Visit Bright Falls before you meet Alan Wake

Alan Wake is oh-so-nearly-here, and in order to ramp up the anxiety just that little bit more, Remedy have launched the first two episodes of Bright Falls, the live-action prequel series for the game.

Taking more than a few cues from Twin Peaks and Stephen King, each episode has been carefully crafted to bring you to the edge of your seat and keep you there. (Trivia nerds: David Lynch’s masterpiece debuted 20 years ago this month – we’re guessing the timing’s no coincidence.)

Bright Falls: Deerfest

Enjoy your stay!

Bright Falls is a six-part series, with a new episode released every week – there are two out today and two make up the “shocking conclusion”, released on May 17th, a day before the game hits the US. The first two episodes are available now for Xbox LIVE Gold members, with all other Xbox LIVE members getting access tomorrow (April 26th), and the rest of the world being able to watch the clips through the official website.

…but exclusives are only as good as you make them, and after a bit of snooping, we’ve found the first two episodes of Bright Falls lurking around on video sharing websites. And yes, we’ll share:

In case you missed it, this is an episodic prequel series for an episodic game – and that’s no coincidence. Remedy‘s director for franchise development, Oskari Häkkinen, explains that:

“The Web series really sets the game up well for us as an entertainment property. We spent a lot of time molding these characters, giving them a real history and bringing them to life and to be able to do that in a live-action way before the game comes out is awesome.”

The prequel series has been directed by bright young thing Philip Van, who has won a whole bunch of awards for his short films (including gongs from Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festival). He’s taken the camera crew on location into rural Washington and parts of Oregon, giving Bright Falls that totally fitting misty green North-western feel.

In a recent phone interview with the New York Times, Van explains:

“We were really trying to set up the world of the game before the game’s characters are born into it…

“We wanted to build original content and an original story that really said something about the town as a character itself. It’s almost about the town happening to him and we really wanted to walk the line between the psychological and the supernatural.”

If you’d been sitting on the fence about Alan Wake, not sure whether or not to write it off since they axed the PC version, or wondering whether it was worth investing in something that had been considered vaporware for so long… watch these debut episodes of Bright Falls and let me know if they change your mind. Personally, I find myself reaching for that flashlight just a little more urgently.

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