As with any sequel, asking if you need to play the original Alan Wake before Alan Wake 2 is an expected question. It's not just the number at the end driving it, either. The first entry in its series had a rich narrative which the sequel builds upon, and potentially missing out on key details is not exactly ideal.
Do You Need to Play Alan Wake Before Alan Wake 2?
Although Alan Wake 2 is a direct continuation of the story from Alan Wake and its expansion, American Nightmare, the good news is that it can very much be enjoyed even if you haven't played the original games.
This has been confirmed by the developer in a FAQ article on its website, which reads as follows:
"Alan Wake 2 is a sequel but set up as a stand-alone experience. Newcomers can enjoy the thrill-ride with no past knowledge of the previous game. For the returning fans there are tons of lore and connections to be discovered."
Although the sequel does reference characters and events from the original, which helps those who've played it make additional connections, the core narrative of the second game doesn't suffer if you're not aware of its protagonist's older trials and tribulations.
In addition, Alan Wake 2 also introduces a new protagonist, FBI agent Saga Anderson, who herself has her first experiences with the developer's own trademark take on the supernatural as she works on the case that brings her close to the writer.
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