For the last month, we’ve been hearing a lot of murmurs about a potential Alan Wake “sequel” announcement at E3 – as well as loads of speculation on what Remedy Entertainment has up their sleeves.
As a result, the developer took all the Alan Wake 2 buzz as an opportunity to discuss how they intend to improve upon the original game which, despite a great story and a positive reception from critics (read our review), was sometimes an awkward mishmash of gameplay ideas.
Speaking with EDGE magazine, Remedy Managing Director, Matias Myllyrinne discussed some of the gameplay choices that might have limited Alan Wake‘s appeal – as well as hinted at what improvements fans should expect in a potential sequel.
“We’ll continue to make mistakes, but I think we won’t make the same mistakes. You’re supposed to f*ck up every now and again, and if you’re not making mistakes, you’re pretty much not taking enough risks. I think that’s perfectly fine and we want to embrace that: everyone’s allowed to fail here at what they do, and I think that’s part of the safety net that allows people to try harder and push themselves…
It would be very, very sad if we made the same mistakes again. We’ll find new mistakes to make, but they’ll land us in a cool and interesting place once again!”
Myllyrinne also specifically addresses a few of the problems that he felt conflicted with the overall experience – most notably, the overly-ambitious open world design:
“We tried to combine a sandbox design with a tightly paced thriller. We could have made [that] game, but it wasn’t the game we set out to build; those moments just don’t work. And with 20:20 hindsight it’s clear that we should have gone for more of a tightly-paced thrill ride to begin with, which I think we then delivered.
Those moments that we had in development when you’re supposed to have a dramatic moment, if you’re not controlling the pacing, the player’s turning up to a scene in a monster truck and you’re going: ‘Okay… it’s supposed to be a dramatic love scene, the characters are going through serious marital issues’, and yet the player comes jumping over logs with a frigging monster truck.”
Unfortunately, the quasi-open world gameplay sequences weren’t the biggest stumbling blocks for Alan Wake – the title could go down in history as having one of the most unfortunate launch-dates for a new triple-A IP in history – when it released alongside Rockstar’s highly-anticipated Western Red Dead Redemption. Hopefully, whenever Alan Wake 2, or Alan Wake: (Insert literary subtitle here), launches – Microsoft will avoid scheduling it alongside the release of Grand Theft Auto 5 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
That said, Myllyrinne’s claim that the team has been able to move “from point A [in development] to point D without necessarily going through point B and C,” mention of a possible 2011 launch window, coupled with Remedy’s interest in an all-digital release format, certainly hints at the possibility that the next Alan Wake experience won’t necessarily be a retail sequel. Instead of a full retail disc, players could be treated to an episodic set of chapters (released as downloads) that represent the next installment in the on-going Alan Wake story – chapters that continue Wake’s journey through the dark but with new assets and gameplay mechanics (i.e. not just more DLC for the original retail release).
Regardless, in spite of its problems, Alan Wake is definitely worth checking-out – especially in light of what Remedy is likely cooking up for the “sequel.”
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what you’re hoping to see in the next Alan Wake installment – and whether you’d like to see an episodic release.
Source: EDGE [via CVG]