Alan Wake 2: The Dark Place Is An Entirely New Experiment for Remedy

The benefit for Remedy is that this location means the developers are no longer constrained by the idea of a tangible reality – and it leads to some very interesting game design. While Alan is very much still a survival horror character, and uses many of the new mechanics at work here (see yesterday’s piece for more on that), the way the world reacts to him can be far wilder.

The key difference is in how you get around this world – navigation is less A to B in The Dark Place, instead taking you from A for a few turns around D, a quick detour to Q, and finally to B, where you were hoping to be all along. The puzzles are more frequent. The mission that I completed, where Alan was trying to contact someone in the Oceanview Hotel to assist him, involved me attempting to open the door and finding myself stuck in an infinite loop which took me outside. In order to get inside, I had to navigate a maze-like rooftop door system, fight Taken enemy and use a new mechanic which allows Alan to change the very makeup of an area by removing or adding light.

Set against Saga’s more action-oriented sequences, it’s a curious, welcome change of pace, and has the benefit of reflecting quite how messed up things have gotten for Alan in the intervening years.

There’s another key difference to Saga – where the FBI agent can enter her Mind Place to help figure out how all of this fits together, Alan instead enters his Writer’s Room, with an entirely different mechanic to work with. Alan has his own notes and can write about it in the Writer’s room. Rewrite them.

Alan Wake 2 is getting two Xbox Design Lab controller designs to celebrate release – check out the Xbox Wireless Controller and Xbox Elite Wireless Controller 2 designs.

Take the Oceanview Hotel – upon entering major locations throughout the building, Alan’s notes build on the story of this place – he has notes on the Entrance Hall, the Ballroom, and more. He soon discovers that the hotel was once the site of a unique immersive theatre experience.

Suddenly, I have the option to rewrite these locations in that context – the Ballroom shifts from an empty room to one with a stage and audience seating, unlocking new clues, items, and discoveries. I can explore other areas.

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