con­trol

We delve deep into the New Weird with Rem­edy’s su­per­nat­u­ral stun­ner

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS - Adam Bryant

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

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