Con­trol – a de­light­fully strange and sur­real romp

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

THE gen­eral trend of gam­ing seems to be be­com­ing more and more about el­e­vat­ing our in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences as close to re­al­ity as pos­si­ble, which makes Rem­edy’s lat­est of­fer­ing - Con­trol - a hell of a lot more ap­peal­ing, due to its staunch re­fusal to be any­thing less than de­light­fully strange and sur­real in gen­er­ous help­ings.

Con­trol’s first act moves swiftly but never feels jar­ring or jerky, like some games crafted with a less deft hand than Rem­edy’s ex­cel­lent de­sign team. You are cast as Jesse Faden, who must in­fil­trate the head­quar­ter’s of The Bureau of Con­trol. Quickly ris­ing from the jan­i­tor’s as­sis­tant to the head of the en­tire Bureau, Jesse be­gins to piece to­gether the events of her past, as well as hon­ing her la­tent and of­ten deadly tele­ki­netic pow­ers.

If that sounds wacky and a lit­tle tough to fol­low, well, that’s be­cause it is. Rem­edy’s de­lib­er­ate ob­fus­ca­tion of the story is sup­ported by an im­mac­u­lately acted cast of char­ac­ters, com­ing to­gether to form the video game ver­sion of the best page-turner you’ve never read.

Where the story strikes a moon land­ing, the ac­tion and ac­tual gameplay hit in­ter­ga­lac­tic heights. Your mind abil­i­ties com­bined with the sur­pris­ingly very (very) de­struc­tible en­vi­ron­ments and set pieces make for some of the most in­tensely sat­is­fy­ing com­bat from a game re­leased in the past decade.

The sat­is­fy­ing and inar­tic­u­la­ble oomph of both your weapon and the tele­ki­netic blasts is some­where ap­proach­ing sheer ad­dic­tion. At will, Jesse can hurl ob­jects at en­e­mies or just sim­ply rip up the floor to use it both of­fen­sively and as rudi­men­tary cover. Of course, with the ad­di­tion of tal­ent trees, your tal­ents can be honed and im­proved, pro­vid­ing fur­ther op­tions for havoc and dev­as­ta­tion. Sim­i­larly, your hand­gun or “Ser­vice Weapon” can be mod­ded to the point where call­ing it a mere “hand­gun” is a tad laugh­able.

Graph­i­cally, Con­trol is just on an­other level of gor­geous. The artis­tic di­rec­tion takes cen­ter stage, but it is ex­tremely well sup­ported by the beau­ti­ful light­ing and graph­i­cal fi­delity. The con­stant flux of the beureau’s rooms and lay­out is a very im­pres­sive sight to be­hold - the Old­est House, as its known, shifts around like gi­ant mod­u­lar blocks, re­ar­rang­ing the huge in­te­rior and con­stantly im­part­ing an el­e­ment of spon­tane­ity to a game that would be dan­ger­ously close to bor­ing with­out it.

Con­trol is an un­de­ni­able mas­ter­piece and a beau­ti­fully strange romp through the more dar­ing side of video games.

Con­trol is an un­de­ni­able mas­ter­piece and a beau­ti­fully strange romp through the more dar­ing side of video games.

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