Control hands-on preview: Telekinesis is oddly satisfying

Frightening yoga pose is no match for the shape-shifting pistol.

Nerd Reactor was invited by 505 Games to preview the upcoming 3rd-person game, Control. We first saw this game at last year’s E3 but after a recent hands-on demo, we have much more insight on the dos and don’ts of telekinesis in the Control world. It is developed by Remedy Entertainment, which has also developed other popular titles like Alan Wake and Max Payne. Control presents a level of horror and mysteriousness akin to that of a James Wan horror movie. You’ll know what I mean when you head into the Astral Plane in order to hone some newfound abilities. Control mixes gun fights with Jedi Force powers and it is so satisfying.

Levitate, throw, repeat.

Director Grunt, At Your Service

You star as Jesse Faden and are armed with a shape-shifting gun and telekinetic ability to throw things. All the NPC’s salute you as the Director, but I felt like more of a grunt with frontline combat expected of me. Lo and behold, you are armed with a Directors-only pistol with floating parts. The demo started with you investigating a locked-down building with goals like cleansing areas and shutting down coolant pumps. Things get weird with all your buddies’ bodies suspended in the air and with ghouls popping out of portals. There’s an infestation going on in here, but with your ability to throw monster A into monster B, it’s quite manageable.

Hoes Does It Play?

I did the old run and gun technique but quickly found myself taking too much damage and dying from being overwhelmed. I needed more cover and strategy but would soon come to realize that my telekinesis was a much more effective way to take down enemies. I felt that even a point-blank shotgun blast wasn’t as effective as throwing a file cabinet. Well, more fun for me. Throwing objects is greatly satisfying and comes with that ground-shaking bass thump. Connecting with an enemy, oddly satisfying. That’s not to say that the pistol can get more powerful later on. There’s a modification system which could be the redeeming factor for the pistol later on in the game. We will find out more as 505 Games releases more gameplay.

Gun modification system.

The Unexplained and Weird

When you are collecting new powers from an alternate universe called the Astral Plane and also using magic to cleanse locations, there’s a bit of weirdness a la Scarlet Witch going on here. I’m sure there’s much more to be explained, but color me curious. Who is this bad-ass heroine Jesse Faden anyway, and why is she a newly appointed director put into this frontline situation? Also, after acquiring the Shield ability from the Astral Plane, she can now catch bullets. I’m sure it’ll all come together eventually, but for the rest of us, we’ll have to wait to find out more about this secretive agency in New York.

Safety protection always comes first.

Control is set to release on August 27, 2019, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (Epic Game store exclusive). Check out more on their website at

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