Huh, I looked it up to see where this would have been confirmed, and you’re sort of right? It doesn’t sound entirely clear that it’s freely available but you can basically play the entire game through one character’s POV, save for the very beginning and very end of the game, naturally.
Alan Wake 2 is an attempt at something different: a dual story in which the player can not only jump between the characters on a whim, but also see one character’s tale through almost until the end — without switching back to the other at all.
“Once you unlock both characters, you don’t have to go back to the other until very late in the game, if you don’t want to,” Lake says. “In any game, you put the pacing largely in the hands of the player. [With Alan Wake 2], we wanted to go way further. You are free to choose, once we open it up, which side of the story you pursue, and how far. They are connected. There’s a lot of foreshadowing, a lot of mirroring between each other. They are kind of floating side by side.”
Lake says that players can even abandon investigations and missions halfway through if they’re stuck, and come back to find things right where they left them, hours later.
Break Rooms give you breathing space–and more
Break Rooms are like Resident Evil’s safe rooms, giving players some breathing room and a place where they can safely enter The Mind Place as Saga. There’s also an inventory chest in the form a shoe box (which Wake lore enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy). Here players can leave behind items to be recovered in other Break Rooms across the game.
Notably, some Break Rooms also allow players to switch between Alan and Saga’s points of view. The optional element to this suggests that, on a second playthrough, players are likely to discover new story elements by going down POV paths they previously didn’t experience.
With Alan Wake 2's pair of protagonists, there's no "right or wrong way to play" says Remedy | VG247.
While actually playing the game, you can’t actually switch between characters at will, but you can do so pretty easily in Break Rooms, separate areas where you can save and switch between Alan and Saga. These Break Rooms will also let you use a new feature, the Case Board, which is exactly what it sounds like - a board where you can sort out clues, make deductions, everything a detective might do.
(Sidenote on this last article, really cool to see Molly Maloney working at Remedy as a Narrative Designer. I know her from some older Telltale games, especially their overlooked GOTG game that I love to bits)