Alan Wake 2 – Review Roundup

Alan Wake 2 has debuted to overwhelmingly strong reviews, with many calling it a Game of the Year contender.
alan wake 2 gameplay trailer showcase

After more than a decade, Alan Wake 2 from Remedy Entertainment has finally arrived – to overwhelming critical acclaim. Across the globe, the first wave of reviews for the horror adventure have been wildly positive, with many already labelling it a Game of the Year contender.

Similar themes pop up in each review – notably, praise for the game’s narrative and art direction, its twisting plots, its unique storytelling mechanics, and its creativity. Alan Wake 2 is enormously unique, and features a (literally) novel tale that remains consistently surprising and rewarding throughout its runtime.

In the five-star GamesHub review, we called it a masterful adventure that brims with fresh, compelling ideas. “Alan Wake 2 is a multi-threaded monster. A literature-minded horror adventure with sprawling plot threads that dangle and tease, inspiring questions, curiosity, and an ever-forward march as it spins a complex web of terrors,” we wrote.

“But while it weaves a tale that seems to dance out of reach with every strange chapter, as the interlocking stories of Saga Anderson and Alan Wake play out, deft writing and a strong plot means the answers eventually coalesce in gripping fashion.”

Read: Alan Wake 2 Review – Save The Writer, Save The World

Here’s what other critics are saying about Alan Wake 2.

VGC – 5 Stars

Over on VGC, reviewer Jordan Middler labelled Alan Wake 2 an incredibly confident and ground-breaking sequel, praising Remedy Entertainment for its ingenuity and innovation in expanding the original Alan Wake.

“The decade-long outcry for a sequel to Alan Wake has been answered and answered incredibly,” Middler wrote. “Alan Wake 2 is the result of Remedy’s evolution as a studio since the first game was released. Everything it learned from the live-action elements of Quantum Break and the non-linear exploration and storytelling of Control make Alan Wake 2 a giant of a sequel.”

GameSpot – 10/10

Writing for GameSpot, reviewer Mark Delaney gave Alan Wake 2 a 10/10 score, with particular emphasis on its winding metanarrative, and its use of ambitious multimedia in the form of live-action cutscenes. Delaney also praised its trailblazing storytelling, and how it delivers on the promise of the original Alan Wake story.

“Not only is it a gorgeous, eccentric, and immersive game, it’s also meta as hell,” Delaney wrote. “Alan Wake 2 wraps nightmares inside time loops tied to a distortion of the monomyth inside a metaphysical world that bleeds into reality, blurs fact and fiction, and spins out doppelgangers in every which way, and it does it all not just to be weird, but to tell an elaborate story about writing, balance, irony, and so much more.”

“As perplexing as it certainly is, and as hazy as some of its answers to mysteries may be, Alan Wake 2 feels like it wants to be understood – it just wants you to sweat a little in getting there, and it doesn’t intend to give away everything yet anyway.”

IGN – 9/10

IGN reviewer Tristan Ogilvie had similar praise for the game, particularly in its approach to survival horror, and how it weaves a resounding and terrifying horror tale with strong mechanics that enhance its frantic nature.

“This is just so incomparable to anything else I’ve played in recent memory that it’s tough to work out exactly where to start,” Ogilvie said. “Alan Wake 2 is a single-player adventure that seamlessly shifts from slow-burn psychological terror to frantic survival-horror action, from gorgeously rendered game worlds to striking full-motion video sequences, and from morbid investigations to show-stopping musical surprises. It’s bloody, it’s bonkers, and for the most part it’s utterly brilliant.”

Press Start Australia – 9.5/10

Over on Press Start Australia, reviewer Brodie Gibbons praised the chaos backing Alan Wake 2, as reflective of its war between the light and the dark. Gibbons noted that despite the 13-year wait between the two games, he felt Alan Wake 2 did more than justice to Remedy’s iconic original story.

“While I’m sure there were countless drafts and edits throughout the journey to this point, this Alan Wake 2 is proof that great things come to those who wait,” Gibbons said. “Like breaking through after a thirteen year stretch of writer’s block, I can only imagine the sense of relief in letting this monster of a game loose.”

“By leaning wholly into survival horror and connecting it to their bigger picture, universal plans, [Remedy has] metaphorically put to press a bold, adventurous sequel that keeps the Lynchian sensibilities and zany humour of the original firmly intact.”

The Guardian – 4 Stars

Writing for The Guardian, reviewer Rick Lane labelled Alan Wake 2 a confident and strange thriller that revels in its weirdness. Lane had particular praise for the game’s blend of detective procedural and narrative strangeness – although he did remark on a lack of gameplay depth.

“If Alan Wake 2 matched its narrative charms with greater depth in play, you’d be looking at a very special game indeed,” Lane wrote. “As it stands, it’s a thrillingly spooky ride that can, at times, feel too much like you’re just pressing forward while weird things happen around you. That said, I very much enjoyed those weird things, and while Alan Wake 2’s combat lacks the developer’s usual pizzaz, it is Remedy’s best narrative adventure yet.”

Alan Wake 2 is set to launch worldwide on 27 October 2023.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.