Control is a third person sci-fi shooter developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by 505 games. Control see’s you looking for your brother through the ‘Oldest house’ a strange otherworldly headquarters that never stops surprising you. Head inside to get acquainted with Control PS4 review.
You take the role of Jesse Faden, a woman looking for her brother who was taken by a shady organization years ago. She finds the ‘Oldest house’, a ‘place of power’ that the organization uses as a base to contain objects of power; miscellaneous items that display abilities for reasons unknown. You’re guided by a strange other dimensional entity that helps you find and get into the oldest house, which remains mysterious even to you.
Once inside though, the previous director of the organization is found dead. You pick up his gun, which is an object of power, you’re put through a short test, and suddenly you’re the new director. Everyone answers to you in the organization now, or would do if it weren’t for the ‘Hiss’, a mysterious force that possesses people and turns them into hostile monsters. Congratulations director, its your job to get rid of the hiss with the help of your other dimensional friend, get to it.
If that sounds complicated in writing, it never feels it in the game. The story is moved through at a great pace, with new information being fed to you in no-nonsense dialogue that never feels off or awkward, if a little bland with the lack of personality that crisis talk provides. If you’re here for any sort of comedy or character interest, back out now. Control is always about the bigger picture and solving plot threads, but this isn’t what pushes along the game.
Controls gameplay is very meaty, and very satisfying. You’re given a weapon that you can upgrade into different forms, which is just a convenient plot device to give you a pistol, then a shotgun, machine gun, and a few other weapons. You only get two forms at any one time and the ammo pool is shared, but it recharges and even though the gunplay is solid the gameplay really shines once you start getting powers.
As you progress through the game, you come across more objects of power and get new powers, and soon you’re juggling between powers and your weapon constantly on the fly, in what becomes a fantastic blend of calculated combat choices. Having later enemies with shields, faster movement, kamikaze and even psychic enemies immune to your abilities forces a dynamic playstyle that really sings.
The main downside is fights rarely consist of more than one or two types of enemies at a time, and the when you’re not in combat you’ll be doing a lot of running around. A lot. The Oldest House is huge, a convenient quick travel system is implemented but without any sort of background track you will feel like you’re running around your office building late at night with no one else around, and it’s about as exciting.
It doesn’t need to be said that control has its only uniquely stylised appearance, even though its mostly grey office spaces. It has a realistic grit to it mixed with a heavily stylised lighting system in parts, resulting it visuals that is either to your taste or isn’t. If the images in this review show an aesthetic you want to see more of, great. But I can just as easily see people taking on look at it and thinking it’s a bland concrete eyesore of a design. The style won’t be for everyone, but it matches the thematic notes perfectly and lots of attention to detail was definitely put into it.
The enemy design is constantly evolving, with new enemy designs appearing even late into the game with original mechanics to keep you guessing and never letting you get bored. This aesthetic only changes for the strange trips into another dimension for trails given by the objects of power; this is replaced by a minimalistic abstract environment, and if you thought the office aesthetic was bland then this will only make you feel worse.
A lot of control is silent, with only minimal sound effects and a few barely mentionable tracks in the background during the combat. The sound design that is present is clear and unique, with the Hiss sounding hostile immediately and putting on alert even if you somehow miss the bright red light they give off. The voicer acting is very well done, even if most of the dialogue is sterile throughout the game you never feel like the voice actors gave more than their best. The choice to keep sound minimalist was clearly deliberate to make everything more impactful, and the long silences emphasise your isolation, making combat feel like a break in your peace rather than something that you want to do.
Control PS4 Review – Verdict
Control is a game made for a select palate. If you’ve ever delved into the world of SCP then you’re going to know where control gets its inspiration, and in a way it almost feels like a beautifully crafted love letter to that fictional universe, whether that was intentional or not. The gameplay of control is solid, stays fresh and is very satisfying, but it can feel like a blur in terms of environments and objectives sometimes. I found myself playing to see new powers and find out what strange object or narrative thread would reveal itself next, rather than wanting simply to jump to the next fight.
The world crafted is rich and detailed, with care and attention being put into giving you the inside scoop of a strange organization, when so many times other stories focus on keeping shadowy agencies mysterious and deliberately vague. Control borders this line nicely, from the inside, to keep you guessing but make you feel like the new cog in the system. If mystery, paranormal entities and reading official reports perks up your ears, control is one to check out.
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