Control review. A love letter from Remedy

Sep 13 2019 5 min read

Control review. A love letter from Remedy ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

Remedy has always been an exceptional studio – mostly thanks to its innovative approach towards creating video games. The devs have made the bullet-time and slow-motion a must in cinematic shooters – and they are once again reinventing the definition of the genre with Control. If you’ve ever played Max Payne 2, you must have been blown away by that particularly wonderful game. And I’m happy to say that Control gives pretty much the same strong impression – it’s a game you won’t be able to forget for a long time.

Control puts you right into the centre of unfolding events – there’s no long introduction, no backstory, no time to understand what’s happening around you. You enter the mysterious building of the Federal Bureau of Control – and your journey starts right away. The game doesn’t hesitate to impress you with shape-shifting surroundings and eerie atmosphere – it crawls under your skin, right into your mind only to make you believe that the unsettling images you see could be real. The game plays tricks with you – while you see the pictures of the current Director of the Bureau on the walls, you soon replace him as both the new executive and the new face on the pictures. It happens during the very first minutes of the playthrough, which makes believe that you are in deep trouble.

The Bureau opens up slowly – and you’ll have to return to once visited places for greater rewards and further exploration.

The Federal Bureau of Control is located in the Oldest House – an ever-changing “living” facility with missing and relocating rooms, obscure industrial architecture, paranormal activity, and overall madness. The Bureau is focused on researching the abnormal – events, items, even beings. Moreover, it is being controlled by the Board – an echo of interdimensional voices whispering to you from the other plane of reality. Jesse Faden, the protagonist of the game and the unexpected new Director, is the one to follow the orders of the Board. And there’s a reason to be obedient since the Bureau is corrupted and attacked by an unnatural force, the Hiss, which is slowly capturing the facility locked in quarantine so that the unknown enemy doesn’t find its way into our reality.

As you delve deeper in the Bureau, you rescue the personnel of the facility – you can later listen to their talks in the Executive division.

With a cynical scientific approach, Control tells the story of brave governmental workers standing between the horrors of abnormality and humanity. The game strongly reminds of Portal, although, perhaps, it is less exaggerated – and a lot more insane. The Bureau researches so-called Altered World Events – and you’ll face tons of them while trying to fight back the Oldest House from the Hiss. While Control is a third-person action/shooter at its core, it’s the visual representation that makes the game exceptional. It’s crazy and very hard to describe – but in case you’ve watched a brilliant TV Show “Legion” based on Marvel’s comics, then you know exactly how peculiar Control is. This is the game, which deserves being played – and rewards you for doing so.

The game encourages you to learn its story and lore by yourself by reading files, listening to multimedia records, and talking to your dead predecessor.

While you are vigorously curing the Bureau of the Hiss’ corruption, Jesse is learning new tricks. Her telekinetic abilities are getting stronger, and after a few hours invested in Control, you can often find yourself in the middle of unbelievably cinematic fights with objects, items, and corpses flying around you like a violent and hectic merry-go-round. This unfolding chaos looks believable since the game strongly relies on realistic physics simulation. Jesse can launch huge objects in the enemies, possess weakened opponents, fly high up in the air, create impenetrable shield out of the mess she’s made – the new Director is a powerful warrior, yet there’re challenges hard to overcome even for her. 

Control gives an unprecedented feeling of satisfaction when you perform an impressive series of successful eliminations.

As a Director, you are the brave bearer of the Service Weapon – a shape-shifting gun, which you can upgrade and alter on the go to fit your current needs. It’s a pistol, a shotgun, a grenade launcher, and whatsoever else is a single package – and your trusty tool to clear out the Hiss from the Bureau. When in combat, a clever combination of various weapon types and abilities gives you a valuable advantage over the enemies – although there’re different kinds of them too, and you literally have to implement new tactics within seconds to stay alive. Time passes, you learn to be efficient, and finally, your combat encounters turn into phantasmagorical dances, which make an impression as if X-Men knew the Gun taka fighting style.

Control is an excellent surreal science fiction game – and it’s a deeply atmospheric experience with satisfying action gameplay, stunning visuals, and engaging story. It is as brilliant as Max Payne 2 once was – and Remedy is again collaborating with Poets of the Fall, a popular rock band, for Control. There’s a research lab room solely dedicated to their song called “My Dark Disquiet” – as “Late Goodbye” did before, this particular one is likely to introduce the band to a new generation of players. Control is a love letter from the developers in its every aspect, and as a devoted fan of their works, I’m happy to see Remedy at the peak of its creativity once again.


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