Control is a game about finding one’s place in the universe. It just so happens that the universe our main character Jesse Faden finds herself searching in world that is full of everything from sentient mould, eldritch one-eyed abominations, astral planes and parasitic zombies. Whilst taking heavy influence from the real-world, web-based, collaborative fiction project The SCP Foundation, Control presents an altered world adjacent to ours. A world full of extra-dimensional beings, shady omniscient consciousnesses, unexplainable objects and potentially world ending events that are seemly bursting at the seams to threaten the very fabric of time and existence. So, what stands between the world we know and this pandoras box of disasters? The Federal Bureau of Control and you, the newly appointed Director, armed with an equally other-worldly weapon.
So, the base game + the AWE DLC you are looking at around 20 hours (mileage may vary depending on your insatiable desire for secrets and collectables) and The Foundation DLC will add a nice little bow on the base game with it being an additional 5 or so hours of gameplay. In this later DLC however, it will see Jesse tackle a new threat but this time being acclimatised to being the Director of the FBC – which is fun because the ending of the base game leaves you wanting to see how Jesse handles the future of the Bureau and it manages to round off the game whilst leaving you excited for the future of the franchise. The Ultimate Edition is almost required for a fulfilling experience as without it I’m sure I would have felt a little underwhelmed with the base conclusion, as by the end of the game you feel as if you’ve really got to grips with all the mechanics – along with having an optimal build that allows you to just decimate the enemies. So being able to flex that mastery in a new area was a great way of rounding off the game.
Speaking of combat, Control is a third-person, story-driven, action game with an emphasis on fast, movement-based shooting mechanics along with telekinetic abilities that would make Cal Kestis nervous. Whilst initially slow to roll out all of the different abilities, once you have them all you feel almost unstoppable as you’re dipping, dodging and diving across office blocks, hurtling tables at anything that even vaguely poses as a threat. If it sounds as if you’re strong, you are. Almost to a fault. As unfortunately, at no point did the game feel exceptionally challenging as without any form of difficulty slider the game tries to scale with you. That being said, if you spend any amount of time rooting out secrets and completing side quests, you’ll soon blast past the difficulty cap and you’ll end up being this nigh unkillable floating monster than whizzes around the room seemly unwavering in their efficiency in dispatching groups of monsters with as little as a pistol. Not that it isn’t fun however, just don’t go into this game expecting deep strategy.
Overall, if you have even a passing interest in SCP’s – this game is for you. Outside of that, if you found Jedi Fallen Order as much as decent you’ll enjoy this, as I solemnly believe this is one of the best third-person shooters in a long time and I’m excited to see where Remedy takes this new universe. Hell, I might even dust-off Alan Wake as it’s now been recontextualised. Maybe…
(Cover Photo Credit: Remedy Entertainment)