What Can We Expect from Remedy’s Control?

In this article, I will be exploring what we can expect from Control, as well as briefly summarising everything we already know. So, buckle in, let’s begin.

In June of last year, Remedy Entertainment announced its newest game at E3, Control. Since then, we have been treated with a host of new details regarding the studio’s latest project. So, let’s get into them. Control is a Third-person shooter, action-adventure game set within a reality-warping rendition of New York City. The game takes place in an unsettling, featureless skyscraper ‘The Oldest House’ (now that’s a cryptic name if I’ve ever seen one). As the player, you will take control of Jesse Faden- the newest director of the Federal Bureau of Control (thematic!). As the protagonist, you will make your way through different areas, fending off the Hiss- paranormal beings who have the ability to possess your fellow agents. To do this, you will be wielding the ‘service weapon’ (a physics-defying firearm with infinite ammo and different forms), as well as utilising your own supernatural powers.

As we have already seen, and as is to be expected of any game by Remedy, the ordinary is not what it initially appears to be. Inside the skyscraper, the laws of physics seem to have no place; whatever applies to our everyday world, well it’s safe to say, it doesn’t apply here. The building is divided up into multiple rooms called ‘thresholds’, wherein our world has been merged with other dimensions; filling these spaces with some very trippy décor. The game takes on the much-loved Metroidvania format, allowing the player to explore the vastness of The Oldest House in a nonlinear fashion. From what has been shown of the game (especially in the IGN first video and article), Remedy’s title looks truly bizarre (and bonkers).

That’s the background info out of the way. Now, let’s do the fun part and speculate about what we can expect to see from this new title.

The Unknown

Expect the unknown. After all, it’s in the developer’s DNA at this point.

Remedy Entertainment is a studio famously known for its work on titles such as Quantum Break, Alan Wake and the Max Payne series; specialising in third-person shooters imbued with aspects of the supernatural. In Max Payne (1), we have the titular character’s various hallucinations throughout the series provide the supernatural vibes. In Quantum Break and Alan Wake, we have much more overt representations of the supernatural throughout the games’ respective stories. One common similarity they all share is their blending of the supernatural with (often underlying) themes of the unknown. So, it should come as no surprise that the developer behind these IP’s has again decided to venture into this territory. One can only imagine the bewildering imagery we are yet to be confronted with in Control, and with the inclusion of aggressive poltergeist-like creatures, we are only likely to see them up the ante on this theme.

As highlighted by IGN’s Joe Skrebels, Control’s setting is an ever-changing, ever-increasingly strange experience, often challenging the player’s ability to comprehend what they are perceiving. Skrebels’ general sentiment surrounding the game’s tone is that it’s going to “get weird”, and judging by the imagery, world and premise we’ve been shown so far, there’s no doubt that’s the case. Based on Skrebels’ initial impressions, Control will be a mystifying experience; that will not only leave players baffled, but engrossed. The thresholds we have been shown so far attest to this; with room environments ranging from a continuously morphing hotel corridor, to a cosmic quarry, to various other shifting and mind-boggling areas. We are yet to understand what causes The Oldest Place to act in this way, but perhaps The Hiss- or even something bigger- holds the answers, and you can expect to find out upon release.

Either way, despite our protagonist’s new weapon and supernatural powers, as well as these unique adversaries, it seems that the biggest unknown quantity in Control remains to be its setting. And I love that. With The Oldest Place, Remedy has thrust its audience into the unknown; a world that defies belief and leaves more questions than answers. I personally look forward to exploring this mysterious, uncertain world that we will be deposited into, as well as uncovering the reasons for its being (that’s assuming we ever do). If you’re anything like me, you love a good mystery, and Control’s world will almost certainly be shrouded in that- and based on the dev’s track record, it’s a safe bet.  

Gameplay

From what we can gather, Control’s gameplay is going to be fast, fluid and erratic. It will seemingly take a high degree of user input to utilise the combat system to its fullest extent, as well as quick reactions to adapt to the hectic environment. With enemies ranging from possessed human agents, to more incomprehensible enemies (like clouds of rubble), combat looks set to be wild and varied. Based on what we’ve seen, as well as Remedy’s aforementioned track record with action games, you may need to employ your entire arsenal to make it through. Luckily, it’s highly likely that this is going to be an absurdly fun challenge.

With enemies as varied as The Hiss (and their diverse abilities), one can anticipate a wide range of challenges in their encounters with the beings; with a noteworthy inclusion being the strange, coralloid tentacle creature (the game’s weird) shown off in the IGN first exclusive. As mentioned by Skrebels, difficulty is going to be at the forefront of Control. The game contains Dark Souls-like save areas called Control Points, mimicking the bonfire checkpoints of the popular series. This means you can expect a degree of difficulty to be found in just making your way back after your inevitable death (which will apparently be a regular occurrence). There is definitely an emphasis placed on difficulty in Control, with frenetic combat, aggressive AI, and overwhelming fights being its foundation – at least according to Skrebels.

An Enthralling Story

Whilst it is a risk to expect Control’s story to be extraordinary, the snippets we have been presented with so far, as well as Skrebels’ impressions, paint the picture for an engaging narrative. The secrets surrounding our lead, Jesse, make for an intriguing start; such as her motivation to unearth answers relating to her childhood trauma, the director’s mysterious death and the reasons for the gun binding to our protagonist. I think it’s fair to assume that Control’s world and story will be filled with inconceivable twists and turns, and based on IGN’s report, I would be justified in assuming that.

The Hiss, as well as the Federal Bureau of Control, will likely be wrapped in secrets that you unravel throughout- though I wouldn’t be surprised if Remedy leaves certain parts unanswered (letting the fans speculate on the matter). Whatever the answer, the game is sure to be mind-bending (let’s just hope it’s in the good way), and with any luck, an exceedingly good time. Control is set to release on PS4, Xbox One and Windows on August 27th, 2019.

Well, that was a huge load of nothing. I’m sorry to have disappointed you. I let myself get a bit out of ‘control’. Huh? Huh? I’ll stop now. Hopefully, this article has piqued your interest in this fascinatingly unique game, and maybe even caused you to speculate about its nature as well. I, for one, look forward to digging through every secret that this game holds, and I’m sure you do too.

So, let me know. Are you interested in Control? What do you expect to see from Remedy’s new shooter? I look forward to reading your responses!

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