Remedy’s Quantum Break was a much-touted game in 2016 that was supposed to elevate the gaming experience on the Xbox. With a fantastic plot and some state-of-the-art cinematics, the game came across as too short and its playability at times sub-par. With Control, Remedy re-attempts to work the magic of eccentricities without the limitations of being platform exclusive.
The game is set in a world where people with specific powers are hidden in plain sight and regulated by something called the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC). The protagonist, Jesse Fadden, arrives at the headquarters of the FBC, called the oldest house, at a time when they are facing their biggest invasion.
Invited to interview for the post of the assistant janitor, she finds the director dead and is suddenly heading the FBC. The antagonist in this game is a mysterious cacophony of sounds called the Hiss and its ability to overpower people can be disconcerting.
The game’s mechanics and design style are unlike any and the weapons available are quite unconventional. You have a classic pistol-style gun, the ability to telekinetically fire fragments of materials and a lot more skills as you progress in game. The enemies that you face are also quite adaptable and can switch combat styles instantaneously. This is a game where classic shooting game rules don’t apply, and one can’t simply take refuge behind cover.
Control is a game with a story and character arc that complement this unique gameplay. Jesse Fadden’s character arc epitomises the ideal female protagonist, her individual journey enriching the narrative manifold. A strong and decisive heroine Jesse can pack quite a punch.
Lastly, despite being a great game, Control is a let down by the computing power of this generation’s consoles. This is a gorgeous game that has stuttering frame rates and struggles to render specific scenes. The loading times are irksome and, at times, there is a lag between input and output, and video and sound. It would have been a much more compelling experience if the optimisation would have been better.