The beard tech in Alan Wake 2 is borderline inconceivable. Chasing ever-increasing realism could be the nice folly(icle) of the video games business, however by god is it fascinating within the arms of a studio like Treatment. With Management and now Alan Wake 2, Treatment has made some beautiful video games. It was arduous to not be entranced in the course of the 30 minute demo of Alan Wake 2 I noticed throughout Summer time Game Fest, as newly launched FBI agent Saga Anderson goes looking by way of storm-battered woods and finds Wake, who’s been mysteriously lacking—and apparently rising the proper beard—for 13 years.

Treatment is at all times taking part in with new tech, and for Alan Wake 2 that meant refactoring its in-house engine to stream in knowledge instantly. It was a essential change to let gamers enter Saga’s “thoughts place” on the press of a button—a cabin gamers can stroll round in and puzzle by way of the game’s core thriller.

There is a wall where you may place clues with the basic pink string threading them collectively, serving to you visualize the case. One other button press and also you’re right again to the actual world. Or, properly, as actual as something in Alan Wake will get.

The thoughts place was one of some items of Alan Wake 2’s new investigation-focused design that underwhelmed me a bit in the course of the half-hour demo. I am certain a thriller will not be simple to tease successfully in such a brief time frame, however this chunk of Saga’s investigation largely consisted of exploring an deserted shack, discovering a single clue, and that clue pointing to the following deserted shack a 30 second stroll away. 

and understanding proof within the thoughts place could require a little bit of deduction, however you may solely put objects of their one correct place on the pink string board, which makes me apprehensive there’s not really going to be a lot fixing to be finished right here.

(Picture credit score: Treatment Leisure)

Treatment has mentioned that Alan Wake 2 includes a hub you may return to all through the game as Saga, and Wake has his personal environments you may discover within the “Darkish Place” where he is been trapped. Maybe this construction will permit for extra open-ended investigation as Saga, or some puzzling out of how what we do within the Darkish Place impacts the actual world.

There’s nonetheless actually potential for nuance lacking on this linear demo, and I hope it is in there someplace—we have seen some nice mysteries in the previous couple of years between Paradise Killer, Case of the Golden Idol, and the newest Sherlock Holmes.

Belonging in that firm would go a good distance in the direction of separating Alan Wake 2 from fashionable Resident Evil, now that it is also being pitched as survival horror. Regardless of a booming sawn-off shotgun, the little little bit of Alan Wake 2’s fight proven within the demo was lacking the claustrophobic dread I bear in mind from Resident Evil 2 remake. Visually Alan Wake 2 is unimaginable—I’ve by no means performed a thriller that drips with as a lot element. Watching Saga wading by way of a swampy part of forest as lots of of timber and ferns whipped round within the wind had me on edge, however fight was lacking that disaster of selection survival horror hinges on.

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Resident Evil 2 is sort of a domino setup of tense choices with its tight ammo provide, selecting when to struggle, and realizing that the following time you run down that one hallway the zombie you left behind can be ready for you. In Alan Wake 2 the shooting appears and sounds simply as punchy, however seeing Saga duck below a heavy axe swing from a monstrous lumberjack a pair occasions, then headshotting him and moving on smacked of extra generic, much less significant fight interludes. 

A lot as I cherished the story within the first Alan Wake, I bear in mind spending most of my time pointing my flashlight at boring enemies and crank-starting turbines. The sequel’s ambitions are clearly far greater, and Alan Wake appears each inch the a part of survival horror with a Twin Peaksy thriller beneath the floor. What Treatment confirmed at Summer time Game Fest simply did not fairly persuade will probably be gripping to play. 

I believe we’ll have an opportunity to play it for ourselves quickly. After a decade-long wait, Alan Wake 2 is arriving in just some months, on October 17. And if you happen to missed it, be sure you atone for what occurred to Alan Wake’s layers.