We’ve already gone over the new Alan Wake 2 trailer like the Patterson-Gimlin film, searching for clues or new story wrinkles frame by frame, but one of the more overt teases in the story is the appearance of a character who is actually Max Payne, the main character in the games that put Remedy on the map when it worked with Rockstar way back at the turn of the century. Now, Payne has shown up in the Alan Wake 2 trailer. Well, sort of.
In a shot about midway through the trailer, we can see an FBI special agent and the partner of Saga Anderson, the game’s new co-lead and second playable character. This agent has the face of Sam Lake, creative director at Remedy, and is voiced by James McCaffrey, the voice of Max Payne. So it’s him right? After all, Remedy’s games are all connected in the Remedy Connected Universe, so it must be him.
Casey on the case.
But it’s not so simple. Lake and McCaffrey are actually playing Alex Casey, the fictional crime drama protagonist from Alan Wake’s in-universe best-selling novel, The Sudden Stop. To explain how a character has come to life off the page, we’ll need to play the game, though it’s worth remembering that this is a series very much about fiction becoming reality.
But why then is it reasonable to say this character is kinda sorta Max Payne? Because that’s always who Casey has been. Rockstar owns the rights to Max Payne, but when Remedy made Alan Wake, it sought to bring Max into its new game in a creative way. Therefore, Alan becomes the author of the legally distinct Max Payne in Remedy’s Connected Universe.
I have theories that I’ll go into at a later date (and in some cases have gone into elsewhere online during my freelance years) about this being the case for other characters, such as Quantum Break’s Martin Hatch–played by the late great Lance Reddick–also being the Mr. Door who Dylan Faden speaks of in Control. Remedy owns the Control IP and Alan Wake IP, but not the others in its shared worlds to date, so it gets creative when it needs to.
So, is Max Payne in Alan Wake 2? Not exactly, but also… yes?
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