E3 was unsurprisingly stacked with games this year from many respected studios, including the next title from famed Max Payne and Alan Wake developers Remedy Entertainment dubbed Control. I watched about 20 minutes of a live gameplay demo and came away impressed. I’ve always been a fan of Remedy’s work thanks to their seamless combination of engaging gameplay and immersive storytelling. Now with Control, they’re taking a new approach to both of these elements, mostly in the gameplay sector.
Players assume the role of Jesse Faden, the new Director of the Federal Bureau of Control. The Bureau is in the midst of a crisis, as its employees have been possessed by a mysterious force called the Hiss. Jesse is equipped with only one weapon, the Director’s Pistol . Luckily, that’s all you’ll need, as it can shapeshift into just about every weapon. In the demo, Jesse is tasked with finding the Head of Security, and the path to him is a dangerous one.
The employees possessed by the Hiss are blessed and cursed with supernatural powers, so taking them on can be a challenge. Jesse uses her pistol and powers such as telekinesis to defend herself against them. You can gather objects and debris to create a telekinetic shield and blast enemies with it when you’re done. Her pistol can morph into many other types of weapons such as a shotgun, so it’ll be the only firearm you need throughout the entire game.
Control is set entirely within the Bureau, but don’t let that scare you as it will continue to change shape as you progress. Unlike Remedy’s previous titles, Control does not set you on a straight path in its level design. While the story progresses linearly, you’re going to be backtracking throughout the environment, especially when you get powers like levitation to finally get across a gap you couldn’t have before. You could dub this game as a Metroidvania in this regard. There will also be sidequests you can tackle that were briefly demonstrated in the playthrough by walking up to a man who was trapped behind glass. The player would have to rescue him later, as they would be going to a bossfight that concluded the demo.
It’s tough to describe the tone of Control in text, because it is has a very strange vibe in its story and presentation. Remedy has definitely dabbled in the unusual before, but this time they seem to be going in full-force in that regard. If you’re a fan of Remedy Entertainment’s works like I am, chances are this game is already on your radar, but if you’re not, you may find something to enjoy if you’re a fan of games like Bioshock and the recently-released Prey. We’ll find out more closer to Control‘s launch in 2019 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.