Control review – Everything under control

the Control review de Carl takes you to the mysterious Federal Office of Control, a government agency that deals with paranormal events. Remedy retains control of its ambitious concept?

With Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break to his credit, the Finnish developer Remedy no longer has to prove himself. Still, the studio remains hungry and ambitious, Control shows. Although the game has been operated as a trusted third-person shooter, the mysterious story and the intriguing and memorable setting continue to excite you. Coupled with a fight that excels in airtightness and spectacle, Control is highly recommended.

The remedy is not unknown in video games; especially with the memorable village of Alan Wake in Bright Falls, it has already delivered an atmospheric gem. Control is also a success in terms of creating an atmosphere. The location of the service is The Oldest House, a giant office building that houses the Federal Office of Control. With its marble corridors, the building exudes authority, while the many identical offices overwhelm you with administrative sterility. Remedy impressively creates images of suffocating and incomprehensible bureaucracy, using shots with a thick layer of effects that would not seem out of place in a David Lynch film and suffocating red light. It’s a Kafkaesque horror, so to speak, and almost invisible in the gaming world.

Building the world goes beyond just an impressive location, as, as usual, Remedy fills the place with dozens of memorable little collectibles. TV commercials show you how service workers try to deal with children, and secondary character documents describe their mutual conflicts. From time to time, these details also have a very direct impact on the way you play. For example, a certain puzzle depends on you to follow the thought processes that are scribbled here and there on whiteboards, while other locations are much easier to navigate when you are browsing documents with employee theories Office. This combination of attention to detail with an imposing environment creates a convincing and memorable setting.

The building also serves as a battlefield for close fire exchanges against the mysterious enemy The Hiss. Although your arsenal only contains a standard range of pistols and shotguns, your special powers make up for it: the launch (your telekinesis in particular) can be enjoyed for hours and brings back fond memories of Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. By the way, launching is more than a gadget, as throwing away certain items is essential to getting rid of certain specific enemies. You should always keep an eye on the types of enemies that come to you, as your life bar will be exhausted in no time. A welcome challenge which – thanks to very strict controls similar to that of the undervalued Quantum Break – never feels unfair. Because switching between firearms and special powers is so natural and The Hiss is a pleasant challenge, you will never get tired of gunfights.

Another reason why you like to roam the halls of The Oldest House is that Control’s fight shines not only in narrowness, but also in the show. During intense firefighting, the environment must inevitably believe it: wooden desks splash in pieces, dozens of papers fly and the bullets that penetrate the wall make thick dust. It was from FEAR that a game succeeded in convincing “indoor combat” and soon you are using Launch as much as possible to wreak havoc. The icing on the cake are the many visual effects that always splash on your screen and create a beautiful cinematic atmosphere. Control combat is therefore not only a pleasure to play, but also to watch.

Control review – The shootings are a real spectacle because of the ravages they cause in the environments.

The only real criticism of Control is that the mystery takes place in the very straightjacket of a modern shooter. You collect upgrades (Mods) for your weapons and for yourself, encounter short side missions here and there, and sometimes you receive announcements that periodic Destiny-like activities or bonuses are available. It seems that Control carefully ticks off a list of all the elements of modern shooters, so the whole thing sometimes flirts with predictability.

Control is a big game. The threatening atmosphere makes The Oldest House a memorable place and the story that Remedy builds around this framework is also very impressive. Well-known upgrades and short side missions, however, introduce some predictability, which seems inappropriate in an unconventional game like Control. The fight, however, more than makes up for it. The tight controls, the fun challenge and the eye-catching havoc during each battle constantly excite you. Control shows that Remedy has tight control over the design of his game; a wonderful remedy for the fatigue of the open world.

Carl reviewed Control on PlayStation 4.

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