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  • Writer's pictureShantanu Rastogi

Alan Wake II

Non-Spoiler Review

Played on: PC


13 years after Alan Wake was released on Xbox 360 and went on to become a cult classic in the gaming industry, Remedy Entertainment has finally brought back the crime-fiction writer for a thrilling return to the darkness and drive himself to escape the dark place once and for all.


But before discussing the game, I’d like to share my thoughts on the most asked question by the majority of gamers : the Digital-Only release. Being one of those gamers, who have been playing games on PC for a very long time, the game’s digital-only release didn’t affect me, to be honest. PC Gamers have been playing digital-only games since 2010 via Steam and other sites. While I do respect other console gamers’ choice to have a physical collection of games with them, for me, this was not a huge deal. We now see how there are ‘digital’ consoles also being sold in the market too.


If you haven't played Alan Wake 1, you can dive into Alan Wake II easily. There will be multiple instances throughout the game where you'll get to know more about the story of the first game.

But of course, if you love games with proper lore and references, you should play Alan Wake 1, Control and Control (AWE DLC) for the best experience!


Story and Narrative

The game follows both Alan Wake, a writer who has been trapped in the Dark Place, a dimension of psychological nightmare, for 13 years, and Saga Anderson, an FBI agent who investigates a series of ritual murders in Bright Falls. The game features two parallel and interwoven storylines that can be experienced in different orders by switching between the two characters at set points.


Alan Wake II is a wild ride that not only lives up to the hype of its predecessor but kicks it up a notch in a way that'll make your hair stand on end! Remedy Entertainment has outdone themselves with a game that's dripping with suspense, and mystery, with more twists and turns!


The narrative is a thrilling rollercoaster of suspense, mystery, and psychological horror. It's a beautifully crafted tale that delves deeper into Alan's psyche, with intricate character development and a plot that constantly keeps you guessing. Saga’s story also plays a very important role and how it intersects with everyone living in Bright Falls, is done brilliantly. The pacing is spot-on, ensuring that you are always engrossed in the story. The game's resolution is incredibly satisfying, tying up loose ends while leaving enough room for future developments *wink, wink*


I feel that it's always a good sign that you always want to know what happens next. This way the brilliant writing and story have already hooked you in!


Graphics/Visuals

The visual fidelity of Alan Wake II is nothing short of breathtaking. The environments are richly detailed, with an eerie, atmospheric quality that engulfs you throughout. Dynamic lighting and weather effects add to the immersion, making the nightmarish, yet beautiful, world of Bright Falls, and even the Dark Place, feel threatening. Character models and animations are top-notch, showcasing Remedy's dedication to delivering a spectacular cinematic experience.


And yes, these demanding PC specs are present for a reason. For me, Alan Wake II has made a huge jump in graphics and immersion in a video game, just like we saw in 2018 with Red Dead Redemption 2.


Gameplay

The gameplay in Alan Wake II is a significant improvement over its predecessor. The use of light and darkness as core gameplay elements remains, but the combat has been refined and expanded. The new arsenal of weapons and tools keeps combat fresh and engaging, and the enemy variety will keep you on your toes.


You'll love experimenting with different strategies and approaches to encounters, and the balance between action and exploration is just right.

And as Remedy does this best, the Live-Action elements of the game are top-notch. I did get distracted by the TV commercials with Koskela Brothers a lot - quirky and fun!


Soundtrack and Audio

Oh my god, where do I begin with this one! The audio in this game is spine-tingling perfection. The haunting soundtrack sets the mood perfectly, and the voice acting of ALL the characters is so well done that it feels like you're right there with them. The way the game uses sound and silence to build suspense is genius, adding a hefty dose of fear and unease.


And not forgetting the music, I love it when the team craft some spectacular pieces for the game. Alan Wake II has one of the best music in a video game. Period. (I love you too Assassin’s Creed! Don’t worry)

Hats off to the whole team for this.


Replayability and Length

It took me around 15-18 hours to complete the main storyline but I was taking it very slow at some moments too. And as for the replayability, you'll want to play Alan Wake II again and again to discover all the secrets, clues, and hidden gems in the story, especially if you enjoy the ever-expanding lore which Remedy is known for. Side quests and collectibles will keep you coming back for more, ensuring this game has a long life even after you've seen the credits roll.


There will be 2 DLCs coming up for this game next year, so the story is going to get expanded. And a New Game+ mode is also announced by Remedy, with some new elements to it, which makes replayability a must!


TSHC SCORE: 10/10

Conclusion:

Alan Wake II is a masterpiece of psychological horror and storytelling. Remedy Entertainment has not only maintained the essence of the original but has elevated it to new heights. It's a game that respects its roots while pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the cinematic and horror genre. Alan Wake II sets a new standard for narrative-driven horror and narrative-driven games and deserves every bit of the praise from us. The graphics, sound, and gameplay are all top-notch, making this a must-play title for fans of the series and newcomers alike.

Yes, I'll say it; this is Remedy's best game yet and for me, it is my favourite video game of all time.

 

Other Ratings:


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2 commenti


Ospite
06 nov 2023

Deserving Game of the Year 2023!

Mi piace

Ospite
05 nov 2023

A masterpiece for sure 🔥

Mi piace
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