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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Control Review


Unlike many other major titles in 2019, Control was a game that seemed to go unrecognized many gamers. People knew it was coming, it was developed by Remedy, and it was shown at multiple conventions. Yet it never caught the attention of the masses. Even I chose to play it on a whim, not so much because I had been hyped for months to play it. I was left in surprise by this sleeper hit game. 

Players take control of Jesse Faden, a mysterious protagonist who happens to enter the Federal Bureau of Control in New York City. She happens to enter the building at just the right time after giving a very vague monologue voiceover about another dimension. There is almost nothing but vague notes and mysterious people to start off the game. From the very beginning, you’re asking questions. 

Addicting Narrative 

Some games become far too convoluted and confusing for their own good, and they players detached. Control hits the nail on the head in this regard. The pace at which new information is given fits perfect. Notes are scattered all around, characters reveal critical information, and the story plays out naturally just like any good narrative. When I find myself reading every single note or file in a game, I know I’m hooked. 

Jesse Faden serves as a great protagonist with her own desires, and she learns new information along with us that’s critical to her mission. Each of the supporting characters and members of the bureau added their own spice to the game and fit each department so well. Just like anything else in the game, they were mysterious and information about them was given in useful intervals. 

Aside from the main story, there are plenty of engaging side quests, and each one had its own interesting flair. Thousands of duplicating clocks? A refrigerator that eats you when you look away? These are some of the insane ideas and quests in the game, and they’re just another part of exploring the world and figuring out what is going on. 

Exciting World Design 

The world within Control was something special on its own. The whole game takes place within the bureau, and again, saying how that works would reveal spoilers. The lore of the world directly affects the world the player sees and traverses. I couldn’t wait find out why rooms were changing or how both a different space dimension and a mold forest could exist in the same space. The lore of control is one of the things that drew me easily into reading everything and exploring. 

It’s also what allows one building to have so much variety in world design and level design. Each level, that’s interconnected to the rest in some way, has unique themes and layouts like an office labyrinth or a place filled with alien mold and growth. I felt like each floor was a new discovery, which was exciting and kept the game fresh. 

Mesmerizing Gameplay 

Control is a third-person shooter at heart. Most of the gameplay consists of using a service weapon, whether it’s a pistol, shotgun, or a sniper mod. The gunplay is fun, but it isn’t very different from other shooters when it comes to just shooting. What separates Control is the powers that Jesse can get. 

Just to name a few, Jesse will eventually be able to throw any object she can find or pull from the environment, including people, using a pull power. She’ll be able to levitate at will, and she’ll be able to mind control. She becomes an all-powerful director of the bureau. The mix of gunplay and incredibly fun superpowers makes the combat addicting and mesmerizing to watch unfold. It never got old being able to rip material out of walls or the ground, no matter where you are, and hurling it at enemies. That’s not just fun design in combat, but a great technical achievement as well. 

Should you buy it? 

Even though Control didn’t have a massive marketing push, it was still easily the best sleeper hit of 2019. It’s no wonder Control is in the running for most nominations from every gaming awards show. The story is addicting along with plenty of lore to learn about, the gameplay is loads of fun, and I couldn’t get enough until the credits were rolling. If you’re looking for a new single player experience, this is it. 

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