Alan Wake 2 Enemies Can Hulk Smash Through Breakable Objects To Catch You

Alan Wake 2 Enemies Can Hulk Smash Through Breakable Objects To Catch You

The enemies in Alan Wake 2 are aware of the game’s breakable scenery and will crash through it to reach you.

As those who’ve been playing Alan Wake 2 over the weekend will know, some of the game’s enemies cannot be stymied by kiting them around objects or scenery. One of Alan Wake 2‘s many technical achievements is just how many objects in its environments can be broken, smashed or blown apart in the course of a single fight or encounter.

But here’s the thing: it’s not luck of the draw. Those enemies crashing through walls to reach you? They are just as aware of the breakable terrain as you are, and their pathfinding will tell them to beeline through it toward you as a shortcut.

You can see a great example of it in this short video by Pol Rius, who worked as the senior VFX and destruction artist (what a great title) on Alan Wake 2.

“We made some enemies aware of the breakables,” reads Rius’ tweet, “sometimes they will target them, you can see the Enemy kick the asset to reach you easier cleaning the navmesh or how it goes through the wall.”

It’s true. In the video, Saga’s foe can be seen crashing through wooden shelves to reach her, and giving a short, sharp kick to a small wooden table in their path. It’s a very human-feeling moment, both frustrated and purposeful. It’s the kind of thing you don’t expect in video games — traditionally, level objects are set in stone and must be navigated by the player and foe alike. Sometimes, this even provides a way for players to exploit the enemy AI to their benefit. No such safety blanket in Alan Wake 2. Just another example of how Remedy’s latest game stacks a lot of interesting systems on top of one another to put the player on the back foot, creating something that feels legitimately transcendent as a video game and a work of interactive horror fiction in its own right.

Rius credits several colleagues — designers, programmers, animators and others — in his tweet for helping put it all together, so clearly, getting the enemy actors to do this wasn’t a small endeavour. But it makes the moment, ratcheting the tension and showing the player that they can hide, but they cannot run.

Brilliant stuff. Congratulations to Rius and the Remedy team on a game that has been catapulted straight into Game of the Year contention.

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