Quite simply, Remedy’s Control is the best game I have played this year and it is my early pick for Game of the Year. There, review done! Now buy the game and enjoy it!
What, are you still reading? Okay, fine, I’ll talk about why this game is nearly perfect.
Control throws you into the story immediately, no messing about with prologues, flashbacks and other story contrivances. As Jesse Faden, you walk into the reception of the Federal Bureau for Control, a shady government agency that Jesse has been searching for, for years ever since an incident in her hometown that lead to her brother’s disappearance. The building looks abandoned as no one is in sight and Jesse can just walk straight through. She encounters one person, the janitor Ahti, who sends her to the Director’s office. There she is chosen as the new Director and given the signature weapon of the game, a gun that can be upgraded and that morphs between different forms to give you a shotgun, pistol and sub-machine gun.
With that, she is directed to cleanse the control points and take back the Oldest House from The Hiss, an otherworldly invading energy that has taken control of the Oldest House and the agents within. Jesse reluctantly follows the instructions simply because she has to in order to survive, but also because she wants answers as to who the FBC are, what happened in her town, and more importantly, where her brother is.
That is the game in broad strokes, and I love it because it is brilliantly told and acted. The story reminds me of the now ten-year-old SyFy TV show Warehouse 13 which had a similar premise. That show was more comedic, but where it had artifacts, Control has Objects of Power or OoPs’ that cause havoc and create danger in the world. The FBC is tasked with investigating these OoPs’ and the associated Altered World Events or AWEs. Another similarity is the fact that the Oldest House is constantly shifting and growing, again like the Warehouse does to accommodate new Artifacts. Jesse rescues the enthusiastic and extremely clever Antonia Pope; this games Artie if you will. She is a research scientist that would normally irritate as simply an exposition dumping character. But the acting and script turns her into a character that I instantly took a liking to. Her enthusiasm for her research and exploration of the unknown is infectious, and it drives you to want to explore.
Remedy could’ve easily decided to try and create the illusion of choice by giving the player dialogue choices but thankfully they stuck to their vision and story.
Control is the best story and game that Remedy have created since Max Payne.
Grumpy Old Man who still collects toys (THEY. ARE. NOT. DOLLS), PC Gamer lured to the Dark Side of console gaming, comic book reader and fan of all things pop culture.
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PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
27 August 2019
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