Review: Remedy’s Control is weirdly insane


Remedy Entertainment is known for Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break – third-person games that have been captivating players with its action-packed gameplay and engaging storyline. Publisher 505 Games has partnered up with the Finnish developer for its latest action-adventure game, Control. In this world, walls are shifting, guns are transforming, and people are floating. Remedy kicks you out of a moving car and thrusts you into the crazy and strange world, and it’s been a trippy journey.

You play as Jesse Faden, the new Director of the Federal Bureau of Control. The base of operation is the Old House, an old building tasked with investigating this strange new dimension. The bad news? It’s being attacked by HISS, an otherworldly threat. The game is unapologetic about tossing you into this weird place without much explanation, and you’ll be busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on. With the HISS threat, Jesse luckily starts off with a special gun. Once upgraded, it can transform into weapons that act like a shotgun, SMG, and/or sniper rifle.

Mods can be attached to the different gun types, and these include faster reloading, ammo cost, increased damage and more. Shooting is only half the fun, and you can maximize your damage with the combination of shooting and a launch attack. You can launch all types of objects laying around including barrels, enemies, fire extinguishers, concrete debris and more. One of the most useful maneuvers is the Evade move where you can quickly dash out of the way of incoming fire. Using these special moves waste the energy bar, so it’s wise to pay attention, or else you’ll end up with no way to defend yourself. Other supernatural powers include levitating, controlling enemies, and creating a shield made of concrete.

Control is a challenging game. (See it on Amazon.) Instead of regenerative health, you’ll need to collect health orbs dropped by fallen enemies to fill up your HP. Checkpoints are done via the Control Point, and these must be unlocked by going towards it and using your new supernatural powers. If you die, you’ll respawn back at the recent Control Point. It can be a pain if you’re facing a particularly difficult enemy or area, only to die and start over at the Control Point. I would have preferred if I could respawn in the same area, so dying a lot can be tedious.

The game is pretty straightforward with its main missions, but along the way, you’ll encounter a few side missions. Some side missions are timed, and other missions help out the different sector inside the Old House. One hilarious side mission involved a man staring at a refrigerator in a room. If he were to look away, it could spell certain doom.

Fans of Max Payne should be happy to know that James McCaffrey is back, and this time he plays the role of Trench, the former Director. Progressing through the game will unlock videos that reveal more about Trench and his history with the FBC. The game has other multimedia and documents to immerse you more into the world.

There are games that love to mess with gamers; for example, fighting Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid. Control has that moment, and Remedy did a great job of doing that later on in the game. I’ll admit that I was a bit confused and upset… until I found out it was actually part of the game.

Final Reaction

Remedy’s magic is the combination of its shooting mechanics and an X factor. Max Payne had shooting and bullet time, and Quantum Break had shooting and time manipulation. With Control, the studio created another solid and fun shooter with supernatural abilities. Mixed that in with a trippy environment that warps all over the place, and it’s the wildest action games from Remedy by far.

Score: 4/5 Atoms

A copy was provided by 505 Games for review purposes.

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