Over the past two decades, Remedy Entertainment has given us some of the best third-person shooter video games. Death Rally, Max Payne, Alan Wake; all of these classic franchises are developed by Remedy. The studio has prided itself in delivering games which provide players with an immersive and cinematic experience. Their last addition to the shelf was in 2016 when they developed Quantum Break, a sci-fi third person shooter, which was praised for it’s graphics, storytelling, and style of gameplay. This time, Remedy is bringing a game called Control, and from what we’ve seen so far, it looks really good.
Control is set to release on August 27, 2019 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It is developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by 505 Games. The game was officially announced during Sony’s Conference at E3 2018.
The Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), a clandestine American government agency responsible for overseeing and controlling supernatural activities, is under attack by a paranormal force known as The Hiss. The game’s protagonist, Jesse Faden, arrives at the FBC and finds it already under the control of the Hiss. The overall objective of the player is to retake control of the FBC by eliminating the Hiss. Along the way, they will encounter hostile forces which they must either defeat or escape from.
We still have a month before we get to play Control first-hand. But ever since the game was announced back in 2018, we saw numerous work in-progress gameplay videos. The latest gameplay video, which we got to see during E3 2019 is pretty much what we’ll see in the finished product.
For those who do not have the time to watch an entire 18 minute gameplay video, here’s what you need to know about Control’s gameplay and setting.
Unlike Remedy’s previous title Quantum Break whose levels were set in multiple locations, Control is set inside a building known as the Oldest House. The Oldest House is a skyscraper in Manhattan, New York, from where the FBC operates. Now one may think, “what does a building has to offer?”. Well, contrary to popular belief, the Oldest House is actually a huge building and has plenty of places to explore. Since the game features sci-fi and supernatural elements, it should not come as a surprise that it’s location is supernatural too.
The Oldest House isn’t our typical Brutalist building. It defies the laws of physics and is way larger on the inside than what it looks from the outside. It is directly connected to other dimensions, therefore, players will actually get to explore more places that just the rooms and corridors of the building. Beware, alternate dimensions may sound fun at first but it comes with more powerful threats than what you’ll face inside the Oldest House.
Control is built using the Northlight Engine, which was also used to develop Quantum Break. Therefore, the basic gameplay system and mechanics is pretty much the same. However, improvements with respect to combat and player movement is pretty apparent; along with several new player abilities and other gameplay elements.
Since it’s a third person shooter, gunplay and combat is the game’s main focus. Unlike Quantum Break which allowed the players to yield various forms of firearms such as pistols, SMGs, rifles, etc, Control features only one “service weapon”. This service weapon is not just an ordinary pistol. In this game, pretty much everything is supernatural and your weapon too belongs to that category. Your service weapon’s supernatural abilities allows you to take down corrupted enemy combatants, who possess superhuman abilities. Since players have access to only one weapon, the game compensates for it by providing us with customization options for the gun. For example, the service weapon can be used as a semi-automatic pistol as well as a shotgun.
Similar to Quantum Break, Control too require players to rely on supernatural abilities. Telekinesis plays a major role during both combat as well as navigation situations. Almost all movable objects can be shifted from one place to another, or thrown directly at enemies. Players can also temporarily gain flying abilities which again, can come in handy during combat and navigation. Enemies can be controlled to use them as a diversion or to get temporary backup when you are heavily outnumbered.
Jesse Faden has an energy bar which depletes with the use of her service weapon and abilities. Both of these have the same energy bar, therefore, proper use of weapons and abilities are required. The game features a skill tree which players can use to upgrade their service weapon as well as their supernatural powers. Powers can be gained by finding “Objects of Power”, which are hidden across various locations inside the Oldest House. As for the health bar, it depletes when the player receives damage and increases when the player gains health points from dead enemies.
Physics and Graphics
According to what we can see from the gameplay videos, movement and player physics have been improved from what we’ve seen in Quantum Break. Movement in Control is smoother and more flexible than any previous game developed by Remedy. Particle physics also looks like it’s been improved as is evident from sparks and smoke generated upon environmental destruction. The gun recoil system looks more realistic than what we’ve noticed in Quantum Break since you can actually feel your aim becoming less accurate with every shot fired.
As for the game’s graphics, Remedy has always focused on cinematic cutscenes. Character graphics seems to have undergone enhancements compared to Quantum Break. Environment texture and shadows have been improved. Control supports ray-tracing so if your system is strong enough, you can enjoy the game at it’s best possible visual settings.
It’s been a while since we last saw a game from Remedy Entertainment. It’s only a matter of weeks before we get to try out Control. Judging from all the gameplay videos, Control would most probably receive positive feedback from it’s audience. However, given that Quantum Break was criticized for it’s unoptimized Windows 10 version, let’s hope that Control does not go through the same thing.
I've been in love with video games ever since I developed consciousness and that love is what drives me. I enjoy playing games that have good narrative and gameplay, and occasionally join in for co-op sessions with friends. My goal is to become a QA Tester for any AAA game development company and I hope to make it there someday.