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Preview: Alan Wake 2 will be a detective dream



Remedy will never be the type of developer to phone things in, but Alan Wake II is indisputable proof that it belongs in the top tier of the game industry. After the new gameplay trailer revealed during the Summer Game Fest, we were treated to a significantly detailed hands-off demo at SGF Play Days. This PS5 sequel is the real deal, and its investigation looks set to be the star of the show.

That familiar combat loop of shining torches at enemies to scent them when they fall back weak – the measure makes it clear that battles will be taken at a minimally slow pace – complete with extensive hub areas to explore. Our demo guide mentions three of them. However, the most impressive addition is Mind Place, a feature accessed at the touch of a button where you can work on the case at the heart of Alan Wake II. New co-protagonist Saga Anderson visits the area – a sort of room you can retreat to whenever you want to investigate clues and develop your own understanding of the events. This is a seamless transition with no load screen, done on a PS5 devkit.

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Think of those elaborate case boards you see on crime TV shows and you’re all the way there. Another point of comparison would be the most recent Sherlock Holmes titles, except Alan Wake II makes it an interactive room instead of a set of menus. By lifting the pages and interacting with the real-world environment, this otherworldly room will evolve with plot-related revelations. The remedy says that you can’t misplace these clues, so everyone will follow the same narrative path and be given equal clues.

As an FBI agent, Saga plays the investigator while Alan Wake himself is trapped in the dark – except for one scene that closed the demo sporting stunning visuals. Building on Alan Wake’s classic loop, this is where Remedy has gotten ambitious, and it’s almost certainly going to pay off. We can’t wait to fully unravel the mystery come October.

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Additionally, the remedy is leaning toward everything that sets it apart from its industry peers. The live-action elements are back, now with jump scares and survival horror elements. The way they are implemented is interesting, with quick flashes of gray recordings plastered over the top of the gameplay. They’ll either scare you or creep you out, and it’s an interesting idea how they’ll evolve throughout the game. And while we won’t rule out the possibility just yet, our 30-or-so-minute gameplay presentation lacks a live-action TV show to follow.

With more methodical action and limited inventory, this will be an experience where every bullet counts. Sandwiched between heavyweights like Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Marvel’s Spider-man 2 , there’s concern that Alan Wake II won’t get all the attention it deserves. Based on this early-game sequence, it’s another game of the year contender — probably top of the line if survival horror is your forte.

Is Alan Wake II a game you’re excited about? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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