The lights are on
Alan Wake was always a little hard to follow as far as the plot goes. Spoiler alert: we're going to talk about the end of the game and the DLC add-ons. There is darkness and Alan is trying to defeat it and get his wife back, but when he saved her he got sucked up into the darkness in order to spare his wife? Or something like that.
At the end of the first game, Alan's wife emerged from the water alive, but Alan was gone. In the first DLC, The Signal, Alan seemed to be inside the darkness, and in the end it looked like he got out, but at the expense of being gripped with some kind of insanity as he rolled around on the floor. In The Writer DLC, Alan was still in the darkness, and in the end came across himself from the end of the first DLC. He decides that is as good a time as any to start writing The Return on his typewriter, which we all assumed was meant to tease a sequel. Check out all three endings below thanks to YouTube users Theendingman, TriLink12 and xCaShMoNeYxNIK.
So, where does American Nightmare fall int he Alan Wake timeline? Oskari Häkkinen, head of franchise development for Remedy was insistent that American Nightmare is not a sequel saying, “It’s definitely not a sequel to Alan Wake. It’s a standalone spin-off experience that anyone can pick up and play.” We know that Alan is inside of an episode of Night Springs that he wrote, and I asked Häkkinen if the player would actually be playing as Alan, or if we would be playing a character in the show to which he replied, "and that's the point where I cut it off where I want to get the story in [this interview]."
Häkkinen went on to point out that opposed to the normal narration provided by Alan himself, American Nightmare would be narrated by the voice that narrated the episodes of Night Springs. He also explained that Mr. Scratch, Alan's evil doppelganger is a herald of darkness, and that he was created when Alan disappeared and that Mr. Scratch is now in pursuit of Alan's wife Alice.
Most of what Häkkinen offered only lead to additional confusion. Maybe you're not Alan Wake. Maybe you're just some throwaway character Alan created while churning out Night Springs scripts before becoming a successful author. The woman I met in the demo seemed to imply that she had met Mr. Scratch in this weird Night Springs world, but Häkkinen implied that Scratch is out in the real world causing a ruckus. In the demo, Alan heard radio broadcasts from the real world, and Barry Wheeler, his former agent, had clearly moved on since Alan's disappearance. Does that mean quite a bit of time has passed?
Time certainly hasn't stood still in the Night Springs version of Arizona, and it does seem as though this literal episode of Alan's adventure takes place after the first game. As far as the DLC is concerned though, it could be occurring simultaneously. Häkkinen was sure to point out that American Nightmare was not focused on story, and was coy about it's relation to plot of the first game. Even after the credits are rolling, we still may not know where the game takes place in the Alan Wake timeline, or if it even happened at all. Maybe it will all be a dream like Super Mario Bros. 2, and the game will end with Alan snoring in bed, wearing a stocking cap emblazoned with the letter M with the sheets pulled up to his chin. Also, he will have a mustache.
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Please buy this game people. That is all.
Not joking aside - good read. I really enjoy the mysterious and often quite confusing story of Alan Wake. There's just so much going on with Alan it's hardly predictable. It is kind of a good thing that this isn't a sequel; I wouldn't want the sequel to be DLC only.
Well AW was awesome, I just hope this one doesn't go too far into the deep end. I really enjoyed how the original handled the pulpy atmosphere without breaking immersion--let's hope this one can do the same.
Alan Wake is easily one of my favorite games of this generation, and I'm extremely excited for this to be released. Granted, I'd be much more satisfied with an actual sequel, but beggars can't be choosers.
I'm excited for this. Very excited. But this nice little read does get me a little concerned for the cohesiveness between the two games plots. I feel that if this was just about playing through an episode of Night Springs, I would be okay with that. I would love that, actually. It would be a great platform for Remedy to keep coming back to if they wanted to make more small, downloadable adventures.
But if this is some kind of alternate reality with no ties to the core narrative, that would bug me. I would feel like it would be a wasted oppurtunity and a waste of the AW franchise.
What I'm trying to say is that I would be dissapointed if they made a game that's plot would not be able to fit into the over all Alan Wake canon.
I'm a bit concerned about the lessened focus on story over action. Alan Wake isn't really well know for its action. However, I look forward to this all the same.
never looked that interesting to me regardless of the hype
Really didn't mind this game like a few of you said it was flawed and i would have loved to see a little more variety in the game but all in all I am glad I had a chance to go at this game.. Well see where the new one brings us.
I think I would rather just have an Alan Wake 2.
For me, the only thing enjoyable about the first game was the story. I found it fascinating.
This downloadable makes me confused the same way the author is. I think I might skip this one if it's just gonna sully the narrative.
I'd like clarification on the loose ends from the first game and the two Specials...not more loose ends.