New Alan Wake 2 gameplay shows off creepy cultist, cop mishandling evidence

Today at the Summer Game Fest Max Payne Sam Lake from Remedy came on stage to talk a bit about the studio’s second most famous son Alan Wake (2). After 13 years the sort of Twin Peaksy, sort of Stephen Kingy action adventure game is getting a much-requested sequel this October 17th, although this time it’s a survival horror, and Alan is sharing screen time equally with an FBI agent co-protagonist. Lake told us a little bit more about said agent Saga Anderson, leading into a first glimpse of “raw gameplay” (as opposed to cooked?) that showed her in action. I have to say, my first impression is that Saga is a terrible FBI agent who is going to ruin the chain of evidence if this ever goes to court because this woman will not put on gloves to handle a goddamn thing.

In the footage Saga (amazing name for a character in a series about a novelist, no notes) goes for a spooky walk one spooky rainy night, through a spooky forest, into a spooky abandoned shop of some kind, where she’s ambushed by a giant deer-themed cultist who definitely had something supernaturally wrong with him. She then shoots him approximately a million times before he dies, and goes back inside to shine her torch on a chest freezer to clear away some evil (classic Alan Wake trick, that). This uncovers a heart with a message tattooed on it. Which she picks up! With her bare hands! Who trained you, Saga? Is this good investigative work? Would you not even sort of hold it up with the end of a pen like we’ve seen on TV so many times?

Alan is still stuck in a kind of nightmare dimension writing his little stories, or whatever it is authors do (though with enough psychic crossover to briefly cameo in a DLC for Remedy’s Control), while Saga is roaming around in the real world in the town of Bright Falls, where she and her partner are investigating a string of grisly murders. These murders are linked to the pages of a horror story written by Alan Wake – and the story starts to come true around them. The player swaps between Alan and Saga kind of whenever they want, experiencing boths sides of it.

Although Alan Wake is one of those games that everyone expects you to know about, Lake was quick to say that Alan Wake II is going to be a sequel, but a standalone experience. “We’re not expecting everybody to do homework,” he said, and pointed to Saga as the route in for new players – because she doesn’t know any of the lore either.

And, much like every other normal idiot walking in off the street, she also doesn’t know to, I dunno, snap on a pair of gloves pick up a bloodstained peice of paper you find when you’re investigating a crime scene. Come on Saga. Get your shit together. You’ve got a novelist trapped in a hell dimension to save, and you’ve only got until October 17th to find even one evidence bag.

NotE3 and Summer Game Fest 2023 is in full-swing – see everything in our E3 2023 hub, as well as our selected highlights in our rolling E3 and Summer Game Fest liveblog.

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