Control, Rated M for Mature (Xbox, PS4 and PC).
Remedy’s latest game combines the tense and engrossing storytelling and combat the developer is known for to create a must-play third-person action game.
The visuals use the Northlight engine, which gives the game some amazing lighting effects at times, with some areas having dimly lit corridors adding to the tension. The faces of the characters you see in the cut scenes are the real visual stars. The developer created some of the most life-like faces I’ve seen, matching and maybe surpassing those in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Most faces look jaw-droppingly real — though others can look a bit off.
You play as Jesse, trying to find out if the Federal Bureau of Control took your brother Dylan. This FBC is based in a building called the Old House in New York that contains objects that have supernatural powers. After picking up the weapon from the dead Director, it attaches to you making you the new Director.
The game’s story is the best that Remedy has done (and this is coming from an Alan Wake fan). The story has twists, is well acted and has some true tension. I won’t tell any more about the story as I want the reader to go in and experience it for themselves.
It’s told through cut scenes, collectibles and even the character talking to herself while you play. The collectible notes and other items are worth reading as they tell you more about the story and the experiments.
Something goes wrong and the building is infested with Hiss, supernatural creatures taking over the minds of their hosts. The building is almost the star of the show having strange corridors, large open areas and parts that even change as the game processes. Jesse isn’t your normal person. She has telekinesis and gets other powers later in the game.
Everything in the game environment can be thrown, including fire extinguishers, tables, lamps, and chairs, to name a few. All the player has to do is use the right thumb stick to highlight an object to throw. You can throw these at enemies, knocking them back and damaging them. The player can even use the building’s walls and tear off pieces of the concrete throw them. I’ve spend many hours just destroying the environments just to see Jesse levitating the item in front of her. Your pistol is also special with infinite ammo, that will reload itself. You can also upgrade the pistol to a shotgun and more. The enemies you face as the player are smart enough to flank the player and can offer a decent challenge. Some of the enemies can throw objects at you.
You can crouch behind cover but that cover can also be destroyed, so moving is the best way to stay alive. Progression lets you level up your abilities in a skill tree.
The game doesn’t offer different difficulty levels.
The game’s map changes as you progress, letting you find new rooms and pathways that were previously unavailable. The game lets you explore and never has you feeling forced to head in a certain direction.
Once you get the ability to levitate you can reach even more areas.
You can spend hours exploring to find secrets.
The game will take you around 8-10 hours to complete the main story, but many more hours are added with the side missions and alerts. At any time during your mission an alert can come up requiring you to go to another area and dispatch the enemies in that area. The other side missions that are given to you by a janitor and others are some of the best missions with variety and some ‘what the heck am I fighting?’ moments.
I really enjoyed the storytelling and the atmosphere that Remedy creates. It’s unlike any other developer. I spent hours just exploring the different areas to see what I can find.
The only issue, which will be addressed with a patch, is the slow down when you unpause the game. This can last a few seconds then the game does get back to normal.
Sascha Heist is a gamer based in Penticton. Feel free to contact Sascha at email@example.com with gaming questions and more.
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