The wizards at Remedy Entertainment is known for creating some pretty good games that include the likes of Alan Wake, Max Payne and Quantum Break. The latest offering from the Finnish studio is entitled Control. This third-person, action-adventure shooter is less linear than previous games by the studio and more about giving the player choice.
Let’s take a look at Control and its supernatural theme to see if Remedy Entertainment’s brand-new IP continues the tradition of high-quality games that the company has become known for.
Platform: PlayStation 4 and Xbox
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Genre: Third-person shooter, action-adventure
Modes: Single player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
A narrative driven adventure centred around mystery and the supernatural
Control takes place at the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) in New York city. Remember that old saying “Never judge a book by its cover”? Well, the same can be said about this secretive agency’s building. From the outside, it looks like just an ordinary building. However, on the inside, it’s a whole other ball game.
Dubbed The Oldest House, what happens on the inside doesn’t follow traditional rules. In fact, this Place of Power is constantly changing physically and expanding its own spatial limitations due to its paranormal properties. You play as Jesse, who has been looking for the FBC for her whole life.
You begin the game as you arrive at the FBC in search of your younger brother Dylan. He has been missing for seventeen years, after the two siblings encountered an Altered World Event in their home town. As a result, portals were opened to other dimensions and Dylan disappeared. It is because of this that Jesse has been searching for this secretive agency all these years.
Gameplay-driven experience that keeps you engaged
In addition to Control‘s unique and supernatural storyline, its varied gameplay is another reason that drew me into the game. In order to be successful, you have to successfully manage super hero like abilities, modifiable loadouts, and environments that respond to you.
Jesse wields a firearm that is one of the best weapons in a game in recent memory. It’s upgradable via a skill tree and has supernatural abilities that adapts into a variety of different forms. Additionally, you have various other superhero like abilities such as levitation, telekinesis and the ability to control certain enemies.
Taking a strategic approach on combat is necessary in order to be successful in Control. Enemy encounters are varied and offer a broad range of difficulty. A piece of advice that I can offer is to keep moving use the environment around you to your advantage. I never got tired of hurling chunks of concrete, oxygen tanks and anything else that wasn’t bolted down at my enemies.
The world of Control
The vast majority of Control‘s visuals are impressive and the environments are full of detail. Boss encounters are epic and enemies are animated well. However, there are a few gripes I have about the overall presentation of Control. First, the character’s mouths are animated in an odd way that they don’t always match up with what they are saying.
Second, the game takes a performance hit when you are in combat with several enemies. To be honest, I was shocked when I saw this type of slowdown occur playing on a PlayStation 4 Pro. I appreciate the game’s destructible environments but it appears as if the developers gave the PlayStation 4 Pro more than it can handle.
Courtney Hope and supporting cast do a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life on the screen.
Control is one of Remedy’s finest offerings to date
Control is a finely tuned accumulation of everything Remedy has learned over the years put into one neat package. Its cryptic narrative can be confusing at first but quickly pans out as the story unfolds. Jesse’s unlockable abilities make you feel like a superhero battling the bad guys. I never once felt like I was at a severe disadvantage against the enemy and strategic combat is the key to being successful.
A side from the main story, Control features side missions that help flesh out the story and give you a deeper understanding. Additionally, these side missions contain even more abilities for Jess to combat the enemy. There are a few surprising bugs and performance issues that I wouldn’t expect to see in the game rear their ugly heads. Although they ultimately don’t stop you from enjoying the game, you can’t help but notice that they are there.
Update 9/10/2019 – a new patch that addresses performance issues is now available. I will be testing this new patch and update my review accordingly.
+ Excellent mix of action, mystery and humour
+ Jesse is an extraordinary lead accompanied by an engrossing story
+ Gameplay driven experience that keeps you engaged in the game
– Performance issues when too many enemies are on the screen
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF CONTROL
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5