Pipe Dream

With 2019 shaping up to be another great year for gaming, let’s take some time to have a cheeky peak at Remedy’s upcoming release, Control.
You are walking into a sleek, minimalist corporate stronghold, as you approach the counter, the silence is deafening. You begin to delve deeper into the building, at this moment, you feel another’s presence, your heartbeat quickening, you make your way into the main lobby. As you look up, you see bodies floating in the void, the sky begins to open up, revealing the cosmos before you. Interested yet? Surely..
In Control, players take control (hah, get it?) of protagonist Jesse Faden – a supernatural wonder who is seeking the answers as to why a traumatic childhood event  left her with unexplained powers. Jesse’s search for answers leads her to involuntarily becoming the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control, a shady government organisation whose main purpose is to seize, study and possibly benefit from otherworldly elements – you can forget about any sort of code of ethics here, this is strictly off the books.
(Control’s protagonist Jesse Faden)
Anyone familiar with Quantum Break’s third person action adventure romp will be right at home with Control’s style of gameplay, but, for those unfamiliar – Control features a number of powers that can be used for both combat and traversal. Those showcased so far include a hover ability used to tackle gaps and jumps that the average joe couldn’t make, as well as a on-the-fly shield which utilises nearby debris to form a barrier, useful for when those pesky supernatural oddities come knocking. If executed correctly, the combat and traversal abilities will complement each other nicely, allowing players to move around the environment whilst tackling the Federal Bureau of Control’s pets simultaneously.
Players will be primarily exploring the FBC’s headquarters known as ‘The Oldest House’, battling the supernatural nightmare known as ‘The Hiss’. One aspect of particular interest is that the environment is constantly shifting, this is explained narratively through ritualistic processes by which members of the FBC can alter the topography of The Oldest House, allowing for deeper traversal. This gameplay system will serve to keep the experience fresh, whilst allowing players to craft new routes throughout their gameplay experience, a big bonus in my book.
(Players will be expected to balance combat and traversal simultaneously)
From what we’ve seen so far, the environmental design provides a sterile, intimidating feel, as if you’re being watched by an unknown entity. Player’s will be treated to large open areas with several paths to take, although not all will be open immediately, with some requiring certain prerequisites to be fulfilled before becoming available. I’d be excited to see map design akin to the original Dark Souls, interconnected levels intricately woven into one large environment – requiring the player to familiarize themselves with routes, planning the best path to take in order to get to their objective.
At the moment, the offices and upper levels of the Bureau have been showcased, these were visually striking enough to hold my attention.
Control, from a surface level seems to borrow a lot from its predecessor, Quantum Break – both feature supernatural elements and a heavy focus on narrative. I enjoyed my time with Quantum Break, even the polarizing hour long episodes interspersed throughout the game. I’m anticipating Control will be an evolution of this formula, incorporating a wider variety of gameplay elements as well as a more open ended environment, contrasting to the strict corridor style that Quantum Break relied on. One thing which is a positive straight off the bat, is the fact Control will enjoy a multi-platform release. The largest detractor for many people in regards to Remedy’s last outing was that you had to own a Xbox One or High end gaming PC in order play the title, this barrier to entry will fortunately no longer be present.
(Control’s art direction and environments showcase a visually striking landscape)
It’s safe to say I’m pretty damn excited for Control. Narrative driven experiences are right up my alley and, if the the information and gameplay demos released so far are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.
You can see the latest gameplay demo for Control below:
Control release date: TBC 2019
Platforms: Xbox One, Windows, Playstation 4
Price: TBC
Thanks for reading.
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