Fans of the original Alan Wake have long wondered why their hunger for creeptacular suspense-filled third-person action game goodness hasn’t been fed with a sequel. This week, they got more of a proper answer. And a new hope.

Polygon published a meaty article yesterday about the undoing and potential redoing of Alan Wake 2, as well as an extended clip of gameplay from an internal prototype Remedy made for the game five years ago:

How does it look? Well, I don’t think any of the Alan Wake fans out there would shrug it off, that’s for sure. There’s the standard third-person combat, like burning bad guys with lights:

Engaging in some melee combat:

As for the snazzy new reality-morphing mechanic, well, it’s hard to parse out how substantive the puzzle-solving in Alan Wake 2 coulda shoulda woulda been from the video. But at the very least, we can tell that Alan could walk around in a sort of de facto spirit world and turn certain ghostly objects into tangible, IRL ones:

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Lots of potential there, for sure. So what the heck happened?

The gist of Polygon’s article is that while some of the stuff from Alan Wake 2 was broken off and absorbed into two other projects, there still could be an Alan Wake sequel as well. Remedy salvaged several of its ideas from the Alan Wake 2 prototypes by allowing them to be absorbed into Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, a spin-off game released back in 2012.

As for the other work that went into Alan Wake 2? Remedy creative director Sam Lake told Polygon that it evolved into Quantum Break after they met with Microsoft:

While Remedy had a publishing deal with Microsoft for the original game, the studio owns the rights to the Alan Wake franchise. So once it was happy with the early work prototyping Alan Wake 2, Remedy began to take the video around to a number of publishers.

Eventually, it arrived once more at Microsoft.

“They have been really supportive about Alan Wake and [now head of Xbox] Phil Spencer has been awesomely supportive when it comes to Remedy and Alan Wake along the way,” Lake said. “We showed it to Microsoft and I guess at the time Microsoft was looking for something slightly different for their portfolio.

“Quite quickly our discussion about Alan Wake 2 turned into something else and that something else turned into Quantum Break, which was great and very exciting.”

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Now that Remedy is shifting gears away from Quantum Break, the developers told Polygon, Alan Wake 2 is back on the table. It just might be a different Alan Wake 2 than the one seen in that prototype.

Read the whole of Polygon’s report on Alan Wake 2 here.

To contact the author of this post, write to yannick.lejacq@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq.