Sam Lake and Remedy on Alan Wake 2’s move to survival horror and pushing the franchise’s boundaries

September 27, 2023
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It’s been 13 years since Alan Wake launched himself into the murky waters of Cauldron Lake in a bid to save his wife, Alice. For over a decade, he has been left languishing in the Dark Place, with surreal visions and a nightmarish hell dimension his only company. But now he is back in Alan Wake 2, Remedy’s much anticipated sequel, and ready to burn the darkness away once again.

This time, however, Remedy has decided to take the series in a new direction. The developer is shaking off the action-adventure genre that came before, and is instead treading a new path – that of survival horror. But how and why did Remedy make this jump between genres? And, why now?

“Coming out of Max Payne way back when, we didn’t really explore the idea of different game genres,” creative director Sam Lake told me at an Alan Wake 2 press event held earlier this month. “It was kind of a given of ‘ok, it’s an action thing and maybe a bit more adventure put in, and some horror elements on the story side’.”

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