Earlier this month, Alan Wake Remastered was announced, and reaction to the game’s makeover has been somewhat mixed. Perhaps it’s because Remedy’s most recent game, Control, was such a visual showcase, but some have accused the Remaster of not looking much better than the original. Granted, the new Alan Wake won’t feature ray tracing, but the notion that it isn’t a significant visual upgrade is simply untrue. As proof of this, Remedy has released a new Alan Wake Remastered comparison trailer, showing just how much better the game looks running on Xbox Series X – check it out, below.
Looking at that, it’s clear this isn’t just a quick and dirty 4K uprez job. Models have been completely redone, textures and assets have been upgraded, and while we’re not getting ray tracing, lighting is definitely better. In a new blog post, Remedy runs down how they and remaster experts D3T have upgraded Alan Wake for a new generation…
The game runs in (upscaled) 4K at 60fps on Xbox Series X, and in 1080p at 60fps on Xbox Series S. You can expect to see re-worked cutscenes with improved facial animations and lip-syncing, richer environments, and enhanced character models that have updated skin and hair shaders. Improvements have also been made to materials and textures in general, plus anti-aliasing, shadows, wind simulation, and increased draw distances.
Being such a story-focused game, Alan Wake Remastered’s cast of more than 30 characters is a huge part of the overall experience and was naturally an area we focused a lot of our time. A full team of character artists went back to the original reference materials to help make the characters look more like the actors they were based on. […] The animation teams transformed the game by making significant upgrades to facial animations, core gameplay movement, and more. This involved creating new rigs for the characters’ faces, entirely new motion capture for dialogue, and more than 600 additional poses being created to give greater expression to the performances.
The environment is equally important and demands as much care and attention as Alan himself. With that in mind, we had a dedicated sub-team working entirely on trees and foliage. The forest is a deeply complex environment. The team brought it to life by adding all new details like ferns, moss, fallen leaves, and other ground coverage, alongside improvements to animations like trees blowing in the wind. […] The environment team worked closely with the programmers to upgrade the terrain itself, adding greater complexity and fidelity to different materials, from dirt and rocks, all the way to the mountains, and more urban materials like concrete and tarmac. A team of artists then set to work adding further detail to buildings, vehicles, and other objects to make sure that Bright Falls is as compelling and dramatic as it deserves to be.
Alan Wake Remastered arrives on PC (via the Epic Games Store), Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 on October 5. A Switch version of the game may also be on the way.