Control Review

"A Shifting World"


August 26, 2019 at 8:53pm
By Jason Stettner

Control is the latest title from Remedy, they’ve made some of my all-time favorite games including Alan Wake and Quantum Break. That similar style of a narrative driven game with some sort of supernatural element is carried forward here. It feels like their signature style, but one that’s been refined and pushed further. This is also a psychological thriller as to say, with a neat blend of cinematics that help carry the story forward.

This is definitely one weird experience, one that makes sense, but one that will certainly be beyond your imagination. It’s truly neat to take in and just generally a pleasure quite honestly. In this tale you play as Jesse, she’s been looking for her brother for a long time. Despite visiting many places, and living a long time without him, she’s possibly finally found the right spot. That’s when she steps into the Bureau of Control, a strange place that has basically been calling for her. This adds an element of experiencing a strange world just as she does, while everyone else is a professional.
Control Abilities Screenshot
It’s been long a journey, and that of course continues within this strange building. It might sound like a rather small place for an entire story, but this structure is absolutely massive. It has many distinct levels, unique locations and strange objects of power. You’re never sure what you’ll come across, and that’s a magical feeling. The story really does keep you engaged, and you want to know what’s happening. You’ll have an idea, but it’ll reveal itself when it’s ready. The main narrative features a healthy chunk of content, and there are many side missions as well to take in.

Some of these are intense, others are more fun such as just talking to plants. It can be easy going for a calming time, and then just rather insane. That’s great, it’s always a surprise. I really enjoyed the story in this one, great protagonist as well. There were some puzzles to deal with, layers of complexity within the environments and a sense of linear freedom for exploration. You could go wherever, but still mostly knew where you were headed. Side characters also mattered to a degree, with things to say dialogue wise and in regards to having more missions to grant.
Control Jesse Story


This is a third person action shooter, it features a great perspective with fast paced gameplay. It’s also Xbox One X enhanced with an improved resolution at 30fps with no HDR. The lack of HDR was disappointing, but it makes up for that with blinding deep colors that look wild to take in. The world is gorgeous, the level of detail in each area is stunning and it feels lively. This really was an incredible world to visit, just being a building.

There are so many little hidden spots to visit, secrets to find and tons collectibles to grab along the way. Aside from a glorious world to explore, there are many distinct enemies that fill it. Some are mystical, others are standard. There’s a good variety out there, and many ways to deal with them. You get a wide range of abilities that are unlocked as you finish main story missions, or take care of those side items of power. You’ll be able to throw things, or even fly around among other surprises.

These powers feel great, and make the whole world come across as reactive. Items go flying, papers flutter in the air and enemies go screaming. It’s crazy, and at times does provide some performance drops. These were momentary, but worth mentioning. That dip in performance is also present after exiting some endgame menus, so not a huge gameplay issue. With your powers, comes a special gun that can shift forms and be modded which is super cool to use.

When it comes to checkpoints, I felt those could have been better. You don’t have to tackle enemies multiple times, until you’re near the end game which is annoying. You spawn quite a bit back which I didn’t like, and you’ll have to walk a bit to get back to where you were. This is somewhat frustrating when it comes to boss fights, having to walk back to them instead of just being there for another round. It can be a challenging title at times.
Control Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Control is another amazing title from Remedy, its wild to witness and a ton of fun to play. The powers are awesome, and I loved how dynamic the world was. You could see papers fly, have glass shatter or just destroy large chunks of the environment. Every little area had some sort of surprise to it, there were many secrets and I always wanted to explore which is not what I usually do in games.

There’s a lot to this game, whether you’re playing the main narrative or taking in side missions. There are also timed optional missions that come up, just extra continued play value. I thought the presentation was generally awesome, the cutscenes were neat and I was entirely captured by this narrative. The main protagonist was interesting, a great performance and it’s neat to get this sort of casual look into a weird world. We get to experience the craziness with her, and that’s special. There are many things to do, neat powers to unlock and odd objects to interact with.

There were very memorable things here such as dealing with a fridge, talking to plants and being a regular coffee runner. The Bureau of Control is weird, and a wonderful place to explore. This is a wealthy world, and hopefully Jesse’s world as a Director continues moving forward as I feel there are many places that we have yet to explore at this point.

Read our Wolfenstein: YoungBlood Review
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Control Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Wonacott PR

Rating Overall: 9.2

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner