Review: Control (PlayStation 4)

Control

After a secretive agency in New York is invaded by an otherworldly threat, you become the new Director struggling to regain control. From developer Remedy Entertainment, this supernatural 3rd person action-adventure will challenge you to master the combination of supernatural abilities, modifiable loadouts, and reactive environments while fighting through a deep and unpredictable world.

Pros:

  • Amazing graphics mixed with real video.
  • 26.90gb download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Action-adventure gameplay.
  • Extensive controller options-rebind, sensitivity sliders for both movement and aiming, aim assist, invert axis, swap left/right sticks, toggle shield and camera stickiness.
  • Mute copyright music option.
  • Icons and subtitle size choices.
  • Play how you want.
  • The main story with optional side quests.
  • Control points-cleanse them to activate them as checkpoints, fast travel and deal with upgrades and abilities.
  • Abilities-earn points from doing missions and put them into the ability tree that covers health, energy, specific updates. As you add to it a bar that fills up with rewards you get additional slots for personal and gun mods.
  • Guns-alive! They reload ammo when not in use, you can craft new gun variations like a shotgun, pierce or charge Shift. You can only carry 2 but can swap anytime at a control point. Each gun has 3 mod slots.
  • Mods-each has rarity levels which dictate how good they are, find mods in the world and off enemies. You have modes for each gun type and personal like health/energy regen.
  • Loot boxes to find bit clickbaity more just treasure chests but I got your attention.
  • The map fills in with the name of the place as you discover them.
  • Actions- shooting, grab objects, throw, melee, shield, mind control enemies to act as allies, hover.
  • Celestial plane-here you do a tutorial style arena fight where you use/learn your new ability.
  • Tutorial support throughout.
  • Swap guns on the fly.
  • Astral constructs-mods and weapon forms are shown (plans) and you can upgrade the rarity of mods crafted.
  • Board countermeasures-optional side objectives like kill X amount of an enemy in a particular place for mod rewards. You can carry 3 max.
  • Crafting materials, health, source drops from enemies and can be found in loot boxes.
  • Enemies (the Hiss) can spawn/respawn in any area at any time even if it been cleared out.
  • Edge of the seat tense atmosphere.
  • The infinite living world set with in the Bureau. Walls move, rooms appear and disappear and more.
  • Bureau alerts-random optional quests that pop up, they have a timer and rewards.
  • Puzzles scattered through the world.
  • Death keeps progress/items but you go back to the checkpoint.
  • Combat is designed in a way that it is accessible but can be very in-depth and free-flowing as you combine powers.
  • Side missions and interacting with NPC give more story.
  • Lore/back story is everywhere and well over 200 pieces to find.
  • Unlock and discover shortcuts.
  • Security clearance-as you progress you increase your level which opens up new areas previously locked.
  • Metroidvania mechanic that will have you going back and forth through the world as you get new abilities and higher security clearance.
  • Different enemy types.
  • Strong physics game.
  • Action movie levels of destruction and mayhem.
  • You can pull parts of the wall/floor up to use as a weapon.
  • Next level storytelling, the construction, and execution are so well-paced.
  • Excellent voice work.
  • No hand-holding, discover routes, solutions.
  • Stumble upon the many many side quests.
  • Destruction of property is the best “F*ck someone’s day up”  example ever in a video game.
  • Uses the powers system a lot like in Star Wars force unleashed but is more refined.

Control

Cons:

  • Slow loading times.
  • The slowdown happens when explosions kick-off.
  • Weird freeze when finishing a chapter and getting a trophy.
  • Crafting/upgrades are just thrown at you with no real announcement.
  • No dedicated cover button which causes a lot of awkward stand-ups when in combat.
  • Can’t zoom in on the map.
  • A lot of cheap deaths like falling off drops you can’t see, getting ambushed.
  • Stutters after u pausing the game.
  • No HDR support.
  • The map is hard to read in regards to levels, is that place higher or lower? Pfft, who knows.
  • Health recovery is tough.
  • Can feel lost.
  • Restart after death is a slow slog.
  • Inconsistent checkpoints. At times it feels you get one every 5 minutes then it can feel like hours for the next one.
  • Very limited info is available on a quest.
  • Cover shooting is painful.
  • Slight pop on mostly when rendering signs.

Control

  • 10/10
    Graphics - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
9/10

Summary

Let’s start this off strong shall we? For me, Control is the best Remedy game to date, from the combat to the world to the intricate way they present the story. It’s a complete package that does have bad bits but overall it felt like I binged the game like a Netflix show rather than doing a game marathon. Control is set within a world, a building that is infinite in scope and scale, it is constantly changing and has many biomes within it despite the wealth of opportunity. You forget you are just running around a building and this is in part to the enemies, having them spawn/respawn anywhere at any time means any trip any room could be a massive firefight. It’s this that single handly has you constantly on the edge of your seat, the story is more of a mind mash with you deciphering clues, conversations and generally being entertained. The gun, oh man the gun, it is alive! It animates between types, it refills the ammo over time when not in use, it allows mods to change it up, its brilliant fun. My major beef with the game overall is the map as its a nightmare to use even in a basic capacity, it doesn’t accommodate for the levels below and above, the missions give bare clues so you can’t reference it against the ever static map. Remedy have really upped their game as its just such a cool game to play, hours disappear, the sense of adventure is incredible. Finding puzzles and side missions is actually a good feeling as they don’t bombard you and they are not easy to find, it also adds much-needed variation. Story missions themselves are very cookie cutter and you have done the tasks many times over in the years but the world keeps it entertaining. For everything that is bad with Control, it counters it with 3 better things, it’s a supernatural game with bags of atmosphere and is so much fun to play. Control is remedy best work to date!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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