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Alan Wake 2’s Night Spring DLC is an epic Max Payne remakes precursor

Alan Wake 2’s new Night Springs DLC is an excellent reminder of how great the Max Payne remakes are likely going to be on PS5 and Xbox.

Alan Wake 2 Night Spring Max Payne Remakes: An image of Rose in Alan Wake 2 and Max Payne.

Remedy Entertainment creative director Sam Lake made my weekend plans for me recently, when Alan Wake 2’s new Night Springs DLC shadow dropped hours after Summer Game Fest concluded. This new slice of mind-bending, Twin Peaks fueled Alan Wake lore is another dazzling creative showcase for all things weird and wonderful. It isn’t just a great expansion, though, it is also a fantastic precursor to what those Max Payne remakes could be like.

Throughout the entirety of Alan Wake 2, I was forced to scavenge for ammo, avoid enemy counters, and navigate The Dark Place with extreme caution. It makes for a supremely potent reconfiguration of Resident Evil-style scares, as Remedy pushes this specific horror game template forward in one of the best horror games I’ve ever played. But Night Springs is none of that. Night Springs is full of maximalism, it wants you to utilize every weapon, every bullet, every resource you’ve got to render zombie-like renditions of Fade Outs and the Taken into a bloody pulp.

It absolutely rocks – like, really, really rocks. Control and Quantum Break already set the foundations for what modern-day Remedy gunplay could be like, with its sweeping setpieces underpinned by superhero-style antics that aren’t too dissimilar to Max Payne’s own death defying feats. Alan Wake 2 is a visual feast fidelity wise, as we all know, but the game’s animations leave me smiling with joy.

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There’s nothing in gaming quite like an excellent weapon reload animation. Combine that with the tension thrills of the PS5’s adaptive triggers, and each fight feels like I’m mere nanoseconds away from that harrowing death screen emerging onto my screen.

Alan Wake 2’s combat glides between Alan’s heavier fights for survival, and Saga’s more refined sense of calm due to her FBI talents. Now, Alan Wake 2 is driven by the impact of each round loaded into Rose Marigold’s hunting rifle. Or the satisfying jingle-jangle of revolver casings hitting when Sheriff Tim Breaker makes his way through the Overlook Hotel. It almost, almost, feels like one of the best games in the third-person genre, and my own gold standard for elite tier firefights: Max Payne 3.

Sure, Rockstar helmed the franchise’s entry in a solo effort, but it wouldn’t have nearly as much fury behind it if Remedy didn’t pioneer the blueprint before it. I’ve knocked on the doors of Max Payne 3 many times over the years, holding it up a prime example of third-person combat. I’m ready for Remedy to knock Max Payne 3 down off its throne, and those promising Max Payne remakes I’m hoping will do just that.

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That’s why Night Springs is exciting to me, not just because it pulled apart my brain with another dose of mind-splitting lore additions. Or because I was instantly hooked on repeatedly listening to the Night Springs theme song (you are too, admit it).

Night Springs shouldn’t, in theory, work as intended. While it might gleefully wear the wackier and more comical elements of the first Alan Wake game on its sleeve, it almost abandons Alan Wake 2’s more macabre aesthetic. Yet, Remedy pulls it off without a sweat, making you feel exactly like the Champion of Light that the Old Gods of Asgard need you to be.

By putting you in control of your destiny without the fear of Scratch or The Dark Place ensnares you for good, it acts as both a taste of what Alan Wake 3 could have in store for Wake’s new sense of purpose (it’s not a loop, it’s a spiral), and how the Max Payne remakes could operate among the hard-boiled bloodshed.

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If they’re anything like what Night Springs’ limb-tearing, blood-curdling fights are like on the action front from a feel perspective, I will truly ascend.

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