Alan Wake will be picking up his infamously inefficient torch again this year, returning to the charming—and slightly deadly—town of Bright Falls in a 4K remaster of the 2010 horror romp.
Wake's misadventures during a bout of writer's block made a big splash when it appeared a decade ago, and not just because he stays in a lake house. It also managed to impress us a couple of years later, when it came to PC. We gave it a very respectable 86 in our Alan Wake review (opens in new tab).
Fans have been clamouring for a return to Bright Falls for years, a hunger that only grew when it became clear that Control was set in the same universe, culminating in some Alan Wake-themed DLC (opens in new tab). Remedy is also working on an unannounced game in the Control/Alan Wake shared universe, which could be Alan Wake 2. Or maybe not! It's in full production at the moment, so hopefully we'll find out in the not-too-distant future.
A remaster might not sate the appetites of those holding out for a sequel, but after ten years there are probably a lot of you eager for a repeat that looks a bit fancier. This version will contain the main game and two expansions, all gussied up thanks to a 4K rework, along with a commentary from creative director and face of Max Payne Sam Lake.
If you need a refresher or missed it the first time around, Alan Wake is a fusion of Twin Peak's surreal small town intrigue and the horror stylings of Stephen King. Inanimate objects become possessed monsters, townsfolk become shadow-corrupted killers and at all times you're left questioning what's real. At least when you're not questioning where the hell the light switch is. Bright Falls gets very dark.
Wake's a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist, and the combat twist where enemies are only vulnerable when you shine your torch at them—when you aren't desperately looking for more batteries—wears thin, but the journey is riveting regardless. And I came out the other end realising that the stressful fights and the constant need to find a working light did wonders to put me in Wake's sweaty shoes.
The episodic structure—it's a complete package, but still broken up into discrete 'episodes'—was also extremely welcome. It enhances the Twin Peaks, Twilight Zone vibes, but I also appreciated the affect this has on the pace, and the way it offers you breaks from the intense horror. Sometimes you just need the game to tell you that it's OK to make a sandwich or save the section for tomorrow.
Remedy announced the remaster in an open letter from Sam Lake on The Sudden Stop (opens in new tab), a community site that's been around since 2012. Remedy says it wanted to give the announcement to one of its most passionate communities to thank the fans for their decade of support—a classy move.
Alan Wake Remastered hasn't been dated yet, but you won't have to wait long. It's coming this autumn via the Epic Games Store.