Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Alan Wake II - even more horrible as the first one!

March 10, 2024 | Games

Once again Remedy did it! The game is fantastic, while also absolutely horrible. And by horrible, I mean haunting and intimidating. The story is captivating and the characters are all great. It's not Control (which to this day is still probably my favourite game), but it's great.

Finnish humour

Well, Remedy does like to bring in quite a bit of Finnish things in their games. That is a fun way of having something recognizable for us Finns, and something that people who don't know much about Finland, can recognize later if they ever would come here.

And again we had Ahti present, giving us some translated Finnish sayings. I still find them incredibly funny. Ahti is still my favourite character in a game. And the song 'Yötön yö' is pretty much on repeat in my head.

The music is once again absolutely on point

That shouldn't be much of a surprise. Because the Old Gods of Asgard are back. And once again we have a lot of their music in the game. Also very much relating to the game storyline is the 13-and-a-half minute song 'Herald of Darkness'. Oh my, it's super nice also outside of the game.

There also are songs by various artists between each of the story chapters. They were a nice way to calm down after the previous chapter.

The visuals are stunning

I liked spending time during the more calm phases just to look around. The reason why I chose the calm phases was of course the fact that I was always terrified that enemies would pop up while I'm being happy and looking at the scenery. The scenery looks fantastic and there are just so many incredible details in the game.

My biggest dislike was the jump scares

The only thing I really don't enjoy about the game are the jump scares. I scared poor Osiris several times throughout the game. The first jump scare made me even scream. They did update the game with settings to reduce the jump scares but they couldn't be completely turned off. And I do see the value in the graphics and sounds in the jump scares. But I didn't think I would have missed anything important if I could have just saved myself from those.

Especially because of the jump scares, there were some environments I decided I would not even try to play in. This has probably been one of our most played solo games that we actually played actively together. There was one tunnel that was getting smaller.... nope! And then there was this really eerie place where I would have had to go into dark water in pitch-black darkness. Even more nope! I did know that there wouldn't be sharks or other water monsters in the game but I just couldn't really handle all that. Also, from time to time, my anxiety just got the better of me and I realised that it's better to give the controller away and just watch the gameplay for a while.

What I found quite funny is that I was able to scare myself more than once. Every single time I ran through a door, I got scared. The biggest reason for it was probably that I never meant to do it.

Two different storylines

The game has two quest lines, one for Alan Wake and one for Saga Anderson. You could switch between the storylines whenever you saw a janitor's bucket in the safe spots. A really fun approach, which allowed the freedom to choose when to switch to the other storyline.

Both storylines have their unique collectables and functionalities. Both characters also have their weapons and inventories. Either we are better at the game now or then Alan Wake 2 is slightly easier for ammunition control.

Saga's storyline is all about changing the horror story going on

Saga and her family, as well as the people around the towns, are getting different realities from the horror story. Saga's journey is all about trying to save especially her family. Saga also has an interesting family line, but I don't want to spoil that.

Much of Saga's work happens in the Mind Place, where you can solve clues and profile characters. I won't spoil more of that, but the Mind Place is interesting and you get more information about it as you go further in the story.

There are cult stashes to open while exploring. Sometimes you need to find a key, sometimes solve a puzzle, etc. There were even some math calculations to be done, which were quite fun, to be honest. We grabbed a tablet and wrote down the equations we needed to solve.

Alan's storyline focuses on his attempts to get back home

Alan's adventures take place in the Dark Place. Alan needs to find murder sites to allow him to get closer to home.

The monsters in the Dark Place are dark figures. Some of the dark figures will fade away, but some will reveal to be the usual bad guys who will start murdering you when they get close. I found this to be very anxiety-inducing. And we did waste some bullets and flashlight charges just to notice that it was indeed just a shadow. But since we didn't play on the hardest mode, it proved to be an ok technique to just wait and see if you'd get attacked. Didn't do anything positive towards the anxiety of the situation, though. The shadows were also loudly whispering "Alan" or "Alan Wake", which was really terrifying from time to time.

In the Dark Place, you can find Tim Breaker. Tim will assist you on your journey in the dark place. You'll find him when you hear whistling. What's slightly funny about Tim is that he is portrayed by Shawn Ashmore. Nothing funny about that part, Shawn is an excellent casting. But we are currently watching a series called the Rookie, where Shawn plays a lawyer. So no matter what we do in the evenings, we will spend some time with Shawn.

There is also another celebrity casting in the Dark Place, Warlin Door portrayed by David Harewood.

This is a game you should definitely play

If you haven't yet, I do recommend you play the game. While the game does bring out my anxieties, I feel it's still very manageable. But we do play mostly with the lights on :D

I also love that they bring setting updates to the game after release. Can't wait to see if there will be more games in the Alan Wake / Control storyline.

Image credit: Alan Wake website (Do check the site out, there is some good introduction to the game.)