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Alan Wake 2 - Closer Than You Think?
While a direct Alan Wake sequel has only been alluded to by employees of Remedy Entertainment, the recent news of a spin-off of some kind that still focuses on the plight of Alan Wake has given traction to pontificating on what happens next in the storyline. Even if Remedy are simply creating a prequel or even some kind of multiplayer expansion, there is definitely room for further contextual plot points and additional world building. With this and the rumour of an actual Alan Wake 2 release in the future, this article provides some details on what the events of the first game mean for some of the main characters, including the main protagonist Wake.
As previously stated, Remedy have hinted at a new title in the Alan Wake series, although they have also disparaged the idea of either DLC for the first or a true sequel to it as well. Instead, an ominous statement suggested the game will be neither of these things and that fans of the game should expect an announcement in the coming months. Even if Alan Wake 2 isn't on the immediate horizon, it is clear that Remedy are commited to widening the universe of Alan Wake and will likely make the sequel in the coming years. With luck, it may come out before a new Max Payne game.
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The Premise of An Alan Wake Sequel
Now to remind ourselves what happened during the climactic end to Alan Wake. The writer enters the Cauldron Lake cabin to face the dark presence, which has possessed the body of Thomas Zane’s former lover Barbara Jagger. With the use of his childhood keepsake “The Clicker", Alan defeats the beast and heads upstairs, to finish the manuscript that he started a week ago. With his wife Alice saved from the dark presence, Alan himself is then trapped inside the cabin, as the game ambiguously rolls the credits. As an accompaniment to this, two separate pieces of additional DLC were released for the game. The first DLC was The Signal, while the latest released was entitled The Writer.
Both The Signal and The Writer continue the story of the main game and portray Alan trying to reunite two pieces of his own psyche, the rational and irrational, while battling through a surreal dream version of Bright Falls. Coupled with this are conversations with Thomas Zane, the overbearing threat of the dark presence and dream apparitions of Barry, Dr. Hartman and the Anderson brothers. With a new sense of clarity after joining his deranged self with the rational side of his psyche at the end of The Writer DLC, Alan realises what he must do to free himself from this nightmare, as he begins to write a new novel entitled “Return".
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What To Expect If Alan Wake 2 Does Happen
With this background timeline established, an Alan Wake sequel has plenty of options to explore when comprising a compelling continuation of the narrative. Obviously Alan’s current predicament could get some play in the next game, with his intent on writing a new book to foreshadow his return to the real world perhaps becoming the propelling pretext of a second game. With the mechanics of a manuscript in place and the addition of surreal, dream like gameplay meshed with the weighty shooting of the first title, players could see an experience reminiscent of Max Payne’s memorable dream levels. It should be noted that Remedy developed the Max Payne series before they worked on Alan Wake.
If an Alan Wake 2 happens, the fates of Sheriff Breaker, Barry Wheeler, Dr. Hartman, Rose Marigold, Agent Nightingale, the Dark Presence and Alan’s wife Alice could all be finalised and further detailed. This plethora of ancillary support to Alan would have to deal with his disappearance while working to bring him back from the dream state he is trapped in. Although, if the Alan Wake sequel were to follow the path set by the two DLC packages, Alan would remain in the dream world, perhaps imagining altered versions of the characters to suit his own personal thoughts -- as an example see the ghost-like Barry or Dr. Hartman in The Writer. Either way Alan Wake 2, if it ever happens, has plenty of options to continue it’s pulp horror storyline while providing compelling and engaging gameplay with it.