Fresh from the release of Alan Wake 2 – and apparently with a view to driving me nuts, because I haven’t had a chance to play Alan Wake 2 yet – Remedy have shared some titbits about future projects. These include the modestly-known about Control 2, a sequel to the paranormal Brutalist telekinet ’em up that is seeing “good progress”, and the forthcoming remakes of Max Payne 1 and 2, on which Remedy are collaborating with GTA and Max Payne 3 developer Rockstar.
Further afield, there’s the mysterious Condor project, a co-op multiplayer Control spin-off (pictured above) that builds on Remedy’s experience crafting the single-player component for wayward service-based shooter CrossfireX. And at the very edge of sight, there’s the faint outline of something called Codename Vanguard, about which naff-all is known. Could it be that “crazy, huge budget, dark gothic fantasy” Remedy’s creative director Sam Lake would like one day to make?
The project updates hail from a note to investors, pounced upon by the hectic news-piranhas of VGC (can a piranha pounce? Probably not, but look, I’m on the clock, here – feel free to suggest a more appropriate verb in the comments).
“Control 2 continues in the proof-of-concept stage,” the developers declare in the note. “The plans for this sequel are ambitious, and we have seen good progress both in the designs and in the game build. We will continue at this stage for the next few quarters. We focus on proving the identified key elements before moving to the next stage and scaling up the team.”
I’m not sure what I want from a Control sequel. More weirdness, I guess, but that’s also what I want from most sequels. A touch more emphasis on investigation, ethereal story sequences, and non-combat puzzles, perhaps? Much as I enjoyed the original, it’s a bit of a meatgrinder in places.
As for the Max Payne remakes, these have “progressed into the production readiness stage”. The developers write that “we have gained clarity on the style and scope of the game, and we have an exceptionally well-organized team working on it.” I’m interested to know what it’s like, collaborating with Rockstar, given the sheer differences in style between Remedy’s original noir comicbook bullet-dodging shooters and Rockstar’s Breaking Baddified threequel.
And then there’s co-op multiplayer game Condor, which “has progressed from the proof-of-concept to the production readiness stage”. Remedy observe that “we have acquired valuable insights into developing service-based games and are now in a better position to create a game players can engage with for years” – a reference to the muddled fortunes of CrossfireX, whose online features were shut down earlier this year, though you can still play the single player portion in the shape of Crossfire HD.
As regards Codename Vanguard, Remedy “are defining the next stages of the project with our publishing partner” and are “aiming towards completing the proof-of-concept stage by the end of the year.”
All this follows the publication of a GQ profile in which Sam Lake absent-mindedly pitched the aforesaid “crazy, huge budget, dark gothic fantasy”. It’s a story-driven game concept he’s had on the shelf for a while, apparently. I for one would quite like to see Remedy do a dark gothic fantasy, though I’m curious about how or if this would fit into the vaunted Remedy Connected Universe, which is heavily indebted to the Twilight Zone and Stephen King. Is that fantasy as in swords and magic, Sam, and if so, will you be lending your likeness to the game, as in Max Payne and Alan Wake? I can’t quite picture you in chainmail, but by all means try it.
In the shorter term, here’s what to expect from Alan Wake 2’s DLC and NG+ modes. Our review will be with you soon – here are Katharine’s opening impressions.