When it was announced that Alan Wake Remastered would be coming later this year, fans were excited. There had been little word on the series from Remedy Entertainment barring Wake's appearance in the studio's most recent work Control, so an official announcement was cause for celebration. There isn't a set release date for the game yet, although rumor has it Alan Wake Remastered releases in October, and this might mean big things for Remedy's future projects. Thus, gaming enthusiasts shouldn't skip the remaster, despite many other titles releasing in the final months of the year.
There are many people who remember the original Alan Wake fondly, and the remastered version gives them an excuse to revisit the game once more. Hopefully, the release brings new fans to the game as well, as with the success of Control there might be fans of Remedy who never had the chance to play the game that set up Control's universe because it was only available on Xbox 360 and PC.
The Mystery Surrounding Bright Falls
One of the major selling points for Alan Wake when it originally released was its cinematic story. Although most AAA games now have great cinematography and compelling narratives, Alan Wake Remastered will likely still stand out because of how unconventional its story is.
Set in Bright Falls, a cozy town in the Pacific Northwest, the game follows famous author Alan Wake and his wife Alice as they begin their vacation. Alice pushes Alan to get some writing done, but ends up being kidnapped by a mysterious entity known as the Darkness. As Alan tries to rescue her, he begins to uncover the mystery surrounding the coastal town, all while being attacked by monsters straight out of a book supposedly written by him.
Although not a wholly original plot, Alan Wake uses plenty of elements that aren't often found in gaming. Its setting, story, and characters feel unique, and it's structured like a season of a television show rather than a traditional game. What's more, Alan Wake is full of intrigue and mystery reminiscent of the works of Stephen King or David Lynch. Despite the way its narrative seems to be standard for many other works, it stands out among games.
Alan Wake Remastered's Enhanced Graphics
While some gaming enthusiasts appreciate the charm of older games, presentation has come a long way over the last few console generations. The exponential growth in gaming's graphical fidelity means older titles usually look their age because of the technology that they were created with. This issue turns a lot of modern gamers away from older titles that, while still holding up relatively well from a gameplay perspective, might not look very good.
Although it looked great at the time, Alan Wake could use a fresh coat of paint. By giving the entire game the remaster treatment, Alan Wake will hopefully look just as good as, if not better than, other major releases from this year. The announcement for Alan Wake Remastered says the game will be receiving a graphical overhaul to update the visuals and cinematics for modern audiences. What's more, Alan Wake's character model will be updated to be on par with other modern games. Hopefully, this means the game will be more appealing to a wider audience.
The Psychological Horror of Alan Wake
The updated graphics and textures coming to Alan Wake Remastered will help a lot of different things, but perhaps most importantly the game's atmosphere. Despite some elements not holding up to modern standards, the original Alan Wake featured a generally spooky atmosphere and some great forest environments. With updates to the game, Alan Wake Remastered will be able to focus more on the psychological horror aspects of the story than ever before.
Most people who have finished the game would likely argue that Alan Wake never gets scary, however it has the tense feeling that plenty of thriller films achieve because it focuses much more on Alan Wake's psyche. Scary things happen to him, but he's usually able to combat them with a flashlight and a revolver. This ends up making the game a lot more accessible to those who don't have a stomach for horror, as it allows the tension to come from atmosphere and psychology over big scares.
Connecting Alan Wake to Control and Beyond
One of the main reasons that fans should make sure to pick up Alan Wake Remastered is because of the game's connection to the Control universe. The events that happened at Bright Falls are recontextualized throughout Control, making it worth a play to simply expand the lore. It's also likely Alan Wake Remastered might add some additional content that ties it directly into the events of Control, or that could include clues of what's to come for both series.
There are some major questions regarding where Remedy is taking its franchises next, and hopefully Alan Wake Remastered will provide some answers. Fans shouldn't necessarily expect anything huge to be added, but there could be clues in the collectible documents scattered throughout the world or in environmental set pieces. There has been plenty of speculation regarding an Alan Wake 2 or Control 2, so there's likely to be some sort of evidence hidden within the remaster as to where the universe is headed next.
Alan Wake Remastered is set to release in fall 2021.