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Alan Wake 2

Ben's 2023 Game of the Year: Alan Wake 2

With The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Baldur's Gate III, Alan Wake 2, and more leading the fray, which game do I regard as the best of 2023?

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2023 could go down as the greatest year for gaming of all-time. It's up there, no one can deny that. But despite the fact that there are tons of truly incredible games that have made their debut this year, only three (in my opinion) stand out and should be in contention for Game of the Year. You've heard their names all year around, but if you needed a reminder, they are The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Baldur's Gate III, and Alan Wake 2.

Each of these three games, depending on who you talk to, can have very strong arguments for why they should be regarded just that little bit higher than the others. For me, it's Alan Wake 2 that should be given that treatment, and let me explain my reasoning why.

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is special, it really is. The efforts and improvements that Nintendo has made with this sequel transforms one of the greatest games of all-time into a product that is even better. The building suite is simplistic yet unbelievably deep, the multi-tiered world makes for an experience that is ridiculously huge and packed with intricate detail at every turn, and the narrative at the game's core is genuinely interesting to follow. These are all areas that Breath of the Wild lacked in, and that game stood out back in 2017 for its brilliance anyhow.

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Baldur's Gate III basically debuted and pointed crosshairs at every major AAA developer in the industry. At a time where monetisation, overused mechanics, and soulless sequels felt more common than ever, Larian gave us a game that was fresh, absurdly large and packed with content, supported deep and fulfilling multiplayer, and also was bolstered by great post-launch improvements that kept (and have continued to) iron out any issues that the community have reported. And this is all while being a product that you buy once and get unfettered access to it... Baldur's Gate III is effectively the gold standard of what a AAA RPG can and should be.

But, even though both of these games are excellent for a plethora of reasons, a huge list that I have barely even begun to delve into in my summaries above, to me, neither game stands out like Alan Wake 2 does. What Remedy has concocted with this game is unlike anything I have ever experienced before in a gaming sense. It's ruthlessly weird, narratively perfected, refined to a tee, and has managed to take an already fabulous and beloved game from 2010 and bring it into the modern day with a sequel that literally never misses a beat.

Alan Wake 2 is unlike Baldur's Gate III and Tears of the Kingdom because it's special, because it's unlike anything we've ever seen, and because it's a hugely risky premise. Tears of the Kingdom was destined to be a success due to the acclaimed nature of Breath of the Wild and Baldur's Gate III has years of Early Access research and improvements under its belt, but Alan Wake 2 is simply a strange, bizarre and massively expensive game that if it didn't land with fans, could have gone down as one of the biggest failures in gaming history. But it hasn't.

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To me, this is why Alan Wake 2 needs to be Game of the Year. We might never see a game like Alan Wake 2 debut ever again, well... until Remedy releases its next title... probably. But, you can be damned sure that in the future Link, Zelda, and Hyrule will be back, and likewise we'll see other RPGs that blow us away, either from Larian again, or from Bethesda, CD Projekt Red, BioWare, the list goes on. I don't want to generalise the sheer brilliance and excellence of Tears of the Kingdom and Baldur's Gate III, but a title like Alan Wake 2 could only be created by the folks at Remedy. This is a game that can and only ever will come from a team that are creatively expressive enough, have the talent to ensure its offered up to a very high calibre, and have the balls to pitch and then spend years developing it. There is only one Remedy Entertainment, and thus, there can only be one Game of the Year candidate.

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Ben's 2023 Game of the Year: Alan Wake 2

Ben's 2023 Game of the Year: Alan Wake 2

ARTICLE. Written by Ben Lyons

With The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Baldur's Gate III, Alan Wake 2, and more leading the fray, which game do I regard as the best of 2023?



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