CON­TROL

When things get out of con­trol it’s very im­por­tant to have a rem­edy at hand…

XBox: The Official Magazine - - CONTENTS - Adam Bryant Pub­lisheR 505 Games De­vel­oper Rem­edy En­ter­tain­ment ETA 2019

Lo­cated within the con­fines of a huge win­dow­less sky­scraper in New York is a world that’s been con­cealed for cen­turies. A world of the su­per­nat­u­ral where strange and mys­te­ri­ous things lurk around ev­ery cor­ner, and that’s just on a nor­mal day.

This tow­er­ing mono­lith is the head­quar­ters for the Fed­eral Bureau of Con­trol, a se­cret govern­ment agency that scours the globe in­ves­ti­gat­ing su­per­nat­u­ral phe­nom­ena which they try to con­tain and study in or­der to ex­pand the lim­its of hu­man un­der­stand­ing. It’s here that Con­trol takes place and where the Old­est House re­sides. The Old­est House is a su­per­nat­u­ral lo­ca­tion with a labyrinthine in­te­rior that is con­stantly shift­ing to form an in­fi­nite amount of rooms and pas­sage­ways.

You play as Jesse Faden, a woman look­ing for an­swers to her dark past. Jesse ar­rives at the bureau for a job in­ter­view but within mo­ments the place is in­vaded by a mys­te­ri­ous en­tity known as the Hist. In the en­su­ing chaos the bureau’s di­rec­tor, Zachariah Trench, is killed and through a strange, rit­u­al­is­tic process Jesse be­comes the new di­rec­tor. We’d call that a suc­cess­ful in­ter­view.

To take on the Hist Jesse will make use of the su­per­nat­u­ral abil­i­ties that she’s ac­quired and a mys­te­ri­ous weapon called the ‘Ser­vice Weapon’ that’s been be­stowed upon her. Like the Old­est House, this weapon can al­ter its shape to form dif­fer­ent types of guns. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. “The Ser­vice Weapon is an im­por­tant part of the lore of the bureau it­self,” ex­plains game di­rec­tor Mikael Ka­suri­nen. “It’s a weapon that has ex­isted for as long as any­body can re­mem­ber. No­body knows for sure how old it re­ally is and it’s pos­si­ble that it has served a larger pur­pose than that of even the bureau.”

Given the age and prop­er­ties of the weapon you can as­sume that its form hasn’t al­ways been that of a pis­tol. “Let’s say you look back 500 years, it may have looked like a sword or a mus­ket. You can say that it’s some kind of proto-weapon, like the idea of what a weapon is, which ma­te­ri­alises into what is suit­able and fit­ting for the time and age.” The power within The Ser­vice Weapon is just one of the many ‘Ob­jects of Power’ found within the world of Con­trol, items that the FBC seek to ob­tain. These ob­jects have some­how ac­quired pow­ers that can have a strange ef­fect on the world around them. By as­sim­i­lat­ing this power, Jesse can un­lock dif­fer­ent su­per­nat­u­ral abil­i­ties that re­side within her.

At the heart of Con­trol is the sense of con­trast be­tween the mun­dane and the strange. It’s the com­bi­na­tion of those things that makes it re­ally in­trigu­ing and with both the story and the set­ting Rem­edy hopes to im­bue you with awe. “When we thought about the key word for the game and we talked to [ Alan Wake writer] Sam [Lake], and worked on the con­cept, ‘awe’ was some­thing we wanted to de­fine from an ex­pe­ri­ence per­spec­tive,” says Ka­suri­nen. “Awe is a great word be­cause it com­bines the idea of some­thing awe-in­spir­ing, or be­ing en­chanted by what you’re see­ing but also at the same time there can be a hint of ter­ror in it as well. What you’re see­ing can be both beau­ti­ful and dan­ger­ous at the same time.” See­ing the Old­est House trans­form for the first time gives us a taste of what they’re try­ing to achieve but we’re as­sured there is so much more yet to be re­vealed. ■

“At the heart of Con­trol is a con­trast be­tween the mun­dane and the strange”

The char­ac­ter Zacharia Trench is voiced by James McCaf­frey, who also voiced Max Payne

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