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Alan Wake 2 prop fuels theory that Max Payne is canon to Control

Alan Wake 2 may bring together Rockstar Games and Remedy Entertainment again, as a prop suggests Max Payne exists in the same canon as Alan Wake and Control.

Max Payne and Alan Wake explore the woods together. Screenshots from Max Payne 3 and Alan Wake remastered.

While many players are waiting for the arrival of GTA 6, some are hoping that Max Payne will make a glorious return. Last seen in Max Payne 3 and referenced in Alan Wake, it’s been quiet on the Payne front for some time. But that changes today, as a new prop from developer Remedy Entertainment gives credence to a theory that Max Payne exists in the same universe as Control and Alan Wake 2.

Developer Remedy Entertainment appears to be weaving a new Alan Wake mystery, and it isn’t the Alan Wake 2 release date. Following the release of Control in 2019, subsequent DLC brought together the paths of Alan Wake and Control’s Jesse Faden. However, it is Wake’s journey that intrigues us, as a new discovery supports a long-held theory that Max Payne is living a quiet life in the same canon.

Brought to light by ‘Sir_Galehaut’ in the RemedyMysteries Reddit community, the post explains that “this prescription bottle was given in a 2022 Christmas gift package to one of Remedy Entertainment employees. There are two precise references on it, one from the Alan Wake / Control universe, the other one directly from Max Payne.”

The bottle is prescribed by Dr E. Hartman, who appears in the AWE expansion pack for Control. As for the bottle’s origins, well, Aesir Plaza appears to be the place to acquire Shrike. Aesir Plaza is the setting for Max Payne’s climatic battle in the original 2001 shooter. While it’s possible this gift is a playful nod to Remedy’s past, it isn’t the first time Max Payne has been referenced in the Alan Wake games.

Alan Wake 2 – New promotional item from RemedyMysteries

In the first Alan Wake game, a smorgasbord of easter eggs suggested that Max Payne was out there in the game’s universe. A series of books in-game borrowed chapter titles from Max Payne 2, while Payne’s voice actor James McCaffrey narrated passages from Wake’s next book, bearing a very similar resemblance to Payne’s antics.

In a more direct reference, Wake and Payne appear to be in New York City at the same time during a brutal winter blizzard.

Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar Games worked alongside each other on the Max Payne franchise back in the day, with Rockstar assuming full creative control on Max Payne 3. However, the two creative teams are reuniting for the upcoming Max Payne 1 & 2 remakes.

If you can’t wait for Alan Wake 2, then you can jump into Alan Wake Remastered right now. The first game is one of the best Xbox horror games and the best PS5 horror games available, while the sequel remains one of the most anticipated titles for all upcoming PS5 games in 2023.