“Max Payne plus Alan Wake”: what journalists write about Control in new previews

It seems that we will be surprised by both the story and the gameplay.

On June 3, a new preview of Control appeared – an action movie from Remedy, by Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break. The plot of the game tells about the Federal Bureau of Control – a secret organization that deals with the containment of paranormal phenomena. One day something went wrong, and some extraterrestrial force captured the Bureau building.

At the last press event, journalists were given one of the first missions to go through – we chose the most important of their impressions. At this time, the developers shared some details about the plot and characters, and again showed the big game world in the spirit of metroidvany, which is constantly changing.

Many journalists again began to compare Control with previous releases from the studio. IGN editor Ryan McCaffie decided that the plot was more like Alan Wake, while Max Payne felt in the dynamic gameplay.

However, the author of VG24 / 7, James Billcliff, noted that, although Control contains many familiar elements, together they create something unique and memorable. This is especially true of the setting – the Oldest House, where the game takes place. He is both frightening and admiring.

From a visual point of view, […] in Control there is a classic style of science fiction – the 1980s and earlier. The deformed, incomprehensible to the mind of the geometry of space horror – coupled with the absolute brutality of the headquarters of a fictional government organization.

James billcliff

by VG24 / 7

Gameplay, according to the journalist, Control is especially strongly reminiscent of Quantum Break. However, in contrast to the linear corridors from the previous game of the studio, here the world is built on the principle of metroidvania.

The oldest House consists of many corridors, rooms and laboratories, not all of which can be reached immediately – only after obtaining a certain ability. On the locations hidden secrets, additional quests and loot, which motivates the player to return to the previously known places. As Billcliffe said, in this regard, the Control even resembles sandboxes.

However, according to the journalist, the reverse side of this approach is excessive confusion.

Because of this freedom in the game is difficult to navigate. It shows well where to go, but sometimes because of the lack of a clear direction you get confused and do not understand: you cannot get somewhere, because you have not yet acquired the necessary strength, or simply because you are blunt?

James billcliff

by VG24 / 7

However, the developers have already announced that they are aware of this problem – and in the latest builds they are working to fix it.

In a preview of the journalists showed the mission of Directorial Override – the third in a row in the campaign. Unlike past demonstrations, where the main character Jessie already owned a lot of abilities and types of weapons, this time she only mastered telekinesis. PC Gamer author Christopher Livingstone noted that he did not even want to switch to firearms – he liked this technique so much.

It works even when there are no interactive objects at the level: Jesse can pry a piece of concrete from a wall or floor.


Most likely, I like telekinesis in games so much, because it does not require delicate accuracy – unlike a gun. Throw something big, and even if you miss the enemy, you will surely fall into something else – and this something else either explodes, or breaks, or rebounds, and some damage will still happen. In Control, a good destructible environment: the walls are crushed, objects are broken, and stone walls collapse.

Christopher Livingstone

PC Gamer

However, this does not mean that all Control is tied solely to the psi abilities. Although Jesse owns only one Service Weapon, in the course of the action a player can find additional modifiers that turn this artifact into anything from a shotgun to a blaster.

Automatic, shotgun and pulsar in one gun …Thin and thoughtful customization. 

Therefore, Control inclines to improvisation and a combination of various techniques in battle. Journalists also noted that due to the lack of regeneration – instead health points fall out of killed enemies – the game inclines to aggressive gameplay.

Despite the fact that this time the developers have moved away from their usual cinematography and emphasis on the plot, Control still surprises with a good production. Especially Billcliffe praised the way the characters look – they have “amazing facial animation.”

In Directorial Override, Jesse descends into the powerhouse of the Oldest House to restart the power supply. There the heroine meets Ahti, a strange cleaner who in her speech mixes broken English and Finnish (Remedy is a Finnish studio).

Ahti beautifully plays the role of “a strange guy who knows more than he pretends” – as in many horror stories like Stephen King’s novels.

James billcliff

by VG24 / 7

At the end of the game, the game tells the story background. Jessie went to the Bureau of Control, hoping to find her brother, whom the organization had once stolen after a strange incident in their house. And then later the Eldest House was attacked by a supernatural force called Hiss (“Whistle”) – during which the Director was killed, and the “Service Weapon” artifact elected Jesse as the new head of the Bureau.

In an hour of demonstration, the plot had many intrigued. Therefore, as journalists are sure, if the release of Remedy corrects some of the shortcomings, then Control will certainly succeed.

If [drama] fits well with the fantastic elements of the story, and the roughness of the game balance and game design will smooth out, then Control can be one of the best games of Remedy.

James billcliff

by VG24 / 7

Release Control is scheduled for August 27 – on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.


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