Alan Wake 2 In A Town Called Ordinary?

By Jim Rossignol on June 4th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.


Remedy man Sam Lake has tweeted: “It’s all true. “It will happen again, in another town, a town called Ordinary.” It’s happening now.” This seems to be a tease for a new Alan Wake game, judging by the link he provided with it, which is packed with Wake references.

But will it trundle onto PC in a timely fashion this time around? Signs point to yes. And I’ll interested to see what they do to make Alan Wake 2 stand apart from both the original, and American Nightmare, when that happens. (I wonder if they would go back to that plan of an open-world design?)

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58 Comments »

  1. Dilapinated says:

    Hopefully they’ll make the gameplay a bit less sleep-inducing. :/ I enjoyed the plot, but ugh, so many sections of just wandering around torch/shooting the same handful of dudes.

  2. Xardas Kane says:

    Enough with the sandbox! Alan Wake doesn’t need to be a sandbox game, in fact it would hurt it, and here is a quote that sums up why:

    As the team built its sandbox prototype, though, it was apparent that something was missing. The freedom to go anywhere robbed the story of its purpose. As any good horror novelist will tell you, the slow creep of dread requires careful pacing. When players can abandon the search for their wife and go off logging instead, it’s hard to maintain the requisite atmosphere.

    “A thriller is very much like a rollercoaster,” Häkkinen says. “You need those build-ups to make the plunges feel all the more exhilarating. We just weren’t getting this in a sandbox design because all the game-istic things you need were detracting from the story being the focal point.”

    So enough with this! Enjoy it for what it is and stop imagining some perfect sandbox game that never would have worked in the first place. I am a huge fan of open-world games and I absolutely do not want to see an open-world Alan Wake. It would make about as much sense as making an open-world Half-Life.

    • Iskariot says:

      A sandbox is not the same as an open world.. An open world can still take care of an exiting and well told linear storyline.
      Alan Wake as a Sandbox game I do not like, but I would love to see it in an open world.

      • grenadeh says:

        No. Wrong. Sandbox and open world are interchangeable terms. The open world is simply a game environment where you are not trapped into a linear path. and can go where you want, if you want. A sandbox expands upon this by letting you ignore the story and do what you want, where you want, when you want, for as long as you want – within the confines of the game. Both of these are detrimental to creating an atmosphere of suspense UNLESS the sole purpose of your game is to create an open atmosphere where your player can run around and get the shit scared out of them – like Amnesia, but without locks. While they mean slightly different things, they are now interchangeable as there is no open world game that is not a sandbox game. If you’d like to try to come up with one, by all means knock yourself out.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      This is what happens you design a game around a story instead of the other way around.

      And why wouldn’t an open-world Half-Life make sense?

      Also there’s a difference between sandbox and open-world. And there’s no reason why you’d have to ‘go off logging’ in either. Sounds just as bullshit as the excuse they gave for not having a PC version originally.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        There is indeed, but the RPS bloggers use put the same sense in both words when it comes to Alan Wake. If you ask them, it was supposed to be a big-open world sandbox game. Something absolutely impossible to make when you are developing a story-driver action thriller.

        And an open-world Half-Life would strip the series of what it has always made it stand out – the carefully designed and perfectly timed script sequences and attention to detail. Considering how long it takes them to make a game, turning it open-world would come with a huge price-tag that’s ultimately not worth it.

        • Bhazor says:

          Ah yes.
          Half Life 2′s perfect pacing.
          That would be the series that regularly traps you in a tiny room whilst a robotic woman talks at you often for minutes at a time. Or where you have to play a twenty minute tutorial at the start of both episodes.

          The lengthy development time is just a victim of the group think that regularly sees Valve spend months on a prototype only to throw it out.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Wow, you do love to hate games, don’t you? I bet you think you are an extremely sophisticated and high-minded person. How amusing.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          Don’t you think they could make an amazing Half-Life game if the battles weren’t scripted but emerged from the interaction of game systems? I think that would be a much more interesting game. After Half-Life 2, how much further could Valve take that game’s formula anyway?

          And there’s no reason why a sandbox needs to cost a huge amount. If you have talented designers you can generate infinite possibilities from an elegant rule set, and you don’t need to iterate each sequence a billion times to ensure players don’t miss the next trigger.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Yes I do think that. And I was not talking about the development cost, I was talking about development time.

      • grenadeh says:

        The entire point of an open world would be to go off logging or doing things that aren’t related to the story. There is no other reason to make a game open world. Exploring Bright Falls outside of the opportunities in the storyline would not have added anything to the game experience.

        I take it most people here crying about open world have never actually played an open world game and a closed world game to understand the difference.

    • djbriandamage says:

      A big fat ditto from me – or there would be if not for my 100% faith in Remedy.

      I’m skeptical, though. In the first game Alan Wake has a little monologue about the essence of horror, identifying its defining characteristics as having a single-minded protagonist, confident in his convictions, while the forces of evil try to stop him.

      It’s tough to envision how the player will live up to that single-mindedness in a free open world.

    • Oozo says:

      The presence of the thermos jugs is a bit ironic in light of that statement, isn’t it?

      While I agree that it would make for a different game, open world horror-games do exist, and they can work fine. Maybe they’re not so much “thrillers”, but the “roller-coaster” type of horror rarely was the one I enjoyed the most. Take “Deadly Premonition”, for example – it simply restricts your movement in certain moments, while giving you a lot of freedom in others. As a plus, you really got to know the town – having a strong sense of the place you’re in can be as crucial for a horror-story as a tight narrative and pacing.

      • Bhazor says:

        Deadly Premonition is basically everything Wake tried to be only much much better.

        • terry says:

          While I agree, DP had a raft of similar problems with repetitive combat and simplistic backtracking-based puzzles. They did a far better job of establishing place and pace with far less resources though.

          • Oozo says:

            Agree. The repetitive fights are the only thing I hope they’ll tweak for the re-realase, while I somehow fear every other change they could decide upon. We’ll see.

        • grenadeh says:

          No, not really, not at all in fact.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        open-world horror games do exist and can be something great, yes. Not in the case of Alan Wake though.

    • Bhazor says:

      But “what it was” was a dull, repetitive, uninteresting action game shackled to a terribly paced, completely linear story told through endless unskippable cutscenes.

      People defending Wake for abandoning its original ideas truly baffle me. You’re defending bad design by saying “Hey it would of been like really tricky to do this game in an interesting way. So I’m glad they just gave up.”.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Bhazor strikes again. First, the cut-scenes are skippable. You press Enter, I think it’s pretty easy to figure out. Second, THIS is the original idea. It was NEVER INTENDED to be anything more or less than it already is. They toyed around with the idea of an open-world game early on, found out they couldn’t do and it didn’t fit in at all (quite understandable, since they wanted to make an open-world game not because it would fit, but because they thought such games are cool) and scaped it five months after they started to work on the project. In a development cycle that lasted a bit longer than that. Your “original concept” never really existed, so stop bringing it up.

        The game right now has a wonderfully paced linear (since when is that a bad thing?! Max Payne was linear, was it worse for it? Nope) story told through skippable cut-scenes. The combat, while definitely unique, does get repetitive around chapter 4, despite Remedy’s attempts to liven it up a bit, but the story and the truly awesome atmosphere are still enough to get you through to the ending.

        And I am dead certain the only reason you hate the game is because it came out on PC two years after the Xbox. Which is kind of pitiful. Especially considering Microsoft were responsible for that and Remedy ported it on their own initiative with their own money. The fact that they did it at all just shows how dedicated to the PC they are.

        But whatever, haters gonna hate.

        • Bhazor says:

          The FMVs were skippable.
          The walk around a diner for three minutes until you’re allowed to move on to the next tiny room is not.
          When the interaction in both is the same, zero, then what’s the difference?

          If it was perfectly paced why is there room for coffee flasks? If it was perfectly paced, why is it so repetitive? If it was perfectly paced, why was I so bored? If it was perfectly paced, why am I fighting the same enemies in the same way with the same weapons 6 hours into the game?

          Again, as it is Alan Wake does not deserve the defensiveness so many people here adopt. It was a linear, third person shooter. Thats all.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            The walk around the diner is quite skippable by going to the freaking bathroom directly. Weak reasoning on your side to say the least. When you select an episode the game actually lets you choose where you want to start and you can skip the sequence as well. So that complaint is completely invalid.

            The diner sequence is also not a cut-scene. It’s a sequence. You on the other hand were raving on about cut-scenes.

            The flasks are just a collectable and are not necessary to advance through the story. There are hundreds of games with collectibles in them. Why is that a problem here? Does it actually affect gameplay at all? Nope.

            As for the rest – you didn’t want to like it. Simply put. I am pretty sure in Max Payne I was fighting the same bad guys with the same weapons six hours in. It’s still a classic.

            I’m not implying Alan Wake is a classic, it isn’t. It does get repeitive around episode 4, like I already said, and it could have used more enemy and weapon variety. The actual game though is solid and I would welcome a sequel that fixes these easily addressable issues with open hands. Especially since with American Nightmare they already showed us they are working on that.

          • KenTWOu says:

            Again, as it is Alan Wake does not deserve the defensiveness so many people here adopt. It was a linear, third person shooter. Thats all.

            Bhazor, Remedy cannot please everyone! Especially you with your ridiculous claims. You don’t know the difference between Deus ex machina and Chekhov’s gun, but still think that Alan Wake has terrible writing. Yeah, sure.

        • grenadeh says:

          While everything you said is completely right, Max Payne sucked. Max Payne 2 sucked more. So I wouldn’t really give much credit to Max Payne, the game got old and tired long before the god awful baby blood-of-steel walk-the-shitty-maze-in-the-void while your fucking baby cries ad infinitum sequence. Even if the game had any value (and I have played MP 1 and 2 all the way through) it was ruined entirely by that one sequence.

      • grenadeh says:

        First of all, you’re completely wrong. The cutscenes were all skippable. The game-play was no more repetitive than every single video game that has ever existed. Anyone who deludes themselves into thinking there are video games that exist that actually have a wide gamut of gameplay designs is clearly in need of a psychologist to point out their flawed brain activities – because there aren’t.

        The story has every right to be linear in a video game. Most of you people are too retarded to handle a story presented in a non-linear fashion. And in fact, it wasn’t linear. Not every story has to be Tarintino/Lindelof’ed in a hodge podged circular puzzle that you have to put together yourself before the writers do at the end in order to appreciate it, and to this games credit it avoided that somewhat. Alan Wake was very well written for a video game – you’re a fool to pretend there are better written video games, because there really aren’t many that are even on the same level. Unfortunately though, like every other complete retard on the internet, I am positive you know how to write a more consistent and more interesting, and overall “better” story than professional writers.

        There weren’t endless, unskippable, cutscenes – none of those three words apply at all. There was one cutscene at the beginning of every episode, the same way every TV show has a recap for people who need Ginkgo biloba or to stop trying to watch TV shows if their brains can’t comprehend it. Other than that there were occasional, very brief cut scenes. You are acting like this is MGS4 and that’s a mentally retarded fallacy to make.

    • pilouuuu says:

      I believe the only reason they made it linear is because the XtoyBox couldn’t handle an open sand-box environment. And how can they say that such a thing wouldn’t work in this kind of game, when you can see hints of it in the moments you drive the car?

      If the game were sandbox, when you are not fighting shadows, you could be investigating the town, finding clues about the mystery, etc. It could have been an amazing game! Hopefully AW 2 is like that…

      Remember they said you couldn’t play on the PC because you needed a couch to play! Excuses… Apparently they see money on the PC again, so they’re coming back.

      • Kaira- says:

        >I believe the only reason they made it linear is because the XtoyBox couldn’t handle an open sand-box environment

        False. The same open-world engine was used in the Xbox-version, which shows in long long draw distances when viewing landscapes.

        Also, the couch-comment was not made by Remedy, but by MS. Place blame where it’s due.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Skyrim, Oblivion, Just Cause 2, all the Assassin’s Creed games, Fallout 3, Red Dead Redemption, GTA 4, Red Faction: Guirella, Saboteur, Prototype 1 and 2, FarCry 2, Mafia 2. Mercenaries 2, Crackdown and Borderlands say hi.

        It isn’t about the gameplay, it’s about the story they wanted to tell. They could have made an open-world game, it just wouldn’t have worked in the context of the story they were making.

        And to repeat, the couch comment was made by MS. It was their fault the game took so long to be released on the PC, not Remedy’s

  3. Jimbo says:

    Sequel after sequel, year after year

    • Ringwraith says:

      Yes, the sequel to that game in 2010 which got a small downloadable mini-sequel in 2012, and it doesn’t even have a date!
      Totally year after year.

      • JFS says:

        2010 for X-BOX, maybe. 2012 for PC.

        • LionsPhil says:

          It’s still a rather baffling complaint to levy at this series, given that 2010 release means they aren’t churning these out one-a-year, and there’s substantially less pattern for that (i.e. this is only the second one) than, say, CoD or BF or whatever big money-cow AAA series you want to wave vaguely in the direction of.

      • Jimbo says:

        Stop apologising for the industry you aren’t in.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          He is not apologizing, he is stating facts. The first one came out 2 years ago, stating that they make release one every year is just a simple lie. You need to drop the hate.

  4. Sarissofoi says:

    I find Alan Wake rather boring. Story is interesting I admit that I will gladly watch movie or miniserial but the actual gameplay bored me.
    Is something wrong with me?

    • ninjapirate says:

      Actually, now that you mention it, I agree. It would have been a much better miniseries than a game.

    • terry says:

      Exactly my opinion, though I’m not yet finished the game, I’m enjoying the window-dressing (radio plays, TV show, character chatter, Alan’s monologues) far more than the game. If the combat was part of a more varied mystery adventure I’d be perfectly okay with it.

      It reminds me of Persona 4 in some ways, the dungeons are monstrously tedious but the characterisation and dialogue makes up for it.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Yes, it did get repetitive and by the end I did find myself dreading the next encounter with the Taken because of that. Let’s hope the sequel doesn’t make the same mistake.

  5. ColCol says:

    I forgot how great gaming news is around E3. Well, this is a real Wake-up call to that fact.

  6. Antsy says:

    I imagine Alan Wake 3 will be set in a town called Pedestrian.

  7. joel4565 says:

    I too hope they add some elements to the gameplay. By the end of the 2nd or 3rd episode you have seen all of the variety of gameplay.

    I also really hope they make the controls feel more responsive. The controls just don’t seem quite right with the keyboard/mouse or the 360 controller. I died a few times because of the silly way that Alan jumps in the game. I think it is because it doesn’t control like a true 3rd person or 1st person game, but is stuck somewhere in limbo. The flash-bangs/flares are also not quite right. Sometimes it seems like you drop the flash-bang immediately after clicking the button, while other times it takes Alan a second or two to drop it which eliminates the strategy of using the flash-bang at the last possible second while surrounded by guys.

  8. Robil says:

    Weird that Sam Lake just tweeted this – it was actually already in American Nightmare as a secret message. It’s the backwards message in the song ‘Balance Slays The Demon’. Maybe Sam thought not enough people noticed?

  9. Totally heterosexual says:

    Woohoo

    Really like alan wake.

    Gets me all moist.

    etc

  10. grenadeh says:

    Hopefully not – they were right to abandon the sandbox idea. It does not work for a game that actually has a story and is meant to keep you inside of it the way Alan Wake and AW:AM are.

    I do agree with Joel, although I have nothing bad to say about the game, but: By the end of maybe episode 5, you know exactly what to expect. Step 1: Get ammo. Step 2: Immediately get attacked and be forced to use all that ammo. Step 3: Get more ammo. Find a switch. Step 4: Press switch and immediately get attacked. Step 5: Story progression. Repeat.

    And yes Sariss there is probably something wrong with you, as Alan Wake was a pretty flawless and awesome and intense and unsettling game. It was very survival horror, just because you so often had to kill so many things with so little ammo and you really didn’t have the option to run – if you try to run, they run faster, and rape you. I would advise you to just avoid game sin the future like: Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Alan Wake, Amy, I Am Alive, Clock Tower, Demento, Amnesia, Fatal Frame, and many others.

    Anyway, OMFG this is wonderful news. I hope to get some clarity on what exactly happened at the end of AW.

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