I purchased Control in 2019 at a launch but got stuck early on. I, however, decided to try again after Control Ultimate Edition, which includes two downloadable content packs: The Foundation and AWE released after launch, was a PlayStation Plus game for February 2021. I had missed a very good game.
The game follows Jesse Faden in search of her brother, who has been taken by a mysterious organization 17 years ago. Jesse has now arrived at the Oldest House, headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control. Soon after entering, Jesse becomes the new Director of the bureau. Alongside searching for her brother, Jesse has to eliminate the Hiss, a mysterious force that has invaded the Oldest House.
Combat is a mix of shooting and various abilities. The player can shoot with the Service Weapon, a weapon granted for the Director, that can transform into different forms. Forms include the Grip resembling a pistol and the Shatter resembling a shotgun. Abilities used in combat contain, for instance, telekinesis used to toss items and levitation. While the combat is simple, it does not get repetitive and feels satisfying even after many hours.
The Oldest House has six sectors: Executive-, Maintenance-, Containment-, Research, Foundation- (Introduced on the Foundation pack), and Investigations sector (Introduced on the AWE pack). Each one is unique, and for instance, the Executive sector has mostly office space, while the Containment sector has a prison. Each of them is large but linear. Alongside main objectives, they contain checkpoints, the enemy (Hiss) encounters, optional areas with side quests, and collectibles, such as documents. The linearity and the “right size of the areas” make them very enjoyable. Even the collectibles are shown from a long distance, which is great for a person like me who tries to collect every collectible.
The bosses and items from which the various powers are gotten deserve praise from the presentation perspective. They are often disguised as everyday objects, such as a fridge or old tv that are possessed by mysterious forces and can be harmful to people. This danger of everyday objects is at the same time scary and fascinating.
The game can, however, be challenging as difficulty cannot be chosen and the damage done by enemies can feel even unfair. The difficulty for me still feels tolerable and does not take away the fun. The update also brought cheats such as one-hit-kills that can be freely toggled on/off without penalties.
Nevertheless, Control is a good game, with great level design, visuals, gameplay, and the spooky atmosphere created by possessed everyday objects. I would recommend the game for players looking for mysteries, good narrative, or great gameplay.
Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Luna
Release Date: 27.8.2019 (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One), 20.10.2020 (Luna), 30.10.2020 (Nintendo Switch), 2.2.2021 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S)
Genres: Third-person shooter, action-adventure
All pictures are screenshots from the game, taken by the author