Control – Review

Alan Wake and Quantum Break have been some of the most enjoyable games I’ve played, excellent storytelling and a setting that differentiates itself from others, something that’s a little bit interesting that will pique the interest of the player.

So, when Control was announced consider my interest piqued, the footage that was being shown and information released about the game had that Remedy stamp to it. A supernatural thriller that is a little twisted and strange, but when playing it you find yourself hooked.

This was me when playing it. Hooked. The mechanics for the game were lovely to use, the character movement, the abilities were all simple and effective and when getting that perfect combo everything just seemed to fit together.

In Control you play as Jesse, who has just ended up inside the Federal Bureau of Control, looking for answers which she has been searching for, for years. She suddenly finds herself as Director of the bureau (this escalated fast) and as Jesse goes around she finds more people who haven’t been consumed by the evil around and has different missions as well as side missions to complete, as well as help a creepy janitor. All this while trying to find answers as to what happened to her brother.

The further I got into the game the more it gripped hold of me, gaining different abilities which are from objects of power like shield, in which you can surround and protect yourself for a limited time, launch allows you to pick up and throw nearby objects, which is very handy in combat when trying to keep your distance. There are more to discover in the game, so I won’t spoil them for those who want to discover them.

Combat wise I thought was very good, you had a pistol which had so many bullets in, but recharged when not in use, this is where the launch ability was handy, pick a few objects up to throw at enemies while the gun was recharging, and when it was done you could open fire again to allow your ability bar to refill. Rinse and repeat. The fighting can be quite intense, enemies rank up with you so as you get stronger so do they, with the normal soldiers that run about, this doesn’t really pose a problem if your moving about or sticking to cover you should be fine. Harder enemies with more devastating attacks can cause you problems and this is where your abilities come into play, being able to shield yourself when cover your behind gets destroyed or launching items quickly can be effective and prove distracting for enemies.

I really like the setting, an expansive open world-building, it’s quite different to your normal open worlds, there’s a lot of ‘verticality’ as to get to other departments you go up and down in the elevator, which is just a fancy way of getting the floor to load in the background while giving you an illusion you’re doing something. It’s quite a clever technique, better than a loading screen with tips which are just the same ones repeated over and over. There are fast travel points around the building where you can quickly get to places, however, you have to unlock them first and this comes from cleansing control points, which also allow you to see your skills to unlock as well as add mods to yourself and weapon.

The mods can come in various shapes and sizes, one of them being increase health or faster regen of your bullets. These are ranked in RPG style, common, rare etc, so the higher the rank the better they are. You can find these mods around the building in the many shelter rooms or lootable boxes laying around. Mods are also craftable, so if you manage to collect enough of the resources you will be able to craft them too.

The game isn’t without its issues, there was one major issue that really grinded my gears and that was the framerate. Whenever I paused the game and went back to it, the framerate would fall dramatically, to the point I had to wait for it to sort itself out before continuing. There were times in some of the more action-packed sections where I launched something at an enemy and ended up blowing loads of things up, this would cause the game to crumble to the floor until it decided it was ready to play on.

If these games are tested, how are such big issues like this still not being removed before launch? It completely baffles me, especially as something as big and obvious as this.

On a whole the game is a brilliant one, the story is thrilling, and the action is tense and satisfying, but the issues with it cannot be ignored, especially when it causes the game to be unplayable. Yes, it’s only for a few seconds, but when it happens a fair few times it can get frustrating.

I know a patch has been released that is meant to help the framerate issues, I personally haven’t tried it with the new patch so can’t comment on whether there are any improvements.

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