CONTROL - (Remedy Entertainment and 505 Games)

It has a bit of the typical Remedy Games problem that the game mechanics don’t really lend themselves to big out-of-the-routine combat climaxes, so it’s a slight let down in terms of gameplay, if not, I say vaguely, the story or scenery itself. Traversing the Ashtray Maze is unforgettable.

(To expand: the end of Quantum Break didn’t really have a boss fight, just a big wave of enemies triggered by something that was a spawn marker disguised as the boss, and iirc, the Max Paynes were similar)

(I really like the game as a whole, though, particularly the way it diagetically held your hand in navigation by the actually useful wall signs…)

I’d heard that this performed like crap on the base level consoles, but that it was OK on PCs. That doesn’t seem to be the case for me. With a 1070Ti at 1080p, I’ve dropped the settings somewhere between Low and Medium and there are still places where it starts hitching.

Is this normal?

I’ve been waiting for people to report back with non-RTX cards and you are the first. That’s…not promising.

Hrm. That’s not a great sign. I’ve been tempted to grab this, but sounds a bit concerning even with a 1080 (non-Ti)

Diego

I was playing this (haven’t in a while) on an old i5 CPU and a 1070ti, and it was fine, really.

It’s totally playable on base level consoles. (I’m playing on base PS4.) Occasional frame-rate hitches during chaotic fight scenes, but not often enough to really affect gameplay. I don’t think we get all the ray-tracing lighting goodness, but without a comparison, I can’t tell–I mean the game has dynamic and dramatic lighting regardless. And the game is easily good enough to stand on its own without leaning on the new lighting tech. It’s my GoTY.

It ran really well on Xbox One X. Very occasional slowdown in big fights but only a few frames, and no tearing thank God.

Runs fine on my 1080 at 2560x1440.

That’s encouraging, thanks gang!

So, having attempted to Cleanse the Siphon now about 10 times getting increasingly frustrated at having my progress reset, I think I’m about done with this game. As I understand it, I’m very close to the end anyway, and it’s not worth my rage to finish it off. I enjoyed it, but yeah, the checkpoint system on the hard fights near the end really robs it of enjoyment for me. Would have been my GotY otherwise. Guess I’m just a noob.

It’s basically the final fight though and there’s only three or so waves (best advice I can give, having ragequit once myself, is to use levitate a lot and keep moving). The coda after it is superb though.

It’s that third wave that does me in with the dudes that throw the radar dishes at me. Argh. The most annoying thing is having to climb the damn stairs again to get back to the battle.

(I feel your pain, BTW. It’s a recurring theme of Remedy Games that they don’t do end of game climaxes that don’t involve a difficulty spike with a large wave of tough enemies.)

I though Control’s end fight was hectic but manageable. Quantum Break defeated me.

I very nearly gave up at that same point. When I made it through, the actual ending was underwhelming enough to retroactively diminish my enjoyment of the entire game.

I’m just stunned at how well this reviewed. Sure, Control has lots of style. But that’s all it has. The systems related to gameplay ranges from really bad to mediocre.

The fighting is obviously the weakest part. None of the guns feel good (no impact, inaccurate, incredibly small clips with long reloads, and mostly ineffective). And they’ve seemingly intentionally made weapon switching maximally awkward, just to make sure that nobody accidentally tries to use the right tool for the job.

Instead of the guns you’re clearly supposed to use the telekinesis ability to throw crap at enemies. It’s just absurd how much more damage it does than the guns, and how much easier it is to upgrade. But the problem is that the telekinesis is really boring to use. There’s no aiming, there’s no interesting timing, the rate of fire is really low, and the wind-up is frustratingly long. It’s basically just “is there an enemy on the screen? if there is, just press right bumper for about 1.5 seconds, release it, and the enemy will die”. Why is this the centerpiece of combat rather than a special purpose tool you use once every few encounters, just like the shield is.

The combination of the health system and the way incoming damage works make for a lot of really frustrating moments. It feels like most of the time you’re just taking no damage at all. And then you take 80% of your health bar in one go, and suddenly have a knife to the throat of needing to run into the middle of enemies to pick up the health shards.

The idea for the health system was probably to encourage aggressive play. No turtling around waiting for health regen; if you want healing you need to kill some enemies for it. But that doesn’t work when the health bar is almost always either at 100% or so low that you’re likely to die from a single hit. It’s never in between, and it’s that gray area in between where the “health from aggression” system should be interesting.

[The ultra-punitive checkpointing makes this even worse in the late game, since you’re either in a position where everything is perfect, or you’re about to lose 10-15 minutes of gameplay.]

Finally, the bulk of the enemies you fight are bad. They’re not distinct enough, it’s hard to tell at a glance what you’re actually fighting. And I found a lot of the attack animations to very non-visible.

The comparison to Remnant: From the Ashes is pretty stark. Both games tried to do the same kind of highly mobile and aggressive 3rd person combat with a small weapon selection. Remnant was janky as hell, but I ended up playing through it 2.5 times just because the combat felt so good. In Control, I was never happy to see a combat encounter.

That was longer than expected, I’ll split other gameplay topics than fighting to a separate message.

Spot on I gave up halfway through the game because of the mediocre combat. No idea why people praised it so much. The whole brutalist architecture setting is cool but there is also a lot of asset reuse through the game that makes the discovery of a new area kind of boring. The story is ok but way too much is told through text snippets that you find all over the place. Basically every room has one or more of them and that’s just too much reading to not break up the flow of traversing the world.

I beat the game and completed all side missions but didn’t get near enough ability points to max out my skill tree. I read reports of other players doing the same and maxed out their skills with points to spare. What am I missing? As far as I can tell alert missions don’t give you skill points.