You’re stuck in a COVID-19 lockdown. There are protests on the streets. The economy is in the toilet. Your child isn’t in school. There are many, many reasons to want to escape right now. And at least one of them just got significantly cheaper.
One of the greatest psychological thriller / action games ever made — Alan Wake — is on sale on the Epic Games store right now for the ridiculously low price of $1.49 (it normally retails for $14.99 these days), but that ends on June 11. The PC title, developed by Remedy and released in 2010, is also deeply connected to the company’s latest masterpiece, Control. Not only is Alan Wake a precursor to much of the gameplay, mood, and lore of Control, there are Easter eggs strewn throughout the newer title that suggest both games exist in the same universe. In short, if you’ve played Control but haven’t checked out Alan Wake (or its been a decade), it’s well worth the time.
Unlike Control, Alan Wake has a lot more in common with the early Silent Hill titles and the Resident Evil series, though with much richer and more coherent storytelling. The narrative arc of the game centers around a writer (Alan Wake... A. Wake... get it?) who’s taken a trip to small, strange town called Bright Falls to try and exorcise his writer’s block, only to be pulled into a terrifying hunt to find his abducted wife. The title is not only enormous fun to play, but the story is beautifully written and acted, playing around with head-twisting meta concepts that echo John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness and some of David Lynch’s most unsettling works.
If you’re the kind of single-player aficionado that loves games like the Bioshock series or The Last of Us and you haven’t played Alan Wake, this is the perfect time to immerse yourself in its haunting world. If you played it ten years ago on your Xbox 360, you’ll appreciate the upgraded graphics and performance of the PC version (as long as you’re on a fairly modern rig). Regardless, for the price of an iOS app you can experience a classic AAA title with a terrific story line — one that you’ll be thinking about long after the credits the role.
When the wife of the best-selling writer Alan Wake disappears on their vacation, his search turns up pages from a thriller he doesn’t even remember writing. A Dark Presence stalks the small town of Bright Falls, pushing Wake to the brink of sanity in his fight to unravel the mystery and save his love.