Remedy is back, and it wants to twist our minds more than ever before. We catch up with the team to see how its multiformat release is coming along
Ahead of seeing Control in action for the very first time, we were told by Mikael Kasurinen to expect the unexpected, that what we were about to witness would represent “the ultimate Remedy experience”.
It’s common for developers to trudge out lines such as this when promoting such widely anticipated projects, but we would eventually understand this to be true. Though it wouldn’t be in a way that we could ever have anticipated.
As the demo whirs into action you can feel it wash over you in an instant. A force beckoning you to look beyond that which you believe you can see, daring you to take a glance in a world of perspectives. Control posits that should you look beyond the frayed edges of your own reality, you might just see that which exists on the periphery. If you know the rules, if the conditions are right and should you understand the rituals, you too can keep travelling deeper into a world of unknowns.
We see this as Jesse Faden walks the Panopticon alone. She is looking for the same thing that we are – answers. She knows that she will need to fight for them eventually, but for now she is as we are, mesmerised by the path that winds off into the shadows. It is a corridor that seems to spiral in on itself indefinitely, an ecosystem of its own design within The Oldest House.
An exhibition of Altered Items adorns one of its walls. Hundreds of crucibles house hundreds of objects, each of them acted upon by forces that fit no known scientific paradigm. They take on an innocuous appearance, ones that we can at once recognise, though this only seeks to disguise and contort their true nature. Jesse’s Service Weapon seems to pulse with knowing energy with every step that she takes.
Unit 75, a crucible that contains an Item resembling an ordinary household fridge, one that must have eyes on it at all times else it will deviate from this reality;
Unit 76, a burnt-out vehicle that begs for our attention, though there is simply none left to offer it – a siren wails in the distance; it is time to move on. In time we reach Unit 715, home to an Item predisposed to causing Altered World Events, incidents that present the possibility of other dimensions existing upon our own. Its fortified doors have been pried open. Inside, bodies hang lifelessly, defying gravity. The warm cathode glow of the Benicoff TV draws us inside. As we do, bricks peel away from the foundations of the chamber, the room begins to reconfigure itself, transformed by our mere presence.
Jesse is the director of this domain. Jesse has no control over this domain. These facts have no symmetry; they are disconnected, but then everything feels that way here. We are inside of The Oldest House and nothing is quite as it seems. But the longer that we spend in its presence, the more we come to understand that this is exactly where we need to be. That this is where Remedy needs to be too, in a world of unknowns where its future will eventually take shape – even if our understanding of what that shape is exactly is purposefully contorted.
“And you’ve only seen just a small part of it, of The
Oldest House,” Mikael Kasurinen later tells us with a knowing smile. Control’s game director is only too aware that the gameplay demonstration