Even in the quieter moments of recent Alan Wake 2 gameplay footage, it is hard not to notice just how stunning the game looks. The Dark Place is drenched in entrancing neon, while Bright Falls evokes those idyllic Twin Peaks-vibes better than ever. Achieving a stable Alan Wake 2 performance mode isn’t an easy task, and now, communications director Thomas Puha details how Remedy Entertainment is making it happen.
“One of the lessons we learned on Control was that we got to the console versions very late […] performance wasn’t great on launch […] so we really worked on Alan Wake 2 to maintain parity,” explains Puha to IGN. With “so much more new tech” to utilize, Puha clarifies that “a lot more care” is applied to the game’s optimization as a result.
The mission to get Alan Wake 2 equipped with a performance mode “began back in May , really to work on [Xbox] heavily […] it does help us to get to a good performance mode, which mostly runs at 60, especially in The Dark Place.” Though, according to a GameInformer report, Series S players won’t be able to play with Peformance Mode. However, as debate rages on about whether 30FPS is still acceptable on the current generation of consoles, Puha states it is crucial for Remedy Entertainment to achieve a “rock solid 30FPS” as a foundation. The first game, which can be played with improvements in Alan Wake Remastered, is one of the best horror games around – and a great visual atmosphere is key to that reputation.
Speaking on the concept of delivering features like 4K 60FPS in games overall, Puha believes that “it’s a difficult one, like you’re never going to hardware where you can do everything […] it is always going to be a compromise.” Outside of building a mammoth PC build that can you get “close” to achieving these kinds of performance wonders, it is also down to the priorities the developer has regarding a game’s creative vision, according to Puha.
We saw the game in-person during our Alan Wake 2 preview at Gamescom, and it is clear that Remedy Entertainment is pushing the envelope in other ways that aren’t just visuals. Entirely new environments can be loaded in an instant, allow the player to ‘re-write’ the world around them, and it all appeared without a hitch. It also felt like it was expanding on the first game’s original concept, while also delivering a “scared, but cool attitude” according to creative director Sam Lake.