Alan Wake 2: How the sequel is related to Control and what to expect

Alan Wake 2: How the sequel is related to Control and what to expect

Alan Wake 2

In this astral plane, there are two types of players: those who did not know at all what to expect from Control and those who already knew that sooner or later the paths of Jesse Faden and Alan Wake would cross. In reality, one thing does not exclude the other, but if you are part (like the writer) of the second type, you will not be too stunned when the two Control DLCs were announced. Crucial is certainly the second downloadable content published by Remedy Entertainment, EMA (in original AWE), in which Alan Wake returns, protagonist of the homonymous game developed by Remedy in 2010. If we add to this the recent Alan Wake Remastered, it was quite logical ( but it must be said, not at all obvious) that the sum of all these elements would have resulted in the announcement of Alan Wake 2, which arrived during the awards ceremony of The Game Awards.

So what to expect from this highly anticipated sequel, narratively speaking? And how important are the events of Control in the shared universe of these two games? Put on your tinfoil hats and follow us in this special dedicated to the narrative connections between Control and Alan Wake 2, in which we tell you all the important points of contact between the two works and we hypothesize some scenarios for the new chapter.

Obviously, the article contains spoilers and we recommend reading to those who know the story of Alan Wake and Control

Alan Wake, where did we stay?

Bright Falls, the town where we plays Alan Wake The events of Alan Wake take place in Bright Falls, a small town in the state of Washington where the protagonist goes in the throes of a profound artistic and marital crisis. After several nightmares and supernatural events, Alan discovers that the town is subject to malignant paranormal manifestations, imbued with a power that springs from a different dimensional plane from our reality.

Thanks to his talent, the writer exploits this power to shape reality as he pleases, rewriting it as if it were a story. The evil entity that inhabits Cauldron Lake, the Dark Presence, kidnaps Alan's wife, Alice, and creates a doppelganger of the writer, Mr. Scratch. Using the bizarre switch of an abat-jour lamp, capable of illuminating the darkness of the Presence, and with the help of Thomas Zane, poet who lived and Bright Falls and who knew the same tragic story as Alan, the writer manages to save his wife, writing the ending of his novel, Departure: Alice is safe, but Alan will be trapped in the dark world.

Reading the classified files of the Bureau of Control, it is clearly understood that the one in Bright Fall was a EMA of decidedly significant size. An Altered World Event is a paranormal event in which the Threshold is manifested, a dimensional thinning between two planes of reality, in which the paranormal one affects the real one.

In particular, Lake Cauldron connects our reality with that of the Dark Presence, in which Alan has been trapped. In addition, from the inspection of the special agents of the Bureau, a thermos of coffee is recovered, an object of power that is kept in the Oldest House. Alan's switch is also a powerful object of power, presumably one of those difficult to contain: it is likely that turning it on and off was a ritual necessary for its maintenance.

Alan Wake's DLC and Spin-off

Alan Wake's American Nightmare focuses on the fight between Alan and Mr. Scratch Trapped in the Dark Place, Alan tries to regain control of himself and begins writing a new novel, Return , which will allow him to return to reality. We know that the writing of the novel is interrupted by the manifestation of Mr. Scratch in the real world: some reports from the Bureau of Control clearly report statements by Alice, convinced that she was receiving strange visits from her husband, despite Alan being reported missing. These are the events told by the spin-off Alan Wake's American Nightmare, in which Alan uses an old script from Night Springs to defeat double him.

Night Springs is a TV series present in the narrative universe of Remedy, which coincides with our Twilight Zone - At the edge of reality: the writer works on several episodes of the sci-fi serial, which also appears in Quantum Break. Eventually, Alan manages to defeat Mr. Scratch by showing a movie in the drive-in of the fictional town of Night Springs, a movie in which he and Alice are reunited.

Control, the events in the Investigation Section

Alan contacts Jesse through Alan Wake's Hotline no more news until Jesse Faden is contacted by Wake himself through the Oldest House Hotline, an object of power that connects different floors astral. Just as he did previously, Alan lures the new Director into the Investigation Section by shaping reality through writing, so much so that his words come to Jesse in prose form. Jesse perceives the writer intent on typing feverishly, to then witness a dialogue between him and his double, this time Thomas Zane and no longer Mr. Scratch, in a room of the Oceanview Motel & Casino, a sort of multidimensional antechamber that connects different astral planes.

As the story progresses, Jesse learns that the Investigation Section has been closed to contain the escape of an unspecified hostile entity. This turns out to be Dr. Emil Hartman, an old acquaintance of Alan. Hatman, a psychologist from Bright Falls, had long accepted the intuition that Cauldron Lake was a special place, endowed with supernatural powers, that the doctor wanted to control. To investigate the Dark Presence, Hatman harnessed the creativity of problematic artists, who found refuge in his clinic. After the Bright Falls EMA, and the related seizure of his property and research by the Bureau of Control, Hatman finds his end by throwing himself into Lake Cauldron, only to be captured, now possessed by the Dark Presence, and imprisoned in the Oldest House.

The presence of Alice Wake, who showed up years later for questioning, awakens the power of the Dark Presence in Hatman, forcing the Bureau agents to evacuate the investigative section and contain it with an inviolable quarantine. The uncontrolled presence of the Hiss in the Oldest House only makes matters worse, forcing Jesse, at Alan's request (or order?), To intervene.

Jesse in the Detective Section's EMA monitoring room After Hartman is permanently eliminated by Jesse, agent Langston reports an EMA alert right in Bright Falls: the data, however, are strange, so much so that it seems like a glitch and not a real emergency, because the alert reports as the effective date of the EMA a couple of years into the future. In the field, monitoring the situation in Bright Falls is Agent Estevez, of whom we can read a complaint email in which the agent complains about the continuous malfunctions of the monitoring station. She thinks simple raccoons are ruining her equipment, but the suspicion of sabotage is strong; Additionally, Estevez mentions the staff at the Lake House Research Station, where no one wants to share research data with the agent.

The DLC concludes definitively with Alan's words: "Things have set in motion. If the alarm is real, then so is what generates it. The effects will follow the cause. It is happening again, a return. You have been warned. "

Alan Wake, deus ex machina of Control

EMA is a much more important DLC than it looks Everything we have told you so far could be quietly labeled as a series of tips and easter eggs by Alan Wake in Control, just to emphasize the concept that the two games share the same narrative universe. But no. Control is much more Alan Wake-centric than you might imagine and to prove it is a series of collectibles, essential in order to understand the most important and relevant twist of the game. We are talking about four pages scattered around the Investigation Section, in which a screenplay of Night Springs is reported, a pilot episode written by Wake to nominate himself as the show's screenwriter.

The episode stars two characters, the Director and the Scientist, and takes place inside the Federal Office of Night Springs. The Director orders the extremely reluctant and worried Scientist to operate a machine, from which an evil entity emerges that devours the Scientist and takes control of the Director. When everything is clearly lost and the entity has taken control of the surrounding reality, the Director brings the service pistol to his head and shoots himself. Does he remind you of something?

Why does Trench take his own life? Why Alan wrote this One of the biggest gaps in Control's history is because Director Trech killed himself, and why both he and Darling felt the need to get close to something as dangerous as the Projector. The answers are hypothesized in the Control campaign but the real answer is provided by this series of collectibles, added to the latest communication between Jesse and Alan on the Hotline. The writer clearly says he wrote and rewrote his story of him multiple times in an attempt to escape the Dark Place, and when he saw a chance he used everything he could to set events in motion. He used people and places he knew, elements that he perceived and studied over time and put all this together to write a story that worked. As he himself says, however, every great story needs a hero, and every hero needs a crisis to become one.

So Alan, as already done in American Nightmare, writes a script of Night Springs, forces Trench to free the Hiss and then commit suicide, so that Polaris senses the danger and takes Jesse exactly where Alan wants him you are.

Alan Wake 2, assumptions about the story

Alan Wake will be strongly linked to his story In the face of this very important narrative aspect of the game, what can we expect from Alan Wake 2? The certain elements we have are a new EMA in Bright Falls and the presence of a Bureau of Control agent on the field: it is not so absurd to think that Agent Estevez could join the cast of Alan Wake 2 as a fixed presence of the narrative, as it is equally likely that part of the story, perhaps the prologue, takes place away from Bright Falls. In the trailer for Alan Wake 2 we see different locations: the woods and the streets of the town, but also a decidedly more urban context: judging by the subway sign that passes by in the trailer, Alan is in New York, like the Oldest House.

Another element that comes with the trailer is Alan's phrase: "This story is a monster, and the monsters have different faces". This is perhaps the most difficult to interpret, but we know that Alan has split several times during his time in the Dark Place. In the DLC The Signal and The Writer, Zane explains to the protagonist that it is the irrational and frightened part of his mind that creates what Alan sees in the Dark Place and that, if he wants to survive, he must regain control of himself, a concept that becomes powerful again in Control. Or it is plausible to think of the return of Mr. Scratch, even if that would mean excluding the events of American Nightmare from the canon. Or again, is it related to the fact that in the Oceanview room Zane and Alan have the same appearance?

For Alan Wake, the journey into the nightmare will have no return That said, from here on the speculations for Alan Wake 2 take two different paths, based on how Remedy has decided to tie Alan Wake to Control. In a first scenario, it is reasonable to expect Alan to enter the scene directly in the Oldest House, perhaps passing through the spiral room Oceanview Motel & Casino. Here it is plausible to expect a cameo from Jesse Faden, more than we should say, given that Alan is very much in debt to the new Director of the Bureau. The second possibility is that the two games remain strongly connected, but only through the dense network of secondary but essential elements. Remedy is known for putting really important narrative elements in various written and collectible files, so much so that many players hardly grasp all the links in the various works of the developer.

Whatever the choice of the Finnish software house, Control remains an extremely preparatory work for understanding the narrative universe of Alan Wake, although it remains a stand alone and highly enjoyable adventure without having played Alan Wake; a kind of great encyclopedia of the paranormal that helps the player eager to consult it, to easily navigate some events of this extended universe.

Control is a game with a strong visual impact, we hope this aspect survives in Alan Wake 2 A Another certainty we have for Alan Wake 2 is that the narrative will play a central role within the experience, which will go from a highly action-driven psychological thriller to a real survival horror. This is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Alan Wake 2, a choice that, if used well, will highlight the strengths of Remedy and mitigate the negative ones. Visually speaking, the work done with Control was very remarkable and, even today, there are moments of the game imprinted in our retinas that are difficult to forget: the chase of the CRT TV, the Ashtray Labyrinth, the first time that Jesse enters the Oceanview. A drastic change in gameplay would therefore allow the team to experiment with new solutions and abandon the third-person action which, although successful in Control, would risk becoming stale if used also for Alan Wake 2.

All that remains is wait until 2023 and see what Remedy has in store for us ... and for poor Alan. We know that he will be back and our sixth sense suggests that he will be a truly remarkable EMA.

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