Control Game Review - Under complete control
Remedy's intense new combat game takes you to the twilight zone and leaves you there to solve puzzles and fight interdimensional monsters
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX
Price: PC: Rs 1,700; PS4/XBOX: Rs 3,499
When you start with Control, very little context is given to Jesse Faden, the character you play in the game. Jesse comes in as the new acting director of the Federal Bureau of Control—she might also be the new janitor’s assistant. The building, where the game is set in, is in turmoil as some extraterrestrial entity called the Hiss has invaded it. The game just throws you in the thick of it and then builds its story as both you and the protagonist unravel the many mysteries it hides. It is a nice approach. Control manages to cultivate an overpowering eerie feeling that is not only supported by the many weird visuals, but also by the constant murmuring and feeling of dread, as you enter unfamiliar spaces. It is done so well that you will feel exhausted playing it. Thankfully, there aren’t any cheap jump scares; instead, the game relies on an overall environment to bring its sense of doom.
The entire game also takes place in a hidden building called the Oldest House, a sprawling complex with maintenance floors, huge lobbies and mundane offices. It is a building that is sort of alive and can shift its shape, which makes for some interesting looking levels. The art style in Control is insane—there are layers, starting with all the structural changes that the house has made, then the ex-director who is sort of guiding you through and appears as a huge shadow and the voice in Jesse’s head, which we presume is the player helping her avoid the power of the Hiss. Levels are beautifully detailed and almost completely destructible.
The combat is also a lot of fun, especially when you start, but there are only a few types of enemies, which get repeated over and over again. If the game wasn’t supported by a very good cast of characters, meaningful dialogues, and quests, the game could have got boring soon. The story helps provide context, which is required since the world around you seems to lack it. For weapons, you have an odd-ball gun that doesn’t need ammo, but does need to recharge. There are load-outs that make it very useful as the game progresses. By far, the best weapon is the range of telekinetic power that you collect—the most useful of them is the grab and throw power which uses debris lying around to hit enemies. That paired with the gun, makes for a nice lethal combination.
The game even in the easiest mode is not really easy; there are plenty of times you will still end up dying, but as frustrating as that may sound, the game is actually fair. The loss doesn’t seem like the game is punishing you, rather it is trying to make you rethink and strategise. There are some issues, especially with some frame skipping even on PS4 Pro, but it doesn’t happen alot. The whole confusion and trying to get around despite an assault on the senses can get tiring; we found ourselves constantly taking a break, which may be something a lot of gamers might find annoying. That said, we enjoyed the intensity and the breaks made the game feel more relatable. From start to end, Control is all about the story and the unsettling eeriness that it manages to weave into the fabric of the game. You are thrown into a confusing game at the start and you are let out a confused, but moderately satisfied soul at the end. The minor issues can be forgiven. This is possibly one of the best games to come out this year. Just pick up a copy you will not regret it.
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