Written Article

The Dark Places and Altered Worlds of Alan Wake II

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October 31, 2023
Having just finished my first playthrough of Alan Wake II, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts about the experience.
The Dark Places and Altered Worlds of Alan Wake II
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Sometimes after finishing a game there is a bit of a ‘post-completion depression,’ a feeling of not being ready to let the experience go yet - or concepts of the story that stay with you long after having finished playing. Alan Wake II is the perfect example of this, where after finishing it, I didn’t want to leave the world of Bright Falls and its surrounding areas and wanted more time to explore the unsettling Dark Place, which added a whole new set of mysteries for every question answered. Questions that lead to theories that lead to more questions…

Remedy have created another masterpiece in my opinion.

Told through two interwoven narratives, one of FBI agent Saga Anderson who travels to the town of Bright Falls and the other of writer Alan Wake trapped a nightmare world called the Dark Place, the game takes players on a wild ride as each new chapter becomes stranger than the last. We explore fog covered towns and foreboding forests of the Pacific Northwest while investigating as Saga, as well as a dark and twisted version of New York City with Alan as tries to find an escape. Both built around survival-horror based gameplay mechanics – but adapted to fit the narrative of each character. This for me is what made the experience fantastic, everything was in service of the narrative. The locations, the visuals (and stunning visual effects), and gameplay all served to enrich the story and none of it felt like something done just for the sake of doing so, or that it would ‘just be cool’ to include. Everything worked together to tell a better story, a story that has been built over several years of game in and out of the series.

I must also take a moment to discuss how visually stunning the game is. The art direction is incredible, and every environment is richly detailed with amazing lighting and colour choice. I included some captures below and tried to avoid any spoilers where possible. These however don’t do enough to show how amazing the game is to explore, as the environments come alive in motion and the combination of live-action elements into scenes creates something spectacular.

I don’t really do reviews, as I often struggle to fit all my thoughts about a game into one piece and find it weird to condense the experience into a score, but I did just want to say that the best way I could sum up the experience is this; I love Alan Wake II. Remedy have created another masterpiece in my opinion, a game filled with an incredibly engaging narrative and memorable moments that make it something truly special. Meta narratives and inter-related games, exciting gameplay, an amazing soundtrack and incredible visuals make this a game that has stayed with me for days after finishing – and I suspect for a long-time hereafter. I am looking forward to the upcoming New Game+ mode and any future DLC to jump back into the world of Alan Wake.

In Summary.
The Positives.
The Negatives.
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About the contributor.

Admin
It's me, the admin of two-minute ramble. I'm an 80s kid with an obsessive love of videogames and most pop-culture stuff.
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