How Long Is Alan Wake 2? Mission List And Switching Realities Explained



The story of Alan Wake 2 picks up 13 years after the events of the first game, setting it in the present day and giving players a uniquely structured dual-campaign approach that allows for switching realities (campaigns) often, should they choose to. That all makes the game a bit tricky to map out in terms of hours played, but having seen it through ourselves, we’ve got your answers here. Here’s how many hours played you’ll likely wind up with in Alan Wake 2.

How long to beat Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 includes a structured intro that lasts a few hours, as well as a point-of-no-return warning that gets things back on rails, so to speak. But in between, you can swap campaigns from within many of the game’s safe rooms, called Break Rooms. You’ll end up seeing all of both campaigns no matter what order you play the game in, and a typical playthrough will take you about 20-25 hours.

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If you wanted to speed through the game, ignoring collectibles like Alex Casey lunchboxes, nursery rhymes, and cult stashes, you could likely beat it a bit faster at around 18-20 hours. Meanwhile, a 100% playthrough will take something like 25-30 hours.

In total, that makes it anywhere from two to three times longer than the original game, which takes about 10 hours. And though we can’t as easily quantify it, we’d estimate it’s roughly that much more dizzying too.

Alan Wake 2 mission list

There are 19 total missions between both campaigns, with Saga’s missions always including the moniker “Return” and Alan’s including the name “Initiation,” both of which are references to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, or “Hero’s Journey,” that Alan Wake as a series so enjoys distorting. Here’s the full mission list behind a spoiler wall in case you don’t want to infer anything from these names and would rather skip them outright.

Saga Anderson’s campaign missions

  • Return 0: The Cult
  • Return 1: Invitation
  • Return 2: The Heart
  • Return 3: Local Girl
  • Return 4: No Chance
  • Return 5: Old Gods
  • Return 6: Scratch
  • Return 7: Summoning
  • Return 8: Deerfest
  • Return 9: Come Home

Alan Wake’s campaign missions

  • Initiation 1: Late Night
  • Initiation 2: Casey
  • Initiation 3: Haunting
  • Initiation 4: We Sing
  • Initiation 5: Room 665
  • Initiation 6: Return
  • Initiation 7: Masks
  • Initiation 8: Zane’s Film
  • Initiation 9: Gone

Switching Realities explained

After a structured introduction to the game that ends following Alan Wake’s Initiation 3 mission (4-6 hours into the game), you’ll be introduced to the game’s unique mechanic of switching realities. You do this by interacting with a mop bucket spill found in some, but not all, Break Rooms. When you switch realities as one character, you’ll start playing the other’s campaign. You’ll never have to choose between one mission at the cost of another, as even if you never switch realities, the game will eventually have you finish the other campaign before you can continue past the point-of-no-return warning late in the game.

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Because Saga and Alan can each freely move around in their worlds, including Saga’s hubs of Watery, Bright Falls, and Cauldron Lake and Alan’s Dark Place and its many interiors, you’ll want to finish up all optional objectives in those hubs before moving past the point-of-no-return message screen you’ll eventually see while in the Bright Falls sheriff station.

Once you go past that, you’ll be forced down any story mission path you haven’t finished yet, and then thrust into the game’s final act, which is still several more hours of gameplay, but no longer offers the freedom to explore any area you choose. Just to repeat and be totally clear, you don’t have to play the game twice to see everything. You will necessarily see all missions from both campaigns in a single playthrough regardless of the mission order you choose for yourself.

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