Control is an upcoming action-adventure video game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by 505 Games. It is available on the PC(Epic store), Xbox One and PS4 platforms.
After Remedy worked on Quantum Break, which did pretty good on both consoles and PC platform, fans wanted more of this same formula but with more emphasis on performance and better side quests. Remedy promised that they would look into this and deliver a much better experience on their new game.
Remedy has not only delivered on all these promises but also improved upon the other aspects already present on this game, Control.
After you read this review, even you will come to know that, this game certainly should be a Game Of The Year contender.
Control centers around a character called Jesse, who visits the FBC(Federal Bureau of Control) headquarters to search for her brother, Dylan, who has apparently been kidnapped by the FBC according to her.
The FBC is a secret U.S. government agency tasked with containing and studying phenomena which violate the laws of reality.
Dylan was taken when they were kids and why that happened cannot be said since it will be a massive spoiler so I will let this stay till her for now.
The story progresses further as you continue along the journey of finding your brother, you come across different new characters, who have their own roles in the FBC building. You take on the role of the new Director of the FBC which is the highest position in the entire building for the moment. Why and how this happens, will be kept under wraps cause of the main quest spoilers.
The Entire FBC is under lockdown, due to the presence of some alien objects, termed as “Hiss” been found, which is corrupting different agents and controlling them and creating havoc in the entire building.
Some will give you important information and while others will give you the story missions necessary to find your lost brother. Some side quests will also be needed to be completed to get different mods/ points which I will discuss later on the gameplay aspect of it.
The entire game takes place on this single FBC building, but do not for a single moment think, that this will be a very short journey, NO. It’s quite opposite actually.
Progression in control is a Metroidvania-inspired experience meaning outside of the story missions, you will gain access to additional areas( some hidden) of the oldest House through new abilities.
Powers/abilities can be gained by finishing side missions and locating/finding different objects of power scattered throughout the building.
Gameplay: The Amazing No Ammo Concept
Within the first fifteen to twenty minutes of the game, you will get your first and the only weapon. The best part about this weapon is there is no traditional ammo UI, compartment or any reload concept.
The weapon has different mods, which can be unlocked as you progress further in the game and finish the main missions/side quests.
Instead of having different weapons to choose from, this single weapon will act like all the other weapons in the game, which is an amazing concept.
These so-called formations of the single weapon are known as Weapon forms. There is a total of 5 different weapon forms which I will take about in detail.
When you first get your weapon, it will be called Grip, which is basically a pistol, that deals a pretty good amount of damage and has the same fire rate as any other pistol from other games. Instead of ammo, here we have energy.
Once you start shooting and you used all the energy, the weapon will go in cooldown and will recharge. You can increase damage, reduce recharge time, increase the spread and recoil by adding weapon mods into them. You will find mods by finishing side quests/ roaming around and exploring the different areas in the building.
The remaining four weapon mods are called Spin( basically a submachine gun), Shatter(shotgun), Pierce( strong laser-like projective dealing massive damage) and finally Charge( Grenade launcher with moderate range, radius, and damage for crowd control).
All these four weapon mods can be upgraded via weapon mods, found by exploring the surroundings, into closed rooms and semi-open clerk offices, and also by doing side-quests/main missions.
Next up, comes personal mods, which helps you to improve your own abilities, which you will get as you keep progressing along with the storyline.
These abilities can be acquired by touching certain objects of power( objects which have been altered by this Hiss by coming in contact with it) and can be controlled and used as an ability. Personal mods help upgrade/modify the abilities such as improving the cooldown timer or increasing the duration of the ability by a certain percentage.
Jesse has the power to take the hiss out of these objects of power and in the process gets new abilities. There are certain checkpoints in the building, where the Hiss has changed the whole structure of the building and Jesse can help “cleanse” the checkpoint by finishing the wave of enemies and putting her hand down and removing all the hiss presence from the area.
After the cleansing process is complete, Jesse is able to fast travel to different checkpoints throughout the building, making it convenient for players to travel in and between different floors and areas.
Whenever you touch a certain object of power, you will enter an alternate dimension known as the Astral plane challenge in the oldest house, where you will be trained to use your new abilities.
The first weapon form, called the Grip, does really good damage to all the enemies you will encounter throughout the game. The grip can become very overpowered if it is accompanied by some powerful damage/headshot damage mods in them. This helps you to clear big waves of enemies during checkpoints or while going against a big boss fight.
Weapon mods and personal mods are everything in this game, you will need to have the best mods all the time to deal the most damage and have the best cooldown reduction in personal mods to keep you safe so that you can evade enemy attacks as much as possible
The gunplay in this game is truly unique and amazing. The sound coming out from the different weapon forms are different and helps to separate them from the others during the heat of battle.
The single weapon and no ammo concept is what makes this game truly unique and fun. You do not need to reload your weapon in this game, instead, you will need to not shoot/rest/take cover by crouching/evading enemy fire to help the weapon to cool down so it is able to recharge again and is ready to shoot as always.
The game copy I received was in the PC platform available on the epic launcher. The game was running on max settings at 1080p and I was getting around 70-90 fps depending on how much destruction there was on the screen. I had 0 issues with the game’s performance on the pc, only con is the loading time during respawn was a bit longer than expected.
Objects Of Power
Objects of power are powerful, altered items that have been exposed to the Hiss and can be utilized to gain new abilities once bound.
Objects of power are hard to master and are very rare. They are easily recognizable as they seem different compared to other items in the environment.
Jesse para natural abilities mean she can use these abilities obtained from such object of power and use it to a much greater extent
Now, lets talk about abilities since we are talking about the weapon forms
Before I start showing what all abilities this game has to provide, note that not all abilities are mandatory to beat the main game.
The game can be completed without unlocking every ability as well but it might get tough to clear bigger waves of enemies down the line, but it is a possibility.
Abilities can be upgraded at all the control points which can be unlocked by defeating enemies and then cleansing the checkpoint.
All the abilities are explained below:
- Melee: A powerful, telekinetic blow that throws enemies off guard momentarily so you can evade and take cover nearby and also enables you to properly aim and take headshots.
- Launch: This allows Jesse to pick objects up from the surroundings and throw at the enemies to disbalance them in combat and can be used as an advantage to get headshots and to effectively use your weapon in combat
- Evade: Lets Jesse get out of a tight spot where everyone is shooting at her and move and take cover or maneuver between different covers.
- Shield: Generates a powerful shield made of nearby debris which protects Jesse from enemy fire and helps her to move from one position to another without taking massive damage. Can be upgraded to have a damaging impact on enemies upon release.
- Seize: Changes the enemy’s allegiance in battle so they will fight alongside Jesse for a shorter duration. Can be upgraded to have a longer duration effect.
- Levitate: Jesse can lift into the air to gain an advantage over the enemies, take combat to new heights, and reach inaccessible areas. Can be upgraded to perform slam, which causes a devastating ground area effect attack on the enemies, helping in crowd control. Perhaps the best ability in-game but comes way down the line of progression.
Screenshots of the abilities, will not be provided since the primary missions are visible in the top left corner and we want everyone to experience them for themselves first hand.
Now comes the best thing about Control, the level- design
What makes Control, the game of the year contender is the way its made. Everything from the way the game plays to the gun animations and sound, the visual areas of each and every room to the different checkpoints and levels are what makes this game, amazing.
The hiss infected areas change the entire portion of the level, cleansing it reveals new places to go to and explore and find new weapon/personal mods. The physical construction of the areas/floors are all destructible, you can pick any object and throw at the enemies and all of them have dynamic destruction just as how you will it in real life.
There is a lot of details in each and every corner of the building, be it rooms, service elevators, staircase, different enemies, smaller landscapes inside the building.
As you progress further and unlock newer areas, some of them being hidden, which you will find only if you are brave enough to explore through and find new side-quests, which helps to understand the present condition of FBC.
Traversing between different areas is very simple, yet you are bound to get lost in the middle sometimes, due to the main story objectives being in separate places. This is what makes you explore newer areas where you have absolutely nothing to do / no objective, still, you find something new to do/get in terms of new missions from unknown people you just met/ get better levels of mods( 2,3,4,5, 5 being absolute and best) for your weapons or for yourself.
- Do not forget to explore the bottom portion of the Central research sector. You will find new objectives/ boss fights.
- Do not forget to use the best mods out there for your weapon and yourself. Try to use mods giving headshot percentage/ cooldown reduction, reduction recoil as talent more.
- Always keep exploring till you have seen all the areas and there is not a single question mark on your map/ nothing more to explore.
- Side-quests offer the best mods so try to do them as well
- Control becomes very difficult suddenly after you are a few hours into the game, so make sure you are equipped with best mods and also try to remain calm when there are multiple waves of enemies hitting at you.
- Don’t forget to use your melee and evade abilities. Make sure you get cooldown reduction in these two which will help you to maneuver between enemies easily.
- Last but not least, always keep your mods up to date, there are 5 levels of mods so use the higher tier mods for the most effectiveness.
Now, when you reach the final two chapters of the game, you will not be able to even grasp at what is about to come and possibly the best moment through Control.
If you have played Matrix: Path of neo, then you will realize that i am talking about. Yes, the mazes. There are a lot of levels relating to mazes and reaching new areas using them. Exact thing applies here, I won’t say much beyond this point since this is something which can be considered as dev’s gift to the buyers of this game.
All this shows exactly how much work has Remedy put into this game, not leaving behind anything at all when it came to detailing the world full of opportunities and exploration.
As amazing as control runs, it looks stunning as well. From the very start of the game till the very end, you will take your time, keep your gun down and just stand there in awe as to how beautiful this game looks.
In games like this, what matters most is the Plot and then the gameplay, graphics comes optional when the entire game is based on proper storytelling and narration. But the devs gave their all in, in spite of being such a small team, they did a way better job than any other AAA devs out there, that they should follow on Remedy’s footsteps when it comes to making a perfect game.
The textures on the walls, the ceiling, the walkable regions, and the enemies have been neatly done and in detail.
Those who played Quantum Break, they will be able to spot the majors differences as to how much of an improvement remedy did on their games and have kept their promise on the same. No stones were left unturned, as they did heavy work on almost every bits and piece of this game.
I wish I could put more photos but I couldn’t here, due to the objective markers on the left side, it will be a major spoiler for anyone playing this game on launch day.
Animation, Voice, And Soundtrack
The facial animations in this game sync up perfectly with what is being said during cutscenes. The small team of devs has done a good job in the animation department as well, the reason why its worthy of such high praises is that this has been very a very surprising game for me this year which has overwhelmed me on every level in all departments.
Jesse’s movement while running normally or during combat with evading enemy’s fire and meleeing someone is very smooth, there are no distortions in any action done here or during the throwing of objects at enemies faces. The jacket that she is wearing also reacts to how she moves as well.
The detailing in the faces of all the characters is done well, each having their unique look and does not seem to be copy-pasted just like some other games out there. Each of them has a unique animation and facial design.
The voice of the characters seems to match perfectly with their animations, hence giving a pleasurable and believable cutscene.
Another amazing part of this game is the soundtrack. Poets of the fall were present on previous titles like Alan Wake and are here as well. When fighting waves of enemies or while going through the mazes, the poets of the fall soundtrack kicks in high and deep in your ears and provides an amazing over the top performance with deep lyrics meant to go with the present condition of your game. The soundtrack matches with the game’s theme and provides an overall great experience for the theme of the game.
All in all, for me at least, I am getting the same feeling as I did with Resident Evil 2 remake. An absolute Game of the year contender is present here, each and every department and section has been done right, nothing was left undone. I played with the day 1 update, details of which will be provided by the patch notes that will come when the game launches which fixes almost everything.
Other developers should play or look into this game and follow in the footsteps of what makes a game tick perfectly to the crowd. Remedy has outdone themselves this time around and it does not stop me from giving them my high appraisal for the same. Thanks, Remedy for making this and for listening to the community.
An absolute MUST PLAY for everyone.
BUY LINK – Here
- Story - 9.5/109.5/10
- Gameplay/Level Design/Exploration - 9.6/109.6/10
- Graphics - 9.5/109.5/10
- Destruction - 9.5/109.5/10
- Narration,Animation,Soundtrack - 10/1010/10
Control is one of the best games being made by Remedy and 505 games till date and certainly qualifies as a game of the year contender. A must-play and a must buy game for all