Imagine if you will a small town in the mountains. You’re on your way there to have a nice vacation with your spouse. You need to take a break from your job as horror-mystery writer, as you’re going through a writer’s block that’s been going on for a couple of years. You hope that the little town will provide you with the inspiration you need, but Bright Falls isn’t the place to make your dreams come true. Instead, it’s full of nightmares.
That’s basically the premise of the 2010 hit game Alan Wake. With its dark tone, innovative gameplay, brilliant story, and spot-on voice-acting, it’s no wonder that the game was universally acclaimed, receiving positive scores from critics and gamers alike.
The game was actually so well received that it got two extra stories in the form of DLCs, and gamers have been insisting ever since 2010 that a sequel be made. Finally, after six years of waiting, we have the first certain sign that Remedy is releasing a sequel to Alan Wake.
Nothing about this is official however, as we got out information from somebody noticing a new trademark popping up under Remedy Entertainment’s name. The patent was for “Alan Wake’s Return”, and fans immediately saw this for what it was.
At one point during one of the DLCs pertaining to the original game you find a book with the word “Return” written on it. Did I forget to mention how obsessive the game’s cult following is? Well, the information doesn’t end there, as the patent was registered from the same proxy used by Remedy to register other domains.
The website www.alanwakereturns.com was also registered last year, although it’s currently nothing but a blank page, and Xbox’s own Phil Spencer hinted that we might see an Alan Wake sequel this year. This is great news for the game’s cult following, as long as the title is not rushed and the creators put as much thought into it as they did with the first game.
Six years later, and people are still talking about how well the game was made. The story was excellently paced; the mystery elements gave away just enough to have you feel proud that you figured it out, but not enough to ruin the surprises, and the music by brilliant artists such as David Bowie, Poe, and the unmistakable Poets of the Fall was just what the game needed.
Aside from all these, the game had one of the most critically acclaimed gameplay features in the past decade. While fighting enemies, Alan had to first shine his flashlight on them in order to get rid of the Darkness covering them, and then shoot them. Many games have tried to do something similar but utterly failed.
It all blended perfectly into a mix of horror, suspense, mystery, action, drama, and the occasional brilliantly done comedic moment. The whole game has a very Stephen King feel about it, as the creators didn’t shy away from admitting how big of an influence he was, or to use a lot of quotes and references to his works.
If you haven’t played the game, I totally recommend it, as it is definitely one of the best games that came out over the past decade.
Image source: Flickr