Alan Wake 2's most iconic level was "really, really hard" to make, says director

Alan Wake 2
(Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)

One of Alan Wake 2's standout moments sounds like it had some trouble getting off the ground. At least according to the game's director, Sam Lake.

Spoilers ahead for Alan Wake 2. The We Sing chapter of Alan Wake 2 takes place roughly a third of the way through Alan's side of the story. A 15-minute musical number, it not only breaks up the game's horror with a bit of much-needed levity, it also shows just how good developer Remedy has gotten at marrying live-action visuals and real-time play.

Talking on GameSpot's Friends Per Second podcast, Alan Wake 2 writer and director Sam Lake revealed that it was one of the most challenging aspects of the game to get right.

"It was really, really hard for a number of reasons to have a musical in this," says Lake. "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.'"

Game director Kyle Rowley added: "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?'"

The chapter in question sees Alan navigate a stage while a musical show plays around him. It features vocal performances from Andrew Poretta (Alan's voice actor), David Harewood - who plays the enigmatic Mr. Door in the game - and Finnish group Poets of the Fall, reprising their in-game role as the Old Gods of Asgard.

It's not the first time Remedy has seen fit to place a musical section in its games. The original Alan Wake featured one towards the end of the game, as did 2019's Control with its Ashtray Maze level. Once again, both featured performances by Poets of the Fall. It seems like from now on, then, the Remedy musical bit is likely to be an inevitability. And I'm here for it, honestly.

Keen to play Alan Wake 2? You may want to keep an eye on our Black Friday video game deals page, as well as our Black Friday PS5 deals and Black Friday Xbox Series X deals in the event the game receives a decent discount this month.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.