Alan Wake II

PsychedelicDiamond

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After three hours I feel like story and atmosphere are expectedly pretty interesting, but, not to be a negative Nancy, I have a lot of issues with some design decisions.

When you open the map it takes a few second for the textures to load which is annoying
The whole mind place mechanic is really clunky, for how much it's used. I couldn't pick up a key item (the heart) even though I had a pretty good idea where it was because Saga hadn't deduced it in the mind place yet
It has that thing a lot of modern games have where characters are constantly talking. When they're not talking to each other, they talk to themselves. Though I guess Remedy kinda invented diegetic narration voiceovers in Payne.
Those dumb jump scares of Saga having visions about someone screaming in her face are super cringe.
There is a lot of redundant dialogue."Casey, the cult is using a ritual to turn people into zombies. " "That's right Saga, the cult is using rituals to turn people into zombies." Let me look at the evidence in my mind place... oh geez, it looks like the cult is using a ritual to turn people into zombies!"
And I almost forgot the most important one! Saga is wearing a long FBI jacket so you don't get a constant view of her ass in tight jeans like with Jesse in Control. Really dropped the ball there.
 

Summerstorm

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After three hours I feel like story and atmosphere are expectedly pretty interesting, but, not to be a negative Nancy, I have a lot of issues with some design decisions.

When you open the map it takes a few second for the textures to load which is annoying
The whole mind place mechanic is really clunky, for how much it's used. I couldn't pick up a key item (the heart) even though I had a pretty good idea where it was because Saga hadn't deduced it in the mind place yet
It has that thing a lot of modern games have where characters are constantly talking. When they're not talking to each other, they talk to themselves. Though I guess Remedy kinda invented diegetic narration voiceovers in Payne.
Those dumb jump scares of Saga having visions about someone screaming in her face are super cringe.
There is a lot of redundant dialogue."Casey, the cult is using a ritual to turn people into zombies. " "That's right Saga, the cult is using rituals to turn people into zombies." Let me look at the evidence in my mind place... oh geez, it looks like the cult is using a ritual to turn people into zombies!"
And I almost forgot the most important one! Saga is wearing a long FBI jacket so you don't get a constant view of her ass in tight jeans like with Jesse in Control. Really dropped the ball there.
I am about two hours in.

I agree with all of this. The talking is fine, but the "Deductions" are not fun. There is no puzzle element, no "wrong" placement, nothing.

You go somewhere in the world, click at ~5 things, press Tab-> Mind-place: Put the 5 thing on 2 different elemets: finished. There are no wrong leads, no wrong combinations (It just says: "nah", if you put... i don't know footprints of the perpetrators to the victim. Nothing complex, could be better. AND somehow the world reacts to my deductions (The afformentioned heart is not there/can't be picked up before i have the idea to get it.)

Also one gripe i had: Non-Essential background NPC's behave weird, and their animations seem a bit unnatural. (I mean, as long as you follow your important NPC's and talk to them etc, all seems ok (Mouth-Movement is a bit uncanny-valley like in many newer games), but walk up to a random NPC and they just silently fidget about. No Reaction, no change. Theiy jerk around their arms, or hide behind a post, or lean at a wall, or sit in their booth... and nothing. Others do talk and talk to each other, but don't react properly to your presence while doing that. All that breaks the atmosphere a bit.
(You have to force yourself to not look and keep the story moving, which is a bit counter-intuitive, since there are secrets and aformentioned dialogues between NPC'S to find.)

I had a few bugs so far:
Casey getting stuck then tele-vaulting in full sight towards me.
Me getting stuck in a transition in the mindplace, couldn't get out of it, just transit back and forth for a few times.
Physics for small object spazzing out.
Shiny surfaces reflecting glittery and too bright (But i have to screw around with the graphics settings a bit, maybe that's on me)

Storywise (Very early spoilers ~1 hour):
I mean Saga's intuition is very clearly extrasensory perception or so. It's bit weird contextualy and is completely uncommented by her own thoughts. (Just Hey- let me deduce something... Done: Oh you took a pendant from the crimescene, or: The dead body/monster went back to the lake and we will find him there.

The reactions when all hell breaks loose and clearly paranormal stuff goes down, and people lie dead on the floor: Most people are just too calm, no explanations needed. (The Deputies coming in and see one Deputy dead, Sheriff and a corpse missing, just don't ask you anything accept your "Ah well, i guess the pages say we will find the "corpse" back down by lake... BYE", stand over the dead body and a few seconds later banter around)

Also Casey and Saga take it all too well. (You can of course take a lot of things as the influence of the meta-story and the influence from the multiple forces "writing" the reality - but as established in Alan Wake I: "real" and logical progression of the narrative is better.)

Stopped playing yesterday after learning i can't dodge for shit somehow and died to the second combat encounter. (Also while very tired). Have to see what i did wrong there, but so far game is not exceeding my expectations (That what i get for getting hyped) - But i am into the atmosphere and story primarily and that has a lot of potential.
 
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Stopped playing yesterday after learning i can't dodge for shit somehow and died to the second combat encounter. (Also while very tired). Have to see what i did wrong there, but so far game is not exceeding my expectations (That what i get for getting hyped) - But i am into the atmosphere and story primarily and that has a lot of potential.
Combat encounters are much harder in this game. While you fight fewer enemeis, they've been buffed to withstand much more damage than the previous game.

The whole mind place mechanic is really clunky, for how much it's used. I couldn't pick up a key item (the heart) even though I had a pretty good idea where it was because Saga hadn't deduced it in the mind place yet
You go somewhere in the world, click at ~5 things, press Tab-> Mind-place: Put the 5 thing on 2 different elemets: finished. There are no wrong leads, no wrong combinations (It just says: "nah", if you put... i don't know footprints of the perpetrators to the victim. Nothing complex, could be better. AND somehow the world reacts to my deductions (The afformentioned heart is not there/can't be picked up before i have the idea to get it.)
Most critics seem to like the mind palace/writers room spot, but I can see how it gets annoying. At least two critics pointed out the problems with it, and won't surprise me when Yahtzee will hate it. I do know that Alan's is nowhere near as annoying, nor required to use, going by most reviews.

And I almost forgot the most important one! Saga is wearing a long FBI jacket so you don't get a constant view of her ass in tight jeans like with Jesse in Control. Really dropped the ball there.
I know you're probably saying this in jest, but if not: I don't have a problem with it. I don't need to see the ass of every single woman in a third person survival horror game. I got plenty of that from RE4R Separate Ways. If I need to see good looking asses in gaming that badly, then I already have plenty of other options. I do appreciate that you don't discriminate, but Saga is already good looking to not need it.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

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I know you're probably saying this in jest, but if not: I don't have a problem with it. I don't need to see the ass of every single woman in a third person survival horror game. I got plenty of that from RE4R Separate Ways. If I need to see good looking asses in gaming that badly, then I already have plenty of other options. I do appreciate that you don't discriminate, but Saga is already good looking to not need it.
I was fooling around, yes. It's a reference to the fact that both the default outfit and the office lady outfit you get in the late game of Control have pants that are form fitting in a way it's hard to unsee once you've noticed it.
 

MrCalavera

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“…but can it run Alan Wake 2?”
"(...)will punish your GPU."

Should've went all the way, and say "Sam Lake's about to make your GPU his B*tch". Now there's a box blurb.

Turning it on does really tank the performance. For not even looking very much better. I thought in a game with light as a mechanic it might be nice to have but it's not worth it.
Atleast for now, it's another HairWorks™️
 

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Seraphim17 hates Alan Wake II....

I'm not surprised by this, and my reaction is whatever. I do admit the constant jump scares will get annoying.

 

Specter Von Baren

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I am about two hours in.

I agree with all of this. The talking is fine, but the "Deductions" are not fun. There is no puzzle element, no "wrong" placement, nothing.

You go somewhere in the world, click at ~5 things, press Tab-> Mind-place: Put the 5 thing on 2 different elemets: finished. There are no wrong leads, no wrong combinations (It just says: "nah", if you put... i don't know footprints of the perpetrators to the victim. Nothing complex, could be better. AND somehow the world reacts to my deductions (The afformentioned heart is not there/can't be picked up before i have the idea to get it.)

Also one gripe i had: Non-Essential background NPC's behave weird, and their animations seem a bit unnatural. (I mean, as long as you follow your important NPC's and talk to them etc, all seems ok (Mouth-Movement is a bit uncanny-valley like in many newer games), but walk up to a random NPC and they just silently fidget about. No Reaction, no change. Theiy jerk around their arms, or hide behind a post, or lean at a wall, or sit in their booth... and nothing. Others do talk and talk to each other, but don't react properly to your presence while doing that. All that breaks the atmosphere a bit.
(You have to force yourself to not look and keep the story moving, which is a bit counter-intuitive, since there are secrets and aformentioned dialogues between NPC'S to find.)

I had a few bugs so far:
Casey getting stuck then tele-vaulting in full sight towards me.
Me getting stuck in a transition in the mindplace, couldn't get out of it, just transit back and forth for a few times.
Physics for small object spazzing out.
Shiny surfaces reflecting glittery and too bright (But i have to screw around with the graphics settings a bit, maybe that's on me)

Storywise (Very early spoilers ~1 hour):
I mean Saga's intuition is very clearly extrasensory perception or so. It's bit weird contextualy and is completely uncommented by her own thoughts. (Just Hey- let me deduce something... Done: Oh you took a pendant from the crimescene, or: The dead body/monster went back to the lake and we will find him there.

The reactions when all hell breaks loose and clearly paranormal stuff goes down, and people lie dead on the floor: Most people are just too calm, no explanations needed. (The Deputies coming in and see one Deputy dead, Sheriff and a corpse missing, just don't ask you anything accept your "Ah well, i guess the pages say we will find the "corpse" back down by lake... BYE", stand over the dead body and a few seconds later banter around)

Also Casey and Saga take it all too well. (You can of course take a lot of things as the influence of the meta-story and the influence from the multiple forces "writing" the reality - but as established in Alan Wake I: "real" and logical progression of the narrative is better.)

Stopped playing yesterday after learning i can't dodge for shit somehow and died to the second combat encounter. (Also while very tired). Have to see what i did wrong there, but so far game is not exceeding my expectations (That what i get for getting hyped) - But i am into the atmosphere and story primarily and that has a lot of potential.
But can you see Alan's ass? This is the real question.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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I watched/listened to some reviews, not everything posted here so sorry if I missed something relevant but...

Basically reaction is extremely positive and, unless the Avatar game does something amazeballs beyond looking pretty, it's probably the last critical darling of the year.

The praises I heard are about mood, setting, story, etc- not much about gameplay. I think the fact that it's lovingly spoken of as "survival horror" is part of the appeal- with Resident Evil getting glow-ups all over the place I have learned this year what a truly beloved genre this is.

I won't be playing because, as with Baldur's Gate 3, I appreciate what these games are trying to do but I realized that if I don't really like the core gameplay interaction, I can't push through it enough to enjoy the story/characters/world. Some streams and let's plays or whatever will suffice.

I am glad it's good and that folks are gonna have fun with it. The fact that David Lynch is being lovingly referenced by gamer culture is its own point of pleasure for me.
 
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Basically reaction is extremely positive
The only people that I know hate or found the game mediocre are Seraphim17 and GGmanLives respectively. Though I take what the latter says with a grain of salt, and I have differing opinions from for a while now, and the former seems to overpraise the first game too much. Though I see where Seraphim is coming from in certain regards to what is wrong with the game. Luke Stephens is mixed as well, and it's mainly due to several game breaking bugs that happened at the time, though the Day 1 patch came out Friday, so they're no longer an issue. Though it doesn't make what Stephen said any less valid.

unless the Avatar game does something amazeballs beyond looking pretty, it's probably the last critical darling of the year.
I doubt it. The Ubisoft Avatar game looks to be just Avatar, but with Far Cry's (anything after 2) gameplay, and maybe some better polish than usual. Ironic, because they're going back to a jungle/tropical island setting again. Which is what Pandora basically is. It'll be better than the first Avatar game adaption, but that's not much of a milestone.

The praises I heard are about mood, setting, story, etc- not much about gameplay. I think the fact that it's lovingly spoken of as "survival horror" is part of the appeal- with Resident Evil getting glow-ups all over the place I have learned this year what a truly beloved genre this is.
Thank you, and I highly appreciate the praise.

The fact that David Lynch is being lovingly referenced by gamer culture is its own point of pleasure for me.
I've only seen one David Lynch movie my entire life, and that is Dune. Other than see clips of specific movies or shows, I never sat down and watched any of them.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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I've only seen one David Lynch movie my entire life, and that is Dune. Other than see clips of specific movies or shows, I never sat down and watched any of them.
Well if you ever do decide to jump in, my recommendation is Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, as they are the most concise, coherent, direct representation of his whole thing.
 

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I finally got to the Chapter, Return 3, where you can switch characters any time a save rooms. Though I think I will stick with Saga for a while, since her levels are more like the first game, but more open-ended and allows you to backtrack to previous areas. Like how it was originally supposed to be in the original. Alan's section have much more heavier puzzle focus. I don't mind it, but I need a break from it for a good while. Another problem with some of Alan's sections is that I get lost easy, even with the map some times.

Alan Wake II is basically Remedy's RE2 and Alone in the Dark. It's a better AlinTD than the 2008 version. It's the best modern Alone title we're going to get, unless new new reboot that comes out is actually great.
 

Specter Von Baren

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Based on the little I've heard, it seems like a decent or good game for those that want the specific experience it offers but it's not going to appeal to a wide audience.
 

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Based on the little I've heard, it seems like a decent or good game for those that want the specific experience it offers but it's not going to appeal to a wide audience.
So a Remedy game. I don't know why certain people are surprised by this. Quantum Break was their most "mainstream" game outside of the Max Payne franchise, but that game still sucks and is not worth playing twice. Remedy stuck true to themselves and their visions, and I have no complaints on that, aside from them not making a physical version. Now I will say the PC version is not up to snuff, if you don't have the latest hardware. Even that won't save you from the game breaking or soft locking. I encountered a glitch after reloading a checkpoint on the PS5 version, and simple reload took care of it. Don't rush your game out, people!
 
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