New Fortnite Map Is An Official, Playable Alan Wake Recap

A screenshot shows a Fortnite character pointing a flashlight at a diner.

Screenshot: Epic / Remedy / Kotaku

Remedy’s action-horror cult hit Alan Wake was first released back in 2010. Later this month, after 13 years, Alan Wake 2 is finally launching. And to help folks remember what happened in the first game over a decade ago, Remedy and Epic have partnered up to create a short, playable recap inside Fortnite.

The original Alan Wake might not have been a sales juggernaut when it first hit shelves in 2010, but it quickly developed a cult following and gained heaps of praise from critics. While we did end up getting a side-story/spin-off thing in 2012—a smaller digital-only game known as Alan Wake’s American Nightmare—a true sequel seemed unlikely. In 2013, Alan Wake creator Sam Lake even apologized to fans for the fact that a sequel wasn’t happening. But things change, and on October 27 fans will get the long-awaited sequel. And in case you need a quick recap on what happened, Alan Wake 2 publisher Epic has a Fortnite map for you.

Epic / Remedy

Alan Wake: Flashback, out now, is a short Fortnite world that condenses the events of the first game into a level that will take most players about 20 to 25 minutes to complete. This isn’t a full remake of the original 2010 classic or a complete retelling of that first game’s events. Instead, it’s an elaborate “Previously On” type of experience.

Here’s the island code to play Alan Wake: Flashback in Fortnite: 3426-5561-3374

A cool idea, but you should still play Alan Wake

I played through Flashback earlier today as Leon S. Kennedy from Resident Evil 4, which made the whole experience a bit weird. The map was built by Epic with help from developers Spiral House and Zen Creative. In Flashback you explore moments from the game and use your flashlight to clear dark areas and obstacles.

The Alan Wake: Flashback map ports over assets from the first game into Fortnite to re-tell the most important moments from the 2010 original. Oddly, this new Fortnite experience doesn’t seem to contain the events of Alan Wake’s DLC episodes or the American Nightmare spin-off, though it does reference them slightly.

While I think the idea of a playable recap of a game is neat and I enjoyed this short, creepy trip down memory lane, I’d still recommend folks just play Alan Wake before the sequel. And play American Nightmare, too. It’s cool. But if you can’t do that for whatever reason, this is a solid way to get caught up on Alan Wake lore before Alan Wake 2 launches (digitally only) on October 27 on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC.


Boku No Natsuyasumi 2 Is Finally Playable In English

Cover art for Boku no Natsuyasumi shows Boku riding his bike by the shore.

Image: Millennium Kitchen / Kotaku

Boku no Natsuyasumi 2, which translates to My Summer Vacation 2, is the sequel to the chill simulation game, Boku no Natsuyasumi. The game follows Boku on summer vacation with his family in the countryside, as he spends his time fishing, collecting stag beetles, and making new friends. The game was originally released in 2002 on the PlayStation 2 but never received an English translation. That is until Hilltop, a Canadian YouTuber “on a mission to bring underappreciated Japanese-only classics to English-speaking audiences” released an English patch for the game.

On Wednesday, Hilltop released a short video on their YouTube channel announcing the release of Boku no Natsuyasumi’s English patch. Hilltop’s patch laboriously translates 5,000 lines of text in the game, including its user interface, menus, and item icons. Hilltop provides a download link and instructions for installing the patch in the description of their video.

Hilltop / Millennium Kitchen

“After eleven months of work, I am beyond proud to present the long-awaited English patch for one of the most special games ever to grace the PlayStation 2,” Hilltop wrote on their Patreon. “I would like to thank the rest of the team for helping me in making this localization the absolute highest quality possible, with no expense spared and not a single corner cut.”

In the last two years, Hilltop has also released English versions of the 2002 adventure game Aconcagua, Square Enix’s 1999 racing game Racing Lagoon, and Bandai Namco’s 1998 Dr. Slump action game.

If you want a comprehensive breakdown of the first Boku no Natsuyasumi (and have six hours to spare) be sure to check out Action Button founder and former Kotaku staffer Tim Rogers’ review of the first Boku no Natsuyasumi on YouTube. In the meantime, here’s where you can check out and support Hilltop’s work.


Canceled PS2 Daredevil Game Now Playable 20 Years Later

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a 2003 PlayStation 2 superhero game that was in development by 5,000 Ft. Studios for the PlayStation 2 before getting canceled, has resurfaced after 20 years with a new playable build.

Read More: The Life And Death Of A Daredevil Video Game

The game preservation group Hidden Palace managed to release a playable version of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear on October 31 via member Casuallynoted, who apparently obtained the build from an anonymous developer of 5,000 Ft. It’s a late prototype with a fair amount of bugs, including possible crashes after the first chapter and getting stuck behind walls. That said, it still features the bones of what 5,000 Ft. Studios and publisher Encore Inc. were working on in collaboration with Sony during the early aughts.

The brainchild of 5,000 Ft. Studios, a Nevada-based developer whose previous credits only included two Army Men ports from 2001, Daredevil: The Man Without Fear started out as a simple project before ballooning in scope. Originally known as Daredevil: The Video Game before adopting the same name as author Frank Miller’s 1993 comic, Daredevil was prototyped as a series of “vignettes” showcasing pivotal moments in the blind crimefighter’s history.

However, as the Lost Media Wiki explains, Marvel’s imminent Daredevil movie project led 5,000 Ft. to rework the concept into an open-world adventure, now also slated for the Xbox and PC. Tensions arose when Sony had very specific requests for new types of gameplay to add to the game, while Marvel wanted it to hew more closely to the upcoming Daredevil movie.

More trouble struck when the developers tried to adapt the then-popular RenderWare engine to the project’s changing needs. After running into serious issues there, they reduced the project’s scope from open-world adventure back to linear brawler. Problems continued as “internal strife” at the studio caused it to miss its February 2003 release. A new date was set for summer, but staff departures and continuing bickering between Sony and Marvel put the final nails in the Daredevil game’s coffin. 5,000 Ft. Studios itself closed in 2012.

Now, though, thanks to an anonymous developer reportedly connected to 5,000 Ft. Studios, a near-final build of the canceled PlayStation 2 game has been released onto the internet via the game preservation group Hidden Palace.

Hidden Palace

Although it wound up getting canceled due to creative differences between Marvel and Sony, based on the video it looks pretty tight. It recalls early-aughts 3D superhero gems such as The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, with a bit of Tomb Raider mixed in, too.

The game apparently tells an original story based on the 1999 Elektra Lives Again comic and starring Daredevil’s arch-enemy The Kingpin. It’s a shame, then, that it was canceled just before completion. As The Hidden Palace notes, only the Game Boy Advance ever ended up getting a Daredevil game. The much less ambitious Daredevil: The Man Without Fear for Game Boy Advance arrived just in time for the Mark Steven Johnson-directed live-action film.

Read More: Why I Love Daredevil

As Hidden Palace reports, the newly released build of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear is playable, but with several bugs and game-breaking glitches since it’s unfinished. It’s nice that this finally snuck out 20 years later, though still a bummer the project never got to live up to its potential. With the success of Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man series, and the Wolverine game on the horizon, maybe Daredevil will get another shot at video game redemption.