Alan Wake 2's DLC Makes Me Want an Even Bigger Remedy Anthology Series

Weird and wonderful.

Alan Wake 2
Remedy Entertainment

Alan Wake 2 is one of the most ambitious horror games ever created, a game that’s terrifying but still manages to pack in all the wonderful weirdness that Remedy Entertainment has built its name on. That’s exactly what makes me so pleased to report that the Night Springs DLC leans hard into that trademark weirdness, gifting players a trio of stories that are simultaneously bizarre and enthralling. Night Springs is clearly inspired by The Twilight Zone, but more than anything it proves how adept Remedy is at an anthology style of storytelling. It’s a gimmick that absolutely should be used more in video games.

What I mean by anthology storytelling is a collection of smaller experiences that are all united under one style of game, piece of storytelling, or theme. With Night Springs these are three different experiences that are all built on the foundation of Alan Wake 2, both its gameplay mechanics and narrative themes. The other prime example in video games is The Dark Pictures Anthology by Supermassive, which includes Man of Medan, Little Hope, House of Ashes, and The Devil in Me.

Rose’s episode in Night Springs is a gruesome action-packed rollercoaster that’s played with a tongue-in-cheek tone.

Remedy Entertainment

The Dark Pictures Anthology all uses the same trademark style of narrative choice that Supermassive is known for, and unites each game with a light overarching plot as well. Those games succeed on a lot of levels, but in my mind, Night Springs pulls off the anthology style even better here.

Each of the three episodes is a small highly-tuned snippet of gameplay, essentially lasting 30-45 minutes. Number One Fan stars the waitress Rose, and is an action-packed rush that has her blowing apart enemies with an incredible automatic shotgun as she strives to save her “beloved” writer. North Star is an X-Files-esque mystery that stars Control’s Jesse Faden, as she investigates a coffee theme park brainwashing people. And Time Breaker is an incredible fourth-wall-breaking Quantum Leap adventure where you play real-life actor Shawn Ashmore, who plays Tim Breaker in Alan Wake 2.

These three episodes can all be played and enjoyed entirely on their own, but have smart links and nods to each other, on top of connecting to Alan Wake 2 and even Control at large. If you’re a fan of the Remedy Universe there are some massive revelations here, especially in Time Breaker, which finally gives us more details on the enigmatic villain Mr Door, and how everything might tie into Quantum Break. It feels like a turning point, where we’re finally seeing plans for a connected universe come together, all the little hints that have been laid for a decade finally coming to fruition. But that’s a topic for another day.

Night Springs is played as a kind of bizarro in-world TV show, but holds a wealth of fascinating details for fans of the Remedy Connected Universe.

Remedy Entertainment

What’s so brilliant about Night Springs is how each episode builds off on a specific facet of Alan Wake 2. Rose’s story leans into combat and action, Jessie’s is all about methodical exploration and horror, and Tim’s utterly embraces the weird and self-referential storytelling. This approach really lets Remedy flex its muscles on each specific aspect, without worrying about all the episodes having to do everything.

This lets all three shine in their own way but also provides an incredible variety to the experience as a whole. I also simply cannot overstate what a blast Time Breaker is, an incredible journey that, without spoiling anything, has you diving into entirely different game genres, like a text-based adventure. It’s easily one of the most ingenious single pieces of content Remedy, and writer Sam Lake, has ever created.

Honestly, the only real problem I have with Night Springs, is that I simply want more. Video games feel particularly situated to make great use of an anthology approach, because of how similar a lot of gameplay styles and elements are. It genuinely makes me wonder why we haven’t seen more of this kind of approach over the years; smaller contained games that all have the same throughline, foundation, or concept.

Remedy has a lot of irons in the fire currently between the next Control game, Max Payne remakes, Alan Wake 2’s second DLC, and more. But that being said, I’d absolutely love to see the studio return to an anthology series again someday, maybe with something brand new that can be even bolder and more ambitious with its mechanics and story.

Time Breaker is the most self-referential thing Remedy has ever made, but also one of the most experimental and inventive.

Remedy Entertainment

While I’d love to see a deliberate anthology project from Remedy, like the Dark Pictures, ironically you could argue that the studio’s entire portfolio is an anthology. With how the Remedy Universe has been crafted, every single Remedy game sports similar ideas and connections, from Alan Wake and Control to Quantum Break and Max Payne. Everything is connected, whether that’s directly through narrative or from an inspirational standpoint, with early games influencing ideas in later games.

More than anything, Night Springs only solidifies what makes Alan Wake 2 such an important modern game; proof that video games are at their best when they get experimental and ambitious, when developers are given room to take risks. In a world of homogenous video games dominated by open worlds and live service, Remedy is crucially doing things its own way. I couldn’t be more excited to see where the studio, and its fascinating universe, go next.

Alan Wake 2 is available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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