This post contains spoilers for the AWE DLC for Control.
Remedy has been one of my favorite game developers since they released Alan wake back in 2010. Last year, Remedy came out with my favorite game of 2019, and even one of my favorite games of all time. As I played the game I would come across in game lore about Alan Wake, and of course so did the internet. Knowing that Control and Alan Wake shared the same universe, and that Alan Wake as an IP was still somehow still alive, blew me away. I think what really did me in was the announcement of the two planned DLC expansions for Control. The Foundation, and AWE.
AWE stands for Altered World Event. What happened in Alan Wake was what the Federal Bureau of Control would classify as an AWE. It’s also something that has been a pretty big mystery to the FBC since it happened. Honestly, it’s been a pretty big mystery since the game originally came out back in 2010.
Jesse gets contacted by Alan Wake, which is what sparks this whole expansion. By contact I mean he does the whole hotline thing that normally only dead people seem to use to contact Jesse. Does this mean Alan is dead? Possibly, but I honestly think he’s just in some type of limbo. Anyways, Jesse is led to explore Investigations Sector, where she learns that it was originally closed off a few years back due to a a breach in containment. This breach is actually none other than Dr. Hartman, the therapist from Alan Wake. Except he’s not really a person anymore. The dude has been changed drastically. He’s a big scary monster now, presumably altered by the same thing that caused Alan Wake’s AWE, the Darkness.
The biggest thing I wanted from this expansion was to learn more about Alan Wake, to see what’s been going on with that guy since he disappeared in Cauldron Lake. I didn’t really get anything like that, unfortunately. Getting to see Alan and hear brand new voice lines was enough to get me super excited though.
AWE does some pretty good stuff to change up how you would normally play Control, for the most part. The Darkness plays a very big part in this expansion. You have to make sure you’re inside the light or else The Darkness will drain away your power bar. You do not want to be caught not being able to dash or use your telepathic abilities in this expansion. Dr. Hartman is lurking in the shadows and will absolutely destroy you if he gets his big, creepy claws on you.
Just like The Foundation DLC, AWE’s shining moments are when you find more lore based on Alan Wake and his story. Finding out how Dr. Hartman became a freakish monster, seeing how Alice Wake is dealing with Alan missing, and discovering more about Cauldron Lake as a whole is really cool. And of course, once again, the expansion leaves us with even more questions than answers. I think at this point we know that Alan Wake will be making a return in the future, and that’s more than enough for me. It also means that Remedy is really going to expand their connected universe with more games, including a sequel to Control.
Control and Alan Wake’s lore is incredibly interesting to me, and I really can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us in the future.