7 Reasons Control Is The Best Remedy Game Yet | Control Review (PC)

7 Reasons Control Is The Best Remedy Game Yet | Control Review (PC)


Thanks to Logitech G and the G432 7.1 Surround
Sound gaming headset for sponsoring this video. To check out the tech behind the G432, click
the link in the description. Hello and welcome to Rock Paper Shotgun. I hope you don’t mind if i lay my cards on
the table up front: if you buy one Furniture Wrecking Simulator in 2019, make it Control. You’ll see desks mulched into chips by machine
gun fire, and bookcases flattened with psychic punches. You’ll see helpless filing cabinets levitated
and turned against their brothers and sisters. Hey, those desks got it easy, these ones are
doing ten pin bowling with a vending machine. Put all those powers aside and our hero can
just knock desks to the floor with the power of her thighs. By the end of Control I’d killed more office
chairs than Hiss, the possessed ghouls who terrorise the corridors of the Oldest House,
home to the Federal Bureau of Control. For all the games mysteries – and i’m going
to avoid talking story to keep them intact – the one I return to is what does Remedy
have against tables and sofas and plant pots? Did Sam Lake once trap his finger in a drawer? Or is it the Finnish studio giving the side
eye to their Swedish neighbours for the unstoppable forward march of Ikea? Either way, kicking the shit out of desks
is my favourite thing about Control and something that feels inherently Remedy – this is a studio
that has always had an amazing eye for detail, but not at the expense of broader spectacle. And in that furniture wrecking both of those
qualities are mashed together: the mundane minutiae of office existence, and the power
to turn *that* into wood chips and billows of feathers. And if you need further convincing? Well, I’ve got six more reasons this is
Remedy’s best work yet. But before that, if you enjoy this video as
it goes along could I tempt you to hit the thumbs button and maybe subscribe to the channel
if you aren’t. Because people who do subscribe get the warm
inner glow of an industrial furnace, and those that don’t get fed into whatever the hell
this is. The choice is yours. To set your minds at ease, not all enemies
bleed paper clips and biros. When the hiss do turn up, Remedy delivers
big, forceful combat that is true to their action roots. You see, whenever I think of Remedy I think
of Max Payne’s constipated face. This is not a fearful face, but the scrunched
up anticipation of a man who knows he’s going to enter most rooms horizontally and
kill everyone in it. This is the Remedy way: they were making action
games before cover shooting became the norm. Their heroes rush in and unleash godlike powers. Alan Wake was more of a survivalist, but even
he turned survival into a fireworks show. Jesse Faden is cut from that Remedy cloth
– she has a single gun that magically morphs into a pistol, machine gun, shotgun, rifle
or grenade launcher. It has infinite ammo, and only requires a
short time to recharge – that’s a short time you can be throwing objects around with
telekinesis, or absorbing incoming hits behind a wall of levitating rubble, or brainwashing
goons to join your side. I kind of feel for these guys – possessed
by one evil force, turned into a concrete monster and then possessed into a goodie again? Therapy bills out the wazoo. Throw in the need to collect dropped pellets
to regain health and you have combat that asks you to push the attack and gives you
the tools to fill that push with endless carnage. Faden reminds me most of Quantum Break’s
Jack Joyce in the way that powers keep momentum going and combine to let you toy with ghouls,
whether closing the distance with an evasive dash to deliver that psychic slap, or upgrading
your force pull to let you pluck up weakened enemies and use them as projectiles. The first few times you meet these flying
chair bastards you live in fear of their dive bombing ways; once you pull one into your
grip you realise you’re basically carrying your granddad in his favourite chair. Grandma would frown on you using gramps as
a projectile. And just look at the thing! I know we’re encouraged to look beyond slick
surface details – even slicker if you lavish them with impressive real time reflections
on an RTX card – but there is an undeniable pull in the sheer spectacle of Control. Probably shouldn’t come as a surprise from
the brains who gave us Max Payne’s sniper bullet cam – but Control really knows how
to sell you on the strength of your powers. I’ve banged on enough about prop destruction,
but so much of the environment can bear big scars from your handiwork. From giant porcelain tree pots you can chip,
to wood clad office walls that’ll split under fire, the Oldest House is a delightfully
brittle world – almost stupidly so considering the dangerous nature of the Bureau’s work. It’s a bit like a bull farmer deciding to
raise his animals in a china shop. This place cracks and shatters with the gentlest
push and a gentle push is Jesse’s baseline. Or look at the animation of the abilities
themselves – hundreds of tiny touches to convey the magic at your fingertips. Like, picking up a projector and using a public
service announcement as an elaborate torch. Or the nervous wobble of flight – like a pantomime
Peter Pan trying to master wire work. Another favourite is how when you pull an
object towards you and you see bits of dirt and tiny screws circling the prop – yes, a
power so raw it can reach all those hard to clean places. That’s basically makes Jesse a Dyson Cyclone
V10 and do you know how freaking expensive they are? Or even better, hold a levitating prop and
your throbbing energy causes other small items to slowly raise off the ground – it feels
like someone had huge fun bringing these abilities to life. Speaking of levitation, Jesse’s flight ability
is another burst of pure spectacle; not just the means to zip up to higher ground or get
the drop on guards, but a choice to pull away and survey all the trouble you’re causing
from the best seat in the house. You can still do all your other moves in the
air, too, so now you’re dropping vending machines on people from above with one hand
and sniping off troops with the other. Throw in some brainwashed guards and it’s
basically like playing a really odd top down strategy game. Her flight is probably too powerful in truth,
but as you wobble through the air cackling, the last thing on your mind is ‘hmmm, I
wish I could be doing less of this’. In truth, Control is not a difficult game
for many of the reasons outlined already – extreme power and vulnerability is a difficult balancing
act, almost as hard as the mix of casual yet informative analysis that we strike in these
videos. But it also has something to do with the light
RPG mechanics Remedy are toying with for the first time. While you have a traditional skill tree, slowly
boosting Jesse with heavier item levitation or multiple brainwash targets, you also have
weapon and personal mods that take the form of stat buffs. These items have more in common with loot
drops than traditional collectibles – they come in degrees of rarity and you often get
things that are meaningless to you – weapon mods for weapon forms you’ve yet to craft,
for example, or upgrades to the shield power. I’m not knocking the shield, but if you’d
rather invest juice in the power to hide behind rocks instead of throwing TVs at ghosts, then
I’m not sure you and I will ever be friends. At the end of the day, what this really does
is let you take an already formidable moveset and buff it into something unstoppable. Even with a limit of three personal mods and
three weapon mods – and those slots have to be crafted with rare materials – you are able
to transform skills and weapons. For example, by stacking mods that increase
the energy efficiency of Launch, I can perform my telekinetic move on tap – I walk into a
room and ping pong scenery between Jesse and whatever is silly enough to be standing opposite
Jesse. I’m not even looking for specific items to
grasp, just hammering the button for a lucky dip – oh, it’s a fire extinguisher, hey,
it’s a janitor’s cart, whoa, it’s the guy I just hit with the janitor’s cart. Likewise, with damage modifiers to the service
weapon’s Grip form, and an extra bump for headshots, even this basic firm hit like a
desert eagle and became my sole weapon of choice for the second half of the game. But rather than see it as a nuked difficulty
curve – and don’t get me wrong, there are definitely tougher challenges hiding away
in the game, mainly in side missions – I really liked finding this loot system inside a shorter,
narrative driven game. It’s all the nerdy fun of piecing together
an optimal character build, but played out in fast forward over 15 or so hours – not
so short that you don’t get time to grow, but not so long that you have to wait for
ages for something fun to turn up. It’s a looter shooter for the impatient,
which is not something I ever expected from a relatively linear third person shooter. I call it relatively linear as Control has
elements of a Metroidvania – again, a pleasant surprise given Remedy’s linear back catalogue. But, as with the loot, it’s almost a lighter
take on the genre. Yes there are powers required to navigate
certain obstacles and a system of numbered keycards gives you reason to backtrack and
wreck previously untouched desks. But at the same time, Remedy’s desire to
tell a particular story means their hand is never far from the steering wheel. Follow the main story objectives and Control
doesn’t feel very Metroid-y at all – there’s some forced backtracking to a main hub room,
but the main story path gives you a thorough tour of the Oldest House. What Remedy does do well, however, is inject
side missions with enough character that you are lured from that main path and encouraged
to sniff out the secrets. Whether you’re helping the janitor-slash-gary-oldman
look-a-like clean out mold or hunting down a crew of renegade soldiers, there’s a tangible
reason to seek out every hidden nook. And, while the Oldest House isn’t a 3D maze
to rival, say, Metroid Prime, it does do one of my favourite Metroid-y tricks of giving
you a power – in this case, flight – that reveals loads of new stuff in areas you thought
exhausted. All of a sudden you’re zipping around unseen
heights and remembering all the battles that played out below. It’s really the only power that has any
transformative impact in the game, but it’s a good one. Will Metroidvania fans dig it? I think they’ll find it too simplified and
missing some key ingredients. It has a terrible map screen for starters,
that totally fails to convey height and often appears to be missing several rooms and paths. It’s also a shame that there’s no in-game
measurement of stash boxes found – the completionist in me wants to know when the Oldest House
is stripped clean. Hardened Metroid fans may also be thrown by
the fact that secret stash boxes contain random mods or crafting materials – there is a disposable
vibe to them that you don’t get from a health upgrade or new piece of kit. These are the quibbles of a Metroid fan, however. As a Remedy fan, I enjoy having a reason to
spend more time in their world. When you combine everything I’ve talked
about – the playful powers, the character evolution, the non-linear world – Control
feels far more open to being played with than Remedy’s back catalogue. It doesn’t turn the combat tap on and off
as the story demands, but finds heaps of ways to keep you engaged. This could be the simple respawning of enemies
as you backtrack – never a chore when you’ve got a new power or weapon to test on them. But it’s more substantial than that – when
you pause at control points you can sign up for Board Countermeasures, which are smaller
action milestones, not dissimilar to daily challenges in a live service game. This is definitely Control at its most artificial
and gamiest, but the objectives encourage you to use weapon forms or powers you might
have ignored up until then, which in turn leads you down that path of tinkering with
mods to get those abilities more battle ready. That you are then rewarded with more mods
only feeds into the loop. You also get Bureau Alerts, which are random
incursion that see specific rooms host timed events – like wiping out a squad of extra
strong enemies or protecting hapless bureau agents or… well, let’s not kid ourselves,
it’s all variations on Kill The Things. But it’s good to see areas you’ve cleared
out repurposed for rougher encounters. And it’s quite cute to play into Jesse’s role
as a put upon director of the Bureau, sorting out everything herself – it almost inspired
me to stop delegating my work to Astrid and Alice. Almost. I mention Jesse’s directorship there, and
I hope you don’t mind that I’ve not gone any deeper into her story. I think Remedy are a proven talent at telling
stories in fun set pieces, explaining how they elevate those scenes here would rob you
of some really cool stuff – needless to say, the Oldest House is constantly misbehaving,
and Remedy have a huge amount of fun with head spinning scene shifts and a run of puzzling
clashes with a range of seemingly harmless everyday items. My only other word of advice is to take your
time and drink in the supporting documents and watching Remedy’s signature TV broadcasts… “Just look at it, eight inches wide and
capable of storing a whopping 80 kilobytes…” Yes, audio logs and backstory documents have
been done to death, but when it’s done with this level of care – and tell the story of
a world this intriguingly constructed, you forgive it’s old habits. I’m less sold on the creepy as shit puppet
show – why don’t they do some re-runs of Captain Baseball Bat Boy instead? There’s other stuff for long term fans – it’s
interesting seeing how Control slots into the wider Remedy-verse, and there are some
lovely nods to the studio’s Finnish homeland that give it a personal touch I found very
endearing. In fact, while this is, on paper, their most
abstract world to date, it’s easily the most human – from NPCs freaking out about
their messed up situation to that aforementioned clash of office drudgery and supernatural
oddness. Like everything in Control, it shows a maturity
– after Quantum Break, which had lots to love but felt muzzled by its weird TV show-game
hybrid structure, this is Remedy back on form, and taking a bit of a hammer to that form
in the process. It’s easily their most playable game, exploring
and executing its mechanics with as much care as it gives the story. I thought it was fab and wouldn’t be surprised
to see Remedy adding some game of the year awards to their shelves – well, as long as
some maniac doesn’t smash them off the wall first. Thanks for watching this look at Control – I
hope it has answered you questions about the game. If it hasn;t why not pop your questions in
the comments below or watch Alice’s earlier preview – it has more details on story and
good stuff like that. And thanks again to Logitech G for sponsoring
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