Alan Wake 2 is a deliberately confusing and metatextual game. This is part of what makes unraveling the experience at your own pace so entertaining, but that level of complexity, especially coming off the back of the first game 13 years ago, wasn’t lost on the team at Remedy. So much so that director Sam Lake has thanked Alan Wake wiki contributors, jokingly admitting that he’d have to use them to get going because of how much detail there is.
Alan Wake 2 co-directors Sam Lake and Kyle Rowley appear on the most recent episode of the Friends Per Second podcast, and the duo is asked how they balanced the depth of AW2’s plot after 13 years have passed since the original horror game, and it turns out they used Alan Wake fan wikis.
“I want to officially give a big thank you to all the wonderful fans keeping Alan Wake wikis up to date,” Lake says. “I confess, I trust these people, I’ll be thinking, ‘We said something about this in the original Alan Wake but I can’t for the life of me remember the details.’”
Interviewer Ralph ‘Skill Up’ Panebianco adds that using a fan wiki for your own work is very in keeping with Alan Wake 2’s meta-narrative hooks, which Lake chuckles in agreement with. Considering Lake himself is in AW2 as the fictional character Alex Casey, one of Alan Wake’s own fictional creations, it’s all very fitting.
Of course, Alan Wake 2 does have a narrative team, and Rowley adds that there’s a lot of internal documentation Remedy has been using to keep track of all the stories and interconnected threads for the sequel.
“We do have a full narrative design team on top of the writing team,” Rowley adds. “Which is led by [lead narrative designer] Simon Wasselin, who’s tracking everything; we have stuff logged in internal documentation, as we said, the story is often complex and even I’m going like, ‘what the hell were we meant to be doing here again?’”
While Alan Wake 2 is definitely confusing, between the interconnected narratives of Saga Anderson and the titular Alan Wake, the ever-expanding case boards you need to piece together yourself, and all the aforementioned metatextual layers, Remedy has certainly pulled it off.
Andy Farrell said in our own Alan Wake 2 review that the Remedy game has “a twisty – and twisted – narrative that takes the original’s premise to new heights,” so it’s safe to say that Lake’s time brushing up on the fan wikis of his own work has paid off.
Speaking of wikis, we’re all guilty of reading up on Wikipedia instead of engaging with something, so we’ve put together a nifty guide on if you need to play Alan Wake 1 before Alan Wake 2.
If you’re busy trying to escape The Dark Place, though, we’ve put together guides on all the Alan Wake 2 weapons and their best upgrades alongside which Alan Wake 2 Words of Power you need to pick up.