When Epic launched Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN), sometimes referred to by fans as Creative 2.0, players speculated about the new ways the platform could be used. Today, we can see one such novel application: a hearty recap of Alan Wake–Remedy’s 2010 psychological action thriller–just in time for next week’s Epic-published sequel, Alan Wake 2. Alan Wake Flashback is a collaboration between Remedy and Epic, as well as UEFN developers Spiral House and Zen Creative, and though it isn’t a complete remake of the original game, it works equally well as a 30-minute primer for the uninitiated or as a new perspective for fans already eager for the sequel 13 years in the making.
Ahead of its debut, I got to play the entire experience, bringing with me an admittedly deep knowledge of the game’s lore. In trying to see it through fresh eyes, however, I think it holds up as a concise introduction for those who want it. All the broad strokes are present, such as Alan and Alice’s sometimes rocky relationship, their trip to Bright Falls, and much of the weirdness that occurs after Alice disappears into Cauldron Lake. Players will re-experience these moments like a ghost out of time and space as they replay in front of their Fortnite avatar–yes, Peely, Ariana Grande, and Ant-Man can each finally visit Bright Falls.
In Alan Wake Flashback, you’ll visit familiar haunts like Bird Leg Cabin and the Oh, Deer Diner.
The idea, Remedy’s Sam Lake told me, came early in meetings with Epic. “I remember joking about Alan Wake in Fortnite at the very first meeting with Epic Games Publishing. But also, it felt like such a no-brainer. I was thinking of the character model, maybe a cool dance as well, but then they came back to us with a very cool proposal: a playable sequence that would recap the story of the first game on top of the character model.”
Fortnite is no stranger to crossovers, even with other video games, but Alan Wake Flashback is a first-of-its-kind project for both Remedy and Epic. “We closely collaborated with Epic on all aspects of this, on the screenplay of Alan Wake Flashback and on the assets, Lake added. “I feel it turned out great. It’s not what you would expect, but as we are working with Epic on this, it made a lot of sense. Maybe this will get a younger generation of gamers interested in Alan Wake. And maybe, if this is successful enough, we’ll get that cool dance one day as well.”
Some details and characters, like the Anderson brothers and Barry Wheeler, are absent, and the entire experience is combat-free, though it does cleverly utilize Alan’s ability to directly turn words into objects with his flashlight. Eagle-eyed players can also find manuscript pages and even the infamous coffee thermoses–though thankfully just a half-dozen of them this time.
The experience blends new assets made within UEFN with assets, character models, and animations pulled right out of the remastered version of the game, which Epic published in 2021. The end result is a striking blend of Fortnite’s cartoonish touches and Remedy’s original visuals.
The best part–a part that might entice seasoned players even more than newcomers–is that it includes new voice acting from Matthew Poretta, the voice actor for Alan himself. In recapping the story, Alan’s narration returns to tell the tale, this time for a different audience and platform. It’s lovely to hear Poretta work as Alan again, even as we will soon get a lot more of it in the sequel beginning in a few days.
Paired with the original music from Petri Alanko and faithfully ported or remade assets like Bird Leg Cabin and Hartman’s lodge for tortured artists, the totality of the project is like a funhouse-mirrored reflection of Alan Wake that pays respect to the original, builds hype for the sequel (including a brand-new scene the most obsessed fans ought to see), and provides a proof of concept for UEFN. As Epic continues to look beyond battle royale to define Fortnite’s changing identity, crossovers with other major games such as this one could be an avenue we see explored a lot over the coming years.
Players who wish to experience Alan Wake Flashback for themselves can jump into Fortnite and search for the experience by its island code: 3426-5561-3374. As for the sequel itself, players who preorder Alan Wake 2 on the Epic Games Store will unlock the Fortnite Alan Wake skin and his complete set of accessories for free. Those items will hit the Fortnite item shop for everyone else on October 26 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET, the eve of the game’s global launch.
We’ve covered Alan Wake 2 extensively this year, and you can find many of our interviews and features all in one spot, as well as a more recent deep dive on the game’s licensed soundtrack that was built from the ground up to expand the lore.