More than a decade after the original released, Alan Wake 2 is finally here. The continuation of this universe has been highly anticipated for what feels like forever in video game time, so it is great to see Remedy go back to this well. A big question that always comes with just about any sequel is how important playing the first one is. Do you need to understand what happened before to enjoy the current game? Do you need to play Alan Wake 1 before Alan Wake 2?
Should you play the first Alan Wake before playing Alan Wake 2?
Yes, we highly recommend playing Alan Wake 1 before Alan Wake 2. While plenty of people will note that the game does work on its own, and even Remedy has said it is “set up as a stand-alone experience.” We think you are going to enjoy it so much more if you have the background of the original game’s story.
Even though Alan Wake 1 was released 13 years ago, it did receive a re-release for current hardware in recent years in Alan Wake Remastered. This version of the game is probably the definitive way to experience the game and shows how well the original has held up all of these years later. If you own Control, the AWE expansion also merges into this story a little bit, but we would not say that is a necessity.
If you play Alan Wake 1 before Alan Wake 2, you will get a good idea of how the world works. That is taken in a much more dire and horror-centric direction in Alan Wake 2, but if you have never played the first one, or if you just want to refresh your memory, we highly recommend playing Alan Wake 1.