Alan Wake 2 is out in the wild, as the 13-year wait for the follow-up to the thriller story of a writer who brings his stories to life is finally over. The psychological horror game is being published by Epic Games, and one developer at Remedy says that the team was wholly supported in its vision for the sequel by Epic, which has certainly paid off more than enough already.
Like many others, our own Alan Wake 2 review is absolutely glowing; there’s innovation around every corner as Remedy blends what it learned making Control with a truly masterful narrative. According to Remedy communications director Thomas Puha, this is in part because Epic just let the team make the version of Alan Wake 2 it wanted, instead of intervening in the horror game.
“Shoutout to Epic Publishing, they let us make the game we wanted [and were] nothing but supportive,” Puha says. “Epic’s production team especially killed it on Alan Wake 2. They really care. Never have I read so much good feedback from milestones and have producers play so much of the game constantly.”
Remedy getting little in the way of overhead interference from Epic for Alan Wake 2 isn’t just good practice, it provides a direct example of how letting creatives do their own thing with little interference can only benefit everyone involved. It does mean that Alan Wake 2 isn’t on Steam right now, but with a different publisher, we could be looking at a wildly different game.
That doesn’t mean Alan Wake 2 is perfect or that every game without excessive interference in its creation will be a masterpiece, but it does show games can do wildly impressive things when the creatives are left to get on with it.
I’ve put around five hours into Alan Wake 2 so far, and I’m incredibly taken aback by how much Remedy avoids relying on the gunplay. Instead, you’re solving mysteries, exploring, and taking in the game’s incredibly unique blend of rendered and live-action detail all at once, and it’s positively engrossing. Of course, you’ll still want to get caught up on all the Alan Wake 2 weapons, but they are far from the star of the show.
Despite being so early in the game, I’m already getting Remedy’s mind-bending storytelling to keep me hooked, and the gorgeous visuals and unique presentation only serve to keep me engrossed. If you’re on the fence though, we’ve put together a breakdown on whether you need to play the original Alan Wake before the sequel.