The Finns of Remedy Entertainment they return to the scene with a new high-level production. After Quantum Break, the software house has entered into a collaboration with the Italian distributors of 505 Games and has achieved Control. After abandoning the cross-media experiments, Remedy focused on a more "classic" title but with a heart and a well-defined identity. So, no TV series to intersperse, even if the movies inside the game certainly are not lacking. Prepare yourself well, because Control will not spare you, and you join us at the FBC.
The game opens with Jesse, the protagonist and our alter ego, who arrives at the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), a secret government organization dedicated to the capture, containment and research of paranatural / paranormal objects and phenomena and the main setting in which the game develops. The building where the agency is located, called Oldest House, is in plain sight in New York but has some special powers: if it does not want to be seen, do not notice it; it's like the Tardis, bigger than it looks outside, but just a little. It all seems strange but it will be clearer to you by continuing with the reading. The company operates worldwide with the aim of discovering and mapping all potential supernatural threats and obtaining sufficient weapons and power to counter or control them. On paper, the goal seems to be for a good purpose, but it is below rotten, as in any good secret agency full of self-respecting bureaucracy.
Once we arrive in the manager's room we find him dead, with a strange pistol in his side. The protagonist, after collecting it, begins to have contact with a mysterious person Consiglio, residing on Astral plane, a white dimension made up of blocks of black material that reminded me of the infinite Forest of Destiny 2, which gives it the role of "Director" of the FBC. As a first day of work it is certainly not one of the best, especially if one had not even entered with that intent but with the aim of asking some uncomfortable questions. In short we make the acquaintance of the Elevator in the building, entities that have taken control of the agency and that, in fact, whisper a continuous chant in our ears (from hiss, hiss) able to subjugate anyone who is not equipped with a defensive system and, apparently, Jesse. Continuing with the main story we discover more and more information about the place where we find ourselves and the past, also obscure, of our protagonist.
One thing that impressed me about Control is the type of narration adopted and it is also to be expected as it is a game of Remedy, already well established from this point of view. Everything is clearly seen by the eyes of the protagonist of which we also hear thoughts and that he never stops asking himself questions about Oldest House and the people we meet as we go, often increasing our doubts and certainties. Don't worry, you will have your answers. This brood continues it accentuates all the supernatural and distorted climate in which we have fallen, with people never seen before who immediately accept our role as Director without asking the slightest question about it and a continuous desire to know what is really happening in this strange structure. If we add to this also well-made sound effects and often dark and horror-oriented settings, the picture is complete. It will be that I am also "sensitive" (euphemism for saying "I'm scared of everything") but in certain situations I had an incredible anxiety on me. Fortunately, you never expire in the trivial and now abused jumpscare. The whole game is dubbed even if, unfortunately, the quality leaves something to be desired. Not so much the voices as the actual registration, it is never clear and has continuous reverberations and poor quality in general. Something also found in the models of the characters who, although perfectly realized, often lack expression and an unrealistic mouth movement.
The gameplay, as usual for the software house, is solid even though it does not introduce anything revolutionary or upsetting for the genre to which it belongs, but this was not their goal. The shootings are fun and chaotic enough with their combination of the main "weapons" and the throwing ability. The game loop, after a few hours, is soon clear: arrive in place X, talk with person Y, complete the mission, return to the HUB, start again. All seasoned with one series of puzzles with a rather simple resolution and that they never kept me locked for more than ten minutes. I found it more complex to analyze the map which, advancing with the plot and discovering new places, is filled with names and it is not possible to zoom in so as to be better examined. THE'Service Weapon, this is his name, supplied to our Jesse, during the game, acquires the ability to transform gradually in different ways, even if the simultaneous use of only two different forms is allowed. By pressing a button we can shoot like a simple gun and then turn it into a shotgun and then turn it into a submachine gun or a sort of railgun, without ever reloading. I'm not in fact present ammunition within the game, replaced by what is in effect a classic weapon heating / cooling system. Mods that improve damage, speed of recharge and much more can then be applied to the transformations.
These mods can also be applied to ourselves, with consequent improvements in statistics and skills. In addition to finding them on enemies or in crates, they can be created using a simple crafting system, with which the other forms of the weapon are also generated at slightly exorbitant costs, which therefore require a painstaking analysis within the various environments, in search of the hidden case containing the last piece of material we need. Our Jesse is also endowed with paranormal powers, to which others are added during the game by searching for Power Objects (OP). They are common objects infused with paranatural energy and which can be used to our advantage, unlike others that become unstable and dangerous. Oldest House itself is an immense OP, and here are its peculiarities and the fact that physics, within it, has its own rules. The powers serve, as a good metroidvania, to advance in apparently unreachable areas. The game map is quite extensive and the areas are perfectly interconnected. Almost always we find ourselves inside gray and imposing structures that transmit a continuous feeling of oppression even in the presence of very high roofs or apparently wide-ranging environments. Every pixel of the Oldest House is designed to disturb the player, and manages to spread a continuous feeling of heaviness and claustrophobia. However, there are plenty of completely different and dissonant places with what we have seen maybe a few steps before, but we are in a structure where every physical law is demolished: it is to be expected. Much of the map is optional and it is up to us to explore it freely so as to look for different ones secondary missions, to which are also added challenges that both sockets and deliveries should be delivered Checkpoints, checkpoints between which it is possible to make rapid movements or change the outfit of the protagonist, as long as others are obviously obtained. Be serene, there is no mention of microtransactions: you get them through in-game missions.
Remedy, during the marketing campaign, paid a lot of attention to the technical department of Control and the use of Ray-Tracing, technology able to give an incredibly realistic look to the architecture brutalist of the game, thanks also to the use of the software house engine, the splendid one Northlight Engine which, precisely, aims at cinematic realism. I played with one RTX 2080 it's a i5-6600, in 4K and all in ultra, and unfortunately the stability was not the maximum due to the processor, below the recommended requirements and that suffered a lot in the presence of flights or involving the physics of the game. On the other hand, just during the review phase, I upgraded to a processor well above the recommended requirements and the problems, of course, were totally solved. The title turns out to be very well optimized, frame drops only appeared in frantic contexts and with really too many screen elements.
Great attention to history and settings makes Control a title that is worth being played by anyone looking for an intriguing story with various twists, which will keep you glued and very careful until the end. Longevity takes about ten hours to complete the main story. This without doing practically nothing of what is proposed, avoiding to visit optional places and without doing any secondary mission. For an actual completion of the game, I think the figure is doubly quiet, going even beyond twenty hours. Add to that fun and smooth gameplay as well the game is done. Remedy did not want to overbalance the realization of the game and focused on the elements in which it is stronger but not for this reason it should be devalued or defined as a mere "homework". A little further down you will find the gallery of screenshots made during the review. If you want to take a look at the images in 4K, take a look at the following link.
Note - The game was performed on the following configuration:
- Motherboard h170pro4s / Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO
- Intel Core i5-6600 / Intel Core i7-9700K
- 16GB DDR4 2133mhz Corsair Vengeance
- WD Blue 1TB
- EVGA 650GQ 80 + Gold power supply
- Gigabyte G1 2080 8gb
- Noctua heat sink nuh-d14
- SSD samsung 256 GB