This Was Unexpected

Well, I’ve finished Control’s last DLC add-on: AWE. As expected, it only lasted a few hours, but it took some twists and turns that I didn’t really expect. It’s strange; I kind of got what I wanted in it, got a piece of news I never expected and still walked away feeling a little disappointed. I’ll do my best to talk about this without venturing into spoiler territory, but it won’t be easy. So if you still want to play AWE completely blind, it’s probably best if you don’t continue past the jump.

As I expected, AWE focuses on Alan Wake, the darkness-tormented writer from his own Xbox 360-era pair of games. His story was left unresolved at the end of the second game, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, so I was really excited to see some sort of a resolution. Let me just say this: don’t go into AWE expecting a satisfying resolution to Alan Wake’s story, because it isn’t here. Instead, be prepared to learn just how heavily involved Wake is in Control’s universe. There’s a lot of what could be called retconning in AWE, but it all rings true due to how the world of Control works. If anything, the details revealed in this DLC come across as amazing revelations more than anything else. It was a very fun and interesting rabbit hole to dive into.

AWE gives players access to the formerly sealed-off “Investigations” Sector within the Oldest House. Like the others, it’s filled with uncanny stories and Altered Objects, and many of these are very entertaining on their own. Playing with the new remote-detonator version of The Service Weapon is also rather fun, but the star of this DLC is most definitely the Alan Wake tie-in story. It turns out that the Federal Bureau of Control was very much aware of the events of Alan Wake, and had been observing the entire time.

As for why they didn’t act, it seems they couldn’t really do anything due to the nature of The Darkness (now aka “The Shadow”), and they didn’t really understand what was happening at the time either. Considering that reality itself was being altered at the time I suppose it’s understandable. There’s all kinds of interesting bits of info to discover regarding the original Alan Wake stories, and there’s even an encounter with a certain shady psychotherapist. Wake himself is also heavily involved, but not in the way I was hoping. It’s an interesting story, and I enjoyed it a lot. However, I didn’t get the resolution I was hoping for. Instead, AWE wound up being another side-story. It was an important side-story that sets Alan Wake’s story back in motion, but a side-story nonetheless.

In the end, AWE very heavily implies that Alan Wake will be getting a true sequel at long last, but I’m still feeling disappointed. I was hoping for a resolution at last, and I instead get another cliffhangar. I’ll feel better if Alan Wake 2 actually gets confirmed, but until then I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with the idea that my favorite fictional writer is still fighting against the darkness.

What do you think of Alan Wake and Control? Do you think a sequel will actually happen?

Lede image from Epic Games Store page