Alan Wake 2 is looking to shake things up from its more than a decade old predecessor in a number of ways, and though a complete shift in genres to survival horror is obviously one of the biggest changes it’s making, there’s plenty more as well. A key one, in fact, is the fact that the game has two playable protagonists, and in a new video published by IGN, developer Remedy Entertainment has shed more light how the game approaches its unique dual protagonist structure.
Alan Wake himself, is, of course going to take the stage, and he still finds himself trapped in the Dark Place, where we left him at the end of the original game- and having spent more than a decade trapped in this alternate dimension, stalked by sinister forces, things have obviously taken a toll on his increasingly fractured mind. Then there’s Saga Anderson, an FBI agent who’s investigating a murder in the real world, in the town of Bright Falls. Unlike Alan, she’s meant to be something of a surrogate for players who’ll be new to the series.
As you’d expect, your experience will differ significantly based on which character you’re in control of. Either way, the game places less focus on combat and action than its predecessor, but adopts different approaches to pacing, atmosphere, and exploration across both characters. Saga’s sections, for instance, are described as being more about “the anticipation of combat”, while Alan’s sections are much more focused on surreal, supernatural things and psychological horror.
Then there’s the Mind Place, a place entirely inside Saga’s mind where she works on her investigations and uses clues to demystify new details, revelations, and paths forward. Alan, meanwhile, has his own version of this, called the Writer’s Room. Mechanics are similar across both, but each is wrapped up in different narrative context.
As for how the game splits its time between both characters, players will be given a great deal of freedom over that. At every break room, which are Alan Wake 2’s version of safe rooms, players will be able to swap between the two characters, which means you’re given a great deal of control and flexibility over what order you want to experience the story in. Do you want to keep jumping back and forth between Saga and Alan, or would you rather experience their stories one after another without any breaks? The story is structured so that it allows for both styles.
Check out the video below for more details.