We delve deep into the New Weird with Remedy’s supernatural stunner
PublisheR 505 Games Developer Remedy Format Xbox One ETA 2019
Throughout the years we’ve come to know and love Remedy for the strange and altogether different experiences that it’s treated us to on Xbox consoles. First there was neo-noir detective story MaxPayne, with its tale of revenge laced in Norse mythology. Then came AlanWake, an episodic psychological thriller that had similar pacing and structure to a television series. Then, two years ago, we got the time-traveling science fiction action game Quantum
Break, which was also influenced by television to the point that it integrated live action scenes that played out differently depending on actions within the game.
Now there’s Control, which seems just as mad and ambitious, if not more so, than their previous games. In this third person supernatural action adventure game you play as Jesse Faden, a young woman with a troubled childhood, who has been chosen, not by a person, but through a strange ritualistic process, to become the new Director of the Federal Bureau of Control—a role she is yet to fully understand. The FBC is a secret government agency that has existed for centuries and has kept the public safe from strange supernatural forces. Their headquarters and base of operations are located within a strange building they call The Oldest House, and it’s here that the story takes place. Twilight home The Oldest House is visually inspired by brutalist architecture with its flat concrete walls and repeated modular rooms. The whole building is a continuously shifting environment that hides many different secrets and side quests. You’ll find various doors and hallways that move around and provide access to other areas.
In our hands-off demo, Jesse finds herself trapped within the house. Everyday reality has been invaded by an unknown and violent supernatural threat known only as the Hiss, and it’s fallen to Jesse to regain control. You’ll need to go back and forth throughout the Oldest House to discover things you weren’t able to previously, that will flesh out the narrative.
During the demo we see Jesse go up against the Hiss, who possess the other agents and attack her. To combat them Jesse uses a unique gun, which as Director she’s the only one able to wield. Called the Service Weapon, it’s capable of transforming into two distinct firing modes. The basic ‘Grip’ mode is, for all intents and purposes, a standard pistol and is used for mid-range precision shots. The second mode is the ‘Shatter’ mode, a highly destructive closerange weapon, similar to a shotgun with its wide cone of fire. Other modes can be unlocked later in the game.
Jesse is also bestowed with powerful telekinetic abilities that can be improved and upgraded. By picking up large amounts of debris, she can form a shield in front of her for protection. She can also shift through space to evade attacks. As for her attacks, she can pick up practically any object and launch it at the enemy. There’s also the ability to levitate, which can be used to traverse gaps and reach new areas.
Control is influenced by the New Weird, a genre that goes against the grain of clichés found within science fiction and fantasy as well as other genres. Stories in this genre are often made to leave us feeling uncomfortable or to look and appear altogether strange. Control is both of these things and we love it.
“The whole building is continuously shifting and hides many secrets”
Control has been in development since before the release of Quantum Break