Alan Wake and the Remedy Connected Universe

I played the original Alan Wake back in 2010 and the rest of the RCU now.

Mr. Scratch

Considering just how important Alan Wake is to me, it’s hard to believe it took me so long to write about it. To try and give you an idea of how much I like Alan Wake, you have to understand that it’s not just a top-10 video game for me, but a top-10 storytelling experience of all time in any medium (including movies and books).

I definitely grew up a Stephen King fan, but had not yet watched Twin Peaks when I first played Alan Wake in 2010. Stephen King and Twin Peaks of course both being the biggest inspiration for the game. I’m not sure I can explain why I love Alan Wake so much, but it’s definitely lightning in a bottle.

I, along with everyone else who’s part of this cult following, waited years… for a proper sequel. Now, we not only have that, but a much bigger, entire connected universe! I’ve now played through all of the RCU (Remedy Connected Universe), and will summarize each game below, in chronological order of when they were released:

Alan Wake (2010 — Remastered in 2021)

The original version is still playable on modern Xbox consoles through backwards-compatibility, but if you want the very best experience or want to play it on PlayStation, you’ll need to play the remaster. I played both the original on Xbox 360 (back in 2010) and its 2021 remaster on Xbox Series X (now in 2023-2024).

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (2012)

This one can only be played on Xbox, but can be played on current gen through backwards-compatibility. I played this one back at its time of release on Xbox 360. Not a proper sequel, but more of a small DLC/arcade like contained experience put together from the scrapped sequel.

Quantum Break (2016 — Honorable Mention)

Can be played on Xbox or PC. I started playing this one recently, but haven’t finished yet. Sam Lake (creator of Alan Wake), has gone on record stating that Quantum Break is not part of the RCU. However, the way he said it and the fact the game clearly is part of the RCU (plenty of references to author Alan Wake in the game and the mystery of his disappearance) lead me to believe it’s more of a licensing/rights owner issue with this title than a storytelling decision.

Control (2019)

Can be played on Xbox or PlayStation. I actually completed Control in 2023-2024 before completing Alan Wake II. This is where, especially through the AWE DLC, that major connections between Control and Alan Wake were established, and thus the RCU was born.

Alan Wake II (2023)

Can be played on Xbox or PlayStation. By the time I completed Alan Wake II, I had already completed Alan Wake (and replayed it via the remaster), Control, and watched ALL of Twin Peaks. With all of that under my belt, it made the experience so much grander. If you’re new to the RCU, you by no means need to consume all that media before playing Alan Wake II except for Alan Wake. Definitely play the remaster first (it’s very close to the original, just with better graphics and only minor changes).

There are still two story DLCs yet to be released for Alan Wake II. The best way to find out when is probably through the official Remedy newsletter or poking around alanwake.com.

Control 2 (TBA)

Control 2 has been officially announced, and you can bookmark the IGN RCU page to see the full list of official games and DLCs.

TV Show (TBA)

It’s certainly worth mentioning that AMC (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead) has acquired the rights for Alan Wake. If it moves forward, my guess is that the first season would be pretty contained to just the original story, with maybe only hints at a bigger RCU, with that taking place more in subsequent seasons if it’s a success.

đŸ”ģ There’s so much more to discuss when it comes to Alan Wake and the RCU, but I don’t tend to like recounting every single aspect and plot point of the things I review. Instead, I prefer to nerd out a bit, share some snaps (didn’t go so well this time), and encourage you to experience the thing yourself! Honestly, I recommend playing them all, but definitely start with the original Alan Wake (remaster).

Snaps of My Journey Through the Games

☚ī¸ Despite saving screenshots to my own Xbox’s internal hard drive, with plenty of space to spare, Xbox decided to automatically delete nearly all of my screenshots, including all from Alan Wake II and Control!

I’m pretty bummed. I like to highlight cool parts of the game, my experience, and also I just like to showcase the beautiful artwork of all the talented game artists from character models, to architecture, to atmosphere, to horrifically gorgeous tableaus of murder scenes.

I also like to capture Easter eggs or just memories, many of which help me to recall moments of the game or design, which I’d like to recount in my review.

Basically all I could salvage was some snaps from one of the final DLCs of the original game and most of the snaps from American Nightmare. Yippee. As a completist, this breaks my heart, but here they are…

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