Fortnite now has a playable 'reimagining' of Alan Wake so you can get caught up on events before Alan Wake 2 arrives

Alan Wake 2 is almost here, and if you'd like a quick catch-up on what happened in the first game to ensure you're up to speed, Epic Games has you covered. Alan Wake: Flashback is a "reimagining" of the events of Alan Wake—a sort of playable crash course recap created using the Unreal Editor for Fortnite.

Remedy has previously said that experience with the original Alan Wake won't be necessary to enjoy and understand the sequel (as much as anyone understands an Alan Wake game, I suppose). Even so, I think it's a good idea to offer fans a refresher—it's been more than a decade since Alan Wake came to PC, don't forget.

Alan Wake: Flashback isn't a full recreation of that spooky action-thriller in Fortnite, but instead compresses the story into a roughly half-hour of singleplayer action. Obviously that's going to mean a lot of details are glossed over, but the broad strokes are there: Troubled author Alan Wake searches for his missing wife in the small Pacific Northwest town of Bright Falls, and discovers pages of a new horror story he seems to have written—but has no memory of. 

Prospective players can access Alan Wake: Flashback through Fortnite Discover, or get to it directly with island code 3426-5561-3374. Of course you'll need to have Fortnite installed to do that, but hey, it's free

Fortnite is no stranger to brand crossovers, but this one seems more elaborate than most. It's short, yes, but still a fully playable game-within-a-game, and—the presence of Fornite avatars aside—it looks and sounds like the real deal. But Epic has more incentive than usual to go all-in on Alan Wake promotion: As we noted earlier this year, Alan Wake 2 will be the first big release to come out of Epic Games Publishing, and Epic fully funded its development. It's unlikely that a single game release is going to make or break the company, but given Epic's recent surprise financial woes, it's no doubt eager for Alan Wake 2 to be a big hit.

Naturally, anyone who purchases Alan Wake 2 on the Epic Games Store—the only place to get it on PC—will get some Alan Wake cosmetics to use in Fortnite, too.

(Image credit: Epic Games (Twitter))
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.