Control It is a tribute to the retrofuturist aesthetic that drinks from film and television hit by hits like Stranger Things, Lost Y File X, combined with a gameplay and a narrative of Remedy that will love lovers of science fiction and action games, and whose ups and downs are not impediment to enjoy a serious candidate for the most interesting games of the year.
Although since the launch of Alan Wake Remedy has not been the same again, the truth is that all the titles of the company, both old and new, always stand out in something. The developer has never been content to go to the basics, and has been an engine for the industry in terms of storytelling. From the Max Payne comic to the series with real actors from Quantum break, has always wanted to find a way to tell stories, better or worse, differently.
Now, with the arrival of Control, the company has searched all its catalog and has been adding layers of experience learned these years. While he may not have innovated as much as on other occasions, the truth is that he cannot say that his new title uses narrative and gameplay as a claim, and not only in the way of telling the story. Now, the new thing is that it is also the stage, and not only the protagonists, who tells the story. Turn the map into one more narrator, in one more character with his own personality and things to say. And this is precisely what makes Control A must.
In Control we put ourselves on the feet of a girl who goes to a secret government agency, Federal Bureau of Control, who studies paranormal activities for a strange event from the past. So far nothing new, nothing we have not seen. Science fiction with mystery dyes and paranormal events. The magic of Control is that it manages to combine extraordinarily all these elements that have captivated the viewer in the cinema.
And it is that Remedy has managed to merge in a title the grounds of Stranger Things, the narrative of File X, the turns of The Twilight Zone and the mysteries of Lost. Because the game is a tribute to all these works and has managed to do its job well. The retrofuturist scenarios that we could imagine of Gattaca, the orientation videos of the Dharma initiative and the creatures of Stranger Things and the conspiracies of File X They are all represented in the game. Also in its color palette, and in its scenarios. His ways of presenting credits, typography, elements … Everything evokes a future anchored in the 80s, which science fiction lovers will love from the first moment.
All this forms a wrap that serves to put us in a situation of what we are doing. Arrive without knowing anything else to the building of a federal agency of the paranormal in which our protagonist is destined to become its new director. That is the starting point for, as if it were an ascent to the heart of darkness, to move as we please through these strange offices to find our brother and know what the hell has happened there, since it seems that most of the Workers are possessed by a kind of paranormal entity.
It may seem simplistic, but Remedy's idea of basing the entire game on the same building is, like the rest of the game, different. Control It is an open world game, but that limits its existence to a building, in which we can move freely and that is as changing as the development of the game's narrative. It has all the elements of a sandbox game like main missions, secondary, collectibles, tasks, fast travel points …. Combined with metroidvaina dyes: corridors and doors to which we will need to return, puzzles to discover secret elements, and some other RPG dye that will serve to improve our character and his abilities.
The rest of the elements are the classics of an action game in the third person, brand of the house: frantic and intense fighting that combine with the game's own personality, in which the supernatural powers, which our protagonist is acquiring Throughout history, it has great impact. From telekinesis to use any stage elements as a weapon, to the possibility of levitating or creating an energy shield. The confrontation is constant, spectacular for the particle and lighting system, and quite fun.
Here, however, highlights the great but of the game: the PS4, which is on the platform where we tested the game, suffer huge frame drops when there are fighting with many enemies or there are a large number of particle effects on the screen, so much that even the game is slowed for a couple of seconds. We assume that it is something that will be fixed in future updates as long as it is a matter of optimization, but it is a relevant issue that we do not want to overlook.
And although the game boasts great graphic quality, its performance at some points can be a problem for some players. In PS4 the game runs at 30fps, and although for many it may seem scarce in the current times, the truth is that it has not been an impediment to complete the 10 missions that the game includes. Yes, it is not an excessively long game despite being a sandbox, and if one goes straight into history without much entertainment in side missions, the game can be completed in about 12 hours including some additional content, an experience for everyone the same as Control does not include any difficulty selector.
In addition, once the story is over we can continue playing to complete challenges or side missions, including what the game calls Agency Alerts, small tasks with limited time that will offer us skill points, materials or resources to improve the character or weapon. Although secondary missions are optional, the truth is that we recommend doing them since many of them include the possibility of acquiring a new power, which will be very interesting to have them during the main story.
On combat, in addition to the powers that will be safe what most use during development, we have a weapon that can be converted into several (Shotgun, SMG and even rocket launchers), which has a great weight in history beyond help us to kill the enemies, since it is a fundamental element of the narrative and that like the powers, we can improve as we move forward, through mods in the case of weapons or through the skills tree for powers.
The rest of the sections are those of an action title combined with a sandbox, with well-constructed and generally changing and interesting scenarios. Perhaps the section of the level design is somewhat confusing and the map really does not help much, but in general terms any player will advance in the story without problems of any kind. The rest of side missions and tasks they are somewhat more hidden than the general mission line, but again it's nothing otherworldly for a horny player.
In this sense, one of its weaknesses is that some of the most spectacular fighting in the game are hidden behind fully optional side missions, for which those who go straight to history will miss some of the most interesting moments of the game. By force, yes, to explore the map and go around until you find power objects that open the door to these optional bosses.