Remedy Entertainment is one of the top names in the video game industry, and a lot of it can be attributed to the developer’s consistency in putting out quality titles for over a decade at this point. Remedy has shown a penchant for creating games that veer from stereotypes both in terms of gameplay and story, and few games carry that “Remedy charm” better than Alan Wake.
A remaster of this fan-favorite title is due to release soon, and comes just in time when rumors of Alan Wake 2 entering production have surfaced. This makes it an opportune time to revisit the classic, and here are 15 things you need to know before grabbing the game:
Alan Wake’s narrative is popularly described as a psychological thriller and carries the Remedy influence on its sleeve. You play as of course – Alan Wake, a writer who prides himself in writing crime thriller novels. Alan is suffering from writer’s block, which prompts his wife Alice to plan a vacation to the mountain of Bright Falls.
Alan thinks of this trip as a vacation to break his monotonous routine, while her wife Alice wants her husband to consult a renowned psychologist for his writer’s block. Following a heated argument after which Alan leaves the room, Alice cries for help as she gets pulled down into a lake by a shadowy figure.
Much like what’s prevalent with TV series, the story of Alan Wake is broken down into episodes, which all of course – advance the larger narrative forward. Alan Wake’s story revolves around him encountering these shadowy figures all the while uncovering a larger narrative.
Alan Wake features, of course, Alan Wake – who is a crime fiction writer. Then there’s Alice – who is Alan’s wife who takes Alan on the trip and is a large part of the narrative’s proceedings as she gets kidnapped by the shadowy figures, Taken.
There’s also Eric Barry, the agent who has the key to the lodge that Alan and his wife occupy at the beginning of the game. There’s also a multitude of supporting characters, such as town sheriff Sarah Breaker, psychologist Emil Hartman among others.
Of course, getting into details for all these characters requires players to know major events of the story, which is a best left secret for interested fans.
The gameplay of Alan Wake majorly revolves around fending off hideous shadowy figures called the Taken. These Taken cannot be harmed in conventional ways and requires players to destroy their protective shields before pumping them with hot lead. This requires the use of Alan Wake’s titular flashlight and other light sources in interesting ways to fend off waves of the Taken.
If the Taken come too close, Alan can also perform a Max Payne-Esque slow-motion dodge which also allows for better positioning and counter-attacks to the Taken. There’s also a bevy of collectibles and upgrades to find, which all serve to gradually expand Alan Wake’s essentially basic combat loop.
In addition to the launch content, Alan Wake also received two DLCs in the form of Special One: The Signal and Special Two: The Writer. These expand further on the story and gameplay systems from the base game and are of course- included in the remaster as well. The spinoff Alan Wake American Nightmare wouldn’t be included in the package.
How Long To Beat
The original Alan Wake takes around 11 and a half hours to complete, according to aggregator site howlongtobeat.com. Those wanting to see all what the game has to offer will spend upwards of 26 hours in Bright Falls. Both the DLC chapters can take a total of 2 hours to go through, and 4 to complete all achievements. All in all, there’s a lot of meat on Alan Wake’s bones – which is great for those wanting to see everything that the game has to offer.
Considering Remedy has already confirmed no new major content or addition on the gameplay front, the remaster will take the same time to complete as the original.
No Product Placement Ads This Time Around
Alan Wake became the subject of quite a few not severe but still significant controversies at launch, and a lot of it had to do with the litany of brand placements all over Bright Falls. The original version has Xbox 360 game cases as collectibles, Energizer batteries, and Ford cars just to name a few. Some fans grew to like this inclusion, while others – not so much.
Regardless of how you feel about them, these brand placements will be removed from the game in the remaster. Since the contracts for these placements have expired long ago, Remedy has confirmed that there will be no in-game ads or brand placements for that matter.
No HDR and Ray Tracing Options
To mostly no one’s surprise, Alan Wake Remastered won’t feature ray-tracing options. Of course, that’s largely understandable given the fact that this is a remaster and not a full-fledged remake. Furthermore, Remedy has also confirmed that HDR wouldn’t be a part of the graphical make-up for the remaster. On the bright side, Remedy has confirmed support for DLSS options.
Minimum PC Requirements
The minimum requirements for Alan Wake Remastered are a Core i5 3440 for the CPU and a GTX 960 for a GPU along with 8 GB of RAM. Recommended settings include a Core i7 3770 along with 16 GB of RAM and a GTX 1060. The installation space for the game is around 36 GB.
Epic Games Store Exclusivity
Alan Wake Remastered will be published by Epic Games for multiple platforms, which of course – gives Epic Games the privilege to make the game exclusive to the Epic Games Store. Given the relationship between Remedy and Epic Games for this project, it seems highly unlikely that a Steam release could see the light of day at least for a year or two.
Console Graphics Settings
The PlayStation 4 offers a framerate of 30 fps at a resolution of 1080p while PS4 Pro can pump 60 frames a second on the same resolution in performance mode. In Quality mode, the game renders at 1296p resolution at 30 fps on the PS4 Pro.
The Xbox One will output 30 fps at a resolution of 900p while Xbox One X can do either 1080p 60 fps in performance mode or 1440p at 30 fps in Quality mode. The PS5 and Xbox Series X runs the game at 60fps but at 1440p. The Xbox Series S on the other hand, is limited to a 1080p 60fps.
Alan Wake Remastered will also make use of the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller. Remedy has confirmed support for haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, the latter of which controls the intensity of the flashlight depending on how hard the player presses the triggers.
Cross-save functionality will also be supported for the remaster. Owners of Alan Wake on last-gen consoles can choose to continue from where they left off, which is a great feature to have. Players on the PlayStation side of things can effortlessly transfer saves using the cloud which requires PS Plus, or manually transfer saves between consoles using a flash drive.
Free Next Upgrades
Remedy has also confirmed that players will be able to upgrade to next-gen version of Alan Wake Remastered without any additional fees. This is applicable for both the disc and digital versions of the game, and is especially great in face of EAs and Sonys of the industry who have repeatedly been found guilty of fleecing customers of their money for these upgrades that should in all sense, be free.
Alan Wake Remastered will be available at a retail price of $29.99 – and will of course, have both a physical and a digital edition. However, as mentioned before, PC players will have to purchase the game through the Epic Games Store.
Release Date and Platforms
Alan Wake Remastered releases on October 5th, 2021. The game will be releasing across all major platforms – PC via the Epic Games Store, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. The lack of a release on the Nintendo Switch is a glaring omission, considering remasters of older but popular games are already available on the platform.