Control’s most glaring flaw — the one that caused me to get frustrated and spook the dog a few times — is its inconsistent health bar. Here come the hordes! The same is true of the health system, which forces you to regain health only by collecting the little pieces of blue light dropped by your enemies as you shoot them. It will not have the impact Alan Wake had in his day, but Control may be Remedy's best game in recent years. Keeps the mystery alive. The third-person action, while slick and elegant, is perhaps a little pedestrian - but the completely bonkers story and the rewarding sense of exploration and discovery help cement Control as one of Remedy's best games. And in the mingling of these two things something pretty special happens. But it ends—after a wild head trip of a sequence, of course—a little too abruptly, like it had just tee'd up those big ideas but forgot to swing. The final moments left me wanting more from Jesse’s story and the alien world she calls home. Certain phrases act like incantations in offices: we've-always-done-it-this-way-that's-why and only-Henry-knows-how-to-make-copies-on-both-sides-of-the-page-and-he's-off-today. The 10 most popular stories of the day, delivered at 5pm UK time. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. And this is all the more powerful for being delivered largely straight. Everything is either smashed or still in the process of floating back down to the ground. Anyway, I am going to spoil as little of this stuff as I can. The gameplay is smooth from the aiming mechanics with the gun, to dodging, to throwing objects at people. When you enter a new area, you will know what I mean. My skin seemed to tingle. The omnipotent Finnish janitor of the Federal Bureau of Control really wants to go on vacation, but can't until I've vanquished his old nemesis, The Clog. And those objects are as deadly as bullets. You’ll apply these at Control points dotted across the Oldest House. The Oldest House is a knife-edge construction, in other words. Every characters absolutely makes sense as someone who works in a secret government agency focused on paranatural forces. But Launch — which smartly ditches the precision of aiming a gun and instead locks onto enemy targets — quickly becomes my primary method of attack and the focus of my skill upgrades. Control is the latest title by Remedy Entertainment, the same studio responsible for Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break. In other words, while it invokes the dark things that lie beneath, Control's actually a peerless argument for the beauty of the surface. Or maybe that was its own head fake. It's beautifully done. Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. Ammo is infinite, recharging naturally once depleted. Form follows function, too: the retro technology that the Oldest House runs on is perfect for style and atmosphere and also perfect to simply chuck around. No part of this site or its content may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder. The game’s uncanny manipulation of light, shadows, and reflections astounds me. This is a rich story game and is played as a third person adventure shooter. itself with ammo. Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. Watching a fire extinguisher rip through an enemy and collide with a desk whose papers explode, scatter, and flutter down to the ground around us as we continue to fight has a secondary purpose: It makes the absurdity of Control believable. It takes pains in depicting the way that things fall apart. And I only gain access to more power from there. It’s a shame, because the mystery surrounding Control is genuinely fascinating, but the game fails to strike a balance between its thrilling gunplay and unfolding narrative. A third-person shooter set in a paranormal funhouse. Control remains an impressive game on consoles and modest PC hardware, but it’s also one of the best showpieces for ray tracing that Nvidia could have hoped for. Control isn’t the first game to use ray tracing, the budding technology that promises to bring ever more realistic lighting to video games, but it’s the first game I’ve seen to demonstrate its artistic potential. Its … This unpredictability is both Control’s greatest strength and most damaging weakness, making it impossible for everything I love about it to find a common ground where it truly excels. For the most part, it’s worked wonders, with projects such as Max Payne and Alan Wake remaining beloved until this very day – others, such as the polarising. Generally favorable reviews Control is the culmination of over a decade’s experiments. © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. You get a sense of a wayward and addled heritage rather than a bunch of threadbare stand-up routines telling you how lame it is to have to wear a tie every day. Bless this mess. Feels great, but doesn't change much. Absolutely a blast to play and hope others give this game a shot. What the hell is happening, did that stapler talk to me, ad infinitum. That, and classified documents being censored with black bars only makes things more obscure. What a game. Comments for this article are now closed. With their health low, I use mind control to turn them to my side. Given how playful the combat already is, I would've loved to see some comparably playful deviations in the skill tree. Control is truly unforgettable with loads of ways to play, terrific acting, lots to explore, satisfying gunplay and abilities, and a spectacular world and story to experience. Jesse's telekinesis joins Half-Life 2's juiced gravity gun in the videogame physics toy hall of fame. None I still don't know what The Hiss are, why The Service Weapon chose Jesse, why everyone's cool with taking orders from a transdimensional 'Board' that speaks in mumbles emanating from an inverted triangle and whose speech translates into multiple, parallel sentences at once. The arc doesn't feel complete or entirely fulfilling, as much fun as the ride is, though it's clearly setting up for a sequel, spinoff, or DLC somewhere in the Remedy-verse. Control is the game Remedy’s been trying to make since at least Alan Wake, or maybe since the studio was founded, integrating lessons learned from each project along the way. Jesse the main character is well written and love her voice actress' work. Jesse's story is similarly cryptic and weird, but compromised by a vapid personality and weak connections to the supporting cast. Level design is poor, the main character is not very interesting and the Metroidvania-way of exploring is maybe too difficult. Remedy has always been an atmospheric and visual powerhouse, but Control on Windows PC is packed with a surprising amount of technology — as long as you’re playing on a GeForce RTX graphics card. You can even pick up the dead bodies of comrades and use them as makeshift projectiles, which is laughably grim yet massively effective at taking out waves of baddies. Control is one of the strangest, and best, games of 2019 because Remedy Entertainment is fully committed to its pulpy, surreal premise. I upgrade abilities just like I upgrade our gun, and our new powers become indispensable. And, like the Service Weapon, which offers infinite ammo but needs a recharge period after each clip, powers are, well, powered by a separate stock of recharging energy. This one's strapped to a chair and floating around in the sky, a fellow telekinesis user. Remedy has built an admirably cohesive world here – it’s just unfortunate the central mystery is so muddled that so many huge moments feel unearned. That said, I’m in the endgame now, mopping up missions and meeting with characters, and I’m still sifting curiously through each and every dossier I come across. The number of physical objects that fly through the air during these battles and the way in which they interact with each other is one of Control’s most impressive technical achievements. Seen at outlets such as MTV UK, Kotaku and Trusted Reviews (obviously…, Jesse is a fantastic lead with an engrossing story, Gunplay is heavy, responsive and satisfying, Psychic powers are some of the best the medium has ever seen, Inconsistent pace keeps the story from standing out, Central mystery doesn’t reach a satisfying conclusion, Firefights can grow repetitive in the later chapters, Long before Control, Remedy Entertainment built its reputation on abstract storytelling, leaning into paranormal themes that define its adventures with unwavering dedication.