In the morning, you go to work as usual and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a supernatural action thriller - that's what's happening to the protagonist of Control, the latest game by Remedy Entertainment. The Finnish developer studio has bravely been holding up its flag for gripping single player games that value a well-written story, as well as cinematic staging. After Alan Wake and Quantum Break, Control will be touching supernatural happenings once again - in a comparatively open game world with noticeable Metroidvania influences.
Players take on the role of the young Jesse Faden, who has a hell of a first day as the new boss of the fictitious Federal Bureau of Control: A supernatural evil power called The Hiss is taking possession of people, making them their slaves against will and changing the rules of reality. Who or what are the Hiss? What do they want? What secret does the office building, called the Oldest House, hold? And why does Jesse herself have inexplicable psycho-skills like telekinesis or being able to fly?
Control rewards an aggressive playing style
But there is a twist: Not only can Jesse use telekinesis to manipulate objects and throw them at her opponents, but the game also rewards an aggressive playing style. This means: Instead of hiding behind barricades like in other games and waiting for your life bar to fill up, its best to keep attacking and prevent your otherworldly enemies from catching their breath. Speaking of telekinesis, this is of course not the only superpower Jesse has. An energy boost at close range will knock your heavily armed enemies away from you, and you can erect a floating shield of debris at the push of a button. Later, you can also unlock particularly powerful skills to control your enemies, or learn how to dodge lightning-fast.
Although Control is not really an open world game, you only get access to all areas and rooms of the Oldest House during the course of the game - very Metroidvania-like. In addition, side missions are everywhere, allowing you to delve even deeper in the mysterious background story. Personally, we are already huge fans of the good-humoured janitor Athi, who quickly creates a long-lasting impression with his David Lynch Memorial Hairdo and Retro Walkman. He will send you on supposedly rather unimportant mini quests - or are they?
Although we have only been able to test a fraction of the special features of the game, we can already say that Remedy Entertainment has done a great job in terms of operation and user-friendliness. The controls are precise and catchy, the shoot-outs demanding but never unfair - thanks to the discreet auto-aim support. The game also looks very chic already, with the game environment being largely destructible. Dust and flying debris look quite realistic and whole rooms suddenly changing in front of your eyes are fantastic. We are very curious to see what secrets Control further has in store for us and whether Remedy Entertainment can defend their reputation as a single player specialist. Mysterious and with a lot of flair - the basics are definitely there!