Alan Wake 2 is my pick for game of the year. Its narrative angles, fight scenes, and visuals are all incredible; the only problem is my hardware just can’t keep up.
In Alan Wake 2, players take control of not only the infamous Wake from the first game but also Saga Anderson, an FBI agent, set on unraveling the twisted story found in the lake-side town of Bright Falls. This narrative takes you down a confusing rabbit hole of events, all of which surround The Dark Place, a hidden world that has trapped Wake for 13 years alongside a twisted entity that is itching to get out and spread chaos.
I don’t play a ton of games on my PS5; Alan Wake 2 is the first one I’ve fired up on the console since Blasphemous 2 and the Resident Evil 4 remake, which came out earlier this year. Ashamedly, sometimes I use it more as a streaming device rather than a games console. This means I’m not very fussy when it comes to choosing the best gaming TVs for my PS5. I can watch Selling Sunset on Netflix just fine on a 13-year-old Sony TV, which barely scrapes by on 1080p.
However, watching some of the most beautifully crafted scenes I’ve ever seen unfold in Alan Wake 2 made me feel, for the first time, like I should invest more in my hardware, specifically in a gaming TV.
Time to cash in
There were plenty of moments where, instead of running away from horrific shadow-clad Taken or desperately rushing towards the serenity of a brightly-lit safe room, I chose to meander slowly through wooded landscapes or barren lake-side locations to take in all the glorious views. While these were all fantastic, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before in games like God of War Ragnarok or Cyberpunk 2077. However, one scene separated Alan Wake 2 from the rest regarding visual prowess.
I’m talking about the surprise musical number inside the late-night TV show, In Between with Mr. Door, which Alan frequently finds himself a guest of. If you haven’t gotten to this section yet, then just know you’re in for something special. Without a doubt, this scene is the most creative, experimental, and entertaining set piece I’ve ever seen in a game, and it gets even more marks for looking absolutely stunning.
Appearing roughly halfway through Alan Wake 2, this scene sees you play as Wake as he’s desperately trying to break the cycle, rewrite the story of Return, and, in doing so, free himself from the clasp of The Dark Place. While looking for an exit in the TV studio, Wake suddenly comes up against goliath screens, all of which are playing a brilliantly choreographed live-action musical number encompassing the real-life game cast. It stars Wake, the fictional rock band Old Gods of Asgard, and Mr. Door himself. For something that looks so fantastic, I felt terrible running it on a relatively ancient Sony TV.
While you certainly don’t need to go as far as to have an 8K TV for your PS5, it's vital to get hardware that can make the most of this console’s features, especially if you want top-notch image quality. The PS5 supports 4K resolution and framerates of up to 120Hz. While some people may choose performance over quality, having the option to get the absolute best image out of your PS5 possible is welcome, especially as graphical fidelity improves as the current console generation advances.
Luckily, Black Friday is right around the corner, so now’s the best time to update your gaming setup. With so many fantastic Black Friday PS5 TV deals already popping up, PS5 owners may be spoiled for choice when it comes to getting new and improved displays - be they TVs or monitors - that will help you make the most of the console’s capabilities.
After 13 long years with my trusty Sony TV, then, it may be time to finally say goodbye and invest in something that can hold its own with the best PS5 games.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.