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Control's next expansion will solve a decade old question

The endings of 2010's Alan Wake and its spinoff, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, have been tormenting fans for years. The ambiguous nature of Alan's fate and the phenomenon surrounding the town of Bright Falls has long been the subject of much debate. At last, it appears as though Remedy Entertainment is preparing to return to that story and give fans some proper answers. After all this time, AWE, the next DLC expansion for Control, is set to finally delve into some answers surrounding the finale of Alan Wake.

For those who haven't played it, Control follows the story of Jesse Faden. Jesse is a gifted woman who has to do battle with extra-dimensional monsters within the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control, an agency that investigates the paranormal. Think The X-Files meets Stranger Things with just a dash of Half-Life and you'll begin to have an idea of how wild things get. The existence of the Bureau also opens the door for plenty more paranormal encounters. We've seen hints that Control and Alan Wake may share the same universe, but now we finally have confirmation.

In an interview with Game Informer, Remedy writer Sam Lake explained that it just made sense to finally use the Federal Bureau of Control to illuminate the long-dormant storyline. Lake told Game Informer, "For fans from back in the day who didn't quite understand what was going on in Alan Wake ... the story was very much one man's experience or journey. Some things are not explained further than he sees them. Now we have this Bureau that deals with these things and applies science and research to them."

Lake continued, "We have this opportunity of looking back at what happened in Alan Wake and how does the Bureau see it. Well, there was this otherworldly event that took place in Bright Falls [the location of the events in Alan Wake] and they suddenly have this terminology. We have people that say, 'I loved Alan Wake but I didn't quite understand what happened, and now I played Control and I understand what happened in Alan Wake!' That's been really fun and a nice opportunity."

This is exciting for fans for a number of reasons. Not only was the finale of Alan Wake rather confusing, but the story expansions that came after the core game didn't do much to alleviate the confusion. For those unfamiliar with how all of that went down, we've got you covered. 

Spoilers ahead for those who haven't completed Alan Wake and are curious to check it out before the next Control DLC drops. Alan Wake followed the story of an American novelist investigating the disappearance of his wife. As he continued to dig, he began to experience bizarre events that seemed to be from one of his own books coming to life. After encountering his own evil doppleganger, Alan was able to rescue his wife from an alternate dimension called the Dark Place. Unfortunately, this came at the expense of his own freedom. Alan was left trapped in the Dark Place, seeming forever.

Additional DLC episodes for the game, The Signal and The Writer, saw Alan attempting to find his way out of the Dark Place and understand the nature of his new environment. Both ended with him still trapped, however. Alan Wake's American Nightmare presented a dreamlike story in which Alan confronted his doppleganger and experienced a series of confusing time loops. Though the game seemed to end with him reuniting with his wife, it has been suggested that this may have been yet another dream of Alan's.

The series has been pretty much quiet since the release of Alan Wake's American Nightmare in 2012. The only real hints of the franchise's continuation came in the form of a series of easter eggs in Remedy's 2016 title Quantum Break. Despite this forming a connection between the universes of the two games, Alan Wake was notably portrayed as a fictional character within the world of Quantum Break. It seemed as though Alan was destined to remain in the Dark Place and players were going to continue to be confused. 

While it is certainly exciting to learn that Remedy is preparing to revisit the story of Alan Wake, it is unclear just how much the new Control DLC will answer. However, it appears as though Lake is implying that the events of the game did happen within Control's narrative. Some people have theorized that the events of Alan Wake were all a dream, but Lake's comments seem to point in the opposite direction.

As Lake explained, "I can say that you will find out more about the Bureau's research on what happened in Alan Wake and where they are with it today."

At the very least, Remedy seems happy to be able to return to the franchise in some small way. Lake said, "It's kind of nice with this being Alan Wake's 10-year anniversary that we have an opportunity to have more Alan Wake-related content for the fans."

AWE is set to be released at some point later this year.