Alan Wake 2’s best moment almost didn’t make it in, and boy am I glad it did

One of the best moments in Alan Wake 2 almost didn’t make it into the game, which would have been absolutely criminal.

There’s a particular moment in Alan Wake 2, specifically one where you play as the titular character, that is probably my favourite moment in a game this year. But, because it’s so good, if you haven’t got there yet or just haven’t gotten round to playing Alan Wake 2 yet, I’m going to pop a spoiler warning in here because it is so worth discovering for yourself.

The moment in question comes during the fourth part of Alan Wake 2, where everything suddenly turns into a musical. Yes, you read that right, the survival horror game is a Finnish rock musical number, and there truly isn’t a single moment in any other game this year that I love more (well, maybe Tears of the Kingdom’s final boss). But as creative director and writer Sam Lake recently shared on the Friends Per Second podcast, the whole thing was almost cut (thanks, GameSpot).

“It was really, really hard for a number of reasons to have a musical in this,” Lake said. “And there were many productions meetings [where people said] ‘Come on, we need to cut this.’ I was like, ‘Absolutely not, we are not cutting it.'” Unsurprisingly, part of the reason there were pushes to can the section were just down to how game development takes a long time, and the game will have changed a lot; for one, the live-action elements changed over time, so thought had to be put into how they were used in this sequence.

“When you say to someone, ‘We’re gonna put a musical in a survival-horror game, the question comes to, ‘Well, how? What’s the gameplay loop there?'” said game director Kyle Rowley in the same episode.

Apparently it was Lake, who also appears as the motion capture model for FBI agent Alex Casey, who came up with the idea, which unsurprisingly partially came about because of how well Control’s Ashtray Maze was received. On top of that, Lake “knew that [Alan Wake voice actor Matthew Poretta] is a great singer, so Alan Wake can sing in this… And then finding David Harewood, who is wonderful as [Mr. Door], he has a background in singing.”

If you’re currently playing through the game but have focused on playing as the game’s other protagonist Saga Anderson, you should really switch over to Alan to see this for yourself. And if you’re still not convinced, maybe read Kelsey’s five star review.