Alan Wake 2 will release on October 17. The date was revealed in a new trailer shown during today’s PlayStation Showcase (above), which also introduced a new protagonist to share the stage with Alan: FBI agent Saga Anderson. 

According to Remedy, it’s no big deal if you haven’t played the first Alan Wake: you should be able to “easily dive into the sequel” and figure out what’s going on. That’s probably true. As big as the Remedyverse is getting, and as weird as its stories can be, the Finnish studio likes to work within known genre archetypes with direct, monologue-heavy storytelling. 

But Alan Wake 2’s storytelling doesn’t sound totally straightforward, because we get to choose which protagonist we play as first.

“After certain events have transpired, fans can play Wake and Anderson’s respective stories in any order they choose,” writes Remedy communications director Thomas Puha on the PlayStation Blog. “Their journeys echo and foreshadow each other, in this intense atmospheric story, taking players on two separate dark and disturbing paths. We are excited to allow players to decide how to experience the story of Alan Wake 2.”

The ‘real world’ setting for Alan Wake 2 is the Pacific Northwest, where Anderson will explore the town of Bright Falls, “the stunning primordial forest surrounding the mysterious Cauldron Lake,” and a “run-down” town called Watery. Meanwhile, Wake is stuck in the Dark Place, “a shifting, looping reality.”

“Anderson, an accomplished FBI agent with a reputation for solving impossible cases, arrives [in Bright Falls] to investigate the murders,” writes Puha. “Soon the events spiral into a nightmare when she discovers pages of a horror story that start to come true around her. Somehow the events seem to lead to Alan Wake, the horror writer who went missing 13 years ago.”

The new trailer also includes an appearance from Remedy writer Sam Lake himself, who was also the face of the original Max Payne. (Sadly, Max Payne himself is probably not intervening in the survival horror adventure—he’s still owned by Rockstar.)

Alan Wake 2 is the first big release from Epic Games’ new publishing wing, which fully funded its development, and so it’ll be an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC when it releases this October. Epic’s got a deal for a second game from Remedy, too, though we don’t know what that one is yet.

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