Wakey Wakey: Old Alan Wake 2 Prototype Revealed

More like Alan WADE!

Remedy followed up their spooky-ooky shooter Alan Wake with the shorter, shootier semi-sequel Alan Wake’s American Nightmare in 2012. Might a proper sequel, we wondered, follow next?

Well, no. However, Remedy had started prototyping an Alan Wake 2 soon after finishing the first game, and whipped up a fancy gameplay video to pitch to publishers. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet (and a Polygon interview), you can now watch thirteen minutes of the Wake that never was. Some of its ideas, you may notice, were later reused in American Nightmare. But is Alan Wake dead and gone? Oh, you never know, Remedy say.

Alan Wake 2 would’ve seen Big Al more accepting of his role as a chap who fights supernatural horrors by shining a flashlight at them and shooting them with bullets. Reality and fiction would blur more, and leading to a fine climax in the pitch video. Also stuff about him being a writer I guess.

His occupation would play into the sequel a bit more, through a slight puzzle system where Al would write what he wanted to happen next, then go around messing with his surroundings to match that and create a point for his self-insertion fanfic to merge with reality. The prototype pitch video shows a flashy set piece where he’d need to turn on some lights and start a car radio to match his story. I don’t know why he couldn’t write “And then angels killed all the bad guys and we won and my wife Frenched me it was hot” – I suppose reality is a harsh critic.

Anyway, look at this:

The game didn’t come to pass, obviously, but some ideas were recycled for American Nightmare. As for an actual sequel, Remedy say it’s one of the ideas they’re tossing around for after they finish Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break. “Among other things,” said Sam Lake, head writer and the wearer of Max Payne’s face, “we are discussing the possibility of an Alan Wake sequel with multiple partners, but nothing has been decided.”

The full feature’s an interesting one, so do give it a look, even if only for the idea for a shadow demon bear.

24 Comments

  1. gibb3h says:

    I’d love to see another one, always good to get more from Remedy.

  2. devland says:

    Alan Wake was initially supposed to be an open world game, hence the wide open levels and slightly out of place car driving scenes.
    It would be great if they could make it as they originally set out to.

    • hollowroom says:

      It was Microsoft that blew that idea out of the water wasn’t it?

      • devland says:

        I recall something about budget constraints.
        But yeah, it’s a shame.
        Slightly related: imagine an open world Hitman game. :D

        • hollowroom says:

          I seem to remember Microsoft turning up and buying Remedy to make Alan Wake a Xbox launch exclusive.

          But then I’m old and might have made that up.

      • Baron Bacon V says:

        Well, it took 5 years to develop the damn thing, I would imagine that Microsoft lost their patience

    • empty_other says:

      I really, really, really wish they made the whole area available as a free-roam just for us to walk around in and marvel at. Maybe throw in a day/night/weather toggle too. But thats me and why i play games. What i really enjoyed in Alan Wake was that the path always took me to a vista where i could see where i was in relation to the rest of the areas. Usually all you saw was a bright light right behind the treeline as a source of hope when i was wandering around in the dark forest.

      American Nightmare didn’t do that. I tried looking, but when i could see the main area in the distance, it looked “painted on a wall”.

      • KenTWOu says:

        I really, really, really wish they made the whole area available as a free-roam just for us to walk around in and marvel at.

        Well, the game has built-in free camera mode. You can activate it using start-up command and X360 compatible gamepad. So you can fly almost anywhere and see for yourself that there is nothing interesting out there. Just miles and miles of procedurally generated terrain almost untouched by level designer’s hands.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Honestly I don’t think I’d like to see it as an open world game. I don’t see what it would add to the game.
      Then again I seem to very much have the opposite opinion of lots of people when it comes to open world. I don’t see it as inherently superior to everything else and tbh the way most open world games have been done recently I’ve found very boring and uninspired “trek backwards and forwards across the same map” affairs. I much prefer a game that is structured around the player rather than the devs just making a big ass world and dropping the player in it whilst giving them waypoints.

  3. Xocrates says:

    “don’t know why he couldn’t write “And then angels killed all the bad guys and we won and my wife Frenched me it was hot””

    If I recall correctly, the first game actually addressed this, assuming I’m not misremembering (Which I might be, it’s been a while) it’s mentioned that what’s written must actually make sense from a story perspective, this is one reason Alan tries to make it more of a thriller than an horror story since horror stories have a tendency to end badly, and actually trying to force a good ending is what causes the guy in the diving suit to essentially be removed from existence.

    Or, you can be pragmatic and point out that doing so would make for a very short and crappy game :P

  4. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    I enjoyed Alex Hill’s Darkplace and its expansion quite well, so the thought of some more appeals to me…

  5. Dorga says:

    A kickstarter with a side of Paradox maybe?

  6. swiftshlock says:

    Fabulous alt text on that image! :D

  7. XhomeB says:

    It looks just as unimaginative and boring as the original game.
    The problem with AW was twofold: it put too much emphasis on shooting stuff (instead of exploration, talking to people, puzzle solving/detective work, taking in the sights) and the shooting itself was as bland and unsatisfying as humanly possible. The result was rather predictable – we got a game with no identity which encouraged the player to simply run like a madman from one checkpoint to the next, skipping the repetitive combat (designed to simply waste his time). A cheap shooter.
    Deadly Premonition, despite its flaws and law budget, is a much better Twin Peaks-inspired game, I once hoped AW would be played in a similar manner. Alas, Remedy chose the “safe” way – the “bang bang, pew pew, no subtlety” one.

    • XhomeB says:

      So many typos, sorry for that – don’t know how to edit posts.

    • Det. Bullock says:

      I found American Nightmare to be MUCH better in that regard, but the shooting parts in the first Alan Wake were indeed a chore and made me ragequit a few times near the end.

      • BlazeL says:

        I felt the same way, but the atmosphere still kept me going well into the DLC. Now, that was to much.

        • Great Cthulhu says:

          Ugh yeah. I wanted to complete them for the story bits, but they were just far too tedious.

    • skyturnedred says:

      It’s weird how bad/mediocre the shooting was considering how good it is in Max Payne 1 & 2.

      • KenTWOu says:

        I think, the shooting bit was pretty impressive and highly satisfying, on par with MP1,2 shooting bits. But the overall game was highly repetitive anyway.

    • unit 3000-21 says:

      Funny thing is – you’re right the shooting bits were lame, but I still really liked the game. I mean I wouldn’t replay it or anything (shooting those boring dudes was pretty tedious after all), but my memories of the game are good.

  8. seroto9 says:

    Alan’s voiceover always reminds me of Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace – kinda ruins the immersion.

    http://media.smh.com.au/entertainment/trailers/garth-marenghis-dark-place–opening-sequence-3831961.html

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    Andy_Panthro says:

    All the shooting kinda puts me off playing it, because the shooting parts don’t look particularly fun. The rest of the game seems interesting though.