I found out about Control while watching a Gamescom trailer. It looked cool, so I decided to give it a try because I haven’t played a lot of single-player games in recent months. I had a good experience and particularly enjoyed the gameplay mechanics because I like absurd amounts of power creep in my games.
Story (minor spoilers)
Jesse (the player character) shows up to the Federal Bureau of Control because she was called by Polaris (a paranatural entity inside of her) about her missing brother who was kidnapped from their town of Ordinary (the irony of that name).
The current director of the bureau commits suicide when she arrives and we take his gun or object of power to become the new director. A few things happen that show people in the bureau are corrupt and we go to follow that lead, but that’s mainly a backdrop for our character trying to find her brother.
We eventually find our brother, but things get a little funky because he’s infected by the HISS (an evil force that almost destroyed the Federal Bureau of Control). He tells warns us that Polaris shouldn’t be trusted. We find out that is not true and that the Polaris actually saved our life.
Things go array, our character almost gets taken over just like other characters in the game, but we are able to overcome, sort of save our brother, and vow to defeat the HISS forever.
Gameplay, Skill Tree & Mods
At one point in the game, I said to myself, “If I’m going to have psychic abilities, just make me an entire scarlet witch.” That’s how much I enjoy those mechanics. I almost wish the gun wasn’t an intricate part of your powers, because the mechanics using her psychic powers were more entertaining. Picking up things and hurling them at enemies and controlling the enemies was fun. Plus, it felt like a nice little cheat code when I was getting overwhelmed by enemies as well.
The skill tree is easy enough to use. I personally just upgraded what I found I used more. I focused on health, launch, and seize respectively. As far as mods, you can swap those around to suit your style. You’ll acquire either personal or weapon mods by collecting them or craft them using resources. My favorite weapon mod is the shatter projectile choke because you can hit multiple targets at once with a shotgun you get. My favorite personal mod is Seize speed because you seize skill regenerates faster.
Overall I would say this is a very involved story dealing with psychic abilities and paranormal/paranatural entities. Remedy Entertainment definitely put a lot of thought into this story. However, gameplay mechanics by far is the most attractive part of the Control. You have to keep moving, find objects of power (like your gun), and be strategic (especially when you are weaker than the opponent). These are all components that I like in a video game.