Control: AWE is out (find the review on our site) and with it closes the plot of Control (at least of the first title). As we already knew, this DLC serves as a fitting for a kind of Remedy Universe, where in the meantime we can see how Alan Wake e Control are connected. Obviously, don't read on if you don't want spoilers of some kind. Also, you'll need a smattering of Control and Alan Wake's storyline, which we'll do in the “The Story So Far” section below, but which you can skip if you already know it.
As always, from below on there are spoilers related to Control, Control: The Foundation, Control: AWE and Alan Wake. So if you haven't finished these games or you don't want to ruin them, don't continue reading.
The Story So Far
Control tells the story of Jesse Faden, in search of answers related to his brother Dylan, who disappeared as a child due to the Federal Bureau of Control. During the search, Jesse must become the director of the FBC, receiving a particular gun and setting out on an adventure inside the Oldest House (headquarters of the FBC) to defeat an evil entity, the HISS. During the adventure, Jesse will learn about the AWE, events that have altered the world, and the Objects of Power, capable of giving abilities.
Alan Wake tells the story of the writer struggling with a block. To overcome this, he decides to go on vacation with his wife Alice to Bright Falls. A dark force, however, kidnaps his wife and forces Alan to write his next story, which is his search for Alice, eventually leading him to sacrifice himself in this Deep Darkness to free her.
Alan Wake: What Happens After American Nightmare?
The Control: AWE DLC picks up on Alan's story after the end of Alan Wake's American Nightmare DLC. The writer remained in the dark place after saving Alice, and for 10 years he stayed there writing his story, meeting Thomas Zane again (now in the same likeness as Alan). Throughout the DLC, we see how the writer continually types on his typewriter, looking for a way to escape the Dark Presence. In doing so, he also seems to understand that among the things he is writing are the events of Control: obviously we do not know if they were generated by him (thanks to the power of Lake Cauldron) or not. In short, the mystery will remain whether Alan Wake generated the Bureau to be saved, or if the Bureau has always existed and Alan has only managed to write about it.
Meanwhile, the documents reveal that Alice is safe, a little upset by the event but alive, and has been questioned by the FBC and that Bright Falls Sheriff Sarah Breaker was the daughter of a former Bureau agent. The documents also contextualizing the events of Alan Wake in the Control landscape: Bright Falls was in fact an AWE, Altered World Event (EMA, Altered World Event), classified as AWE-35. The writer, using the clicker, manages to get to the heart of the lake: according to the documents that is an object of power. There are many other references to the writer's story: it seems that the power of the lake has allowed Alan Wake to create a reality capable of overwriting ours, and that his ability makes him perfect as a possible director. Now the writer still stays in the lake to write his story, talking about a government agency and the need for a hero to save him.
The Investigation Department
During the game we will discover with Jesse the Investigation Department, the area where all the investigations related to any AWE are handled. Many documents speak of Bright Falls in detail, and in the meantime the player will have to explore this area to stop Emil Hartman, the therapist Alice contacted in Alan Wake, to help the writer. After the events of 10 years earlier, Hartman is interrogated by the FBC and then released as harmless. The therapist, throwing himself into Lake Cauldron, will be infected by the darkness and therefore detained in the Oldest House. Upon seeing Alice's presence in the building, Hartman escapes from her cell and the investigation department is sealed off. The events of 2019, the HISS attack, allowed an amplification of Hartman's darkness, turning him into a monster.
The adventures of this DLC, Control: AWE, will push Jesse Faden under them, to try to defeat Hartman with the light. Once this is done, what you see is an alert of an AWE happening in Bright Falls - the only problem is that the detection places this event in the future. Meanwhile, Alan Wake continues to write that everything is now in motion, and says “It's happening again. A return. You have been warned. ”.
So let's start with talking about three big arguments: the first is about Alan Wake. In the finale of the American Nightmare DLC, therefore, it is confirmed that Alan has not come out of the Darkness but is still there, after 10 years, looking for a way to escape. Still being alive means that he has managed to maintain a consistency in his writings, although sanity is seen to begin to fail. The second point concerns the Bureau: without asking whether the chicken or the egg was born first, it is confirmed that in the near future there will be an AWE in Bright Falls: this will probably happen with the escape of Alan Wake from Lake Cauldron, perhaps due to a return of Deep Darkness out of this. In short, it is quite sure that this generation of consoles will be able to see a new game dedicated to Alan Wake (or maybe a crossover).
The last point concerns the Remedy Connected Universe, a kind of shared universe of all Remedy games. Sure, hooking up Max Payne might screw it up a bit (since the rights now belong to Rockstar Games), but for sure Control, Alan Wake and Quantum Break have many points in common: for example the 2016 gaming powers could be an AWE. What is certain is that Remedy seems to be interested in more events of this type, and who knows if maybe in the next Alan Wake we will be able to use both the writer and the director.
And you, what do you think? Do you think there are few points of contact? Are there fewer explanations than you expected from this DLC?