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Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 tones down jumpscares and lets us replay We Sing

While also making it easier to get the platinum and all achievements.

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Yours truly decided to hold off on Alan Wake 2 for a while, as I wanted to wait for some patches to fix a few issues. A good choice, because I adored the game when I played through it two months ago. So much that I got quite a few songs and sequences stuck in my head and obtained the platinum trophy on PlayStation 5. Now I have some good news for those of you who want to replay the best parts and for those of you who missed some collectibles.

Remedy has released 2024's first update for Alan Wake 2, and it includes a handful of requested features and fixes. The highlight is probably the implementation of a chapter select, allowing us to return to our favourite parts of the game and/or find collectibles you missed the first time around. That last part might not be especially tempting if you hated the jumpscares where something flashed on the screen with a high sound, but the Finnish developers have good news about that as well. A new option in the menu lets you lower the intensity of these flashes.

Here are all of the charming and funny patch notes:

New Feature: Chapter Select


  • You can now choose to play any mission in the game that you have previously unlocked.

  • Using this feature loads a pre-made save game regardless of your own progression.

  • This means that item progression and inventory will be pre-determined depending on the mission.

  • You will keep your previous manual saves.

Note: Remember to keep at least one manual save with your previous progression if you wish to retain it.

New features


  • Added Chapter Select menu.

  • Added option to choose between Low and Normal horror flash visual and audio intensity.

Gameplay and missions


  • Fixed an issue in The Final Draft (New Game Plus) where if the player already had Saga's crossbow in their inventory, they could not complete/open all required Cult Stashes and thus couldn't get the Lighthouse Key from the final Cult Stash.

  • Fixed an issue where the player could get stuck if they opened the notification about having finished watching the final Koskela brothers' advert:

  • During RE09 Deerfest when you go to the Oh Deer Diner, the last Koskela commercial is shown and you are given a prompt that you can see it in the Mind Place, but if you press the touchpad as instructed to view it in the Mind Place, nothing happens, and your controls are frozen. The issue remains until you reload the last save.

  • Fixed an issue where the player was not able to collect all the clues around Nightingale's body.

  • The objects required for the Overlap ritual in RE03 Local Girl can now only be picked up after the player finds their respective clues.

  • The 10th Echo Scene after meeting Casey in the alley now unlocks properly.

  • Players now receive the Coffee World Mug Charm in the The Final Chapter (New Game+) instead of a duplicate Hammer Charm.

  • Fixed the camera perspective on opened Cult stashes, so the note on the lid is now legible.

  • Additional fix for the Cynthia profiling not being available if the player exits the diorama too quickly in the Nursing Home.

  • Resolved an issue in RE05 Old Gods where players could pick up the fuse in the basement from a locked container without solving the attached combination lock puzzle.

  • Propane tanks will no longer reappear after reloading the game in Watery. Less explosions, less fun, but a smoother game.

  • Gave Saga a chance to gain more resources in the RE10 Come Home mission in the subway station.

  • Added missing descriptions for some case files in the Case Cabinet in Saga's Mind Place.

  • Fixed a multitude of issues with Meta Case clues.

  • Added descriptions for cases that are in progress to the Case Cabinet files.

  • Igniting a flare while hiding in Safe Haven will now be seen as a hostile player action and collapse the Safe Haven if enemies are nearby.

  • Fixed an issue with the player camera occasionally "micro jittering" when rotating the camera in Prologue.

  • Removing the fun. It's the beginning of the year. Explosions will no longer deal damage through doors.

  • Prevent players from accidentally boosting the flashlight and wasting batteries when picking it up.

  • FBI Service pistol and Revolver now deal enough damage to make cultists' masks fly off with one, carefully aimed shot. F*ck yeah!

  • Curtain Call. Not the best album. Fixed curtains being incorrectly closed in the Theater Hall in some instances.

  • Fixed an issue where the crossbow with double-barrel upgrade was not being holstered properly.

  • Saga's phone conversations can't be interrupted by switching the Flashlight on and off anymore.

  • The item pickup indicator has been re-tuned, so the indicator should be more easily visible now.

  • The player can no longer run off the ledge behind the Monitoring Station in Cauldron Lake.

  • Fixed an issue where Fadeouts in the Poet's Cinema Theater would sit in the air or inside of the theater seats. That was too spooky.

  • Fixed a, well, uh, issue with a rogue boot moving along the Cynthia boss fight arena.

  • Fixed an issue in IN05 Room 665 where items from a Tim Breaker's stash could be picked up through the wall in Room 101.

  • Fixed an issue where the wolves would get killed instantly by approaching the cliff at the Radio Tower in Watery.

  • Fixed an issue where the player could get stuck in Norman's room in the Bright Falls Nursing Home.

  • Fixed an issue where the doors at the Bright Falls Wellness Center kept opening at the wrong time. It's not spooky season yet.

UI


  • [PC] Added preview images for most tweakable settings in the graphics menu.

  • Add per-chapter counts for found Manuscripts in the Mind Place.

  • Fixed UI layout issues with localized content in the Case Board, computers, and inspectable items.

  • Fixed month names so they display correctly on save game UI.

  • Fixed the Options menu scroll position not to resetting when quitting the Options menu with the start button on controller.

Audio and haptics


  • Re-tuned haptics on the "key events" such as weapon firing and reloading, using the Light Shift mechanic, burning off Source Points and using the flashlight.

  • Added audio to the ancient computers in the Bright Falls Sheriff Station.

  • Added audio for impacts when the Espresso Express hits the player. Don't try it please. Coffee World is in enough trouble as it is.

  • Cassette eject sound added to Mr. Drippy.

  • Added TV static audio to the Nursing Home TV Safe Haven location.

  • Fixed an issue where the TV tape selection in the Writer's Room was not triggering any sound effects.

  • Fixed an issue in RE08 Summoning where a Tank enemy weapon played the wrong weapon audio.

  • Multiple fixes for the Nursery Rhymes audio.

  • Improved the audio quality for crouching footsteps.

  • Improved the audio performance during the RE08 Summoning mission across all platforms

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Visuals


  • General visual polish.

  • Fixed an issue where an enemy became partially invisible when seriously wounded.

  • Fixed the vegetation not always reacting to explosions in a cool way.

  • The wind has picked up in Coffee World.

  • Made the basement of the Valhalla Nursing Home more atmospheric, with a lot of added dust.

  • Turned off Safe Haven indicator during the Scratch fight in the parking lot.

  • Improved waterproofing of the Elderwood Lodge. It should not rain indoors anymore.

  • Fixed the Hunting Knife being scaled up when Alan picked it up.

  • Fixed missing lighting on some narrative items.

  • Improved the quality of shadows in various off the beaten path locations in the forest.

  • Fixed lighting pop-in in some locations.

  • Fixed some abrupt color grading changes in Watery.

  • Reduced shimmering around windows inside Suomi Hall in Watery.

  • Reduced shimmering inside the Elderwood Lodge in Bright Falls.

  • Lighting improvements in off the beaten path areas in Watery.

  • Fixed Alan's wild shirt glitching in some cinematic sequences where Alan is sitting down.

  • Improved animations for Saga's scare reactions while running.

  • Fixed some animations restarting when toggling the flashlight.

  • Fixed the player character so they use arms as expected while running just after picking up items.

General


  • The SDR brightness setting now affects UI and 2D videos correctly.

  • Fixed maximum display luminance being outdated in Brightness calibration menu.

  • [PC] You can now tweak the FOV (Field of view) in the UI.

  • [PC] Improved DLSS Frame Generation stability for Alt-Tab.

  • [PC] Resolution is clamped correctly to the maximum supported resolution.

  • [PC] Made the warning message about there not being enough physical memory and allow the game still to start a lot more serious.

  • [PC] Mouse button icons now correctly reflect the Windows primary button setting in the UI [PC].

  • [Xbox Series] Fixed a threading issue that could lead to rare crashes.

  • Subtitle fixes.

Performance (aka the Northlight flex section)


  • [PlayStation 5] Fixed the random stuttering during perfect dodge slow-motion moves.

  • [PC] Changing the graphics settings is now... snappier.

  • [PC] Optimized shadow map rendering saving up to 0.3ms in the Dark Place.

  • [Xbox Series] Optimized point and spotlight culling, shaving off 0.3ms in locations where lights are aplenty.

  • [PlayStation 5] Optimized UI rendering when there are a lot of UI elements on screen, such as when the Inventory is visible, resulting in smoother performance.

  • Optimized character controller code for improved CPU performance, saving up to 1ms - 2ms in locations with dense geometry.

  • Lighting optimizations inside the Overlap in RE02 The Heart saving 1ms - 1.2ms for smoother performance.

  • Lighting optimizations around the Valhalla Nursing Home during RE05 Old Gods saving 0.3ms - 0.4ms.

  • The good kind of lighting and fog optimizations around Watery that didn't result in downgrading the visuals.

  • Slightly optimized texture memory usage. Slightly.


Alan Wake 2

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With The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Baldur's Gate III, Alan Wake 2, and more leading the fray, which game do I regard as the best of 2023?



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