searching the ghost of FBI agent Robert Nightingale, who was killed on the finish of the primary recreation. In chapter two, Saga and her associate are deep within the Pacific Northwest woods. The preview reveals off beautiful lighting, character fashions and environments, plus satisfying-looking gunplay and flashlight-play.
Dialogue scenes between Saga and her associate aren’t rushed, establishing the narrative and letting it breathe, and there are a number of moments the place gamers can select the right way to reply. The 2 brokers cut up up and there are a collection of straightforward puzzles for Saga to unravel, like accumulating a fuse or discovering the appropriate numbers to crack a lock, all whereas a way of dread always builds within the background. The preview supplies some critical early Resident Evil vibes — Alan Wake II is a survival-horror expertise, whereas the unique was an action-thriller.
As Saga makes an attempt to unravel the mysteries round her, she will be able to soar into her Thoughts Place (no, not Thoughts Palace) to prepare clues and join the dots. Her Thoughts Place appears to be like like the lounge of a ’90s conspiracy theorist, with photographs and notes related by crimson string alongside one wood-paneled wall. That is the place Saga can manipulate the proof she’s discovered, inserting clues close to one another to see in the event that they’re associated, unlocking the trail ahead. If she will get caught, she will be able to go to the desk within the heart of the room and commune together with her topics, asking them for solutions primarily based on the clues she’s gathered; that is referred to as Profiling. Saga can enter her Thoughts Place at any time.
There are a number of jump-scares within the preview, the place the display screen rapidly cuts to a screaming face or an enemy instantly bursts by a doorway, however they’re nicely positioned and never overdone. Saga feels succesful and curious – possibly just a little too curious for her personal good, however we’ll must see how that performs out within the full recreation. On the finish of the preview, Alan instantly seems within the woods with Saga, screaming about darkish forces and confused by how lengthy he’s been lacking.
The large innovation in Alan Wake II is the flexibility to swap between Saga and Alan himself, taking part in as each characters all through the sport. Chapter one begins with Saga within the driver’s seat, and after that gamers can select to play as her or Alan initially of every new part. A Treatment spokesperson mentioned builders are nonetheless fine-tuning the swap mechanic; they don’t essentially need to give gamers the flexibility to vary characters each 5 minutes, for the sake of the narrative move, however they nonetheless need to present actual situations of significant selection.
Alan Wake II is a contained single-player expertise and it doesn’t have a bunch of facet quests, in accordance with Treatment. There are a number of errands to finish and secrets and techniques to seek out parallel to the principle story, however that is first-and-foremost a linear, narrative-driven recreation.
There have been loads of sequels on the Summer time Sport Fest showcase, and Alan Wake II stands out on this crowded area. The preview showcased a transparent imaginative and prescient: Alan Wake II retains the themes of the unique recreation, however introduces a recent perspective with the protagonist, mechanics and style. It appears like Treatment is aware of the story it is making an attempt to inform — even when Alan and Saga do not.
Alan Wake II is because of hit PC, Xbox Sequence X/S and PlayStation 5 on October seventeenth.
Make amends for the entire information from Summer time Sport Fest proper right here!