Control is the latest narrative-focused video game from developer Remedy Entertainment, and it's one that consumers should keep their eye on. The studio officially unveiled Control (formerly code-named P7) during Microsoft's Xbox press conference at E3 2018, which shed some but not a whole lot of information on the new title from the developers behind acclaimed games such as Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break.
From Control's E3 trailer, gamers gathered that the game will feature quite a few supernatural elements as well as yet another deep narrative created by legendary video game writer and artist Sam Lake (co-founder of Remedy Entertainment). Plus, the main character's gravity-bending powers, not to mention the artistic style of the game, gives the title an edge over other third-person action-adventure games. And that's something that we learned more about at E3.
Developer Remedy Entertainment and publisher 505 Games held an approximately 20-minute, behind-closed-doors gameplay presentation for Control at E3 2018 (which takes place about midway through the game), and Screen Rant got a chance to check it out in full. Here's what we learned about Remedy's newest game:
- Main character is Jesse Faden, the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control. The old director is an NPC in the game named Trench.
- Most of the game (if not all of it) takes place in the Oldest House, the headquarters for the Bureau - but the Oldest House "transforms" throughout the story.
- It's heavily inspired by the Annihilation book and the Poltergeist movie - and those inspirations are certainly evident throughout the gameplay demo.
- Control has several Metroidvania elements and the developers are hoping to emulate a Dark Souls experience.
- It has the best lighting mechanics ever used in a video game. That’s not an exaggeration.
- Remedy says Control has the best set of characters they’ve ever created.
- It has a “brutalist” style of gameplay (not to be confused with brutalist-style architecture, which isn't used in the game).
- Environments are "reactive" (hence Jesse's powers, which allow her to grab a hold of nearby objects), but not everything can be used or manipulated.
- Jesse also has supernatural powers (but not all come at the start of the game), which will be explained in the game’s story.
- Her two essential abilities are Launch and Shield. Launch quite literally launches objects at players while Shield uses objects and the environment (reactive) to protect herself from projectiles. But she also obtains several other abilities throughout the game. In the demo, she used those two powers as well as Levitation and Evade.
- You can also upgrade your abilities and weapon (a gun known as the Service Weapon, which only Jesse has since she’s the current director of the Federal Bureau of Control).
- The Service Weapon has multiple "weapon forms," of which two were used in the presentation: Grip, which is the pistol's basic form, and Shatter, which is a close-range variant similar to a shotgun blast.
- You acquire Objects of Power throughout the game, which are used to upgrade abilities to things like Levitation.
- Control’s demo started out relatively normal, but as it went on, and as the developer playing the game entered new areas (known as Altered World Events), it just got progressively weirder and weirder… and weirder.
The Control hands-off gameplay presentation started with Jesse Faden, who is trapped inside the Federal Bureau of Control, searching for the building's head of security, Rooney. Without giving too much away from the plot, Jesse walks through the seemingly normal office building, only to find people floating in midair, with other people (who are possessed by the Hiss) attacking her. Up until that point, Control seemed like a relatively basic action-adventure game with an intriguing superpower concept, but it starts to truly shine when Jesse passes a checkpoint and is quite literally transported into a motel corridor - and that's only the start of another adventure.
As previously mentioned, the Oldest House transforms throughout the game, which is why Jesse finds herself traversing through several mind-bending locations. There is an almost horror aspect to the game, but it's more bone-chilling than it is outright terrifying. Part of that is due to the game's aesthetic and the routinely changing environment. While there is still a lot that is unclear about the story - which isn't too surprising given that Remedy Entertainment is a narrative-driven studio, and they are inclined to keep their cards close to the chest - one thing is for sure, Control is shaping up to be an intriguing (and fun) adventure story, one that is certainly different than other games out there. It's worth keeping an eye on it for curiosity alone.