Ok, so I’m late to this party. Everyone online is gushing about how wonderful this game is. And, yeah, they’re right. This is easily my favorite game since 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn.
I’ll let everyone else tell you how fun it is to play and how when it ends, you start counting the days until the DLC comes out. And how Jesse Faden is a great protagonist that will hopefully carry Remedy’s games for years to come.
What I’d like to talk about is Remedy’s incredible attention to detail. The game revolves around the secret Federal Bureau of Control — seems straightforward enough. But five minutes into the game, you are told that prohibited items not only include the standard weapons and cell phones, but also, Number 2 Pencils.
Even though the story is 2 parts David Lynch, 1 part X-Files, and 3 parts WTF, Control manages to build a world that somehow feels that it makes complete sense. The Brutalist Architecture of The Oldest House and the bureaucratic soul-crushing 60s style design of the interior makes narrative sense and lends a sense of reality to the ongoing events. If I were filing a complaint about some sort of weird monster from another dimension, I’d very much expect to do it in a building like this one. The demeanor of Jesse and the employees of the FBC make the plot seem like another day at the office for them. A bad one, sure, but nothing they hadn’t prepared for.
All of the questions have answers. Are they told to you? Not always. But there is a sense of logic to this place, and you begin to understand it as you read and listen to the nearly 300 documents and tapes left lying around. By five hours in, you are much like Jesse, reacting to what would drive most people insane with a sense of wonder, not confusion. The logic of the Control universe may be twisted compared to our world, but it sure as hell is logic. This is most evident in the ending sequence. It’s a trippy dream like experience, but somehow makes perfect sense.
So go out and get this right away. Stop reading this and download it, it’s worth every dollar. Later, we can join together and talk about the implications using story points. But I don’t want to ruin the wonder of anyone picking this up for the first time. Jump in head first, and I’ll see you on the other side.