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Parents' Guide to

Control: AWE

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Control's second expansion shines a spotlight on Alan Wake.

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Long before Control introduced gamers to Jesse Fadden and her battle against otherworldly threats, Remedy had another hero who was, literally, fighting back the darkness: Alan Wake. And though Alan Wake has been referenced in Control with the occasional Easter egg, Control: AWE fully integrates the two games into one cinematic universe. It's not just fan service either. The expansion does a phenomenal job of seamlessly bringing the events of the Alan Wake game into the events of Control in a way that feels natural from a story perspective. In fact, while fans of Alan Wake are sure to get the most out of the crossover, the plot progresses in a way that still makes sense to those who have no idea who or what Alan Wake is.

The story isn't the only way AWE expands on the Control experience. It also brings some gameplay twists that keep things feeling fresh. There are some slight changes to the mechanics when facing off against the Dark Presence. Fans of Alan Wake will remember that the entity's main weakness is light. But it seems to thrive in the long abandoned and shadowy corners of the Oldest House. Light sources are now of greater importance than just environmental ambiance. They're also key to Jesse's survival. The Service Weapon gets another upgrade as well with the Surge upgrade. It's essentially a sticky bomb that's fantastic for crowd control against the Hiss hordes. Jesse's telekinetic powers get a few tweaks too. For example, she can now stack and launch multiple objects. While the exploration feels a little more restricted than the previous expansion, it keeps the game from feeling repetitive. Finally, AWE adds a slew of new side missions based around the bureau's stash of Objects of Power. It's the combination of all of these elements that will keep players coming back for more.

Game Details

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