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.


Alan Wake 2’s PC Achievements Are Its Biggest Nightmare

I am carefully making my way through a haunting forest of crushing darkness. Wolves snarl at me as twisted beings who were once human stumble about, their aggressive muttering filling my head with fear. My heart rate is elevated; I’m completely immersed in the dark fantasy of Alan Wake II. Then, suddenly, a friendly chime shatters the moment, and as a banner unfurls onscreen to tout some accomplishment of mine, all that fear the game is working so hard to establish evaporates. This is the Epic Games Store reminding me it exists with an inescapable nightmare of an achievement notification, spoiling the beautifully woven experience that is this game. And you can’t turn it off.

Alan Wake II finally arrives on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on October 27, 2023. If you’re playing it on PC, however, you’re limited to the Epic Games Store. Unfortunately for Alan Wake II, this choice of store and launcher actually mars the experience a bit. Like many game launchers, the Epic Games Store features an achievement system: Do a thing, earn an achievement. This feature was added to the store in 2021. But a feature that still has yet to be added is the option to turn its large, glowy, rectangular banner and obnoxious chime sound off. Sadly, it makes for an ill-fitting distraction in an otherwise beautifully lush, dark, and moody game.

If you can’t recall what the Epic Games Store notification sounds or looks like, check it out here:

Psyonix / Stone Cold Steve Harvey

Okay, maybe that’s fine for Rocket League, but just imagine this spontaneously showing up in a game like this:

Remedy Entertainment / PlayStation

Having spent a few hours in Alan Wake II on PC, I can tell you that it’s a dramatically distracting experience, made worse by the fact that you can’t take control and shut it off.

How to disable the Epic Games Store achievement notifications (you can’t)

At the time of writing, there doesn’t appear to be any official way to shut off the Epic Games Store achievement notifications. You can kill other notifications, like store sales and such in the settings, and you can flip the overlay (which is what displays this horribly distracting effect) into “Do Not Disturb” mode, but even with that, these notifications will disturb you.

If there is an official fix, we’ll be sure to update this post. But based on conversations on the internet going as far back as a few years ago, EGS’ annoying achievement notifications have been an issue for some players. Some have pointed out that firing up the Task Manager and killing the “EOSOverlayRenderer” process does the trick, but it doesn’t always seem to work (and it seems like it would kill achievements in general, which may not be totally desirable).

I’ve tried to kill the EOSOverlayRenderer a few times to see it just show back up again, achievement notifications and everything. Even if this is a killable process, it’s still far from an ideal solution.

Again, for a game like Fortnite or Rocket League, this probably isn’t a big issue. But Alan Wake II aspires to achieve a high level of visual and auditory immersion. It’s an intense, gorgeous game that demands full attention in a way that I’m loving—but those damn chimes and banners feel dramatically out of place.

The Epic Games Store’s obnoxious achievements are a serious damper on the otherwise lovely and immersive experience I’m having with Alan Wake II at the moment. When combined with its very steep PC requirements, it may be worth checking out Alan Wake II on a console if the idea doesn’t offend you. I know I wish I was playing this on my PS5 right now.

Alan Wake 2 Fans Need To Watch This Free Movie ASAP

Sam Neill glares at the camera in John Carpenter's "In the Mouth of Madness."

Image: New Line Cinema (Getty Images)

Psychedelic Alan Wake 2 is just as brooding as the white-sheet Halloween sky. It’s the ideal time of year to play the survival-horror sequel to 2010’s Alan Wake, in which the titular novelist and protagonist seals himself away in a dark purgatory. Now, in Alan Wake 2, Alan can warp reality with his words, which recalls John Carpenter’s 1995 weirdo classic In the Mouth of Madness. I’d say there are few better movies to pair your AW2 playthrough with—especially because Madness is now streaming for free.

The theme here is Writers Gone Wild. Both AW2 and Madness feature a grossly successful male horror writer (Alan Wake and villain Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow), respectively) who is just as sullen as he is proud. These men are saturated with genius, their fans and inner monologue inform them, and the earth becomes so heavy with it that reality starts bending to their will. People, innocent and mean ones alike, start falling into Alan’s and Sutter’s hands. And sometimes they die.

The tragedies Alan writes fill him with anguish and a sort of auto cannibalistic introspection. But for Sutter in Carpenter’s batshit movie, death is fucking awesome.

Read More: Alan Wake Creator Says Sequel Is ‘More Intense, More Brutal’

He loves shoveling it onto Madness’ main character, the insurance investigator John (Possession’s Sam Neill, his eyes as wide as ever), who’s tasked with pinpointing his whereabouts and retrieving his manuscript for most of Madness’ runtime. It’s a routine investigation, but it quickly becomes dense with death—that’s what you get from a writer like Alan who enjoys manufacturing fear more than mystery; fear cuts to the chase.

For all its self-serious mania, though, Madness is solidly ridiculous. At least Carpenter—who facilitated legendary, sweaty special effects for The Thing (1982)—does his best to tinge all the movie’s gore with yellowish nausea, but you might find some of it more bizarre than bone-shaking scary. But In the Mouth of Madness’ uniquely nasty silliness will make a lasting impression on you. And you’ll get an even more multidimensional look at Alan Wake 2 than the fourth-wall-axing game gives willingly.

In the Mouth of Madness is streaming for free on YouTube Movies and Tubi.