It’s been 13 years since Alan Wake arrived in our lives, but getting stuck under the Cauldron Lake has taken its toll on the author. During the recent Alan Wake 2 preview that I attended, I had the opportunity to ask creative director Sam Lake about coming back to one of the best horror game franchises around, but more specifically, revisiting Alan himself.
Alan Wake was a doting husband and successful author the first time we saw him in 2010, but this time around Lake explains that “to be honest to the character and his journey, even though he has been trapped in this nightmare for 13 years, it has to show.” The Dark Place, where Alan currently finds himself stuck, is a beautiful mix of nightmare fuel and gorgeous David Fincher-style visuals.
“We were showing that he’s a flawed character in the first game, struggling with certain things. Now they are kind of on the surface, and he comes across as more raw,” Lake says.
Wake’s design in Alan Wake 2 is a dual performance from the returning duo of voice actor Matthew Porretta and the motion-capture/likeness of Illkka Villi. In fact, Villi’s collaborative relationship with Lake ushered in a mantra for shooting the game’s live-action segments and motion capture.
“Illka Villi, the actor, well half of the actor of Alan Wake, to put it really nicely, always kept being told in the shoot [to be] ‘scared, but cool’. Now he feels like that ‘cool’ part is gone,” jokes Lake. The coolness of the Alan Wake franchise definitely isn’t absent in the forthcoming sequel. There’s a vibrant bunch of characters to explore within the Alan Wake 2 voice actors cast, and given some of the subtle teases present in The Dark Place preview, we wouldn’t be surprised if other characters from the Remedy Connected Universe show up down the line.
You’ll need to wait until the Alan Wake 2 release date to find out whether Control’s Jesse Faden makes an appearance. Even though Lake recently confirmed that Quantum Break isn’t part of the same canon, there is always a trick up the sleeve of Remedy Entertainment.
Keep your eyes peeled for more previews, interviews, and coverage of Gamescom from The Loadout over the coming days.