Introducing Alan Wake 2’s New Protagonist, Saga Anderson
Image: Remedy Entertainment
After being revealed during the 2021 Game Awards, fans have been eagerly waiting for more information regarding Remedy Entertainment’s sequel to its 2010 action-horror game, Alan Wake 2.
Almost two years later, we’ve finally received a glimpse into the game’s story and gameplay through in-depth trailers shown during the PlayStation Showcase and Summer Game Fest. The most interesting part, though, is that the majority of the released trailers are missing the series’ original protagonist, Alan, and instead shine a light on a new character, Saga Anderson.
Who is Saga Anderson?
Sam Lake, Remedy Entertainment’s creative director, revealed during the Summer Game Fest presentation that Alan Wake 2 will have two lead characters, those being Alan Wake and Saga Anderson. Saga is an FBI agent who’s tasked with investigating a “series of ritualistic murders” in the Pacific Northwest’s little town of Bright Falls. Her story will seemingly take place mostly in this area, while Alan’s journey will be primarily in the Dark Place, dealing with the much more supernatural side of things.
During the Summer Game Fest interview with Geoff Keighley, Lake discloses that players will start the game as Saga, and that she will be playable throughout the entire course of the game, stating, “You can go on as Alan all the way close to the end, or as Saga, or you can keep hopping between.” This insinuates that for some players, Saga could be the sole protagonist of their experience, and I for one, am excited to hear about that possibility.
Alan Wake 2’s Saga Anderson Is A Win For Black Voices in Gaming
It’s no shocker to hear that video games are lacking when it comes to diversity in their protagonists. If I asked you to name ten games with black leads, how long would it take you to name even five? My guess is that it’s much longer than a lot of us would hope, and when you change that question to be about games with specifically black women leads, the list of games that even fit the criteria drastically decreases.
Saga’s addition to the game makes Alan Wake 2 one of the few AAA video games to feature a black woman as its lead, next to titles such as The Walking Dead and the much more recent Forspoken. With the original Alan Wake being a cult classic among Remedy fans, and the developer’s recent surge in popularity from their phenomenal 2019 success, Control, having a vast number of gamers hungry for their next release, Alan Wake 2 highlighting a woman of color as its main character is just nice to see.
While, yes, Saga shares the spotlight with Alan Wake, who is inherently a cis white man, it appears as though the characters will have their own distinct journeys that make them stand out from each other, rather than possibly overshadow one another.
This Is More Than Just Alan Wake’s Story
The inclusion of Saga into the story seems not dissimilar to that of Resident Evil 2’s double protagonist concept with Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy. Both Resident Evil 2 and Alan Wake 2 incorporate two distinct characters with their own unique stories surrounding the same general plot. In Resident Evil 2, Claire can be seen as the lead protagonist just as much as Leon can, and I think that’s what Remedy is going for with Alan and Saga in their upcoming horror game.
Since Saga and Alan’s journey will be happening in two vastly different settings, it’s safe to assume that playing through the game as Alan will be a largely different experience than playing through it as Saga. According to Sam Lake, “Saga doesn’t know anything about the lore (and) the supernatural in this world,” affirming players that they won’t need to have played the first Alan Wake in order to thoroughly enjoy and understand the story of Alan Wake 2.
With all of this in mind, we can safely assume that Saga is a fully fleshed out and interesting character with her own important story to tell, and that Alan Wake 2 is a Saga Anderson story just as much as it is an Alan Wake story.
Alan Wake 2 will be available on October 14, 2023 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S